JANINE BENYUS’S theory of evolution
Janine Benyus is the co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8, a design consulting firm named not after proprietary software, but rather the 3.8 billion years nature has been doing its own design R&D. The firm grew out of her 1997 book, Biomimicry, which popularized the idea of applying natural principles to product design, and its clients include multinational corporations, city planners from around the world, and several U.S. federal agencies. To Benyus, the idea of man vs. nature is nonsense. “We are nature,” she says. “And once that separation goes away, it puts us in the role of student rather than conqueror.” For this issue, she shared some of what she’s learned on her own and on others’ projects.