Biomimicry Global Design Challenge - REVISIT

Create a nature-inspired innovation (a product, service, or system) that combats climate change by either:

Helping communities adapt to or mitigate climate change impacts (i.e. those forecasted or already in motion), and/or

Reversing or slowing climate change itself (e.g. by removing excess greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere).


S. C. R. U. b. : Sequestering Carbon for Renewal and Urban Biodiversity (70 characters)

Reducing our Carbon + Building Footprint



sequester |səˈkwestər|

verb [with object]

1 isolate or hide away (someone or something): Tiberius was sequestered on an island | the jurors had been sequestered since Monday | the artist sequestered himself in his studio for two years.

[no object] Chemistry form a chelate or other stable compound with (an ion, atom, or molecule) so that it is no longer available for reactions.

2 take legal possession of (assets) until a debt has been paid or other claims have been met: the power of courts to sequester the assets of unions.

• take forcible possession of (something); confiscate: rebel property was sequestered and a military government installed.

• legally place (the property of a bankrupt) in the hands of a trustee for division among the creditors: (as adjective sequestered) : a trustee in a sequestered estate.


carbon |ˈkärbən|


1 the chemical element of atomic number 6, a nonmetal that has two main forms (diamond and graphite) and that also occurs in impure form in charcoal, soot, and coal.(Symbol: C)

[usually as modifier] carbon fiber: a bike with a carbon frame.

• a rod of carbon in an arc lamp.

• a piece of carbon paper or a carbon copy.

2 carbon dioxide or other gaseous carbon compounds released into the atmosphere, associated with climate change: the level of carbon in the atmosphere has been consistently rising | [as modifier] : fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions continued to rise.

Compounds of carbon (organic compounds) form the physical basis of all living organisms. Carbon atoms are able to link with each other and with other atoms to form chains and rings, and an infinite variety of carbon compounds exist.


renewal |rəˈn(y)o͞oəl|


an instance of resuming an activity or state after an interruption: a renewal of hostilities.

• the action of extending the period of validity of a license, subscription, or contract: the contracts came up for renewal | a renewal of his passport.

• the replacing or repair of something that is worn out, run-down, or broken: the need for urban renewal.


urban |ˈərbən|


1 in, relating to, or characteristic of a city or town: the urban population.

2 (also urban contemporary) denoting or relating to popular dance music of black origin: a party that features the best in urban music.

• denoting popular black culture in general: an urban comedy | urban clothing and street wear.


biodiversity |ˌbīōdiˈvərsədēˌbīōˌdīˈvərsədē|


the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem.




Survival. With great privilege comes great responsibility. Our current political climate has caused a lot of perceived division and argument. Life is not black and white. It’s not grey either. It’s every color of the rainbow and every color the human mind can imagine. As I look over the hills I think how incredible it is to be the descendant of a land owner. It is also humbling to know that many of earth’s inhabitants are not afforded this luxury. I also find it extremely unsettling that I cannot be one with nature and forage for food without complying with fish and game law. If I were starving and needed food, I could not lawfully catch and consume a fish without a fishing license. How can a government own animals or a body of water? Do they own rain as well? Why are wind turbines illegal? Is a grassroots eco-movement lawful? Why or why not? What happens when the political climate is decades behind an eco-movement? Is there any way to be truly one with nature? To be independent? Free? Is all life subject to some form of human authority? Who owns the planet? Socially constructed systems of environmental justice and ecological politics come to mind. I realize, and accept, that in our current location and state, we cannot live or BE without complying with authorities, even though they may not be altruistic, balanced, not-for-profit, or at all ethical.


The most inspiring organism on this plot of land are our wild boar/feral domestic pig hybrids. These pigs, known more simply as wild boar, are the now-wild hybrid descendants of domesticated pigs and introduced wild boar. They symbolize all that can be wrong in man’s tampering with nature. A mirror to the western Mustang, they are evidence of modern civilization short attention span and lack of compassion for life. These pigs are hyper intelligent and adapt to hunting pressure quickly. In my experience and opinion, they are better at survival than we are at controlling them. Private land owners have gone to great, unethical lengths to control their populations. Somehow this accident of a species hybrid has overcome wilderness, domestication, and hunting.


In the spirit of caring for and nurturing the earth, I look to our indigenous ancestors for ideas about balancing civilization with nature. This makes sense contextual as Native Americans cohabited with nature before the settling and founding of the United States. 


Carbon Sequestration (via Photosynthesis)


Natural Process: Cacti - Calcite

Idea 1: Calcium oxalate formation carbon sequestration in building materials.


Natural Process: Green Algae 

Idea 2: Explore a mechanical system that utilizes green algae for energy, water treatment, and carbon sequestration.


Natural Process: Wetland Carbon Storage

Idea 3: Incorporate wetlands into site strategy as transition/buffer and natural barrier.


Water Treatment: (via Photosynthesis)


Natural Process: Perennial grain cropping 

Idea 4: Use permaculture as way to filter water and improve indoor air quality


Natural Process: Red Algae

Idea 5: Utilize red algae for water treatment. Alternatively, explore multiple water treatment strategies with site geometry and multiple algae species.


Natural Process: Termite Mounds

Idea 6: Explore underground site strategies for mitigating environmental impacts



Bio-mimetic Materials: 


Natural Process: Eco-cement - Photosynthesis

Idea 7: In eco-cement, CO2 is trapped within the cement when it mixes with added magnesia. This creates magnesium carbonate, which adds strength to the material. 


Natural Process: Self-healing Tree Bark

Idea 8: Explore applications for a self healing bio-foam to be used to stabilize buildings during earthquakes


Natural Process: Self-healing Tree Bark

Idea 9: Explore applications for a self repairing structural system to maintain structural integrity during earthquakes


Natural Process: Combination of #'s 1-9

Idea 10: After exploring the preceding 9 strategies, it would be interesting to explore a home and site that incorporates multiple, inter-connected, inter-dependent strategies to create a living home that functions like a natural ecosystem. Exploring ecosystem typologies could be a start for a framework that aligns with existing frameworks and building rating systems. This would somewhat marry biomimicry and a rating system for the ultimate hybrid in bio-inspired high performance tools.



"Identifying unique leverage points for change, removing barriers to the adoption and spread of existing solutions, and/or clearly demonstrating how biomimicry can lead to new, novel, or more effective solutions."