The emulation of natural systems, patterns, and components is known as biomimetic or biomimicry, and it is done to address challenging challenges in society. Natural selection throughout geological time has led to the evolution of structures and materials ideally suited to living things. Biomimetic has inspired new technologies inspired by biological solutions at the macro- and nanoscales.

Biomimetic Design 

An approach known as “biomimetic design,” or simply “biomimicry,” takes cues from and imitates the tactics employed by natural animals still living today. It is based on the idea that the natural evolution of animals that have survived on this planet for billions of years holds the key to our survival in the future. This specialised method of design seeks to address the most pressing issues in a way that is both sustainable and considerate of all species on the planet. Biomimicry offers design guidelines that can be scaled up and down to suit various needs in various contexts and sectors.

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Timeline of various biophilic design interpretations_©2021 Higher Education Press Limited Company
Three key frameworks of biophilic design_©adapted from Browning and Ryan, 2020; Kellert, 2018, 2008b

Biomimetic Design Approaches and Elements 

‘Nature’ is incorporated into architecture using a biomimetic design framework to create more sustainable buildings. The framework includes three fundamental design philosophies and addresses eighteen significant components. It interprets design strategies and components to help architects and other design professionals visualise biomimetic design. It carefully extracts the most crucial biomimetic design Components from the various types of ‘nature’ identified, including direct or indirect, tangible or intangible, morphological or material, and many others. It should be acknowledged that this framework is a preliminary interpretation of biomimetic design.

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Biomimetic design framework: three design approaches and primary elements_©2021 Higher Education Press Limited Company

Advantages of Biomimetic Design

  • Sustainability: Biomimetic design uses nature as a model to create built environments that are more environmentally friendly, more sustainable, and more suited to local conditions, adaptable, resilient, and aesthetically pleasing. 
  • Reduce material cost: Since the shape is inexpensive and the material is expensive, Biomimetic Design bases its designs more on shape than on material. While maximising the efficacy of the product patterns and forms, biomimicry can reduce the company’s material costs.
  • Innovation: Architects may develop fresh, creative solutions to problems in both architecture and the environment by drawing inspiration from nature.

These are only a few benefits of using biomimicry in buildings. Using nature as a guide, architects may design physical environments that are more efficient, inventive, and sustainable while reducing their negative effects on the environment.

Biomimetic Design: Health and Wellbeing 

According to the biomimetic theory, people are compulsive to relate to and participate in natural systems and processes. According to Kellert and Wilson (1993), the development of biophilia is the outcome of the co-evolution of culture and biology.  Additionally, this evolutionary process has highlighted a fundamental human need: sustaining relationships with the natural world. Not a personal preference or a cultural amenity but a fundamental human need. This understanding is crucial in the context of health and wellness because it suggests that biophilia is fundamental to the functioning of our minds, our behavioural patterns, and our bodies. 

To experience the human benefits of biophilia in design applications, researchers created “14 Patterns of Biophilic Design” to explain the connections between nature, human biology, and the design of the built environment. The 14 patterns’ roles in promoting stress reduction, cognitive function, emotion, and mood enhancement, and the body are shown in the table below.

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14 Patterns of Biophilic Design_©errapin Bright Green LLC, 2014T

By lowering stress levels, biomimetic design can benefit building inhabitants’ health. Exposure to natural elements like sunlight and vegetation might help lower stress and anxiety levels. Incorporating natural features into an architectural design can also enhance air quality and lessen the number of airborne toxins, which benefits respiratory health.

Biomimetic design is beneficial to building occupants’ mental health. Exposure to the outdoors can boost productivity, creativity, and cognitive performance. According to studies, employees who work in environments with plants and natural light in their offices experience better levels of job satisfaction and less strain. The use of biomimetic design can benefit physical health as well. Natural light can enhance the quality of sleep by regulating the circadian rhythm. Additionally, access to green spaces can promote exercise, enhancing general health and well-being.

Examples of Biomimetic Construction Material/ Techniques

White Wood that Reflects Most of the Solar Radiation

If the lignin, a natural polymer found in wood, is eliminated, the wood can reflect most solar light. Infrared radiation is emitted by lignin. With the aid of this novel biomimetic material, buildings can be passively cooled, lowering their internal temperatures without using additional energy sources. The wood absorbs heat and radiates it as intermediate infrared radiation in addition to reflecting solar radiation. The surface temperature is expected to drop by up to 10 degrees Celsius. In addition, the new timber is eight times stronger than the old.

Havelock Wool Mimics Regulation of Body Heat

Caustic fibreglass can be swapped for natural sheep’s wool. Fibreglass has been connected to skin irritation and respiratory ailments. To control humidity and temperature, it can be placed inside wall cavities. When the humidity level rises above 65%, it can trap moisture and let it out when it drops.

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A membrane that integrates algae and can be configured to provide shading while improving urban air quality_©NAARO
  • Zhong, W., Schröder, T. and Bekkering, J. (2021). Biophilic design in architecture and its contributions to health, well-being, and sustainability: A critical review. Frontiers of Architectural Research, [online] 11(1). doi:
  • Wikipedia Contributors (2019). Biomimetics. [online] Wikipedia. Available at:
  • ‌architectsadmin (2023). Biomimicry in Architecture – Towards A Sustainable Approach. [online] The Architects Diary. Available at: [Accessed 3 May 2023].

Preksha is an endeavoring architecture student who relishes traveling and reading. With a desire to create engaging and thought-provoking content, she is committed to rummaging through new ideas in architecture and design, sharing them with a broader audience, and inspiring positive change through her writing.