30 Jun 2011

TEDxSMU Tuesday 6.28.11

Events, Ideas, News No Comments

Janine Benyus


Companies Using Biomimicry in Design

Calera Corporation 

Sequestering CO2 in the Built Environment

Sharklet Technologies 

Sharklet™ is the world’s first technology to inhibit bacterial growth through pattern alone. The antimicrobial Sharklet surface is comprised of millions of tiny diamonds arranged in a distinct pattern that mimics the microbe-resistant properties of shark skin. Sharklet Technologies puts the pattern into adhesive-backed films and manufactures the pattern into medical devices and consumer goods to prevent bacteria growth.

  • Learn more about our breakthrough in microorganism management.

OneSun Technologies 

One hour of total sun energy received on this planet can meet the needs of humanity for one full year. Actually, few terawatts of sun energy hits our planet everyday. We only convert a very tiny fraction of it into electric energy. The rest is all disseminated into mother nature while the humanity continues to suffer from energy crisis.


Aquaporin is dedicated to revolutionizing water purification by means of industrial biotech techniques and thinking. The use of biotechnological principles in a technological context is a novel upcoming field with large commercial perspectives.

REGEN Energy 

REGEN Energy’s EnviroGrid automated demand management, demand response and load scheduling controller can be installed onto any electrical heating, cooling or discretionary electrical load. The controllers dramatically reduce peak electrical demand by up to 30% in commercial properties and allow for effective scheduling of electrical loads, including Electric Vehicle chargers.


Building the energy future on a million years of field tests.

Academic Research

Beyond Manahatta- The Welikia Project 

After a decade of research (1999 – 2009), the Mannahatta Project at the Wildlife Conservation Society un-covered the original ecology of Manhattan, one of New York City’s five boroughs.  The Welikia Project (2010 – 2013) goes beyond Mannahatta to encompass the entire city, discover its original ecology and compare it what we have today.

A Synthetic Tree Grows at Cornell, Wired Science, September 12, 2008

Scientists have made the world’s first synthetic tree: a palm-sized duplication of the elegant process by which trees drink. Known as “transpiration,” the hydration process appears to require no biological energy. Scientists theorize that as evaporation occurs on the surface of a tree’s leaves, the resulting drop in water pressure propels water from the earth and through their bodies. The same principle pulls oil through the wick of a candle.

Researchers Design Artificial Cells That Could Power Medical Implants, Yale Bulletin, October 9, 2008

esearchers at Yale University have created a blueprint for artificial cells that are more powerful and efficient than the natural cells they mimic and could one day be used to power tiny medical implants.

Drawing inspiration from nature to build a better radio, MIT News, June 3, 2009

MIT engineers have built a fast, ultra-broadband, low-power radio chip, modeled on the human inner ear, that could enable wireless devices capable of receiving cell phone, Internet, radio and television signals.

Beetle’s Shell Offers Clues to Harvesting Water, National Geographic News, October 28, 2010

A beetle that lives in the Namib Desert, one of the hottest places on Earth, survives by using its bumpy shell to draw drinking water from periodic fog-laden winds. Scientists at the British Ministry of Defense are mimicking the shell’s architecture to design more efficient water-harvesting techniques.


Green Travel

Travelocity: Travel for Good 


TripSketch mobile apps fill green travel gap


Related TED Talks

Janine Benyus shares nature’s designs, TED2005

In this inspiring talk about recent developments in biomimicry, Janine Benyus provides heartening examples of ways in which nature is already influencing the products and systems we build.

E.O. Wilson on saving life on Earth, TED2007

As E.O. Wilson accepts his 2007 TED Prize, he makes a plea on behalf of all creatures that we learn more about our biosphere — and build a networked encyclopedia of all the world’s knowledge about life.

Fiorenzo Omenetto: Silk, the ancient material of the future, TED2011

Fiorenzo Omenetto shares 20+ astonishing new uses for silk, one of nature’s most elegant materials — in transmitting light, improving sustainability, adding strength and making medical leaps and bounds. On stage, he shows a few intriguing items made of the versatile stuff.

Michael Pawlyn: Using nature’s genius in architecture, TEDSalon London 2010

How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty? By learning from nature. At TEDSalon in London, Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun.

Robert Full: Learning from the gecko’s tail, TED2009

Biologist Robert Full studies the amazing gecko, with its supersticky feet and tenacious climbing skill. But high-speed footage reveals that the gecko’s tail harbors perhaps the most surprising talents of all.

Jaime Lerner sings of the city

Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see what’s possible in the metropolitan landscape.

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