Biomimicry 101

Biomimicry is a practice that looks at the way nature functions and tries to imitate its processes in designing elements/technologies to solve some problems that people face.

Biomimicry originates from the Greek where Bios means life and Mimesis means to imitate. Other terminologies are also used such biomimetic, biophilia, bionic or bionics.

The main idea is that nature, over billions of years, has already solved many of the problems that we are facing today. Animals, plants, micro-organisms have become the ideal engineers. By trial and error, they have selected the best techniques to solve some particular problems.

Here are different examples:

  • The surfaces of different insects and plants are dirt free. They do not use any chemicals or detergents to clean their membranes. As shown in the pictures, the Lotus leaves are self-cleaning due to a micro rough structure which pushes water to ball-up and remove the dirt away. STO has created Lotus-effect® a paint that is used on facades and is self-cleaned with rainfall.



  • The Velcro fastener is inspired by the structure of burdock seeds that are covered by hooks. The seeds tend to hook on looped fibers of clothes. In 1955 Georges de Mestral was inspired by this process and developed the Velcro fastener or hook & loop which is commonly used today in clothing as shown in the picture below.






About tOD

Active since 2010, the architecture lab theOtherDada defends an alternative position towards the current practice of sustainability through exploration of the context and medium, invoking new relationships between climate, landscape, and inhabitants. Informed by our research into biomimicry, we aim to connect to the natural ecosystems of sites to understand and consequently devise new potential living habitats. theOtherDada works within a collaborative process between architects, scientists, botanists, artists, economists and craftsmen.

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