The ways and means that animals or plants use in satisfying their natural needs and overcoming environmental difficulties have led researchers and designers to understand and imitate nature in their searching for methods and designs. The term “biomimetic“, which was coined by the American biophysicist, engineer and inventor Otto Schmitt in 1969, is a combination of the Latin (or Greek) word “bio or bios” (life) and the Greek word “mimesis” (imitation). It refers to creating designs or strategies by imitating life forms, such as animals or plants, and to being inspired by nature in satisfying the needs, solving the problems of human populations. Its first appearance in literature as “biomimicry” is in the book titled “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature” written by natural sciences author Janine Benyus and published in 1997. As stated by Benyus, who is acknowledged as the founder of modern biomimicry science, ” Biomimicry is the conscious emulation of life’s genius” that seeks to learn from nature’s wisdom at each step of design, from the key idea to the test.

Biomimicry is already being acknowledged as an individual discipline, and comes to the forefront of interdisciplinary studies, in addition to its intermediary position as a bridge between many disciplines, especially biology, which are based on the principles of nature. Not only are dozens of others, including scientific meetings, forums and scientific textbooks provided in this field, but also there are initiatives, which are stimulated by the growing interest to the field, to establish research centers and institutes as well as departments of engineering or design in many universities. The underlying idea of certain other areas, such as bionics, biomimetic, biomechanics, bio-design, organic design, is to learn from nature’s wisdom through biomimicry that inspires and guides researchers and designers for the sustainability of human life and civilization. “Inspiration“, in biomimicry, is not only associated with forms of things, but also with their materials, structures and functions, which provides unique vision and innovative ideas while opening new horizons by offering different perspectives through the conscious emulation of life’s genius.

The term used for all kinds of tools, mechanisms and systems designed by imitating nature partially or entirely, in a variety of fields, inspired by “natural models” is defined as “biomimetic” as stated above. Its reflections, as the world of the future is already being designed, appears in many fields such as health, science, art, industry, architecture, technology, nano-technology, artificial intelligence, robotics, transportation, and defense. Today, a common feature shared by a new wave of experts or designers, who develop products, solutions and strategies based on biomimicry methodology, is to be inspired by life itself, by respecting the observed designs in nature, researching its patterns minutely, and to produce innovative solutions for the problems of humanity. Humanity has learned a lot and continues to learn from nature or life itself as a model, measure, and method, which is a unique source of ideas as well as a wise mentor. Innovations, driven by the growing admiration of human for nature, are increasing, especially over the last decades, partly because of new discoveries about life itself.

Biomimicry, also known as “innovation inspired by nature”, which is not solely about inspiration and imitation, is defined based on three variables of imitation of “forms or functions”, “natural processes”, and “natural systems”. Biomimicry regards natural forms, processes, cycles and systems in earth as a guide, by respecting for all life forms that it embraces, to solutions to the current problems of humanity, as well as a source of inspiration. For example, “sustainability” is the top of the list of nature’s ingenious solutions. Whatever is in its immense boundaries is constantly changing or evolving in uninterrupted way without any deviation from its natural order. Nature, which represents a tremendously impressive model and a constant source of inspiration and is essential to survival and reproductive processes of a very large variety of life forms, prevails the minds of people from different professions including scientists, engineers, designers, artists and even politicians. Nature engenders and maintains all its living forms, processes and life-cycles under the very natural conditions for billions of years, as the most ambitious work of art and the most inclusive R&D laboratory. So it is perfectly natural for humanity to turn to nature as a source of solution for all sorts of problems, from the simplest to the most sophisticated.