Janine Benyus
Inspired by Nature
Life creates conditions conducive to life. It builds soil; it cleans air; it cleans water; it mixes the cocktail of gases that you and I need to live. And it does that in the middle of having great foreplay and meeting their needs. So it’s not mutually exclusive. We have to find a way to meet our needs, while making of this place an Eden.
What if, every time I started to invent something, I asked, 'How would nature solve this?'
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 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.
The more our world functions like the natural world, the more likely we are to endure on this home that is ours, but not ours alone.
But what I am going to do is tell you that the most important thing, besides all of these adaptations, is the fact that these organisms have figured out a way to do the amazing things they do while taking care of the place that's going to take care of their offspring. When they're involved in foreplay, they're thinking about something very, very important -- and that's having their genetic material remain, 10,000 generations from now. And that means finding a way to do what they do without destroying the place that'll take care of their offspring. That's the biggest design challenge.
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.
Wrapped tightly in our own version of knowledge, we have been unreceptive to the wisdom of the natural world. To tune in again, to have the "spontaneous environmental rapport" that characterized our ancestors, will take doing something that is perfectly delightful: reimmersing ourselves in the natural world.
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.
The answers to our questions are everywhere; we just need to change the lens with which we see the world.