Biomimicry has probably been practiced by humans for as long as we have been walking the earth. In our current cultural context, Janine Benyus, has popularized this design philosophy and coined the term biomimicry, helping to generate a new wave of interest in this design approach. Biomimicry seeks to mimic the evolved design solutions arrived at by nature and adapt them to and incorporate them into the design of structures and products. It uses nature as a model to inspire design solutions; it uses nature as a measure of elegance and rightness of a design; and it seeks to promote the notion of nature as mentor that we may learn from, rather than as an inert object to exploit.
Sustainable Brands Boot Camp’s sixth session served as an excellent introduction to sustainable design. Nathan Shedroff provided an overview of the principles, frameworks and tools employed by sustainable product designers and discussed some of the design strategies implemented today by leaders in this field.
Sustainable packaging is becoming a fact of life for companies that seek to remain competitive. Companies employing sustainable packaging report cost savings, improved environmental footprints, brand image and company reputation among other benefits. Those businesses that take the lead now will be ahead of the curve and enjoy the benefits in the future.
Green roofs, green walls, green parking lots, shade trees, the greening of urban spaces in general, the restoration of urban waterways, wetlands and the re-greening of brownfield areas; can all be thought of as different techniques to nurture a green living skin over regions of urban development. While there are many important differences between each of these separate techniques as well as their underlying technologies they all share a common overarching goal of bringing an analog of the natural living green skin that characterizes the natural landscape back into our urban areas. They all promote the restoration and re-integration of these heavily populated areas back into the surrounding natural environment.
Promoting the widespread use of energy efficient lighting is one of the best strategies available to increase our energy efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint. Around 25% of the electricity we consume is consumed to light our homes and buildings. Both LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) use far less electricity per lumen (which is a measure of the amount of light produced) than do incandescent bulbs.
The Going with the Grain Challenge is to design an original and compelling object that can be made from a single sheet of FSC-certified plywood measuring 4-feet x 8-feet x 1-inch. All are welcome to enter, including furniture designers and manufacturers, architects and industrial designers. FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council. FSC certification means that the wood was produced using sustainable forestry practices recognized by the FSC. This Challenge is meant to raise awareness of the importance of FSC certification. It is a companion initiative to DESIGN 21’s FSC Awareness Competition Wood, Paper, Checkmark. Entries should be functional designs that reveal the beauty of the wood. The challenge is presented by The Nature Conservancy and Forest Stewardship Council-US (FSC-US) (FSC-US) and is operated by Design 21: Social Design Network It is sponsored by EcoSystems.