BIOMIMICRY FOR A SUSTAINABLE LIFE

THE NUMBER OF BRANDS TAKING INSPIRATION FROM NATURE AND MAKING MUCH MORE PROFITABLE, EFFICIENT, AND SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MODELS IS INCREASING.

Nowadays experts are making creative strategies to turn the gifts of nature into a comprehensive business sector by closely examining the environment and especially nature. From production to design, work process to sustainable growing and from profit to competition, this discipline, which creates awareness in different areas, comes forth as biomimicry. It is an interesting fact that the number of projects focused on biomimicry has been quickly increasing worldwide since the year 2000. Well, how do brands and corporations benefit from biomimicry in the business world? We researched some brands that have made successful projects in this field…

Shinkansen that was inspired by kingfisher bird
When the world’s fastest train the Shinkansen 500 series started servicing in Japan, Japanese Railways came face to face with a problem that they didn’t foresee. On every exit that the high-speed train took out of each tunnel, the compressed air right in front of it was releasing and creating an explosion like sound, which turned the lives of the residents there upside-down. The problem that was created by the Shinkansen 500 series, which was highlighted as the highest level of the Japanese engineering reached, could have brought the company to the state of bankruptcy.

The chief engineer of the train, Eiji Nakatsu, took the advantage of being a bird watcher, and solved this problem easily. Eiji Nakatsu asked this question to himself: “What animal in nature is there which can move fast and easily in two different environments?” The engineer and his team then examined the diving kingfisher bird. The team then redesigned the front of the train taking inspiration from the bird’s beak. Nakatsu and his team designed the front of the train like the bird’s beak which splashes very little water around itself when diving to catch fish, doing this did not only allow the train to work more silently but also caused its speed to increase by 10 percent while reducing the amount of electricity it uses by 15 percent.

Birds will no longer fly into windows and die
250 thousand birds die due to collisions with glass every day in Europe. It is estimated that this number reaches hundreds of millions in the USA. Ornilux’s glass prevents the death of birds by mimicking the ability to reflect ultraviolet (UV) lights that spiders have. Ornilux, which is produced by the German company Arnold Glas, is an insulated pane. It has a special overlay, which reflects UV lights that birds can see, because they see UV lights in a broader spectrum compared to humans who see it almost completely transparent.

The independent works done by Dr. Hans-Willy from the Max Planck Ornithology Institute assessed the effectiveness of the Ornilux glass, which aimed to end the bird deaths due to collisions with glass. Statistics for the Ornilux glass show that 76 percent of birds avoid the Ornilux panes and fly into traditional windows. The idea of using models that reflect UV lights came from some spider species that add UV light-reflecting silk fibers to their webs. The reason spiders do this is to attract small bugs to their webs and to warn and keep larger animals including birds away from them.

A modem that reflects dolphin acoustics
Dolphins can perceive the calls or the ‘introductory whistles’ of specific entities from up to 25 kilometers away. This shows that dolphins have the skill to communicate correctly and comprehend audio information in a tough undersea environment. By using more than one frequency on each transfer, by preventing the tendency of high frequency speed transfers to distribute sounds, they have found a safe way to allow their messages to be heard. A company called EvoLogics developed a high performance modem that can be used underwater for data communication, which uses dolphins’ unique sound wave distribution. Right now, this modem is being used in the Indian Ocean for the tsunami early warning system.

A shark effect in the automobiles
The Corvette Mako Shark that was designed as a concept car in 1961 was an interesting automobile, which had shark in its name and its design. As this design later reappeared in a different form in 1965, it became the vanguard of the mass produced 3rd generation Corvette, in other words the C3 series. The 1969 Manta Ray concept was another fish inspired automobile and it was a revised design of the 1965 model Mako Shark. It’s tough look and aerodynamic curves were inspired by nature. Another ‘fish’ concept easy to remember would be the ‘Bionic’ Mercedes released in 2005; it was developed to benefit from the aerodynamic advantages of boxfish.