Biomimicry 101: innovation inspired by nature

The theme for this year’s Amsterdam Light Festival Illuminade walking route is ‘biomimicry’. What does this word– that is pretty hard to pronounce – mean?

Biomimicry is the science where the logic and structures of natures are used to solve human problems. This logic has been applied for ages already, however, in 1997 science author Janine Benyus gave the movement a name and linked the principle to innovative design and progressive architecture, where designers work together with biologists.

Think of a high-speed train with a nose in the shape of a kingfisher that prevents sound barriers in tunnels – kingfishers do not cause wrinkles when they dive in water. Trees that are connected underground can survive hurricanes. Why not connect buildings underground to create architecture that can survive natural disasters? Or making the construction of a water service pipe redundant by creating a system inspired by desert beetles that are able to extract water damp from the air with special cells on their shields.

Behind the philosophy behind biomicry is certain urgency. It is important that humanity starts to see nature as equal instead of subservient. Julia Roberts gives mother nature a voice in this clip, where this urgency is illustrated in a confronting way.

All artworks in the Illuminade walking route were inspired by ‘biomimicry’. The Illuminade is opened daily from 17:00 until 22:00 from December 15 until January 18. Soon the Illuminade route and the corresponding artworks will be published. Keep an eye out on the website!

Want to know more about biomimicry? Have a look on the website from BiomimicryNL.