Since ancient times, nature has always been a powerful source of inspiration for artists. Even more so today, when technology and science have made such strides that the study and imitation of nature has become much more accurate. One example is 3D modeling and printing, which make it possible to reproduce the structures of natural organisms.
Another example is biomimicry, which mimics nature’s strategies to solve human design challenges.
For example, just think of a material that you surely know: Velcro. This revolutionary material patented in 1955, whose name comes from the combination of the French words velour (velvet) and crochet (hook) was created by a Swiss engineer, George de Mestral. He observed that the lappets, fruits of the Burdock plant, are equipped with tiny hooks to attach to tissues. His brilliant intuition was to infer that such a closure system applied to two strips of ribbons could be more reliable than zippers, which frequently jammed. Et voilà: biomimicry at its best! The first to use Velcro were, against all odds, the astronauts that used it to secure items that should not be allowed to flutter around the cabin, and to detach them when necessary. Since than Velcro’s applications have multiplied.
From a flower to the space, it’s just a matter of carefully observing nature to create innovative materials and products. So just keep your eyes open the next time you’ll plan a walk in the park, maybe the next revolutionary idea is waiting for you!
- Publication date
- 16 June 2021
- European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency
- News Type
- Worth News