Fly like bats, birds, and insects
Create your own nature-inspired flight
What can nature teach us about flight? Anuj Jain and Grace Lim facilitated an outdoor nature walk and workshop at the Kranji marshes on nature's flight. Also, covered by the Channel News Asia. The high-point of the workshop was two teams competing to create flying devices inspired by the flying and gliding animals. Guess who won? Await the Channel News Asia broadcast to learn who won.
Biomimicry Pre-school Incursion:
Eton House Claymore
17 May 2021
Eton House teachers posted a question about biomimicry to our expert biologist and educator Ms. Grace Lim - 'Can these little pre-school children understand biomimicry concepts?'
The teachers Vicky Dumen and Beatrice Kho thought it is worth a try! When Covid doesn't allow EXcursions - let's do an INcursion.
In Grace's words: At the fully hands-on zoom workshop, we went along the thread of sensory movement. Children mimicked the calls of Kingfishers and tested the Velcro strips on their shoes and bags. They unreservedly flew like planes, swam like sharks and crawled like lizards, among other fun things (that many of us miss doing as adults)!
I have been teaching across the ages and found that children may not understand all those “big” biological terms, processes and concepts, but in May 2021, these little persons captured the attitudes behind them – that “nature is cool! and I can look forward to learning so much from it and even invent stuff inspired by its designs”. Educators call this the “hidden” curriculum, and to me, this is one of the most valuable “lessons” we can teach a child!
Kudos to Eton House teachers for having this vision and heart and for Grace to make this a reality.
Learn Biomimicry at the Farm Day Out @ Sprout Hub
10 - 11 April 2021
What do seeds have to teach us about nature's way to float and glide? What can we learn from nature's scents and red pigments about communication?
Anuj Jain and Grace Lim conducted four 20 mins long experiential sessions titled "Biomimicry bite-size" and two 2 hour workshops titled "Biomimicry and food systems" at the Farm Day Out Event.
Thanks to all the participants for being so engaging and making it a fun-filled and fully booked outdoors event.
Biomimicry reaches government schools in Singapore
Dr. Anuj Jain conducted two workshops for the Ministry of Education (MOE) Singapore teachers for them to bring biomimicry to the Science and Individual Research Study modules as part of the Gifted Education Program. The teachers got an opportunity to not only learn about the basics of biomimicry but also practice biomimicry nature journaling using a method called iSites.
We also discussed biomimicry links with syllabus topics and learning thrusts (materials, heat management, air and water flows, energy and magnets etc.) where we can draw lessons from nature. We are really excited to see how the teachers bring this learning to their schools and students.
Biomimicry and the Built Environment Workshop
21 June 2019
United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), Singapore chapter invited our co-founder, Dr. Jain, to give a workshop 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.
Here's some feedback from the attendees.
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. 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 is 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.’
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?
Birds & Biomimicry
2 November 2018
What can Nature's flight engineers teach us?
Singapore is home to an amazing diversity of birds. These offer a catalogue of solutions from building nests in muddy mangroves and found in coastal mudflats to living in bright and windy canopies. Explore what we can learn from these animals to better design our built environment.
This workshop was part of the Singapore's Eco Film Festival 2018. Learn more here.
UWC students working on a walking assistant inspired by the kangaroo
Studying movements of kelp, whales and shells to design an efficient fan
UWC SEA Biomimicry Design Challenge - a first of its kind in Singapore
The United World College in Singapore (UWC SEA) is running a semester-long student-led biomimicry design challenge with the help of UWC's IDEAS Hub where students apply the principles of biomimicry to solving problems. After a brief introduction to biomimicry, the students work with freely available resources on the internet such as Ask Nature to research biomimicry strategies. They ideate solutions to problems around them at their schools, or in Singapore, or globally.
The problem could be something we witness every day such as-
How do we stop air-conditioning from being wasted by being too cold? How can we drink a juice carton without a plastic straw?
How can we store rain but not breed mosquitoes?
Use the SDGs as a guide.
This semester-long challenge culminates in an exhibition at the school which will be judged by Mrs. Kirtida Mekani (Founding Member, Biomimicry Singapore Network). The students stand the chance to win substantial funding to develop any promising prototypes.
Studying snails to better wash away marks
Brainstorm on Packaging - reflections from CUGE workshop
31 Oct 2017
Dr. Anuj Jain taught a 1.5 days Biomimicry course on 30 - 31st Oct at the Singapore Botanic Gardens titled Designing with nature in the built environment (read more here). One of the highlights of the course was a 1.5 hour Biology to Design brainstorm exercise. The students were divided into 4 teams each of three participants. Using specially designed card decks which provided hints about natural organism and context, the participants came up with out-of-the-box ideas for sustainable packaging. I thought they had whacky names too such as the 'Living wrap', 'Radio ants' and 'Waste worm'.
Designing with Nature in the Built Environment - 1.5 days Biomimicry course
30 - 31 October 2017
Design for healthy aging workshop & CUGE talk by Dr. Carlos
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.
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.