This weekend is the Biomimicry 3.8 Education Summit and Global Conference, which will kick off with a discussion of how to use "Genius of Place" to build sustainable cities that fit into their ecosystem. This discussion comes shortly after the publication of the Genius of Biome Report from the design firm HOK, which has collaborated with the creators of Biomimicry 3.8 since 2008.
The report lays out a kind of textbook for how apply Biomimicry design principles. This process begins with a nuanced understanding of place by examining one's biome--a region defined by a community of plants and animals that have evolved to survive in a specific climate.
The next steps involve identifying how nature problem-solves, and applying these concepts. For example, in the temperate broadleaf forest, erosion is minimized by a diversity of textures, from leaves and bark to organic litter on the forest floor and acidic hummus of the soil. These can translate into design approaches, such as textured surfaces that are made from materials that retain water.
The highly visual document covers issues related to water, material, energy, social relations and economics. Read the full report here.