SchoolArts Magazine

March 2015

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 46 of 70

S tudents in my tenth-grade visual arts class were given an unusual design challenge: Using their ecological sleuth- ing skills, they were instructed to each find an insect that grabbed their attention. Their investigation involved studying the anatomy of an insect and how its different body parts are designed to perform specific func- tions, allowing the creature to survive for millions of years. Students quickly discovered that better design comes from imitating nature. The Origins of Biomimicry Biological scientist and writer Janine M. Benyus says it best with her defini - tion of biomimicry, which in Greek comes from "bios," meaning life, and "mimesis," meaning imitation. Such design is not a product, but a process, drawing on natural life and the way it functions in order to motivate innovat - ing thinking. One of the most famous examples of biomimicry is the inven - tion in 1955 of Velcro by Swiss engineer George de Mestral. Mestral invented this indispensable material after he noticed how burrs stuck to his clothes. 38 March 2015 SchoolArts High School Studio Lesson BIOMIMICRY Leah Rubin

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SchoolArts Magazine - March 2015