Biomimicry – Mindset Lessons from Nature

Biomimicry is a fascinating concept that involves looking to nature for guiding our mindset to look for solutions to modern problems. It is observing “what works” in nature and mimicking it to solve problems, create, and innovate.

The Philosophy of water

Raymond Tang presented a TED Talk based on a book called “The Toa te Ching: The Book of the Way and its Virtues”.

He draws 3 lessons from WATER to bring harmony and success in his life and work, namely HUMILITY HARMONY and OPENNESS (HHO – H2O).

Water shows HUMILITY with always staying low and not drawing attention to itself. Instead, it provides what is needed for plant, animals, humans and the planet to exist, grow and flourish.

When water faces any obstacles like rocks, it finds a way to go around it in HARMONY and without conflict. Water always flows to the ocean, because it is lower than them. Humility gives water its power and gives us the capacity to remain grounded, present and transparent.

Water is also OPEN(NESS) to change depending on the temperature – liquid, solid, gas – and medium – teapot, cup or vase. Water’s ability to remain flexible makes it enduring through ages, despite all changes and challenges in the environment. It encourage us to step up, open up and to cause a ripple effect.

These are some of the lessons Raymond Tang learned and shared in this TED Talk.

Biomimicry brings a new Mindset to living

I was first introduced a year ago to the concept of Biomimicry through the Reinvention Academy. As part of an assignment to become a Certified Reinvention Practitioner, I stumbled on a TED Talk of Janine Benyus about Biomimicry in Action.

Biomimicry is a fascinating concept that involves looking to nature for solutions to modern problems. It is observing “what works” in nature and mimicking it to solve problems, create, and innovate. For example, scientists have studied sharkskin to create swimsuits that are more efficient and discourage parasitic growth such as algae and barnacles. Here are some more examples of biomimicry that you might find interesting:

  1. Beaver-inspired wetsuits: Beavers have a thick layer of blubber that keeps them warm while they’re diving and swimming in their water environments. But they have another trick up their sleeves for staying toasty. Their fur is so dense that it traps warm pockets of air in between the layers, keeping these aquatic mammals not only warm, but dry. Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology thought surfers might appreciate that same ability, and they created a rubbery, fur-like pelts they say could make “bioinspired materials,” such as wetsuits .
  1. Termite-inspired buildings: Termite dens look otherworldly, but they are surprisingly comfortable places to live. While the temperature outside swings wildly throughout the day from lows in the 30s to highs over 100, the inside of a termite den holds steady at a comfortable (to a termite) 87 degrees. The termites accomplish this feat by building their dens with a series of vents and flues that allow air to circulate. The dens are also built with a material that can absorb and release moisture, which helps regulate the temperature. Architects are studying termite dens to design more energy-efficient buildings that can maintain a comfortable temperature without relying on heating and cooling systems .
  1. Whale-inspired wind turbines: Humpback whales have large, wing-like flippers that allow them to maneuver gracefully through the water. These flippers are covered in small bumps called tubercles that help reduce drag and increase lift. Engineers at WhalePower Corporation have designed wind turbines with blades that mimic the shape of humpback whale flippers. The turbines are more efficient than traditional wind turbines, generating up to 20% more electricity .
  1. Velcro: Velcro was invented by Swiss engineer George de Mestral in 1941 after he noticed how burrs stuck to his dog’s fur. He examined the burrs under a microscope and discovered that they had tiny hooks that caught on anything with a loop, such as clothing or fur. He used this observation to create a new type of fastener that could be used in clothing, shoes, and other products .

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished!

Raymond Tang

What can you learn from nature today to help you solve your challenges?

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