AIGA Next Biomimicry's Janine Benyus

Janine Benyus

Ten years ago her career did not exist. She is a biologist for the design community. She describes how the designers came to her and said we have learned about biomimicry and want to learn more. What she says is important to us as a species is learning how to be a good earthling and fitting in with nature. The realization is that we are the youngest species on the planet and we need to learn how to be nature's apprentice.

She works with a lot of companies to teach them "how life works." In October, organisms are migrating. She watches the snow geese flocking during Easter. The sound they make is a murmer and land without traffic control. The birds groom and the oil converts to vitamin-D. She connects it to the tent sealer.

The birds also fertilize the soil. This is different for cars leaving a stadium. If ancient organizes have managed to find their way home every year. She is hoping we can with their help.

3.8 billion years of R&D. Biomimcry is the conscious emulation of life's genius. To mollusks, CO2 isn't a problem. To organisms use CO2 to make shells made up of limestone. We mine their bodies to make cement. CO2 Solutions and Carbozyme are companies that are trying to covert smokestack CO2 into limestone for cement.

Organismes harvest water from the air. There is a building in Gremshall in Spain that pulls water from fog.

Making metals out of water. Metals without mining. MR3systems has a box filter that takes minerals from the water.

How do we protect soil fertility in an age of biofuels and bioplastics? Top soil is our new fossil fuel. Need to design the give back economy and feed the cycle.

Signaling before the tsunami, elephants broke the chains and found higher ground.

Biosignal found a seaweed that has no bacteria on the surface. It breaks the signal of the bacteria so they do not build a biofilm. If they land and don't get friends, then they leave.

How to look fabulous without paint. The birds have structural color only brown, but how the layers of the scales reflect light. Morphotex is transparent until put light on it when the layers reflect light.  New displays will have layers of transparent colors and can dial the color in my changing the distance between layers.

Shape is cheaper than materials.  There are 5 polymers that are used. How they are shaped makes the difference. We use 350 polymers to make garbage. The 5 polymers are eaten by other species.

The ubiquitous geometry of flow, the Fabinacci sequence in 3D is the flow without friction. Jay Harmon made the fan blades in the Faninacci sequence with quieter and 80% more efficient.

Whales make wind turbines to trap scallops. There is a company called Whale power by Frank Fish. Put it on airplane wings 32% reduction in drag.

We make things with heat, beat, and treat. Life manufactures in or near its own body. Sandia looking at this.

Lucent is looking at lenses and fiber optics looking at seawater. Diaton makes natural glass at UCSB.

What should we ask? Looking at geckos to discover new glues.

What's worth doing? Used to be the beauty was the signal of the good. We love flowers because in two weeks will be fruit. We love sparkling water because is shows it is not still. Designers can realign beauty to the good.

Design clean water. Life's design brief is simple. Keep your young alive. Continuity of life is success. Keep yourself and offspring alive 10,000 generations from now. Create conditions conducive to life.

We are not aliens. The earth gave rise to us. This is our home from which we sprang and we can decide as a species to stay here. We are nature!!!!


Blogging from AIGA Next

Today is the first full day of AIGA 2007 National Conference NEXT. It should be an exciting morning with Janine Benyus of Biomimicry fame. I first saw her present at a Community Conference in 1999. Paul Budnitz will talk about creativity and risk. Then it it off to my presentation on the Yin Yang of Design and Anthropology at 11:00am. I have a whole hour session to myself and don't think that my presentation is long enough, but hopefully there will be enough people there that the discussion would be good.

Got a great photo of Ric Grefe and his sister before the festivities.  Will post later.

So it's now starting...

Bruce Mau had to cancel to go to visit a client in Hong Kong.
Command X hosted by Michael Beirut has eliminated two contestants and the next task is to do packaging for sausage on a stick for Jimmy Dean sausage. He is surprised by the outcomes. The five remaining contestants will come back in the afternoon to show their Jimmy Dean packaging results.  We are welcomed to corrupt the judges to advocate for our favorite contestants.