Biomimicry is theorized by Janine Benyus in 1997. We define it as an innovation process encouraging the transfer of ideas, concepts and strategies inspired from the living world, with the objective of designing human applications aiming at a sustainable development.
Since its birth on earth 3,8 billion years ago, life spread out in countless species interacting in a dynamic balance with the planet. Today, the number of living species is estimated at 15 millions. Each one has secured its long-term survival through a natural adaptation process of trial-and-errors and thus displays a concrete application of the principles of sustainability.
The prime idea of Biomimicry is that nature already has in stock a certain number of answers to the problems of durability with which we are confronted today.
Concretely, in front of a given problem, the Biomimicry methodology consists in looking for highly capable answers already given by living beings, albeit cost/emission-effective, and/or non-toxic. It is then a question of identifying the champions, namely the organisms the survival of which depends on the quality of the solution. Biomimicry delivers, in this manner, three levels of increasing requirement in terms of sustainability:
- The first level of inspiration comes from the shapes which the identified living beings actually take;
- The second level of inspiration relates to the “manufacturing” processes operating in those living beings;
- At the last level, one gets inspired by the interactions which the species entertain between each other and by the global functioning of natural ecosystems.
The ultimate objective of the Biomimicry methodology is to propose solutions up to the third level so that the selected objects, techniques and organization structures allow the human race to be in a dynamic balance with the ecosystem of our planet.