Students Use Biomimicry in Global Design Challenge

Egypt Waterwise Winners 2012_EgyOsmo Team
Egypt Waterwise Winners 2012_EgyOsmo Team

170 teams from 22 countries have registered for Biomimicry 3.8’s annual Student Design Challenge.

This year’s theme is sustainable transportation, and students will be mentored by biologists trained in Biomimicry design tools, asking nature how it transports resources and beings in sustainable ways.

According to a new paper published by Embarq, the total public and private capital investment in transport around the world, “…is between $1.2 and $2.4 trillion annually”. When taken into consideration, sustainable mobility is a major challenge and presents an even greater opportunity for innovative solutions.

Recently, Treehugger hosted a Tweet Chat with AskNature.org, providing details on the challenge, cash prizes and student mentorship:

Storify: 2013 Biomimicry Student Design Challenge Tweet Chat

We’re excited to see students participating from around the globe including Spain and Botswana, Brazil, Hawai’i, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Finland, China, Australia, the US and Indonesia! Check this real time map to find out if there’s a team in your community.

Biomimicry-Student-Design-Challenge-Map-520x200

Last year’s winners, an enthusiastic and talented team of students from Egypt won for their sustainable irrigation solution inspired by the fluid dynamics of a giraffe’s neck and camel’s hump.

According to their project description, their submission “… presents a novel way to utilize Cairo’s existing extensive yet stagnant canal system for irrigation and pest control purposes.” Their video submission shows the extensive research and design work that won them the challenge:

Part of their team made it to Boston for the Global Biomimicry Conference, where they were awarded their prize by Janine Benyus at the Harvard Club of Boston.

Egypt Waterwise Winners

If you’re interested in participating next year, check out this student’s blog post about her experience:

Stephanie Koehler Student Design Challenge

As Ms. Koehler describes, “The design challenge and thesis experience allowed me to see that biomimicry offers designers many things:

– A toolkit for innovative and a methodology to address design challenges in a new way
– A deeper understanding of sustainability and whole systems thinking through exploring biological strategies
– A means to embed an ethos of sustainability into design
– A unique perspective when designing social solutions and the business ecosystem
– A greater connection to nature, other people, the dynamic living world–in short, the interconnectedness of everything”

For more information or to register, please visit the Student Design Challenge website.

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