Biomimicry Photo Challenge – part 2

Here’s some tips and hopefully some inspiration for our Biomimicry Photo Challenge.  Post your images to #biomimic_lifesprinciples with another hashtag for the principle you are illustrating. See our part 1 for further details.

EVOLVE TO SURVIVE – Continually incorporate and embody information to ensure enduring performance

  • Replicate strategies that work – repeat successful approaches
  • Integrate the unexpected – incorporate mistakes in ways that can lead to new forms and functions
  • Reshuffle information – exchange and alter information that can lead to new options

Ocotillo & Hummingbird Plants use mobile “messengers” to reshuffle genetic information (pollen) between less mobile flowers. Hummingbirds are incredibly elegant messengers.
Evolve to Survive_hummingbird

BE RESOURCE EFFICIENT (MATERIALS & ENERGY) – Skillfully and conservatively take advantage of local resources and opportunities

  1. Use multi-functional design – meet multiple needs with one elegant solution
  2. Use low energy processes – minimise energy consumption by reducing requisite temperatures, pressures and/or time for reactions
  3. Recycle all materials – keep all material in a closed loop
  4. Fit form to function – select for shape or pattern based on need

Ant Deconstruction Team There is no waste in nature – all materials are recycled back into the system.
Be Resource Efficient_Ants

ADAPT TO CHANGING CONDITIONS – Appropriately respond to changing contexts

  1. Maintain integrity through self-renewal  – persist by constantly adding energy and matter to heal and improve the system
  2. Embody resilience through variation, redundancy, and decentralisation
  3. Incorporate diversity – include multiple forms, process, or systems to meet a functional need

Sustainable Living Festival (SLF) In all fairness we could ascribe all of life’s principles to the SLF but the expansion of the festival to encourage and embrace a diverse range of events all across Victoria further demonstrates how the SLF has adapted to changing conditions. (Image kindly donated by )
Adapt to changing conditions_slf

INTEGRATE DEVELOPMENT WITH GROWTH – Invest optimally in strategies that promote both development and growth

  1. Combine modular and nested components – fit multiple units within each other progressively from simple to complex
  2. Build from the bottom up – assemble components one unit at a time
  3. Self-organise – create conditions to allow components to interact in concert to move towards an enriched system

Trees balance Growth with Development Growth is getting larger in scale, size or number, while development is the framework and supporting systems, or infrastructure, that support growth. In nature growth and development are optimally balanced over time. If this tree did not develop a root system and cells to support this cantilever it would just fall down.
Integrate Development with Growth_2

BE LOCALLY ATTUNED & RESPONSIVE – Fit into and integrate with the surrounding environment

  • Use readily available materials and energy – build with abundant accessible materials while harvesting freely available energy
  • Cultivate cooperative relationships –find value through win-win interactions
  • Leverage cyclic process – take advantage of phenomena that repeat themselves
  • Use feedback loops – engage in cyclic information flows to modify a reaction appropriately

“Sensitive” Plant The leaves of this plant respond to touch, heat or wind by folding up and so avoid being eaten or dried out – a feedback loop that helps to ensure survival.
Adapt to changing conditions

USE LIFE-FRIENDLY CHEMISTRY – Use chemistry that supports life processes

  1. Build selectively with a small subset of elements – assemble relatively few elements in elegant ways
  2. Break down products into benign constituents – use chemistry in which decomposition results in no harmful by-products
  3. Do chemistry in water – use water as a solvent

Beetles create Structural Colour The colours we see in a beetle such as this is a trick of the light created by ultra thin layers of structure where each layer is slightly twisted from the one below in a corkscrew pattern – so the colour is really created by refraction and polarization and not chemical dyes.

Use Life friendly chemistry_2

You can find more in-depth information on Life’s Principles from Biomimicry 3.8 here

We’re not afraid of making mistakes and hope to learn from them – so if you have any feedback please feel free to share with us.

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