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Biomimicry Focus of Two-Day Event at ESF

Using nature’s designs to benefit humans takes center stage
10/25/2016

Biomimicry - connecting nature's designs to human needs - is the focus of two days of workshops and discussions at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).

Leaders in biomimicry are participating in a workshop noon to 5 p.m. today (Oct. 25) in ESF's Gateway Center. Participants include Janine Benyus of the Biomimicry Institute; Don Carr of the Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Arts; Tim McGee of LikoLab; Charles Miller of the Missouri Botanical Garden; Peter Niewiarowski of Great Lakes Biomimicry; Douglas Paige of the Cleveland Institute of Art; Rupert Soar of 3D Blume Ltd.; Josh Stack of Northern Forest Biomimicry; and Julian Vincent of the University of Oxford.

"We've brought together leading thinkers in the field from ESF and beyond to identify the constraints holding back the emerging field of biomimicry from attaining its full potential and to suggest ways to overcome those barriers," said ESF President Quentin Wheeler.

Biomimicry has been used for decades but has yet to reach its full potential, according to Wheeler. A common example of biomimicry is Velcro, which was inspired by the small hooks on the end of burr needles. Researchers are turning to nature for problems in biomedicine materials science, landscape and urban design, industrial process engineering, architecture and construction.

A workshop allowing participants to brainstorm and develop ideas to advance biomimcry will be held 2 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, in Alumni Lounge, Marshall Hall, on the ESF campus.

"Rapid global environmental change demands that we take action immediately to secure a more sustainable future through innovative solutions to a wide range of challenges. A similar urgency for unleashing the potential of biomimicry is necessary if we are to create options for a truly sustainable future," said Wheeler.


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