How Biomimicry Drives Sustainability: From Fish-Inspired Wind Turbines to the Future of 3-D Printing (Video)

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All photos from AskNature (be sure to check out the site if you have a minute), unless otherwise noted.
Interview with Janine Benyus, President of the Biomimicry Institute
Biomimicry has already influenced our lives in more ways than you'd likely begin to imagine: Anti-virus software? Airport scanners? That's biomimicry. If you're a regular Treehugger reader, you already know that. And you probably already know that biomimicry is currently helping to drive some of the most intriguing trends in sustainable design. That's why I was eager to catch up with Janine Benyus, who was a panelist at the 'Form and Function: Designing for Humanity' talk at this year's Clinton Global Initiative.

Benyus agreed to sit down for an interview, and she discussed projects like bullet trains modeled after bird's beaks and wind farms designed to mimic schools of fish. She also explained how biomimicry should inspire conservation, and why we might see biomimetic 3-D printing in the next 20 years. Watch:

The wind turbines inspired by schools of fish Benyus discusses above:


Shark skin has been found to reduce drag:


LIchen like this can almost dry out completely while staying alive. Biomimicry has taken advantage of this property to create technology that can preserve vaccines without having to refrigerate it.


Here, Benyus discusses impact biomimicry is already having on our lives today.

And finally, here's Benyus discussing what innovations biomimicry might make possible in the coming decades:

In 25 years, 3D printing may overhaul supply chains and localize economies everywhere...


It's pretty clear why Benyus is convinced that it's only a matter of time before every design team and every architecture firm has a biologist on staff -- the rewards we stand to reap from mimicking nature are vast indeed.