Design, Innovation, What's Up
May 10, 2012
Herman Miller's new Quilty textile mimics the water and oil repellant properties of a lotus leaf.
Biologist, innovation consultant, and author, Janine Benyus has dedicated her life to the idea that learning from natural models is the best way to achieve sustainable design. Through her Biomimicry Guild, she has inspired companies to look to nature as model, measure, and mentor in the design process.
She has a lot in common with Charles Eames, who said that design “depends largely on constraints.” For Benyus, it’s a matter of the way everything on earth, with the regrettable exception of most humans, learns to live within nature’s limits. Read more
Better World, Design, Products, Technology
October 11, 2011
What do a high-speed train and a nanotechnology textile finish have in common? They were inspired by Mother Nature’s 3.8 billion years of research and development. Increasingly, designers and engineers are looking to the systems, process, and models evolved by nature to fuel innovative problem-solving.
The aerodynamic shape of the kingfisher’s beak, for example, lets it catch fish with barely a splash. The same shape allows a Japanese bullet train to move at 200 mph with just a whisper, and 15 percent less energy.
For us, nature inspired Greenshield, a sustainable nanotechnology textile finish that naturally repels oil and water. By mimicking the “micro-roughness” of the lotus leaf—undetectable to the human touch—liquids roll off the surface, never having an opportunity to penetrate. The result is a Herman Miller fabric that is naturally antimicrobial, stain repellent, and easy to clean.