Biomimicry through the eyes of Janine Benyus
Janine Benyus is an American natural sciences expert, writer and innovation consultant.
In 1997, she popularized Biomimicry. In 1998, she co-founded the Biomimicry Guild with Dr. Dayna Baumeister, the Innovation Consultancy, that learns from and emulates natural models in order to design sustainable products, processes, and policies and to create conditions conducive to life.
In 2006, she co-founded a non-profit organization, the Biomimicry Institute hat empowers people to create nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. In 2010, Benyus, Dayna Baumeister, Chris Allen, Bryony Schwan and their team created Biomimicry 3.8 an hybrid organization to support consultancy activities, professional training and inspirational speaking. She authored six books on Biomimicry and is a major source of inspiration for all biomimicry practitioners.
Thank you Janine.
Through a selection of her best quotes, discover Janine Benyus’ lens with which she sees the world, Nature and Biomimicry.
The answers to our questions are everywhere; we just need to change the lens with which we see the world.”
“For a long time we have thought we were better than the living world, and now some of us tend to think we are worse, that everything we touch turns to soot. But neither perspective is healthy. We have to remember how it feels to have equal standing in the world, to be « between the mountain and the ant . . . part and parcel of creations, » as the Iroquois traditionalist Oren Lyons says.” “For the 99 percent of the time we’ve been on Earth, we were hunter and gatherers, our lives dependent on knowing the fine, small details of our world. Deep inside, we still have a longing to be reconnected with the nature that shaped our imagination, our language, our song and dance, our sense of the divine.” . “Virtually all native cultures that have survived without fouling their nests have acknowledged that nature knows best, and have had the humility to ask the bears and wolves and ravens and redwoods for guidance.”. “The real survivors are the Earth inhabitants that have lived millions of years without consuming their ecological capital, the base from which all abundance flows”. “In reality, we haven’t escaped the gravity of life at all. We are still beholden to ecological laws, the same as any other life-form.”.
“Life solves its problems with well-adapted designs, life-friendly chemistry and smart material and energy use.”. “The truth is, natural organisms have managed to do everything we want to do without guzzling fossil fuels, polluting the planet or mortgaging the future.”. “Green chemistry is replacing our industrial chemistry with nature’s recipe book. It’s not easy, because life uses only a subset of the elements in the periodic table. And we use all of them, even the toxic ones.”. “Organisms don’t think of CO2 as a poison. Plants and organisms that make shells, coral, think of it as a building block.”.; “Nature works with five polymers. Only five polymers. In the natural world, life builds from the bottom up, and it builds in resilience and multiple uses.”. “Water is at the center of every chemical reaction, and therefore should be the earths most precious gift.” . “Life creates conditions conducive to life.”
“After decades of faithful study, ecologists have begun to fathom hidden likenesses among many interwoven systems. …a canon of nature’s laws, strategies, and principles… Nature runs on sunlight. Nature uses only the energy it needs. Nature fits form to function. Nature recycles everything. Nature rewards cooperation. Nature banks on diversity. Nature demands local expertise. Nature curbs excesses from within. Nature taps the power of limits.”. “Biomimicry is basically taking a design challenge and then finding an ecosystem that’s already solved that challenge, and literally trying to emulate what you learn.”
“Biomimicry is the conscious emulation of life’s genius.”. “There are three types of biomimicry – one is copying form and shape, another is copying a process, like photosynthesis in a leaf, and the third is mimicking at an ecosystem’s level, like building a nature-inspired city,” “Biological knowledge is doubling every five years.”. “Biologically inspired materials could revolutionize materials science. People looking at spider silk and abalone shells are looking for new ways to make materials better, cheaper, and with less toxic byproducts.”. “Conserving habitats is a wellspring for the next industrial revolution.”. “Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature. In a society accustomed to dominating or ‘improving’ nature, this respectful imitation is a radically new approach, a revolution really. Unlike the Industrial Revolution, the Biomimicry Revolution introduces an era based not on what we can extract from nature, but on what we can learn from her.”
“When the forest and the city are functionally indistinguishable, then we know we have reached sustainability.”. “Cooperation in the most natural thing in the world”
Jeanine Benyus is an American biologist, inventor and climate activist. Nature lover, she has authored six books on biomimicry and build its popularity. In 1998, Janine M. Benyus co-founded the « Biomimicry Guild », which aims to learn from nature; « by emulating 3.8 billion years of adaptive technology » in 2005, Janine Benyus created the « Institut de Biomimétique” which is an authority on biomimicry and eco-design.