From Kingfisher-Inspired Bullet Train, Baobab Tree Inspired Treehouses to Armadillo Backpack, these products are developed through inspirations from mother nature. Today, many architects, designers and engineers are gaining their ideas and concepts by observing nature when they set out to construct new forms of transportations, living environments or accessories. The word ’biomimicry’ originated from the Greek word bios, meaning imitates, which refers to imitating natural approaches to form a new sustainable solution for the future.

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Image Sources: Examples of Biomimicry- Armadillo Backpack, Kingfisher-Inspired Bullet Train and Baobab Tree Inspired Treehouses ©www.momtastic.com/webecoist/

A fine example that biomimicry has been in works for years can be noted in Sagrada Familia Church by Antoni Gaudi, which began in 1882, here the columns moulded the branching canopies of the trees to solve statics problems in supporting the vault.  As the quote by Spanish architect, “those who look for the laws of nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the Creator.” Looking at his admirable works, it would not be an exaggeration to say that nature is a good inspiration to have for the design of human habitat and all human endeavours. Biomimicry, a recently elaborated science, then becomes the way to go. So, think about it.

Has your attention been piqued by the mention of ‘Biomimicry’?

Are you intrigued by the idea and can’t wait to give it a go?

In the Corona-ed world of distancing these days, we bring you a listing of some online resources and courses to help quell your curiosity and need to do something relevantly productive with all that time. The courses mentioned here are mostly about the concept and understanding of biomimicry. How it can be applied to Architecture, we leave it to your own understanding and methodology…

To start your journey with the basics here are 10 online courses in biomimicry in architecture.

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Image Sources: Biomimicry with Steel Sheets: Designing “DNA” Into Materials Can Create Architecture that Shapes Itself  ©www.pinterest.com

1. Introduction to Biomimicry: Foundational Course

Duration: Choose your time and pace
Price: Free
Institute: Biomimicry 3.8
Available On:  www.biomimicry.net/what-we-do/professional-training/introductory-online-course/

OR

Learn Biomimicry – 3 course pack
Duration: each individual course is 62 days
Price: 312 USD
Institute: Biomimicry Institute and Biomimicry SA
Available on: www.asknature.org/resource/learn-biomimicry/#.Xomjz8gzbIU

2. Biomimicry Basics online course: Learn how to innovate using nature’s strategies

Duration: 4 hours online
Price: 160 USD
Institute: Biomimicry Institute
Available on: www.biomimicry.org/shop/biomimicry-basics/#

3. Course: Introduction to Biomimicry: A sustainable design methodology

Duration: 2 months
Price: 50 USD
Institute: Minneapolis College of Art and Design Master of Arts in Sustainable Design
Available on: www.mcad.edu/continuing-education/introduction-biomimicry-sustainable-design-methodology

4. Master of Science in Biomimicry

Institute: Arizona State University’s Online Master of Science program for Biomimicry.
Time: 7.5-15 Hours per class
Available on: www.asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/graduate/master-science-biomimicry/

5. Originally created in South Africa for South Africans.

It has now been endorsed by The Biomimicry Institute as a global Foundational Course. They will be sharing it with all the global biomimicry networks soon. There are three online courses you can do through this link including:

  • Biomimicry101 (Why, What, How and Who of Biomimicry)
  • Life’s Principles
  • Biomimicry Masterclass

Available on: www.biomimicrysa.co.za/online

6. Sustainability through Soccer: Systems-Thinking in Action – with some fun

Institute:  University of Virginia.
Duration: Flexible learning
Price: Free
Available on: www.coursera.org/lecture/sustainability-through-soccer/biomimicry-e3f7m

7. Integrated Bioscience Ph.D. Program

Institute: The University of Akron
Available on: www.uakron.edu/ib/

8. Sustainability Design Panorama

Institute: Gaia Education
Duration: 12- 15 Hours
Price: £60
Available on: www.gaiaeducation.org/elearning-programmes/

9. Biomimicry: A Sustainable Design Methodology

Institute: Minneapolis College of Art and Design via Canvas Network
Duration: 5 week long
Price: Free
Available on: www.classcentral.com/course/canvas-network-biomimicry-a-sustainable-design-methodology-3259

10. Introduction to Biomimicry, Biomimicry Life’s Principles and Biomimicry Masterclass

Institute: Biomimicry Institute and Biomimicry South Africa
Duration:  5 hours for 2 weeks
Price: Approximate $300
Available on: www.buildingbiologyinstitute.org/vaastu-architecture-prithwe/

These are some of the most prominent links that have surfaced during the research for the purpose of this article. As time goes on and with more search proficiency, surely more will come up for a growing and currently relevant field such as Biomimicry, so keep eyes open, ears to the ground and search antennas up.

Mona Madan
Author

An architect by training,who has practised for over 20 years. Her chosen path nowis of a researcher, writer and creativity coach. Shebelieves that it is nowthe era of compassion - for humans to do away with attitudes of segregation and to heal all that we have ravaged!

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