Biomimetic Summit – October 2016

Following on from our series of posts on innovative design, construction materials and manufacturing processes this post takes a detour to highlight an upcoming conference that, in many ways, connects almost all of our posts on architecture and design: from Otto Frei to new building materials. That is, biomimetics, or biomimesis.

What is biomimesis?

There are hundreds of definitions, but we could define Biomimesis as the study of the structure and function of biological systems as models for the design and engineering of materials and machines. (Wikipedia) or as the attempt to learn from nature; it deals with the development of innovations on the basis of investigation of natural, evolutionarily optimized biological structures, functions, processes, and systems

–(Potencials and Trends in Biomimetics; A. Gleich, C. Pade, U. Petschow, E. Pissarkoi) Source:

In general, biomimetics recognises several elements or guiding principles:

  • Nature as a model: using models, systems and elements from nature in an effort to solve complex human problems.
  • Nature as measure: taking ecological, rather than arbitrary human, standards to judge the correctness or effectiveness of innovations.
  • Nature as mentor: taking nature as a guide to human developments, that is, not what can be extracted from nature but what can show us.

In reality, all our scientific knowledge and much of what passes for technological progress is simply taken from nature. The difference with biomimetics, if there is one, is that nature is no longer an entity (or resource) to simply be plundered but natural systems and evolution are re-evaluated and placed in the centre of our attempts to learn, innovate and solve human problems.

The Biomimetic Summit will be held in Barcelona on October 27 and 28, 2016.

The Summit programme focuses on two main topics: Biomimicry in Product Design, and Biomimicry in Product Manufacturing.

Both topics aim to link the business applications of biomimesis with the latest research and scientific content through keynote sessions by the world’s leading experts, hands-on workshops, round table sessions, and showcases of real life applications.

For more information, or to register for the Summit, click here.

Photo credit: ““. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from

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