So I am doing a project on Biomimicry. I am curious as to what people think Biomimicry is and possibly how it should fit into the design world…thoughts?

Biomimicry is replicating something from nature.
It has a broad range of specific applications. However the most broad range would be in regards to how nature is sustainable and is a 100% closed loop system.

What aspect of Biomimicry are you interested in? The definition is extremely broad unless you narrow it down yourself. It can be taking direct inspiration from nature (like replicating the exact material structure of a plant/animal to give the same characteristics to a man-made object) or it could even be using biological phenomenons to inform manufacturing processes (the idea of self-assembly, or reactions that take place at room temperature in water) to or it could be emulating a biological behavior to inform a product’s function. The last of these is actually what I’m doing for my senior thesis project.

Here’s a photo I took last night of the first page out of Janine Benyus’ “Biomimicry” book which has become my bible on the subject. I highly recommend you read through this to get a base understanding of all the different applications that Biomimicry can be applied to.

I look at it largely as materials science. Taking useful properties of plants and finding an industrial process to replicate those properties. Making things plant shaped or some half-baked sustainable thing based on junk science, however, it is not.

Biomimicry is a great subject. We have lots to learn from nature. Technology of living things is still very advanced compared to ours in many levels. One of the best examples of biomimicry is festo’s fin ray effect. I love it and I believe it will have lots of applications. Material wise the subject become very very interesting. Bio-materials has:
1- Self assembly
2- Healing
3- Selective usage of materials where needed
4- Embedded sensors
5- Advanced composite structures
6- Chemical functions
7- Advanced surface properties

About selective usage of materials, it is similar to the recent technique “topology optimization” in a way. For instance when you hurt your feet, your way of walking changes. The microstructure of the leg bones adapt to the changing forces in a while, supporting regions necessary in a optimum way

You might want to check out this long (and painful) thread from about a year ago. Lots and lots of opinions.