2012 Biomimicry student challenge opens for registration

by: Mirjam Visser, 2012-08-01 13:38:17 UTC
Sustainability Aspects: Education. Biomimicry finds inspiration in nature to solve the problems of today. Nature is effectively using resources and produces no waste.

The Story

Kingfisher models for train

Biomimetic Solutions to Water Access & Management

Water. Without it, life on Earth would perish. Access to water is crucial for all organisms and the hydrologic cycle is also a critical driver in weather and climate patterns. Clearly, in order to survive and thrive on Earth we need to manage water wisely. During this year’s Biomimicry Student Design Challenge you are asked to examine how nature manages this precious resource and apply what you learn to a local or global water challenge.


Participating university teams must use a biomimetic design process to address a challenge related to water access and management. The challenge you address could be related to supply, acquisition, quality, treatment, sanitation, stormwater management, drought conditions, or seasonal variation in availability, for example.

This year, teams must focus on one of two types of water challenges: local or global. In rare instances, the challenge you work on may be both local and global.

Local Challenges

Pick an important local water issue. Consider your area’s biome, climate, and susceptibility to being affected by climate change as you address the challenge. For example, if you live in an area that receives monsoon rains your issue might be too much water, in which case you might want to address flooding or look at how to take advantage of seasonal abundances for use in later periods of water shortage. If you live in an area that is prone to fires though, the challenge you investigate might be damage to watersheds after wildfires.

Global challenges

Pick an important water issue that occurs in another area of the world or is a global issue. If possible, consider the area’s local biome, climate, and susceptibility to being affected by climate change. For example, you might live in an area with plenty of water, but the issue you address may be lack of access to safe drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa. In that case, your challenge might be to address how nature filters or captures water.

Whether or not you choose a local or a global challenge, at least two of the initial models you study must be organisms or ecosystems that are located in the biome in which you live. Look for biological models in your own ecosystem that can be studied to address water challenges the same way you need to. Those may not be the organisms or ecosystems that ultimately inspire your design, but at least you will have closely observed the genius of your own place.

Product: Awards
Designer: all
Manufacturer: na
Category: challenges
Websites: biomimicrydesignchallenge.com/


2011 winner
Kingfisher models for train
2011 winner
by Biomimicry 3.8

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