The importance of biomimetics – imitating life’s natural processes – has been known for years and designers have often looked to nature for formal solutions. The natural world contains infinite examples of how to achieve complex behaviours and applications by using simple materials in a clever way, as all organisms make use of limited raw materials to survive. In the popular imagination, the best-known example is the microscopic ‘hook’ on burrs that led to the development of Velcro, but there are many more applications, from kingfisher beaks inspiring the shape of bullet trains to shark skin being used as a model for advanced swimsuits.
Biomimetics for Designers presents many examples, showing each natural phenomenon alongside its application, with an accessible explanation of the biology and the story of the design. While most are concrete examples that have already been developed, others point the way to what might be possible for an enterprising designer, providing a starting point for creativity. This timely overview is the perfect introduction for designers of all disciplines, and a reminder that inspiration may be just down the garden path.