Thursday, November 17, 2016

Using Biomimicry to Create Viable Alternative Systems

Join Biomimicry Chicago's Rachel Hahs in her new #SystemReset series in which she explores how using a systems approach in biomimicry can result in radical new alternative system designs that have the potential to drastically improve the environmental, social and economic impacts of the system.

In #SystemReset Part 1: Biomimicry and the "How" of DIF's #SystemReset, Rachel introduces the idea that using biomimicry to redefine the approach to solving for the core functions of a challenge results in the potential for not only a completely redesigned "product", but also a redesigned product category ecosystem, with ripple effects into complimentary goods and services systems.

In Part 2: Plastics from Air, she provides an example that illustrates how biomimicry systems thinking resulted in creating a viable alternative system of raw material sourcing and material production in the plastics industry - creating the potential switch from one that contributes significantly to climate change, to one that is part of the solution.

Upcoming posts include additional examples of radical technology solutions that represent paradigm shifts in their industries, as well as additional exploration of how the use of a biomimicry systems approach can accelerate a #SystemReset to sustainable systems.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

FIRST LEGO League & Biomimicry

Do you have a child participating in the FIRST LEGO League Animal Allies challenge that is interested in using biomimicry for their innovation process? Check out the FIRST LEGO Biomimicry Guidance post at Think Biomimicry that provides guidance on how to do just that!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Think Biomimicry

Have you checked out the new blog, Think Biomimicry, by Biomimicry Chicago's Rachel Hahs? In it Rachel explores how we can shift from just being excited about the ideas behind biomimicry, to implementing biomimicry in practice in whatever fields we work. 

Her most recent post, (Re)connecting with Nature, takes a look at how the first step to practicing biomimicry requires gaining the skills to slow down long enough to keenly observe the world around us with a curious and open mind - only then will we be able to truly learn from nature. Her previous posts touch on explaining what biomimicry is, how to use it, and how we think about it in the built environment. 

The website also includes a comprehensive list of online biomimicry resources (please let us know if you have resources to add!), and periodically updated photography collections. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Learning from Ephemeral Flowers: Deep Roots Workshop Postponed until Spring!

Spring ephemeral flowers know the importance of timing. You see these flowers first thing in the spring - they are the first to push through the soil and snow, dot the landscape with greenery and flowers, set seed to reproduce, and then go dormant before the woodland trees can shade them.

For the spring ephemeral, timing is everything.

At Biomimicry Chicago, we are taking a lesson from the spring ephemeral to know when the time is right, and when it is not. We have received an amazing response to our Deep Roots idea: we are close to meeting our registration goals for the workshop, have secured three sponsors, and our event and name is being spread by organizations we are just now beginning to reach. We have been thrilled with the response so far!However, we have heard from many key allies that the timing of this workshop does not work for them. As we have begun reaching out to a larger audience, we would like to have more time for new people to be brought on board, and for exciting new projects in the works to progress further, so that the conversation we hold can be its most tangible and effective.

We have, therefore, decided to postpone our inaugural workshop to the Spring of 2017.

In the meantime, we want to meet YOU and know how YOU think we can “(Re)Create Chicago as an Ecosystem.” Starting this fall, we will be working with our allies to plan a series of smaller round table discussions, both private and open to our network. The goal for these gatherings is to provide an opportunity for local biomimics and interested individuals to learn more about biomimicry and ecosystem functions while giving us a better understanding for how this project can best serve their needs and those of our community. If you would like to be a part of these discussions, either as an organization or as an individual, pleasecontact us

Life adapts and changes through feedback loops, and the many conversations we have had in preparation for this workshop have told us that this is the best course of action. We see this endeavor as an unmitigated success so far and we look forward to working with each of you in the future!

Biomimicry Chicago Network Leaders

VIDEO: No Regrets

Watch this video on days where the mountain seems to high, and the challenge to fierce.
Watch this video and be inspired again to make a difference through this work we choose.
Watch this video and lend your talents by joining us.
We welcome you.

Biomimicry Chicago Network Leaders

Monday, September 12, 2016

Deep Roots: (Re)Creating Chicago as an Ecosystem

Discover a cutting-edge approach to redefining sustainability and resiliency in the built environment at Biomimicry Chicago’s Deep Roots workshop, which kicks off on Saturday, October 1, 2016.

During this daylong workshop at the Lurie Garden, Biomimicry Chicago’s experts will help participants learn how the ecological intelligence of our region’s native prairies, open woodlands and wetlands can inform the way we plan, design and engineer sustainable and resilient buildings, infrastructure and landscaping.  

The biomimicry approach builds upon and goes beyond existing green infrastructure and sustainable building design best practices to:
  • Understand at a systems level what metrics need to be met to achieve long-term ecological stability and resiliency of our region, and
  • Discover place-based innovative design patterns to solve the functional challenges of meeting those aspirational metrics at the project level.

We will focus on local water systems to illustrate how we can begin to compare the performance of our built systems to native ecosystems to find opportunities for significant improvement. The results will be a city that functions like native ecosystems - not “City in a Garden”, but “City as a [Native] Garden”!

Visit to learn more - tickets purchased go to support this transformational initiative, so we thank you for your support!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

New Video: Stories of our Place

I (Amy) recently gave a talk on biomimicry and the stories of our place to Legat Architect's Think Tank, and I created a video to share it with all of you! What can we learn from the stories of our place to create more sustainable, resilient built environments? Check out the video to see - and please bear with the non-voice-actor narration. :)

A new experience for Chicago!

Registration is now LIVE for our next biomimicry-inspired experience for Chicago! Join us Saturday, October 1st, for a full day touring The Lurie Garden, having inspiring conversations with local practitioners in the built environment, and (co)creating a vision for the future of our city: one that learns from the nature of our place.

Click the link below to learn more!

Monday, May 9, 2016

New FREE Event: Lurie Garden BioBlitz

Biomimicry Chicago is thrilled to partner with the Lurie Garden in Millenium Park to #getoutside and explore city biodiversity through a BioBlitz. This event is FREE and families are welcome, so join us by registering at their event page!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Visit us at Creating Change!

Come visit us tomorrow on your lunch hour! Open to the public, we'll be at the Creating Change conference to talk about Biomimicry for Social Innovation, Rachel Hahs' post-Biomimicry Professional program plans and biomimicry resources for you to explore. We'd love to see you there! 

When: Friday, January 22, 2016, 12:30-1:30pm
Where: Hilton Chicago, 3rd Floor, Joliet Room

DON'T MISS ANY OF THE ACTION Make your plans NOW to get to Chicago for this year's Creating Change! ON-SITE REGISTRATION OPENS AT THE…