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Biophilia vs. Biomimicry: how are they different?

You know you’ve gotten to the depths of eco-living when you start wondering about the differences of biomimicry and biophilia. It is not surprising if you confuse the meanings of these two, since both are based on the premise of using nature as a model and implementing it throughout our lives. Understandably, you may want some answers, which we are here to provide. 

Biophilia is the innate love and connection humans have to all living beings and nature overall. This love and connection inspires biophilic design, which is no other than leveraging or inserting instances of nature, natural patterns and natural elements into a built environment. Simply put, it involves including a lot of natural materials like wood or moss into your home, or maybe building a garden that allows you to amplify that innate connection you already have with nature. View our Biophilic Design projects to see how it can improve your life, space and overall health. 

On the other hand, biomimicry is the emulation of models, systems and elements of nature to provide sustainable solutions to complex human problems. Biomimicry has created new technologies which have taken inspiration from processes in nature at the macro and nanoscales. For example, the aerodynamics of the Japanese high speed train Shinkansen 500 Series were modeled after the beak of the kingfisher bird. 

Enhancement vs. Innovation

Even though both disciplines base their principles on using nature as a guidance, their aims are completely different. Biophilic design integrates natural elements, materials, shapes and anything else that stimulates your senses to strengthen your connection to nature so that your physical and mental health improves. It is proven that being in close contact to nature reduces your cholesterol, heart-rate and stress levels. 

Biomimicry’s aim is to provide innovative sustainable solutions to human issues. These solutions can be applied to design, technology, architecture, medicine and, basically, any field that requires innovation. The whole point of biomimicry is to provide sustainable solutions that will be harmonious, resilient and regenerative to all living beings. 

Stimulus of senses vs. Inner workings of a system

The other big difference between the two disciplines is that biophilic design works with your senses. The whole point is to stimulate your sense of sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste by incorporating these into your environment. This can be achieved by building a garden with flowers that not only works as a visual stimulus, but also releases a natural flower aroma that calms you down. Or maybe you don’t have the space to build a garden, but you include different varieties of potted plants and burn Palo Santo to give your home an earthy scent. Something else you could do to further calm your nervous system would be to include natural sounds, like birds chirping or crashing waves. Shop our collection for different floor plants and tabletop plants, fragrances, magic boxes and moss art. 

Biomimicry is about solving different engineering problems and integrating those into the inner workings of different systems. One very good example of this would be the use of solar energy inspired by the photosynthesis performed by plants, which allows the sun’s energy to be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. Later, the oxygen and hydrogen may be recombined inside a fuel cell, creating carbon-free electricity to power your house or your electric car, day or night. 

Plant The Future is a biophilic design company, which aims at making your bond with nature stronger and unbreakable, so you can reap its many benefits. Visit our online plant boutique to browse through our collection or make an appointment to visit our gallery and talk to one of our team members who will help you design your dream garden and pick the best plants for your home and your lifestyle.