Biomimicry Collection

It is estimated that life first appeared on this planet 3.8 billion years ago. Since then, our planet has undergone continuous transformation, from the arrival and dispersal of continents and the oxygen atmosphere created by early photosynthesizers, to cataclysmic events such as meteor strikes. Species have always faced challenges imposed by their environment and the species that adapted best, survived. Nature, as we know it today, is the result of the evolutionary design solutions that allowed life to continue despite ongoing pressures and change.

With the increase in global temperatures, the excessive use of natural resources, and the degradation of ecosystems, the intensity of pressures and the pace of change have been magnified. If we are to adapt and survive, we need to rapidly discover solutions to the sustainability challenges we have created. And where better to look for these design solutions than nature itself?

Biomimicry is the emulation of nature’s forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable designs. Biomimicry provides us with a different way of thinking and making, in which we can draw inspiration from nature to design and produce materials, structures, and systems that better integrate with the natural world. Through biomimicry we have the opportunity to create a more sustainable and just future, and to help regenerate the ecosystems of which we are a part.

Come by the Nature Lab to view the specimens below, and more. The newly constructed Biomimicry cabinet is on display in the Bone Room.

This cabinet is sponsored by the Hyundai Motor Group as part of the RISD x Hyundai Research Partnership.

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The RISD Nature Lab is an EPSCoR|C-AIM Core Research Facility supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #OIA-1655221 and EAGER Grant Award #1723559. ​​​Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this site are those of the Nature Lab and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.​

© 2022 Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design