Our world is constantly evolving. This evolution brings with it a cluster of problems awaiting solutions. When our cutting edge technology fails to resolve these issues we require some mechanism to rise above these obstacles. At such times inspiration is drawn from the nature around us.

Nature gives us the tools to produce refined and efficient answers to our impending problems. This is what has made biomimicry a forerunner in forging solutions to indeterminate issues. Biomimicry has been around for a long time, just never explicitly mentioned until recent times.

Eastgate Centre in Zimbabwe-a 333,000 office space-closely resembles the architecture of a termite den. The architect, Mick Pearce, made use of the self-cooling property of these dens and created large chimneys to cool floor slabs during the night. It has no conventional air conditioning and maintains a suitable temperature all year round.

Another borrowed idea from nature is Velcro. Burr needles have hooks and tend to get attached onto anything that comes in contact with it. George de Mestral who studied this property was the inventor of the famous and omnipresent Velcro.

Bullet trains in Japan have been modelled in the shape of a Kingfisher’s beak to overcome the booming sound it made while exiting the tunnel. These are just a few of the many feats achieved by mere observation of our surroundings and correlation with the issue at hand.

Hidden within the arms of Mother Earth is an untapped reservoir of knowledge waiting to be explored and deciphered for the betterment of mankind. The obstacles we face have already been solved in an innovative and feasible way by nature. All that we require is a curious mind, careful observation and an unsolved problem.

(If biomimicry fascinates you, here are a few personal favourites to check up on- Armadillo backpacks, Lotus inspired paint and water collection method taught by Stenocara beetle)

Anna Susan Cherian