protect from floods
Nature’s refined solutions, mapped to your design challenges.
Spider web is strong and elasticSpiders
Webs of orb spiders are elastic and strong because of sacrificial bonds that break and then reform
Skin reduces biofoulingshark
The scales of shark skin may influence attachment of fouling microorganisms via shape and surface topography.
Surface allows self-cleaningsacred lotus
Leaves of the sacred lotus are self-cleaning thanks to hydrophobic microscale bumps.
View all Biological Strategies
Design solutions to human challenges, inspired by biological strategies.
Seal Blade low drag airfoilVirtual Interchange for Nature-Inspired Exploration, NASA Glenn Research Center (Vikram Shyam, Adam Wroblewski, Philip Poinsatte, Christopher Snyder), The Ohio State University (Ali Ameri), US Army Research Laboratory (Douglas Thurman )
Undulations in the 3D profile of turbine blades reduce drag.
CAO and SKO design softwareDepartment of Biomechanics at the Institute for Materials Research II of the Karlsruhe Research Centre
Lightweighting software reduces resource use, saves energy
Polar Thermos CozyKatie Goldstone
Heat trapping system for thermoses
View all Inspired Ideas
Everything you need to learn and teach about biomimicry and life centered design.
Biomole is an interactive visualization designed to filter AskNature data by multiple functions at once.
Listening to NatureJoseph Cornell and John Hendrickson
This book for educators and parents contains photos of nature, inspirational poetry, and exercises for reconnecting with nature.
Introduction to the Nature JournalSmithsonian Learning Lab
Through two lesson plans, students will learn to use telling details to describe an animal. They then will take notes while watching zoo web cams to help them write descriptions of what they observed.
View all Resources
Themed clusters of strategies, ideas, and resources, curated by you.
How might we transport people and goods more effectively?
A growing collection of content created by our talented and dedicated AskNature volunteers
The Garden of Secrets
Your next big idea could be hiding in the bushes
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How might we …
Here are a few Biological Strategies to get you started …
Photosynthesis converts solar energy into chemical energyplants
Photosynthesis in plants converts solar energy into chemical energy using electrons and protons from water.
Pupil enables clear vision in extreme light conditionsTokay Gecko, ,
The pupil of nocturnal geckos enables clear vision in extreme light conditions by becoming very large at night and constricting to a thin slit with several pinholes during the day.
Hairy legs manipulate sticky web strandsSpinybacked orbweaver, Golden Silk Orbweaver
Leg hairs of orb-weaver spiders enable sticky web manipulation by reducing contact area.
From permaculture to Velcro® to winglets, humans have been looking to nature for inspiration for as long as we’ve been inventing. Inspired Ideas catalog the stories behind realized and conceptual product, service, and system components that have their roots in biology …
The Land Institute permacultureThe Land Institute
Perennial grain cropping mimics natural ecosystem behavior.
Concentrated solar plantMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Optimal arrangement of solar array mirrors based on Fibonacci spirals.
Anti-icing coating prevents frost and ice buildupRykaczewski Research Group, Arizona State University
Coating infused with antifreeze reduces frost and ice accumulation
Interest in biomimicry has skyrocketed over the past decade, and there are now thousands of Resources—including books, articles, videos, lesson plans, groups, training programs, and more—available to folks who want to learn, teach, and practice this valuable problem solving approach. Get started with a few of our favorites here …
Sharing Biomimicry with Young PeopleBiomimicry Institute
An orientation to biomimicry for K-12 teachers and others who work with youth.
The world is poorly designed. But copying nature helps.Vox and 99% Invisible
This 6 minute video introduces biomimicry, the application of biomimicry at different scales, and connections to the circular economy.
Biomimicry Basics: How to Innovate Using Nature’s StrategiesDenise DeLuca
In this 4-hour online course you will learn a step by step method for turning nature's strategies into innovative design solutions using the biomimicry design spiral.
Collections tie together Biological Strategies, Inspired Ideas, and Resources into themes that are often correlated with a particular human challenge, geographic area, or set of environmental conditions. Check out a few of our favorites and then start your own …
Chemistry of Nature
How can we learn from nature to create materials without using life-threatening chemicals and high temperatures?
Solving for a changing climate
The science is clear, and so is our imperative. What can we learn from nature as we design solutions for mitigating, adapting to, and reversing climate change?
Cooling Down In The Heat
From sweating, to panting, to pulling water from air, living systems rely on a number of forms and processes to stay cool and hydrated.
“Nature is constantly innovating, endlessly experimenting and ever reinventing itself in the face of new challenges.
From materials and products to business models, biomimicry offers a fresh lens for all the dreamers and doers remaking the man-made world.”