Monday, October 8, 2012

(re)connecting with the genius of our place

As we enter fall and the relentless heat of this summer has broken, I’m remembering how much fun it is to get outside!  One of the best things I did this summer was go on long bike rides through the prairie – the sights, smells, and sounds of natural environments reconnect me with why I have dedicated my career to creating sustainable environments.  Getting outside allows me the freedom to explore and observe and inspires me to think of new possibilities.

As someone trained in the science (and art) of biomimicry, I have learned to look to natural environments as more than beautiful vistas and peaceful respites.  I’ve learned to look to them as a mentor through which I can learn new ways of thinking about the problems we face.  Through this lens, we can look to leaves as inspiration for more efficient photovoltaic cells, spider silk as inspiration for strong, light-weight materials with benign manufacturing, termite mounds for bioclimactic, adaptive architecture, and our native ecosystems for lessons in creating resilient businesses and communities.  Biomimics across the world are looking to nature for inspiration, harnessing 3.8 billion years of experience, and finding innovative solutions to the problems that we face.  You can do this too.

This fall, go outside as much as you can.  Observe and reconnect with the reasons you chose to work in sustainability, and begin to look to the “genius of our place” as inspiration for new ways of thinking and creating.  From observation comes inspiration and innovation.  The possibilities are endless!


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