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HOK and Biomimicry Guild Announce Alliance
This is exciting and provocative news.
Biomimicry, a science that studies nature’s best ideas and imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems, has inspired numerous commercial products and individual building projects. The new alliance between the Biomimicry Guild and HOK has the potential to dramatically expand its scale and impact.
One of its founders, Dr. Dayna Baumeister, believes the built environment is the most fertile ground for biomimicry. "Buildings account for about 50 percent of total U.S. energy use, and our greatest collective impact will come from applying biomimicry to the planning and design of buildings, communities, and cities—at every scale and in every region," she says.
Given the size and diversity of its design practice, HOK is uniquely positioned to expand the awareness and application of biomimicry within the built environment. "We believe biomimicry will not only help us significantly reduce the environmental impact of our projects, but also has the potential to help define a whole new sustainable standard for our profession," says HOK Sustainable Design Director Mary Ann Lazarus. "Because biomimicry addresses critical environmental issues at the habitat scale, it gives us lessons on how to achieve significant results—even restorative outcomes—at all scales."
HOK and the Biomimicry Guild are currently working together to integrate biomimicry into the Lavasa hill station community under development near Pune, India, and are exploring potential project collaborations in Saudi Arabia and North America.
"Together with HOK, we are looking at what it means to be a bio-inspired company in the architecture space," says Biomimicry Guild Co-Founder Janine Benyus. "And I think the answer to that question is really going to be something new in the world. Because making a bio-inspired product is one thing; making a bio-inspired city begins to change the world."
Stay tuned for updates as the work of the alliance develops. I’ll bring it to you.