The AskNature Story

“We’re awake now, and the question is how do we stay awake to the living world? How do we make the act of asking nature’s advice a normal part of everyday inventing?”

- Janine Benyus, author and co-founder of the Biomimicry Institute

Get the full low down on AskNature:

At the Biomimicry Institute, we envision a world in which people view nature not as a warehouse of goods but as a storehouse of knowledge and inspiration for sustainable solutions—particularly those solutions that will help secure a livable and equitable planet for all life over the long haul. But in order for innovators to utilize nature as a teacher (or “free IP” as some put it), there must be effective ways for them to search biological models by function, relative to their specific design challenges.

That’s why AskNature was created and launched in 2008 as an ambitious project envisioned to catalog and present the full breadth of our species’ biological knowledge in ways that innovators across disciplines are able to plug into their workflows. AskNature is a website that seeks to inspire designers, architects, business strategists and other innovators with biological information relevant to their service or product design challenges.

Since its launch in 2008, AskNature has attracted more than 3 million students, educators, and professionals spanning fields across design, engineering, science, and business. These users include everyone from product designers focused on structure and behavior, to materials scientists exploring nano- and micro-scale protein synthesis, to entrepreneurs thinking about relationships and whole systems, to research biologists documenting new natural phenomena. They all rely on AskNature for information to inspire innovation, conduct research, and teach biomimicry.

AskNature’s content is built by and for the community, and is managed and moderated by staff and volunteers of the Biomimicry Institute, a 501c3 non-profit organization based in the United States.