This Summer, Explore Biomimicry

This post was written by Sydney, an ODC Network intern, as part of a collaboration with Herrick District Library. 

Biomimicry is a field of study that observes nature’s phenomena and applies those observations to modern issues to arrive at more sustainable solutions.

For example, with the use of biomimicry, innovative window designs were created to prevent birds from colliding with windows. To accomplish this, biomimicry experts made the observation that birds do not collide with spider webs in nature. They concluded that it is the pattern of the spider webs that deter the birds and investigated a way to effectively emulate this design in windows. Using a UV coating only visible to birds, the window was designed with a pattern similar to a spider web.

Arnold Glas, a German innovator, was the first to establish a patent on this concept in 2001. He called the design Ornilux. The design was ultimately successful in deterring birds from flying into windows and thus demonstrates that biomimicry is a revolutionary field of study that can be used to find sustainable solutions to the problems we face today.

To learn about more real life examples of biomimicry at work, visit

Additionally, if you are interested in learning from a real expert in the field, Herrick District Library is hosting this event with Dana Lowell to discuss the topic. Dana Lowell is the founder of Biophilia Ventures LLC, a Grand Rapids-based company that implements biomimicry practices to find sustainable solutions for problems in the community. 

Herrick District Library also offers many resources about the field of biomimicry for those wishing to learn even more. Following is a list of books and e-books you might be interested in reading if learning about nature-based sustainable solutions is of interest to you!


Biomimicry and Medicine

Design Like Nature

Mimic Makers

The Shark's Paintbrush

The Nature of Investing

How Is A Turbine Like A Whale Fin?

How Is A Building Like A Termite Mound?

How Is A Ship Like A Shark?

How Is A Bandage Like A Worm?

Beastly Armor

Ideas From Nature

Creepy & Crawly

Fur & Claws

Flippers & Fins