Explore and Envision

You would not be alone if you’re feeling at the brink. Talking to students, faculty, colleagues, friends, and family, it seems like just about everyone has reached their limit.  Our resilience is being tested – or may even feel spent – but that is what we need more than ever just now. As always, when

Biomimicry, beyond inspiration

Most people that discover biomimicry become hooked. As described by The Biomimicry Institute, “Biomimicry is a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges — and find hope along the way.” And hope, as well as nature, is more compelling than ever these days. In the iconic

Tips from your Lawn

It’s summer!  For many of us, that means spending time on lawns — at the park, at a friend’s, or in our own (front or) back yard. Lawns can be boring and seem quite unnatural to those of us who like to spend time out in nature, but grass is part of nature, and thus

Curious about Biomimicry?

If you follow any of our program’s social media, you’ve almost certainly heard of biomimicry, as it is an integral part of what our students learn. It’s inspiring to read about, and even more inspiring to practice! If you’re curious about biomimicry and would like to give it a go, you’re in luck! We’re offering

Take off your shoes

It’s the end of Week 1 of this spring’s Intro to Biomimicry course. Our first design studio exercise involved looking to feet for design ideas and, as always, the students are so inspiring!  One thing that emerged for me is how some of the brilliant — and sustainable — functional strategies that human beings have

Introduction to Biomimicry: A Sustainable Design Methodology | Spring 2021

Yes! We’re offering our 5-week Introduction to Biomimicry: A Sustainable Design Methodology course again this spring! If you’re considering joining our fully online MA in Sustainable Design program, this it is a good chance to engage with us and see what it’s like to learn online.  If not, it’s a wonderful (and very inexpensive) way to learn


Biomimicry or Biomimetics?

[This post is modified from Bio-Inspired Buzzwords: Biomimicry and Biomimetics] I don’t think a week goes by without someone asking me about biomimicry. I’m happy to comply, as the principles and practices of biomimicry is so core to sustainable design (and so fun to talk about!). One question that arises often is: “What’s the difference

A tiny taste of Biomimicry

Many students are attracted to our program because they get to learn how to use biomimicry as a sustainable design framework. They explore it in Systems Thinking, Innovation Tools and Techniques, The Practice of Sustainable Design, and (of course) Biomimetic Design. But not everyone can go back to school for a Masters degree, take a

What if we didn’t need a refrigerator?

One of the things I love about teaching sustainable design is seeing what emerges from student work — it gives me great hope.   In a recent virtual workshop we conducted as part of the Design Portland’s Design Week 2020, we gave participants a brief introduction to the what, why, and how of biomimicry as a framework

Disruption and Resilience: Lessons from Nature

In our 23July2020 post Nature is Normal, I shared the Visions for Change program that the Amani Institute has been offering this summer, for free. My small contribution to this program was an online Skill Pills workshop exploring how biomimicry can help us design better services, products, and organizations for the ‘new normal’. You can

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