3 Trends in Biomimicry

The innovation behind Interface’s TacTiles was inspired by the microscopic "hairs" on the feet of geckos. Photography by Interface.

The result is a glue-free installation system that allows for modular installation of Interface products. Photography by Interface.

By forgoing traditional adhesives, advantages go beyond ease of installation to environmental benefits such as virtually zero VOCs and a footprint. Photography by Interface.

Hong-Kong-based Elaine Ng Yan Ling launched her " Climatology: Respired Wooden Skin” series during Beijing Design Week 2013. Image courtesy of Ray Hu via Core77.

Inspired by the desert plant Selaginelia Lepidoplylla , the smart veneer reacts to changes in humidity. Image courtesy of Ray Hu via Core77.

Yan Ling has also developed the pieces in wearable form. Image courtesy of Ray Hu via Core77.

Erick Klarenbeek is one of several designers who is independently developing mushroom-based materials for various applications. Klarenbeek is focused on bioplastics, which lend themselves to 3D printing. Image courtesy of Ray Hu.

Mycelium's root system serves as the binder for the bioplastics and, as means of recycling organic waste, could ultimately have a negative carbon footprint. Image courtesy of Ray Hu.

While the chair itself is a proof-of-concept, where the oyster mushrooms are largely aesthetic, Klarenbeek has continued to develop the technology in hopes of bringing it to market. Image courtesy of Ray Hu.

Derbyshire-based designer Gavin Munro started his project to “grow” chairs in 2007. Photography by Full Grown.

He finally arrived at a functional prototype earlier this year, and is further refining his natural “manufacturing” process to scale up for production. Photography by Full Grown.

Armadillo-like though it may be, this flat-packable lamp by the Swedish designer Kovac Family is not biomimetic in itself. Photography by Studio Kovac.

Named after the number of pieces in its nested, articulating shell, the 25Lamp is actually a kind of awareness campaign for the company's greater mission: to develop lighting that uses bioluminescence to conserve energy usage. Photography by Studio Kovac.

Thus, the Kovac Family's 25Lamp is noteworthy not only for its compelling form factor, but also because it may well be the only project of its kind. Photography by Studio Kovac.

Meanwhile, Dutch designer Teresa van Dongen recently won a Dutch Design Award in the Best Young Designer category with the "Ambio." Photography by Teresa van Dongen.

Van Dongen was inspired by the "magic of the shimmering sea," where breaking waves cause bioluminescent microorganisms to glow at night. Photography by Teresa van Dongen.

A horizontal glass tube holding "Artificial Seawater Medium" serves as the lighting element, which is suspended like a mobile with two counterweights; a gentle push, to set the liquid in motion, activates the organisms (and light) within. Photography by Teresa van Dongen.