CAPS111-01C Introduction to Biomimicry (with Anamarija Frankic)
This course is an introduction to the field of biomimicry. "Biomimicry" (from Bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a new discipline that studies nature's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Biomimicry asks the question: What would nature do? The goal is to create sustainable products, processes, and policies by learning from and "listening to" nature, to the wisdom held in biological and ecological systems that has been evolving and accumulating over the past 3.8 billion years. Natural systems and organisms provide stunning examples of effective communication, resource production and storage, and energy efficient design. Animals, plants and microbes are consummate engineers; they have found what works, what is appropriate, and most importantly, what is sustainable. Biomimicry might help create a solar cell that is inspired by a leaf with chloroplast and chlorophyll, a passive cooling system for buildings inspired by a termite mound, or find new strategies for restoring degraded ecosystems. People are nature, too. Human cultures with long term residency in particular ecosystems hold crucial knowledge for living sustainably in place.