Biomimicry and biophilia as a powerful business tool nature's inspiration


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In this talk at the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Spring 2014 Conference, Bill Maclay gives examples of biophilic workplaces in Vermont. The talk is part of a workshop titled "Nature's Inspiration: Biomimicry and Biophilia as a Powerful Business Tool" which was lead by Stephen Keller, Bill Maclay, Sarah-Lee Terrat, and Michael Dupee. Workshop details below.

Nature's wisdom and inspiration can be a successful tool for generating design solutions in today's business environment. As humans, we have lived in the bounty of nature for thousands of years and are hardwired to appreciate living systems. This love of engagement with nature is called biophilia. In observing nature's evolution we can learn from the innovative creation of new materials, forms, and living organisms. This learning from living systems is called biomimicry. This forum will explore the emerging fields of biophilia and biomimicry: What are they? How can they be used successfully in business? What are practical and successful examples? And how can they apply to small, medium and large businesses in Vermont today?

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Biomimicry and biophilia as a powerful business tool nature's inspiration

  1. 1. Nature’s Inspiration: Biomimicry and Biophilia as a Powerful Business Tool Bill Maclay, AIA, LEED AP, Maclay Architects A presentation given at VBSR’s 24th Annual Spring Conference Examples of Biophilic Workplaces in Vermont Derivative by Maclay Architects from Fasaxc / CC BY-SA 3.0
  2. 2. View the talk on YouTube Derivative by Maclay Architects from Fasaxc / CC BY-SA 3.0
  3. 3. Nature’s Inspiration Biomimicry and Biophilia as a Powerful Business Tool VBSR’s 24th Annual Spring Conference Stephen Kellert – Introduction and Essential Principles Bill Maclay – Vermont biophilic workplace examples Sarah-Lee Terrat –Integration of natural themes Michael Dupee – Applying biomimicry in businesses May 14th, 2014
  4. 4. The Workplace as an Ecosystem? Bill Maclay, AIA, LEED AP We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us. -Winston Churchill Photo by Jim Westphalen Photo by Carolyn Bates, Photo by Jim Westphalen
  5. 5. We are not walking ON this earth, We are EARTH that walks. Derivative by Maclay Architects from Andreas Lederer / CC BY 2.0
  6. 6. What is Work? How might work evolve? Public Domain Pulic Domain Charles R. Knight / Public Domain Tropenmuseum of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) / CC BY-SA 3.0 Viktor Vasnetsov / Public Domain
  7. 7. Are we inspired by the 20th century workspace? Public DomainPublic Domain
  8. 8. What might “earth walking” design look like? Survival / Health / Beauty Photo by Pascal Reusch / CC-BY-SA-3.0 Photo by Miguel Vieira / CC BY 2.0 Photo by Martin St-Amant / CC-BY-SA-3.0 Photo by Leonidtsvetkov / CC BY-SA 2.5 Image by Clark Wissler / Public Domain image by Dmitry Avdeev / CC BY-SA 3.0 Adapted from diagram by the Pearce Partnership and The Urgency of Change by Eugene Tsui
  9. 9. Humans “Walking in” Nature (Biophilia, Biomimicry, Living Buildings) Safety Survival /Health Instinct Belonging Community Emotion Learning Adaptation / Evolution Reason
  10. 10. Photo by John Fowler / CC BY-SA 2.0 Survival/ Health/ Beauty Pedro Szekely / CC BY-SA 2.0 Photo by Steve Cadman / CC BY-SA 2.0 Timothy A. Price and Nichole I CC BY-SA 3.0 Public Domain Photo modified by Edfu6 from photo by Rémih / CC BY-SA 3.0
  11. 11. Belonging and Community Photo by John Atherton / CC BY-SA 2.0 Photo by Pelayo2 / CC BY-SA 3.0 Photo by Canoe Island French Camp / CC BY-SA 3.0
  12. 12. Learning, Adaptation, and Evolution Image by digitalbob8 / CC BY 2.0 Public Domain Photo by Gary Peeples USFWS / CC BY 2.0
  13. 13. Design Within Nature • Whole Systems • Organisms / ecosystems • Parts • Senses (external) • Organs (internal) • Details • Cells, face, dimension
  14. 14. The Background for the Workplace as an organism in an ecosystem Moods Safety Coordination of Action Beauty Inspiration Belonging Caring Learning Innovation
  15. 15. Workplace by Design: Mapping the High-Performance Workspace by Franklin Becker and Fritz Steele Whole Systems/ Organism / Ecosystems Organizational Ecology
  17. 17. The evolution of an ecosystem
  18. 18. The pieces and places
  19. 19. Spaces for Dialogue and Interaction
  20. 20. Eating as a Place for Community
  21. 21. Niches for quiet or more reflective conversation
  22. 22. NRG Systems The heart connecting to the entire workplace
  23. 23. View towards fireplace & hearth from café Warehouse Connection Central Heart Street & Office Connection
  24. 24. Extension into landscape and landscape to building
  25. 25. Entry connections through to landscape Connection to light and views
  26. 26. VEIC – A community ecosystem
  27. 27. Places of Exchange
  28. 28. Meeting and work connected to light and views
  29. 29. Resource Systems Group Light, gathering, and food at the center
  30. 30. Nature in details
  31. 31. Light, air, and connection to nature
  32. 32. Transparent ecological treatment of waste connecting to the cycles of nature
  33. 33. Nature and gathering at the “beach”
  34. 34. Nature engaging the inside with places to sit
  35. 35. Nature themes in the floor and use of wood
  36. 36. Reuse of natural materials
  37. 37. Treating water with care
  38. 38. Library, Light and Wind Goddess
  39. 39. Earth, Air, and Water theme in the floor
  40. 40. Additional Resources: for more information visit our site and check out our up-coming book zero-book Maclay Architects on….. Google+ - LinkedIn - Houzz - Our Blog -