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ASU Issues World's First Biomimicry Degree


The basic premise of biomimicry is that science should look to nature, which has refined many systems through evolution, to help solve some of humankind's problems.

The first graduate cohort in the Biomimicry masters degree program at Arizona State University has just graduated in June of this year. This is the first degree of its kind to ever be issued.

Biomimicry is an emerging field that seeks to provide design solutions that emulate natural phenomena. It started with the publication of the book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, by Janine Benyus, which sparked an interest in the idea. Real world demand led Benyus to team up with Dr. Dayna Baumeister to found the firm Biomimicry 3.8 (B3.8), which has worked with such clients as Nike and Coca-Cola. The two now teach at ASU, with which B3.8 has partnered to create the Biomimicry Center.

Students who undertake the degree will receive a cross-disciplinary education involving engineering, science, design, and business and will learn to use their knowledge of biology to create real-world solutions, such as optimized turbines modeled after whale fins, or more efficient climate control in buildings learned from studying termite mounds. Biomimicry has wide-reaching applications, and promises to bring exciting innovations to many industries, including landscape architecture and urban design. As sustainability continues to be an important topic, biomimicry aims to uniquely equip students to deal with the problems of the future.

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October 21, 2019, 2:08 pm PDT

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