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Biomimicry for the Built Environment

I’m pleased to announce that MASD instructor, Denise DeLuca, and myself, director of MCAD’s MA in Sustainable Design program have developed a 2-hour, on-demand, fully online course on the topic of biomimicry for architecture and the built environment entitled, EcoBalance and Biomimicry: Inspired by Nature  for the Green Building Research Institute. This course provides Continuing

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The Systems View and your Bio Toolbox

Curt McNamara (MASD faculty) published a detailed article with captivating visuals, The Systems View and your Bio Toolbox in a recent issue of Zygote Quarterly (Issue 9, Spring 14), featured on page 94. MCAD student Nadine Kuemmel (Germany) and MA alum Stefanie Koehler (MA ’13; Oregon) were quoted in the piece where they shared their insights

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Learning From Nature

During the 2012–13 Biomimicry Student Design Challenge (BSDC) competition, I discovered that solving humanity’s biggest design challenges requires new skills applied within a comprehensive framework that integrates sustainability. I gained a deeper understanding of the Buckminster Fuller Institute‘s tenet of what Fuller described as “comprehensive anticipatory design scientists.” (Fuller, 1999) Learning from nature Biomimicry, the

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Design Rules for Sustainability

Curt McNamara is an experienced engineer, biomimicry educator and Buckminster Fuller scholar. We recently caught up with him to discuss his career as well as his fully online course devoted to the subject of nature-inspired design and Bucky Fuller’s work called, Nature’s Design Rules for Sustainability. This is a 10-week course that is a core

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SolDrop: A Social Sustainability Project

With an idea that began in a Bucky Fuller course about systems thinking, taught by Curt McNamara as part of MCAD’s Sustainable Design program, it sparked into what became the focus of my Master’s thesis project – the SolDrop solar still concept. SolDrop is an affordable, sustainable, adaptable, and scalable water purification solution designed for

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Random Acts of Beauty

What is it about the reoccurring patterns and palettes that randomly occur in nature that make them inherently appealing? I can’t imagine not being enthralled by the rhythmic pattern of sand caressed by waves or even by the inviting waves as they crash and dissipate along a shoreline. Or the way dappled sunlight draws me

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The Power of Lightning Bugs

LEDs are already much, much more efficient than any other light bulb out there, but a group of scientists figured out how to make them a whopping 55 percent more efficient — by looking at fireflies. Scientists make LEDs 55% More Efficient by Imitating Fireflies by Sarah Laskow Of course, they didn’t go out in

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The Reputation Economy

Suddenly Bucky is everywhere. The Buckminster Fuller Challenge, a show at the Whitney, books evaluating his work, and an overview in Wired. What is going on? The time is ripe for his ideas. Sustainable design was a new concept when he started in the 1930’s, and even by the 1970’s it was part of the

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Zygote Quarterly

I am delighted to announce and promote a visually stunning and information-packed publication devoted exclusively to the nexus of science and design as they meet in the sphere of biomimicry. It’s called the Zygote Quarterly. This new digital magazine is the brainchild of three long-time colleagues who are talented biomimicry educators (all are Biomimicry Education Fellows)

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Snail-inspired Green Building

I recently had the honor of participating as one of 12 judges for the 2011 Biomimicry Student Design Challenge that was hosted by the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute (formerly The Biomimicry Institute). The Student Design Challenge was launched in September 2011 and was open to students from around the world who worked together on collaborative, local