LEARNING FROM NATURE THROUGH THE HOLE
Time: 2012 August/ Brighton University , Ma Sustainable Design
This project aims to bring people back to nature and to reconnect people with nature. It is based on Biomimicry which draws heavily on what we can learn from nature. Learning form nature is important as nature has solved many problems we have been struggling with and, more importantly, it knows how to work and how to last in our planet (Benyus , 2002, p.3).
The book, Learning from nature through the hole, is designed based on my own research about nature focusing on five species which are normally in our backyard ( plants, bees, spiders, snails and ants) ,and the four steps to a biomimetic future, mentioned in Banyu’s book: Quieting, Listening, Echoing and Stewarding. Bringing children to the backyard is the first step, Quieting, and each part of the book implies some complicated ideas and reflects the other three steps of Listening, Echoing and Stewarding. In the beginning of the book, telling children the history of nature reflects the main idea of biomimicry that we should learn from nature’s brilliant ideas which have been evaluated for 3.8 billion years. Then, five species from the garden follow, which give children the possibility of listening to nature and then echo it in our lives. Each species communicate a different idea of biomimicry, including learning from leaves to use sunlight, learning from bees to build sparingly, learning from spiders to produce materials without damaging the environment, learning from snails use energy efficiently and learning from ants to have a sustainable community. The examples make children start to think what the difference is between the human world and natural world and what we can learn from nature. It reflects the steps of listening and echoing in nature. Finally, it shows one important thought about biomimicry in that we are simply a species among species to enable children to respect nature, which reflects the final step, Stewarding. It is a book that makes children start to learn from nature enabling children learn about sustainability spontaneously in their daily lives.
Biomimicry would not only bring us a change of technology; by listening to nature and echoing it in our lives, it would bring us "a change of heart" to learn from nature. This project only shows several examples evaluating biomimicry in our backyard garden; however, nature is a massive subject; it is an endless activity to learn from nature. Thus, this project can be seen as the beginning to help people, especially children, to start learning from nature. After reading the book, we might be influenced by our own experience instead of relying on books. It attempts to makes people learn spontaneously about sustainability in our daily life. As Benyus (2002) mentions, “we are a young species, still trying to find our way”. Only if we keep learning from nature will we have more ideas to help us have a more sustainable future.