This workshop has been postponed for logistic reasons and will not occur on the stated dates. Please check back soon for updated information!


August 22-27, 2013
Subtropical forest of the Tian Mu Mountain Biosphere Reserve
West of Hangzhou, Eastern China

The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute, TongJi University, GIGA and IDEA Design Lab are holding the first ever Biomimicry and Design Innovation Training in Asia.
The workshop, held amidst a subtropical forest and UNESCO Biosphere reserve, will teach you a whole new way of viewing and valuing the genius that surrounds us.
This training will improve your ability to innovate sustainably in your field using the biomimicry philosophy and methodology.

You will learn how to translate the world of biology to design, engineering, business, education, and more.
This includes hands-on experience with the deep patterns of the way life works, a biomimicry design challenge, the essential elements of biomimicry, and the biomimicry thinking design approach. No matter your background or sphere of work, this workshop will unveil the world of life-inspired innovation and its application to your work.

It will leave you with a sense of potential and empowerment — a wealth of sustainable models already exists right outside our doors!


Biomimicry Instructors (USA)

Sherry Ritter

Certified Biomimicry Professional
Biomimicry Research and Education Specialist | Biomimicry 3.8
Stevensville, Montana, USA


Sherry has worked for Biomimicry 3.8 since 2004 and is a Certified Biomimicry Professional. While working with Biomimicry 3.8, she has maintained a database of biomimicry case studies, worked as content editor of, worked with the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute’s University and K-12 Education programs, and served as a Biologist at the Design Table for a variety of clients including Colgate-Palmolive, Coca-Cola, Natura, HOK, Shell, and Lucchesi Galati. She taught the 2012 Biomimicry Specialist course, and Biomimicry and Design workshops in Costa Rica and Mexico. Prior to discovering biomimicry, Sherry worked for much of her career as a wildlife ecologist for state wildlife agencies, and as a research/management coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service. She also authored numerous magazine articles and a natural history book. Biomimicry brings together her passion and appreciation for nature, her excitement about science, her love for sharing her passions with others of all ages, and her goal of a more sustainable way for us to fit in on this planet.


Erin Leitch

Certified Biomimicry Professional (CBP), LEED AP BD+C
Director of Biomimicry Specialist Certification Program, Design Strategist | Biomimicry 3.8


Coming from an architectural design background, Erin now weaves her design thinking expertise with the biomimicry approach for a distinctly innovative approach to sustainable solutions. Her goal is to teach and deliver a holistic methodology for driving innovation and ecosystem regeneration and conservation while bringing awareness to new ways to view and value the natural world. Erin’s sustainability framework experience includes Biomimicry, Living Building Challenge, The Natural Step, and LEED. In the course of her career, Erin has supported over 30 built environment projects working with developers, planners, architects, and engineers to understand and act on their unique opportunity to design, build, and operate resiliently and abundantly within Earth’s operating conditions. Since working with Biomimicry 3.8, Erin has since broadened her scope beyond the built environment to include a wider range of design sectors and challenges, such as packaging design and organizational development, while also serving as a biomimicry instructor to adult.


Local Nature Experts

Department of Botany, School of Life Sciences, TongJi University

UNESCO “Man and the Biosphere” Programme (MAB) Local Office in TianMu Mountain


Conceptual Workshop Itinerary

We will have a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities.

August 22: Departure from Shanghai at 3.30pm.

Arrive at our hotel at Tianmu Mountain at 6pm. Dinner with the instructors and participants and an evening activity.

August 23: Indoor and outdoor activities

Orient to the place–learn about the natural history of Tianmu Shan and what we can learn here. Get an introduction to biomimicry and the terminology we use, and discover function—how organisms and systems are adapted to their local challenges that can help us find useful solutions to ours.

August 24: Indoor and outdoor activities

Learn about the Essential Elements of biomimicry and Life’s Principles, and what it’s like to work with other disciplines. Discover the secrets of a local organism and how you can apply its strategies to a design.

August 25: Indoor and outdoor activities

Learn about biomimicry thinking, an approach that takes you from biology to design or from a challenge to biology. Follow the story behind three case studies.

Learn what it means to bring biology to the design table, and spend time discovering Life’s Principles in the field.

August 26: Biomimetic Design Challenge

Work in small, interdisciplinary teams on a design challenge, using different lenses to discover inspiration in nature and applying those lessons to the challenge.

August 27: Biomimetic Design Challenge

Fine-tune and present the results of your biomimetic design. Then take a new challenge and look to the genius of place for inspiration. Share our experiences in a closing circle, then leave for Shanghai at 5pm.


Workshop completion attestations will be provided by the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute.

This workshop fulfills one of the requirements for becoming a Biomimicry Fellow with the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute. For further information, go to

Price per participant: 11.400 Chinese RMB (Includes training and materials, transportation Shanghai-Tian Mu Mountain, accommodation , full-board, access to the Biosphere Reserve, insurance)

Early birds: 9.800 Chinese RMB (until June 23th – midnight).

NB: Registration closes on July 14th – midnight.

Pre-registration and more information can be obtained at