Biomimicry @ The Green Living Lab: Learning Sustainability from Nature

A Sustainable World Already Exists & Holds the Secrets to Our Survival

Throughout the Green Student Bootcamp Challenge 2018, students have been encouraged to observe and interact with nature. From sowing seeds & brightening grey urban environments with seed balls for people and pollinators, learning how to grow vegetables and oyster mushrooms at home, composting their organic waste, foraging and cooking with wild plants, looking with Green Office VU at the issues caused locally and worldwide when humans do not work in harmony with nature at the Whole Earth? photography exhibition, (also on the campus of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ), and hearing how natural processes can be integrated into cities to create a healthier environment for all, our class of 2018 has been on quite a journey!

No better way to spend the penultimate session of this year’s programme than learning about Biomimicry. Biomimicry is a strategic design approach to innovation, where nature’s 3.8 billion years of research and development is a source of sustainable solutions. If we view nature as a teacher, we see that everything that nature does is already circular and sustainable. Animals, plants, and microbes are skilful engineers. By emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies we can create products, processes, and policies that are well-adapted to life on earth in the long-term. In this way we can solve massive sustainability problems we have created for ourselves and future generations.

Jamaica Den Heijer, is a consultant with Biomimicry Nederland and Innovation Manager with Heijmans, a large Dutch construction company, that is looking to nature to develop sustainable innovations for construction. Thankfully more and more progressive businesses & organisations in The Netherlands are looking to natural ecosystems to learn from them how to innovate in order to operate sustainably.

Jamaica inspired students to go out into The Green Living Lab ‘s organic garden to observe nature’s patterns and design strategies, and students began to see the garden, which they had already spent a lot of time in, from a completely different perspective. With a new curiosity, respect and understanding of the design genius in the natural world around them, this group of students from the Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamUniversity of Amsterdam / Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam University CollegeHvA – Hogeschool van AmsterdamUtrecht University & TU Delft are ready to graduate!

For more information on Biomimicry & for info trainings & courses in The Netherlands, see: www.biomimicrynl.org