College Events / Archives
Biomimicry: Dayna Baumeister, Biomimicry Institute
This event is part of U-M's School of Art & Design Penny Stamps Distinguished Speakers Series
Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty Street, Ann Arbor *This event is part of U-M's School of Art & Design lecture series
Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a new science that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Studying a leaf to invent a better solar cell is an example of this “innovation inspired by nature.”
The core idea is that nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most important, what lasts here on Earth. This is the real news of biomimicry: After 3.8 billion years of research and development, failures are fossils, what surrounds us is the secret to survival.
The conscious emulation of life’s genius is a survival strategy for the human race, a path to a sustainable future. The more our world looks and functions like the natural world, the more likely we are to endure on this home that is ours, but not ours alone.
The mission of The Biomimicry Institute is to nurture and grow a global community of people who are learning from, emulating, and conserving life's genius to create a healthier, more sustainable planet.
The Biomimicry Guild helps innovators learn from and emulate natural models through workshops, research reports, biological consulting, and field excursions. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies---new ways of living---that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul. The Biomimicry Guild is an ecosystem of individuals and organizations spread all over the world. As specific projects emerge, we bring together the expertise needed to help the project succeed.
Co-founder of the Biomimicry Guild, Dayna’s fascination and intrigue with the natural world began early with daily forays into the woods behind her home and weekend trips to the mountains with her family. As an adult, nature has been an inspiration in all of her personal and professional endeavors. Starting at the coastal seashore of Florida, Dayna received a BS in Marine Biology from New College in Sarasota. After several years exploring the intricate relationships of coral reefs, she turned in her wetsuit and headed back to the mountains. There, Dayna earned a MS in Resource Conservation and a PhD in Organismic Biology and Ecology from the University of Montana in Missoula, specializing in dynamics of positive interactions among animal and plant life. With a background in biology, a devotion to applied natural history, and a passion for sharing the wonders of nature with others, Dayna has worked in the field of Biomimicry since 1998 as an educator, researcher, and design consultant.
As co-founder and keystone for the Biomimicry Guild, Dayna acts as the liaison between all members of the Guild. In addition, she brings her skills as a systems thinker and organic communicator to her dynamic workshops, presentations, seminars, and exhibits, which have introduced the idea of nature as model, measure, and mentor to thousands of designers, business managers, and engineers around the country.