Building without concrete materials

Unquestionably, I am a biomimicry groupie, and have referenced it many times. I venerate Janine Benyus and Dayna Baumeister, its leaders, and consider the movement to be one of the best combinations of simple and clever that I've ever encountered.

I came upon its notions, which advocate that nature has already solved any design challenge confronting  architects, engineers, designers, and builders, when I was focused on sustainability in the built environment. 

It wasn't until I switched over to full-time attention on issues of food, addiction, compulsive eating, and obesity and spent more time trying to understand and communicate my own transformation that I saw that the notions — not only of biomimcry but of sustainability, too — apply very much to my own story. 

In this presentation by Jane Fulton-Suri at a TEDx conference (which I saw on Tim McGee's blog, Eco | Interface), she covers a lot of the territory that Benyus and others might cover (and have), but she also espouses some of what I've been coming to, that looking to nature for guidance has very strong — perhaps irreplaceable — reward, even if you're not trying to build anything beyond a successful, fulfilling existence on this planet.

Because I'd been unaware of it, I am particularly grateful for her citation of Akira Kurosawa, from "Dreams":

“People today have forgotten they're really just a part of nature. ... They always think they can make something better. ... They don't know it, but they're losing nature. They don't see that they're going to perish. The most important things for human beings are clean air and clean water.” 

The first sentence, especially, describes me. Rather than forgetting, I'd never considered it or why it was important. Now I think of myself as the naturalist who doesn't love the outdoors.

What I mean is that I do enjoy waterfalls, and natural vistas, and flocks of birds, but I do not have the intense, visceral tie to the outdoors that, say, my brother has. Nevertheless, I continue to expand my undertanding that if nature thrives through interdependence, for example, then I should employ  interdependence personally if I want to thrive.

What do you think? 


Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
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