Biomimicry has become one of the most popular methods of design in recent years. Biomimicry is the practice of looking into nature to find effective models to solve various design challenges in the built environment. It is seen as a simple concept for the solution to perplexing design issues; just copy what we see in nature and it should work in built structures. We typically see benefits of biomimicry in reducing the level of toxic chemicals and improved efficiency. Examples include the bullet train which mimics the dive of a Kingfisher; and concept cars that copy the shape of a boxfish, etc. Chris Garvin, a senior associate at Cook+Fox Architects, believes that the oversimplification of biomimicry comes with a risk. And while all of these design concepts from nature are intriguing, we rarely “see a form that manages to use one function to achieve myriad results” (Garvin).
Although successful biomimicry is fascinating and useful, it still for the most part fails in the sense that it is not as “natural” as its function demonstrates. We rarely see products that are made with materials that are recyclable, non-toxic, and manufactured at room temperature at a low pressure. Although products of biomimicry have some environmental benefits, they are still inferior to the 100% natural organisms we see in nature. Garvin states that “we need more scientists and entrepreneurs to break the innovation barrier to use biomimicry in a more comprehensive and holistic manner”.