These factors can act as the model for innovative strategies, measure for sustainable benchmarks and the mentor for aspiration goals of human advancements. The idea of biomimicry could be the new hope for business strategies in the current trend of times, where traditional business models are no longer viable.
While Dr. Jain introduced the concept of biomimicry, Mrs. Mekani emphasized on the possibility of biomimicry in being the key driving force of Singapore’s development. By enhancing our existing strengths of a green city, Singapore could act on this wave and push boundaries of growth, efficiency and sustainability with the idea of biomimicry. She strongly believed in the need for education to enforce conservation, learning, and engagement, which would be presented in the forms of workshops, dialogues, and design competitions.
Both speakers drew attention to the new Biomimicry Singapore Network, which aims to gather interested individuals from different disciplines to join them in engaging in biomimicry events and practices.
Dr. Jain explained the opportunities and challenges for Singapore from a biomimicry perspective and Mrs. Mekani being given a token of appreciation by the Director of CUGE, National Parks Board.
With the end of the talk, an informal discussion was held to further engage the participants and their questions regarding the ways to make businesses care about biomimicry and the ways to convince the masses that biomimicry could be the new solution to sustainable models. Many perspectives and ideas were contributed by the various individuals, which drove in the fact that biomimicry can be applicable to many disciplines and areas. Beyond the discussion, it was clear that many are hopeful that biomimicry could be the rising solution for conservation and the challenges faced by Singapore.
BIOMIMICRY and the Built Environment
21st June 2019
United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), Singapore chapter invited our co-founder, Dr. Jain, to give a lecture on the role of Biomimicry in architecture and design.
Titled ‘BIOMIMICRY and the built environment,’ the lecture was delivered by Anuj on 21st June 2019 at Parkview Square, Northbridge Road, Singapore. Around 45 people attended the event hosted by UAP, Singapore chapter.
UAP’s warm hospitality and an overwhelming response made Anuj feel honoured and very welcomed. In this words - “A heartful thank you to team UAP, Singapore Chapter!”
- Dr. Anuj Jain, Co-founder Biomimicry Singapore Network
The lecture was divided into 2 segments. The first segment revolved around the basics of biomimicry – with examples and how Biomimicry can be applied to designing nature-inspired forms, process, and ecosystems.
In the second segment, the audience were immersed in a biomimicry game called ‘Go-Fish’ in which the participants had to match a design challenge with a biomimicry strategy. The challenges and strategies were provided to participants as flash cards. Following this, we delved into topics around the built environment – e.g., How does nature distribute? How can it improve light capture? How can it improve ventilation? How can it help design a smart city? Etc. The lecture ended with discussing biomimicry design methodology.
We received several verbal and written feedbacks during the lecture.
In Mylon Usbal, Senior Designer, WOW Architects words – “BIOMIMICRY is one of my favorite topics in DESIGN. Thanks to our speaker Dr. Jain who imparted the theory, ideas, and principles of Biology, Engineering, and Design. As a designer, we can use these tools to mimic the FORM, MULTI-FUNCTIONS, ADAPTABILITY, RESILIENCE, and SUSTAINABILITY of nature into our projects. Nature has so much to offer to us. We should respect, reconnect and emulate. From there we should apply the BIOMIMICRY Methodology. As Dr. Jain implied during the talk, “ in every CHALLENGE in design, let’s BIOLOGIZE”.
It was heartening to also read how Mr. Usbal has applied biomimicry thinking to the UAPS chapter that he is a part of – “ In our UAPS Team, let’s mimic the Super organized nature of ANTS. Everyone has responsibility, accountability, motivation, cooperation and support. Attending events are an essential gesture of support, we always LEARN, interact and bond with one another. And for the moment, we are known as the “Best Foreign Chapter” and let’s maintain it. Mabuhay! and God Bless us All.’
Cities of Love!- Awards 2018
27th April 2019
Biomimicry Singapore Network takes the honour to announce and congratulate its co-founder Dr. Anuj Jain for receiving the ‘Cities of Love Award - 2018' under ‘environmental sustainability' category.
Dr. Jain, with his multi-projects, received the award for stitching nature, people, and design through conservation and biomimicry.
He set up the Biomimicry Singapore Network in 2016 for individuals and organizations to learn about biomimicry – a science and innovation tool to learn to emulate nature’s designs for everyday solutions.
Cities of Love Awards!
Distinguished individual Award - 2018
Scaling Up Biomimicry
1 December 2018
This workshop brought us on a journey of exploration of new technologies. We played with virtual reality gadgets and realized how incredibly powerful our smartphones are. Our approach was that the millennials are already immersed in technology. How can we speak their language and leverage technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality to create tools that can empower the millennials to better learn and experience nature?
Fix Climate Change using Biomimicry ideas?
8 June 2018
ClimateLaunchpad (or CLP) is a climate-focused start-up incubator + competition successfully running in 35 countries and growing and has been developed by ClimateKIC, the largest innovation initiative of the European Union.
In Singapore, CLP aims to identify, nurture, mentor and launch Singaporean entrepreneurs and startups interested in climate-related solutions and services.
Let’s get creative and solve climate change using Biomimicry ideas.
Round 1 Bootcamp on Jul 10 – 11, 2018
Round 2 Intensive Coaching Aug –Sep, 2018
Round 3 National Final in Singapore
Round 4 International Finals in Scotland in November to win a place at ClimateKIC, the European Union’s climate accelerator.
Circular Economy Mapping Session
8 February 2018
Circular Economy Mapping Session
9:30 to 13:00 - IDEAS HUB UWCSEA Dover
Calling all Circular Economy Professionals and Enthusiasts in Singapore! The inaugural Circular Economy Mapping Session, kindly sponsored by the IDEAS HUB at UWCSEA Dover, is taking place on Feb 8th, 2018. We are looking for your participation to help accelerate the global transition from a linear to a circular economy model. To register for this free event or for more details, please click on the link below! You will not only meet many professionals in the CE eco-system, but you will also gain access to a unique database of CE initiatives worldwide after the event.
Biomimicry Singapore will share about Nature's genius in creating circular economy!
NUS Talk: Biomimicry - Insights from a Sustainable World
10 November 2017
Designing fabrics inspired by nature
7 November 2017
The National Design Centre of Singapore hosted a talk by Ms. Elaine Tan, Founder and Design Director of the Fabrics Lab in Hong Kong. Elaine shared insights from natural models such as the pine cones that open and release seeds at warmer temperatures. And how she has created materials that respond to changes in temperature and light levels. One of Elaine's most fascinating designs are of the Technofabric which glows in the dark.
Find more about Elaine at https://www.thefabricklab.com/
1.5 days Biomimicry course - Designing with nature in the built environment
Plenary Talk & Panel Discussion at the International Green Building Conference
13 September 2017
Singapore, often acclaimed as ‘City in the Garden’, is a hub of green urban design. In 2015, it was also named the UNESCO Creative City of Design. It would perhaps be suitable to call Singapore as a brand ambassador of Green Cities.
Dr. Anuj Jain gave a keynote address at the International Green Building Conference 2017 on 13 Sep 2017 on Biomimicry - designing with nature in Singapore. The session was aptly called “Beautiful ideas to change the world”. Anuj shared how Singapore has come a long way from being a Garden City to City in a Garden. Our architects, landscape designers, and builders are now embracing nature and consciously bringing greenery in their designs (biophilia). Anuj shared how can we push our imagination using biomimicry and design a generous city – a city that is locally attuned and responsive and gives back to the environment. Anuj shared examples of how patterns in nature have been used in designs worldwide (including the EDEN project).
Anuj speaking at the IGBC stage on biomimicry in architecture
Invited Talk: Biomimicry in architecture @ Ken Yeang’s Studio, Kuala Lumpur
After the talks, a panel discussion followed which featured Tierra Design and Biomimicry Singapore. An important point raised by the audience was about cost – are biomimicry designs cheaper or costlier and what is the return on investment for biomimic designs? Anuj explained that biomimicry designs are meant to be locally attuned and functionally efficient. ROI calculations for biomimicry designs would be an interesting research. But I bet, the results are going to be very variable.
Hannah Koh from Eco Business did a coverage on Anuj’s talk on biomimicry and green building design in Singapore.
28 August 2017
The eco-architect Dato’ Ar. Dr. Ken Yeang has initiated a semester long design studio themed ‘designing with nature’ for Masters in Architecture students at the Taylor’s University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Dr. Anuj Jain was invited to lecture the students about biomimicry and how it could be applied in architectural design on 28 Aug 2017.
Other speakers at the studio included Tony Liew (Head of School), Professor Robert Powell, Sarly Adre Sarkum, Lillian Tay, Shen Fei and Dr. Ken Yeang. They touched upon topics such as the green building index, out of the box design and the use of local materials in design.
Biomimicry Singapore is excited that the students will have a semester to practice biomimicry and at the end of the studio have a chance to display their nature-inspired designs at an exhibition. Stay tuned!
Students and speakers at the Ken Yeang design studio, Taylor's University, Kuala Lumpur
A glimpse of students' past studio work
Anuj sharing the variety of shapes and how a shape is cheap but materials are expensive in nature.
More about Ken Yeang design studio launch here: https://university.taylors.edu.my/news-events/ken-yeang-studio-commences-taylors-postgraduate-architecture-students
Design for healthy aging worshop & CUGE talk by Dr. Carlos
Anuj & Carlos at the Nanyang Polytechnic workshop
Dr. Carlos Alberto Montana-Hoyos, an advisor to the Biomimicry Singapore Network, was in Singapore for two weeks to conduct a workshop on Design for Healthy Aging at Nanyang Polytechnic with students from the Nanyang Poly, THEI Hong Kong, University of Canberra and Monash University, Australia.
We availed this opportunity to discuss biomimicry applications for the healthy aging where Dr. Anuj Jain shared existing research and opportunities via an invited talk at the Nanyang Polytechnic on 4th July. Mussels can help inform how to design better adhesives for bandages which can function even when wet, shark skin can inspire the design of surfaces that inhibit bacterial growth and cicada wings can inspire surfaces that can rupture bacterial cells for cleaner surfaces.
Cicada wings have an array of nanopillars that can rupture bacterial cells. These
are being mimicked to create cleaner contact lenses
A day later, Dr. Carlos gave a talk on biomimicry, biotechnology, and biophilic design at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on 5th July. He shared his experiences from the Costa Rican jungles, where seed packagings inspired him to look at more sustainable packagings for food.
He also shared designs by his former masters’ students from NUS such as the cloth hanger inspired by aloe vera plant, a moss wall cooler, and an improved shoe package; and his latest ‘food composting + growing systems’ design which works like an ecosystem such that users can compost waste, share the excess compost, integrate urban farming and sell food to restaurants.
Talk: Biomimicry, Biotechnology and Biophilic design
5 July 2017
Hosted by Biomimicry Singapore Network and CUGE National Parks Board, Singapore.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Dr. Carlos Alberto Montana-Hoyos is an industrial designer who is fluent in Spanish, English, Italian and Japanese. He has a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Design from Javeriana University (PUJ), Columbia and an MAID and a PhD in Biomimicry and Design for Sustainability from Kobe Design University, Japan.
As a design practitioner, Carlos has worked on packages, electric appliances, furniture, lamps, ceramics and handcrafts. He has worked in Colombia, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Australia. His projects have also received multiple international design awards.
Carlos was a Fellow and Assistant Professor in the Industrial Design Program, National University of Singapore. from 2006 to 2010. He currently lives and works in Australia, where he is an Associate Professor in the Industrial Design Course at the University of Canberra. Carlos has taught Biomimicry in design at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and conducted numerous workshops and guest lectures on these topics. Carlos is also an advisor to the Biomimicry Singapore Network.
For registration, click here
A confirmation email will be sent to successful
registrants, registration will be closed once full
capacity is reached.
For any enquiries, please email: Jason_lim@nparks.gov.sg
Date 5 July 2017, Wednesday
Time 4 - 5 pm
Venue Function Room, Level 2, Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens
(enter via Tanglin Gate)
Address 1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, S259569.
View map here
A biomimicry exhibition by the kids
26 - 28 April 2017
The students of Stamford American International School had been preparing for weeks and it was their week to fruition. Putting together a biomimicry exhibition is by no means an ordinary task for the team of 5th graders. Thankfully, they had help. Dr. Anuj Jain advised the students on the principles of biomimicry and how best to present them to an audience. As an example, the students needed help in understanding the differences between biomimicry, biophilia and bio-utilization. "The differences are not trivial" - says Anuj. The Esplanade - Theatre by the Bay, was a commonly misunderstood example. The Esplanade is more a case of biophilia than biomimicry. Most people think of it as the latter.
The exhibit that attracted many students and parents showcased a biomimicry standee, an organism and an application mapping game, biomimicry videos and biomimicry excerpts (even a poem!) written by the students themselves.
The underlying message students tried to bring via their work was - "Nature is a place of happiness and play. There is so much to do and learn from it. How
can we as kids learn more from it in every aspect of life?". Intriguing isn't it! And boy! I think many in the audience left inspired by their work.
What happens when water is in abundance or absence?
22 April 2017
With this question in mind, on this Earth Day, we walked with Dr. Anuj Jain at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Another initiative by Biomimicry Singapore Network to learn from Nature’s strategies to solve our water problems. Anuj guided the walk from the desert exhibit to the tropical rainforest exhibit at Botanic Gardens.
The morning started with a shower (an apt start for a water themed walk!), but folks from all age groups enthusiastically turned up. Anuj began with a brief introduction of biomimicry, its scope and principles. “Water” being the theme of this walk, we focused on the exploration of adaptations and strategies of various plant species both in the wet and dry environments, including how they respond to changes in temperature.
In the first stretch of the walk, we learnt about how prop roots of a tree can help stabilize the tree in swampy ground and how our
Participants gathered at the Tanglin gate of the
Botanic Gardens for a briefing
buildings could benefit from such a strategy in coastal and swampy habitats. In the desert exhibit, we learnt about In the desert exhibition, we observed barrel cactus that can expand to store water and contract as the water is used up.
Left: Prop roots of a pandanus. Right: Desert plants exhibit at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
On the way to the rainforest walk, we saw various insects and birds, and Anuj described their functionality. The kids were inquisitive about the hollow seed pods of the baobab tree and were wondering who ate them.
Participants overlooking the seed pods of a baobab tree on
the way to rainforest exhibit.
In the rainforest, we observed the drip tips of rainforest leaves and how that helps plants to get rid of excess water. The rich shades of red, yellow and brown of dried leaves on the forest floor reminded us of how Interface’s engineers got inspired by the forest floor two decades ago to produce modular multi-colored carpet tiles. We also saw a Hammerhead flatworm, which has a hydrostatic exoskeleton allowing it to dig and making crevices in the moist soil – a strategy to move while changing body shape but maintaining volume.
Kristian curious about the baobab seed pod
Anuj explaining about the flatworm's exoskeleton
Discussing Interface's inspiration from the forest floor
At the end of the two and half hours walk, participants looked excited and definitely curious. Perhaps they felt inspired to ask nature - “How could nature reduce my air-conditioning bill?” or more accurately put - "How could nature keep my home cool?".
Appreciations to Anuj for an enlightening walk!
Celebrate the Earth Day with a Biomimicry walk!
22 April 2017
"Lunch & learn" with nature’s time-tested strategies!
By Priyanka Sancheti, 31 March 2017
Dr. Anuj Jain (Ecologist and Co-founder of Biomimicry Singapore Network) gave a “lunch & learn” talk at Interface Asia Pacific office in Singapore on 31st March 2017. Interface is the World’s largest manufacturer of commercial carpet tiles and an industry leader in biomimicry that has recently launched its "Factory as a Forest" initiative.
The interactive session explored how we could learn from organisms around us in Singapore to create sustainable designs. Anuj explained that humans are one of the youngest species on Earth with many elders around us! Modern humans are only approximately 100,000 years old and if we map that on a 24 hours scale, we (humans) only arrived on the planet at around 11:58:43 pm. Oh God! We have just Arrived! Isn’t it amazing to know that humans are quite literally infants on this planet. More so, the majority of our time on this planet has been spent as hunter-gatherers. Agriculture is only 10,000 years old and industrial revolution barely 200 plus years old.
Anuj also shared ideas on ‘How Biomimicry can potentially guide the path forward for Singapore?’. He envisions that via biomimicry, Singapore can build on its strengths in innovation, science and technology, and entrepreneurship while learning from and connecting Singaporeans with the city state's rich tropical biodiversity. But to do this, it is necessary to rethink “out of the box” and to connect problem-solving with nature. Can our designs ask - what can we learn from pangolins and butterflies in our forests and the coral reefs, seagrasses and the starfish on our coasts? It is important to realize that a sustainable world already exists in and around Singapore. It is outdoors and all around us – in our jungles and around our coasts where life has experimented and evolved for 3.8 billion years.
The talk ended with specific biomimicry activities and experiments/innovations going in Singapore, and how kids are getting enthusiastic about biomimicry in Singapore. Stay tuned for updates and future collaborations.
Discussing - Biomimicry: The path forward & the path forward for Biomimicry
By Ling Jia Shin
On 9 December 2016, a talk on Biomimicry was hosted by CUGE (Center for Urban Greenery and Ecology), National Parks Board, Singapore. Two founders of the newly launched Biomimicry Singapore Network spoke at the Botanic Gardens on the topic of biomimicry, which is the conscious learning and emulation of nature’s time-tested strategies (forms, processes, and ecosystems) to create sustainable designs.
The event was kickstarted by Dr. Jain, who introduced the importance of nature in acting as the source of ideas for human advancement. Other species are much older than the human species in the history of Earth’s existence, which indicates that they have undergone through many rounds of natural selection and evolution to become a finely tuned species today that has adapted to function well.
He brought in the idea of Life’s Principles - nature's recipes, which included the 6 following principles that could be applied to the creation of products, buildings, organizations, and systems:
- Adapt to Changing Conditions
- Be Resource (Material & Energy) Efficient
- Be Locally Attuned & Responsive
- Use Life Friendly Chemistry
- Integrate Development with Growth
- Evolve to Survive
CUGE Professional Speaker Series - Biomimicry: Emulating Nature's Genius
9 December 2016
Hosted by CUGE (Center for Urban Greenery and Ecology), National Parks Board, Singapore
An idea often comes around and becomes a game changer. After we receive and understand it, we never see the world quite the same ever again. Biomimicry is such an idea. It shows us that genius solutions to our challenges already exist – right outside, in nature – tested over eons. When you realize that the simple act of learning from and emulating nature’s time tested genius is so profoundly impactful, it’s one of the most inspiring approaches to our environmental and other challenges you will discover.
This session will introduce you to the why, what and how of biomimicry:
- Provide an overview of biomimicry thinking and practice
- Introduce you to biomimicry strategies for sustainability, innovation, and resilience
- Explore biomimicry case studies and future potentials for application at city level
- Sharing with the audience about the Biomimicry Singapore Network
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
ANUJ JAIN is an ecologist and conservation biologist, engineer and co-founder of the Biomimicry Singapore Network. He is part of an elite Biomimicry Professional program that consists of professionals handpicked by the Biomimicry 3.8 team (Montana, USA) to train and mobilize an international, networked community of professional biomimics. As an ecologist and biomimic, Anuj explores nature’s genius in diverse ecosystems and shares this new way of viewing and valuing nature through biomimicry walks, expeditions and talks. He also believes that biomimicry can offer a huge untapped potential in conservation. Anuj has a PhD in butterfly ecology and conservation from the National University of Singapore and handles illegal wildlife trade, landscape conservation and management and leads an international program on leadership for young conservationists in Asia at BirdLife International. Anuj will share his vision of the newly formed Biomimicry Singapore Network and how the local community can benefit from it.
KIRTIDA MEKANI is a passionate environmentalist, pursuer of education, successful businesswoman and a devoted artist. She served as the founding Executive Director of the Singapore Environment Council from 1993 to 1997, is a Community in Bloom (CIB) ambassador, a member of the environment committee at Southwest CDC and serves on the board of the Garden City Fund Singapore. Her partnership with National Parks has seen the creation of the Plant-a-Tree programme and with United World College of South East Asia the creation of the Rainforest Restoration nursery project. For her many contributions, Kirtida was awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2015. Kirtida is an ardent advocate of biomimicry, promoting its awareness and adoption in Singapore and strongly believes that biomimicry is the path forward for science and engineering.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT UNITS
Certified Practicing Horticulturist - 1 CEUs/CPDs
This session is free–of–charge.
*Terms and conditions apply
A confirmation email will be sent to successful registrants; registration will close once full capacity is reached.
Mr. Jason Lim
Tel: 6462 6105
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