A portal to the wisdom nature holds.

When we ask nature, first we quiet our human cleverness. Then we ask, and then we listen. The answer is the echo that bounces off of the land herself. With the solution in hand, we always end the circle by saying thank you.

Janine Benyus

Why Ask Nature now?

Because we can’t afford not to.

We have the innate potential to create a world that is harmonious, regenerative, and supports the well-being of all Life. As a young species, we are fortunate enough to have guidance to help us rise to this challenge. Our planet-mates, the fantastic meshwork of plants, animals, and microbes, have done billions of years of research and development. The time is now to collaborate globally to design this world for the future of all species. It begins by asking nature.

How Do You Use This Site?

You are the explorer of your own experience.

AskNature is a field guide to the natural world, designed to draw your eye to what we can learn from nature (not just what we can learn about it). Get your bearings and get ready to explore.


Who Asks Nature?


We exist to encourage everyone, everywhere to have a direct experience with nature that is founded on respect and curiosity. We have designed this tool to provide guidance to students, educators, engineers, scientists, designers, artists, naturalists, and those from yet to be defined disciplines. Our hope is that this is a homecoming for anyone on a journey to make the future better for all of our planetary neighbors.

How do you Ask Nature?

Quiet your cleverness.

We seek to rightsize our place on the planet by quieting our cleverness, so we can collaborate with Life on solutions.

Ask Nature a question.

Attune to the question that you seek the answer to, and Ask Nature how it would solve this challenge.

Observe and listen deeply.

Heighten the senses and see where an organism, living system, or universal pattern has adapted a strategy that inspires a model for emulation.

Apply wisdom to create a regenerative world.

Design with the principles of Life in mind and heart, so the solution is additive and inventive while staying within planetary boundaries.

Give thanks.

Always end each interaction with reverence and gratitude to the natural world.

What Are the 3 Essential Elements of Asking Nature?

1. (Re)Connect

The increasing awareness that humans, individually and as a species, are part of nature, not separate from it, through a deepening connection that honors the reciprocal relationship between all living beings.

2. Emulate

The scientific, research-based practice of learning from and then replicating nature’s forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more regenerative designs.

3. Ethos

The realization that humans have a responsibility to conserve and protect that which they are learning from, as well as abiding by the planetary boundaries and principles for all nature-inspired innovation.

Our Team

AskNature is a project of the Biomimicry Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the practice of looking to nature for inspiration to solve design problems in a regenerative way.

Chief Editor Andrew Howley

Partnerships and Brand Strategy Director Megan Dwyer

Visual Science Communication Manager Gretchen Hooker

Biomimicry Integrationist CK Unsworth “Collin”

Science Writers & Editors

Ellie Banwell

Andrew Carstens

Heather Dove

Elyse DeFranco

Anika Hazra

Mary Hoff

Katie Krupin

Jeanette Lim

Lonny Lippsett

Alexandra Ralevski

Sherri Ritter

Erin Spencer

Sam Stier

Leon Wang


Biomimicry Reviewers

Christa Avampato

Christian Delacruz


Photo Editors

Malkah Bell

Marie McGrory

Kristen McNicholas



Johannes Fuchs

Emily Harrington

Gretchen Hooker

Morgane Rae

Holly Sullivan

Mesa Schumacher


Design & Development


Term Definition

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