BIOMIMICRY AND SALES GIMICKRY

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 02/15/2008 - 13:05.

This giant water lilly pad - about 5 feet across - is in the greenhouses at Kew Gardens in London, England.

Looks like a pretty good boat - except the ribs are on the outside of the hull!

In Cleveland, Ohio there has been discussions around the possible economic promises of using "biomimicry" to improve the engineering and design of manufactured products. 

The Moen "Fibonacci" "spiral" shower head is purported to be one such biomimicked product.

I don't think so.

Over the next weeks I will put other images here of natural designs which clearly have been instrumental in inspiring manufactured products - like self furling sails and velcro

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blowing out the page

Jeff,

As the premiere photo poster here on realneo, could I ask politely that you follow these guidelines when posting a picture?

This photo while stunning is 1050px in width (350px wider than recommended). Or is it the valentine banner that is blowing out the page or something else entirely? What are the rules on posting large chunks of text copied and pasted off of someone else's web page? Should we avoid that, copy it into notepad to remove formatting and then paste it into a post on realneo?

I am OK with scrolling up and down to read, but when the scroll bar appears at the bottom so I can go side to side, I become exasperated (and you all know how easy it is for me to go there, right?)

Might I suggest that we add a link in the header along with books, calendar, create content, forums, RSS feeds, updates, search, and about realneo, called "posting images"? That way, the help files/instructions would be readily accessible to all.

Also, someone with more web savvy than I have can perhaps speak to the size of image files issue. Martha's post says "KB total no > 400" In this post the total number of KBs 11009.81, that's adding up the size of the images in the images posted there.

Since I am not adept at wrapping my head around these concepts of storing these "files" anywhere (except on the head of a pin), can someone address the size of the images and how the site might load better, faster without diminishing the size and quality of the images? is it a DPI issue? Is it the number of pixels, KBs? I have no idea, I just know that when I visit some pages here I have to wait for the page to load it seems because the images are slow to load -- therefore the page jumps around. Is there a way to make these page visits more seamless?

If not the images, what causes the occasional page blow out?

Blue blood

One exploitation of the concept would be the harvesting of horseshoe crabs for their unique blood.  Unlike, human blood which binds an iron atom with oxygen, horseshoe crab blood binds with copper. Scientists need to find a way to mimic horseshoe crab blood in the laboratory.  And, as much as "science" wants to proclaim a process benign, it is not. 

Biomimicry is sooOOOooo last year.!

""The Moen "Fibonacci" "spiral" shower head is purported to be one such biomimicked product. I don't think so.""

Brilliant deduction my friend, absolutely brilliant.   H2's e4s meeting late last year  showcased  the product and provided Moen an oppertunity to wave their green(washed) flag in front of the e4s "community".  This ccaused so much consternation (2 put it lightly) in the group of friends I was sitting with that we were getting looks from the folks in front of us because were here having a hard time keeping from LOL during their pitch.  We grilled Moen reps about eco dimensiosn of the product, packaging, flow rate, materials of composition, etc.... they could not answer any of those questions at all.  Ha haa.

Since that greenwash coming out party Moen had back in late 07 at GLBC, that presentation has been the subject of SO MUCH discussion within my peer group... unprecidented and quite literally hours spent yapping about the moen aproach to Biomimicry Sales Gimickry.  (I love the catch phrase you pioneered there as well).

First, never in my now 10 years of being invovled with the green building sector have I heard a manufacturer discuss a plumbing fixture (toilet, faucet, shower head, etc) in a green context without the foci revolving around water conservation.  Outside of the manufacturing aspects / impacts... water conservation or lack there of is the fixtures footprint.   The mere fact that this was left utterly unaddressed during a what 40+ minute presentation spoke volumes... volumes of speak that tells me that marketing is running this show and not some wholistic approach to manufacturing that is unfolding in an integrated fashion at moen.

Secondly, to claim biomimicy these days in marketing is a ballsy move.  The term has not been dialuted (yet) like 'organic', recycled, recycleable, natural, blah blah blah.   On the contrary, much of the main stream AP wire type stories on the subject that relate to a product have at their very core a comprehensive styling and inspiration by nature.   Let me expand... Often cited biomimetic innovation velcro (purportadly invented by studing how a burr attached so your pants) has at its very core a design and functionality inspired by nature.... I feel these folks drew a rich level of content from mother natures billion years of R&D and velcro's very nature has that inspiration at its core.   Perhaps it would not even exist it it was not for the pesky seed pods of weeds that I have in the wetlands behind my home.   Point being that the more legitimate uses of the term biomiciry in my mind revolve around drawing rich levels of inspiration from nature.   The spray pattern on a chrome plated plastic non-low flow fixture made in china does not pass muster. 

Thirdly, to educate your team members nation wide (as I understand Moen has done) about how their product is biomimetic is another ballsey move... because while the product may be able to claim its biomimetic because the water squirts out in the same pattern that seeds form on a sunflower... thats it and thats all.  Not more to it.  Their doing a diservice to their employes by preachign that their product is the epitomy of biomimicry (i'll tell you why in a minute).

Did I mention that when I flush my toilet on the second story of my house, it uses a conveyence system inspired by something with even more years of R&D than mother nature...  my toilet uses gravity to convey dukey down the pipe.   Thats right... gravity.  Gravity is older than mother nature, because space is older than our planet.  If gravity is not from nature perhap its related to astrophysics.  Gravity is responsable for natures existance on our planet (Says wikipedia) so its way more desireable to use something that has gravity as a core design principle vs. nature.   My toilet is astromimetic baby. (presuming gravity is associated wth astrophysics)  I am calling Kohler in the mornign to see if they want to launch a revamped product line.  To hell with biomimicy, Ms. Benyus wrote that book like 10 years ago.  Astromimetix is the future and you heard it here in the O nickel and three pennies. first. 

Ok so why is Moen doing a diservice to associates by preaching in company wide internal meetings about biomimicry you ask?  I'll tell you why.   I am at the Kennelworth Pub in Lakewood having drinks playing pool and the moen presentation was fresh in my mind.  We were sitting around chatting greenwash with some ladies and 2 more joined in the conversation.   I started on a bit of a rant (imagine that) and lambasted moen for their biomimicry sales gimikry (checks in the mail for that use Jeff).   I was schwilled, loud, and rather irritated with the presentation (sounds fun ay) and we were talking about greenwashing examples (local ones).  I tore into Moen.   One of the girls that walked up and joined the conversation like 20 minutes prior to my rant started crying (she was drunk but still), I asked why so teary eyed... and she said she worked there.   

After I told her I was not faulting her (lots of drunken logic fun times spelling that out) and a corporation is a group of individuals that she should not shoulder the burden of responsability for she calmed down a tad.   We exchanged cards and I have never heard from her.  Anyway she went on to tell me how they had all be taught about this product and the green nature of it all, etc.   Apparently she was new to moen, new to working (fresh out of school) and I caused a short circut in her corporate loyalty.   Sorry to undo the brainwashing.  ;-)

This girl was trained by them to know this innovation as biomimetic! LOL. 

If your reading this my friend, no offense... its just a timely example.   You dun been educated wrongly.  Had I known you worked for them I would have toned it down a tad (maybe.).

Ciao for now

ZM