Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rereading Biomimicry

I am in the process of rereading the book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus. I want to familiarize myself again with the specifics of the concept because I have been chosen to interview for the Biomimicry Professional Certificate Program. I applied because it sounds like an incredible education, one that cannot be duplicated. But I never really thought I would have a chance at getting in. But here I am, ready to interview in a couple of weeks, so I want to try and remember as much as I can.

I read the book for the first time in 2004 when I entered the C2C Home Competition, so I read it with a specific product bent. I was looking for concepts and products that would solve a specific design application. The idea of a building with an adaptable second skin intrigued me. In my entry, I designed an adjustable thermal skin with floor to ceiling adjustable windows for passive ventilation, adjustable and retractable exterior louvers control solar gain, and retracting insulation curtains to control heat loss. “State of the shelf” technologies were a requirement of this competition, and while I didn’t place, the research I conducted for my entry continues to inspire my work and thought.

But that was then. Rereading the book, I now find myself enthralled with the entire chapter entitled "How Will We Feed Ourselves?" The ideas those at The Land Institute espouse for Natural Systems Agriculture are intriguing. Self-fertilizing, self-weeding polyculture agriculture would seem to be the ideal we should be striving for and the Institute has a great deal of research and knowledge available on their site. I will post more detailed recollections from this chapter in the future because it is truly fascinating.

My goals, lifestyle, and even interests have changed dramatically from the first time I read Biomimicry and the sign of a timeless book is one that can be read over and over with something new to tell you each time. Highly recommended.

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