Biomimicry – Nature in a New Light
As demand for natural resources continues to increase, but supply remains fixed, there is a growing cost to companies, consumers, and the environment. If we want to survive and thrive in the next century, we must learn to design new products, systems, and processes that are dramatically more efficient and environmentally sustainable.
Biomimicry is the discipline of taking inspiration from nature—its systems, processes, and elements—to solve design problems in a sustainable manner. It is a multidisciplinary approach to problem solving in which biologists, engineers, chemists, business leaders, and more combine their expertise with the knowledge put forth by nature’s refined, evolutionary elements to progress the fields of technology, transportation, renewable energy, and beyond. With millions of diverse species and billions of creative human minds, the possibilities are endless!
The San Diego Zoo offers unparalleled facilities to introduce biomimicry in an interactive and multi-sensory way. With nearly 4,000 animals representing 840 species in our care, our collection is unmatched in its size and scope. In addition to being zoological facilities, the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are also accredited botanical gardens with over 40,000 plant species. Our education staff reaches more than 300,000 students every year and has tremendous expertise in creating innovative and engaging educational programs.
The San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research employs over 150 researchers with expertise ranging from molecular science to behavioral biology. We employ hundreds of animal curators, behaviorists, horticulturists, veterinarians, and pathologists with an intimate knowledge of the plants and animals in their care.
Moving into the future, we hope to share our resources with local, national, and global communities to help develop biomimicry and build San Diego into a hub for sustainable, nature-inspired innovation. Biomimicry is a unique tool to introduce new audiences to conservation. It offers economically viable solutions that lead to dramatic savings in money, energy, and materials. Additionally, it directly benefits conservation efforts by reducing pressure on the environment and increasing appreciation of nature.
On our Web site you will find information about our vision, current programs and services, and a wealth of informational material including the latest and greatest research and inventions in biomimcry.
The San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research also offers a biomimicry module for high school students. This program includes several hands-on activities to introduce the concepts and explore creative potential, an introductory presentation to familiarize students with the subject and the Zoo’s involvement, and an interactive scavenger hunt in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Students have the unique opportunity to learn about an up-and-coming discipline and become true biomimics, applying their knowledge of the natural world to real human design problems.