Human beings, since prehistoric times starts to watch all the relationships with the other creatures in a spiritual way, but when his intelect began to watch more closer all the processes, forms and materials the resources to solve problems was more efficient in his techniques.
Small steps though the Greek civilization with Democritus(400 BC) and his script related to atom theories and animal features, the Renaissance with Leonardo Da Vinci (c XV) and his sensibility to observe nature were applied in his experiments and machines. Biologists of that times were too, a fundamental key to archive all live forms that we know.
The Industrial Revolution and all the chimestry was in different ways, linked with natural representations though machine innovations from the water bombs through textile machines. In Design and Architecture all ancient decoration with nature motifs from medieval times through Art Noveau give an example of the harmony in copying nature in furniture, textiles, tools and construction forms.
But was in the middle of c XX when Jack E. Steele in the 60s apply the word ‘Bionics’ to establish the basis for a new discipline: Biomimetics/ Biomimicry.
Biomimetics is an enabling discipline which looks towards nature for ideas that may be adapted and adopted for solving problems: ‘Inspiration rather than imitation’ University of Reading
Biomimicry is a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Janine Benyus
Now we are looking for a sustainable future. Design disciplines began to include all the features that Nature could give us: Forms, Materials, Mechanisms, Processes and Behaviors.Biology and Engineering are an important nexus to solve efficiently all the innovations. I think an ‘Biomimetic Design’ will be in this new century an important tool for a sustainable development.