In the world envisioned by science author Janine Benyus, a locust’s ability to avoid collision within a roiling cloud of its brethren informs the design of a crash-resistant car; a self-cleaning leaf inspires a new kind of paint, one that dries in a pattern that enables simple rainwater to wash away dirt; and organisms capable of living without water open the way for vaccines that maintain potency even without refrigeration — a hurdle that can prevent life-saving drugs from reaching disease-torn communities. Most important, these cool tools from nature pull off their tricks while still managing to preserve the environment that sustains them, a life-or-death lesson that humankind is in need of learning.

As a champion of biomimicry Benyus has become one of the most important voices in a new wave of designers and engineers inspired by nature. Her most recent project, , explores what happens if we think of nature by function and looks at what organisms can teach us about design.

“The sophisticated, almost pro-growth angle of Benyus shows the great potential profitability of copying some of nature’s time-tested, nonpolluting, room-temperature manufacturing and computing technologies.”

New York Times


#1 Steven Lam on 08.19.09 at 5:38 pm

There is a drive gaining momentum in recent years to better understand nature and it’s ‘logic’ – to improve material and energy efficiency – possibly as a reaction to climate change and increasing cost of energy?
In the design world, if we are open enough, nature can be a great source of inspiration to solve complex problems.

Two other books you might be interested in are:
Natural Capitalism

#2 joseph on 08.20.09 at 10:19 am

Great ! thanks for naming the books.

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