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Biomimicry: Designing to Model Nature

Categories: HumanNatureOwl

The next big thing: Owl sound absorption


The production of Biomimicry designs is increasing. All over the world the design and production of materials, structures and different systems are being modelled on biological entities and models. Humans look to nature for inspiration because there is a growing cost to companies, consumers and nature.

Demand for natural resources continues to increase, if we want to survive in the next century, engineers must learn how to design new products, systems that are more efficient and environmentally sustainable.

There are many examples of this such as:

The Shinkansen Bullet Train: A bullet train which had a beak-shaped nose which made the train go 10% faster. Also, it consumed 15% less electricity and there is no sonic boom, which past bullet trains had. The train was inspired by the kingfisher, a bird which could dive into the water with minimal sound. [Biomimicry – Technology inspired by nature, Claire Jeavons , 07/03/2019]

Tubes 84 Mattress: A mattress which took inspiration from honeycombs to construct a supportive, lightweight, and well-aerated mattress.

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The Tubes 84 mattress, in particular, eliminates unnecessary material’s through a hexagonal architecture and improves mattress bulkiness, air circulation in the mattresses, the weight distribution and the support. [ 07/03/2019] The Tubes 84 Mattress was inspired by the bee’s honeycomb structures, the structure was strong and had a large surface area.

The 7 Principles of Nature 

To achieve creating a biomimicry design, many engineers use the “7 principles of nature”. The 7 principles of nature are beliefs about what nature’s job is in this world:

  • The first principle of nature is that “Nature runs on sunlight” meaning we don’t need to use man-made object or electricity to make it work.

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    Humans might follow this principle because it helps us to stop wasting energy that we don’t need and helps us not to pollute.

  • The second principles of nature state that “Nature uses only the energy it needs” connotating that we don’t have to waste energy. Humans might follow this principle to create machines which only use the energy needed/more efficient.
  • The third principle expresses that “Nature fits more to function” implicating that it is adapted to its functions. This helps it to be more efficient.
  • The fourth principle states that “Nature rewards cooperation” meaning that different parts of nature work together and co-operate. Humans could use this to make a machine’s more efficient and be able to work together as a team.
  • The fifth principal expresses that ” Nature demands local expertise” describing that nature has to work within our means. Humans could follow this principle because it tells them to that only create machines which are actually needed.
  • The sixth principle is that ” Nature recycles everything” connotating that nature produces pleasant gases and doesn’t cause pollution. Humans could use this to make objects recyclable so they can be used again.
  • The final principle states that ” Nature banks on diversity” implying that there are different types of “systems”. Humans could follow this principle to work with different types of people in a group. [Biomimicry : Technologies inspired by Nature, Claire Jeavons, 07/03/2019]

Figure 1 – Biomimicry Design Spiral

The “Biomimicry design spiral”

Furthermore, engineers might also use the “Biomimicry Design spiral”. This is a spiral that encourages testing’s, improvements and how does nature help to solve it (See Figure 1) :

  • The first stage of the spiral is “Define” – Clearly say the impact you want your design to have in the world. Also, the constraints and the criteria.
  • The second stage of the spiral is “Biologize” – How does nature solve the problem and analyse the essential functions and context your design solution must address.
  • The third stage of the spiral is “Discover” – Look for natural models that need to address the same functions and to identify the strategies used that support their survival and success.
  • The fourth stage of the spiral is “Abstract” – What is the biological strategy that has been used to solve the problem and to study the essential features that make the biological strategies successful.
  • The fifth stage of the spiral is “Emulate” – This is where you come up with many ideas that could create a design brief to solve your problem. You can also think about the “7 principals here”.
  • The last stage of the spiral is “Evaluate” – Is the design practicable? Does it meet the design brief, and does it follow the 7 principles?

The Spiral helps engineers to create their design and lets them go back to start again when need to. In the spiral, the different sections allow the engineers to know what the perfect design is and how it is eco-friendly.

The Problem

What might happen when an Asteroid has hit the Earth, no-one Knows, there is a higher chance of winning a lottery ticket than having an asteroid hit our Earth. But we never known this might happen, the universe is unpredictable.

It could cause natural disasters, noise pollution, contaminate our water supply, cause fires, create dust clouds and cause destruction to buildings and power stations, death/injuries etc. For example , in Chelyabinsk, Russia, a meteor exploded over Russia causing a shock wave that smashed windows, damaged buildings and injured 1,200 people. 

The problem that will be considered here is “noise pollution”. When an asteroid comes in contact with the ground it creates a loud noise due to the force between the asteroid and the ground.

Owl Sound Absorption

The design I created to hopefully stops this noise and is called the “pantograph”. The pantograph (See Figure 2) is shaped like the owl’s concave face which is capable of absorbing sound. It will include small serrations which result in no vibrations and result in a smaller impact noise.

How the design (See Figure 2) is set out (Using the Biomimicry Design Spiral, See Figure 1)


This design will create an impact on this world by protecting people form harmful “Noise – Pollution”. Research has shown that high intensity noises can cause cardiovascular issues by causing high blood pressure and an increase in the heart beat rate as it disrupts the blood flow in the body. [ , 26/03/2019]

Biologize & Discover

An owl has a concave shape which is enabled to absorb sound. This helps to reduce Noise-Pollution. It also helps owls to hunt for their prey and find their food. [


The feathers on the owls face and also the shape of the face allows it to absorb sound.


The Metal used on the Pantograph could be replaced by recycled metal, this will make it cheaper to produce and maintain. The design doesn’t need any electricity, so it doesn’t waste any electrical energy. Also, the sound absorbed could be used for electricity creation and the compony (who owns the pantograph) can use it or sell it.


I want this design to be capable of absorbing sound, so it does not frighten people at any random time. The design would be placed at locations where there are not a lot of public houses. How might we place the design in a place where many people don’t live or go near/in? How does nature help create the shape of the pantograph in order for it to absorb sound?

I think the design is appropriate as it helps reduce noise pollution and help people from becoming deaf by an asteroid hitting the Earth. Also, In the future, you could add a generator which the absorbed sound will move, which then connects to a circuit to create electricity.

This could power homes or even cars and will be renewable and good for the environment. Furthermore, you could also use this design in a factory or anywhere loud, it does not only have to be used during an asteroid Collison.

Cite this page

Biomimicry: Designing to Model Nature. (2019, Nov 20). Retrieved from

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