The Biomimicry Institute and Biomimicry South Africa have launched a new course covering the fundamentals of biomimicry. Called ‘Learn Biomimicry’, the online course kicks off in support of the Earth Day Network’s call for creative, innovative, and brave solutions needed to regenerate and repair the damage done to the planet.
As the organizers state, Earth Day is about solving the planet’s greatest environmental challenges, and biomimicry offers the solutions needed to redefine the way we think, design, and do business to be more resilient, adaptive, and regenerative. “There are two things to remember: first, all the solutions we need to reverse climate change already exist technologically; and second, all the instruction we need to ‘redesign everything’ can be found in nature,” said Beth Rattner, Director of the Biomimicry Institute. “Our main job — maybe our only job — is to recognize that we are one of 8.7 million other species on this planet. The days of human exceptionalism are over. We can fit in if we study the deep and recurring design patterns found in the natural world.”
Since the concept was popularized in the 1997 seminal book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus, the practice of nature-inspired design has transformed educational settings — from a free curriculum offered to youth educators through the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge to higher educational and professional opportunities like those offered by Minneapolis College of Art and Design Master of Arts in Sustainable Design (and free online courses), University of Akron’s Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center, and Arizona State University's Master of Science program for Biomimicry.
The new course delivers short videos and handbooks made to be accessible from any device. There is also a certificate of completion that provides the recognition for gaining a comprehensive understanding of the concepts, tools, and terminology of biomimicry. "Biomimicry South Africa has created a visually beautiful, educationally rich online course that we hope reaches a broad audience,” said Rattner. “It is a tool that will help students of all ages see plants, animals, insects, and fungi with a renewed sense of curiosity. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself staring at the branching pattern of a tree or the structure of your dog’s fur for long moments.”
The course was designed by Claire Janisch, Biomimicry Professional and founder of BiomimicrySA, and Jessica Berliner, Biomimicry Practitioner and Communication designer. The courses are also enriched with film content and ongoing support from ReWild Africa, and the content development was sponsored by Exxaro Resources. “We designed this course for anyone who feels that we could be improving the way we design our products, processes, and systems, and those that have a thirst for a more sustainable, regenerative, and resilient world,” said Janisch. “Our most experienced teacher out there is nature, and we have a lot to learn.”
Find out more at Learn Biomimicry