“Biomimicry is learning from and then emulating natural forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable designs.”

—-A Biomimicry Primer, Janine M. Benyus, The Biomimicry Institute and the Biomimicry Guild, 2011


“… Since the dawn of man and civilization, our human obsession for supremacy over all species prevails and acts the clear distinction between man and nature. […] We have assumed for far too long that humans exist as the most developed species inhabiting this planet and for the past decade we have had one significant individual challenging this very notion and that perhaps all our answers can be found in nature. The concept of biomimicry […] is innovation inspired by nature, echoing the patterns, forms, processes and ideas found in nature (p. 2). It is the elimination of supremacy and increasing the equality of all species and their role in the ecosystem – cooperating with nature and learning about life. I place a great deal of optimism in a biomimetic world as envisioned by Benyus. …”

—-excerpt from Biomimicry and Architecture, Roanna Manlutac, Materiality and Architecture


“This shift from learning about nature to learning from nature requires a new method of inquiry, a new set of lenses, and above all, a new humility.”

—A Biomimicry Primer, Janine M. Benyus, The Biomimicry Institute and the Biomimicry Guild, 2011


The following is how we currently use biomimicry-related terms at BiDL :

  • Biomimicry: Emulating life’s shapes, processes and ecosystems in design, engineering or production to create more sustainable artifacts and services for people. It is applied to positive and restorative goals for humanity only
  • Bionics: The reproduction of living items with technological means (e.g. a cockroach-like robot) or the combination of living tissue and technology (especially in medicine, e.g. an artificial leg or eye)
  • Biomimetics: is equal to Biomimicry, but includes negative and destructive goals, such as military applications.
  • Biomimetic: is the adjective to the two nouns Biomimetics and Biomimicry
  • Biomimic: a person who practices biomimicry or biomimetics
  • Bio-inspired: Vague word for any of the aspects above

We at BiDL agree with the authors above in that the key characteristic of Biomimicry is the aim for humans to become again one with nature; respecting it, instead of dominating it. This includes humans.


For further definitions of terms please consult the following: