It's Time to Ask Nature (site tagline)

How does nature
produce color?

The living world holds answers for us to create a more resilient, regenerative, and beautiful world. It is time to quiet our cleverness, to observe and listen deeply, and reconnect to nature’s wisdom by asking, “How does nature solve this?”

Collections

Nature is more than the sum of its parts. Explore the connections between individual biological strategies, innovations, or educational resources as leading thinkers, scientists, artists, and others reflect on unifying themes in biomimicry.

How Does Nature
Sustain Communities?

The dance between collaboration and competition is a continually unfolding process. Alison Hawthorne Deming

Today’s challenges in public health and social equity have humans feeling disconnected––from nature and each other. Poet and naturalist Alison Hawthorne Deming explores bio‑inspired approaches to reconnect with both.

Janine Benyus on Ask Nature

I hope that Ask Nature is a place where you get design inspiration, but I hope it's also a place where you're just awestruck daily. Awestruck, and filled with respect. Janine Benyus

Join the author, TED speaker, and co‑founder of the Biomimicry Institute for an intimate conversation about the origins and potential of learning to Ask Nature.

What Can We Learn From How Nature Spends Winter?

Being quiet and waiting is not a skill that we have too much familiarity with. Judy Collins

A beloved singer/songwriter reflects on winter, COVID, and how time and patience, in the end, teach us how to survive.

For Educators

The world of the future will be designed by the students of today. Ask Nature has tools to help educators bring biomimicry into the classroom for a single day or for a whole school year.

Biomimicry: Nature as Model, Measure, and Mentor

Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education

In this three‑part lesson students explore what nature can teach us about the principles of sustainable design and reflect on applications to a problem in their home, school, or community.

Young students examine and draw natural objects

Introducing Biomimicry in K‑2

Biomimicry Institute

This collection of activities provides hands‑on methods for students in grades K‑2 to explore the natural world, learn to make observations and think about natural and designed phenomena in new ways. 

A Gentler Robot

Biomimicry Institute

Explore resources for teaching engineering concepts and practices using the story of a flexible robotic arm inspired by the muscles in elephants’ trunks.

Keeping It Clean

Biomimicry Institute

Explore resources for teaching about superhydrophobicity and nanotechnology using the story of how super water‑repellent lotus leaves inspired self‑cleaning surface coatings.

Binoculars and hiking maps on rocky cliffs with landscape

Ask Nature Scavenger Hunt

Biomimicry Institute

Get familiar with how to use the Ask Nature website by exploring what it has to offer.

Biological Strategies

We've curated more than 1700 strategies developed by living things that achieve thousands of different functions. Whatever challenge you're looking to address, nature can serve as your model, measure, and mentor.

Innovations

Whether you're building tools for underwater communication or finding new ways to map the cosmos, nature is rife with practical inspiration for the project at hand. Ask Nature's innovation database makes it easy to explore a variety of products and design solutions inspired by the natural world.

How Does Nature Turn Soil Into Sustenance?

Life does not just thrive on Earth. It thrives in it. Throughout it. As a part of it. Limestone cliffs may be the ossuaries of ancient coral communities. Soil is not lifeless rock dust but a churning matrix of generations of living things great and small. Earthlings are part of Earth itself.

How Does Nature Take to the Air?

Birds do it. Bees do it. Only one mammal really does it. And unexpectedly, a few spiders do it. Taking flight has required some of the most extreme adaptations life has devised, and it has made accessible for habitation the parched hearts of continents, the frozen pinnacles of mountains, and even the clouds themselves.

How Does Nature Thrive in the Deep?

Under the waves, life continues as it has since its beginning. It also roils into new forms, innovating, adapting, and re‑engineering, generation after generation. The ocean is an archive of what has come before, and a foundry of what is yet to come.

Our Most Popular Pages for April 2021

With over 1700 biological strategies cultivated on Ask Nature, there are dozens of somethings for anyone. But time has shown that at any given time, a few things seem to be the right thing for everyone. Explore some of our most popular pages now.

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