Biomimicry Modifies the Conventional Practices in Manufacturing

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Until we do not rise above the conventional methods and techniques we will never be able to see the bigger picture that is beyond the regular. With a view to change the very outlook of the manufacturing industry in India, Mr. Vivin Agarwal an old stager in the architectural field introduced the concept of Biomimicry that leads us to nature for every solution. With years of experience and a wide knowledge base in this industry, Mr. Vivin Agarwal figured out a way to transform the manufacturing sector to a primitive yet productive way of functioning.

In India, Mr. Vivin Agarwal has been instrumental in bringing a holistic approach through the concept of Biomimicry. He graduated from Sir JJ College of Architecture in 1975; successfully managed the family business of interior contracting till 1998 after which he went on to set up a Furniture unit in the teak forest of North Karnataka and Glass manufacturing plant in Nasik, Maharashtra. He has single-handedly furnished about 120 hotels for leading star chains pan India along with prestigious corporate offices. He has remained active with Design education and academics since 2002 in Bangalore having been inducted as Senior Consulting Faculty, National Design Institute, Ministry of Commerce, to commence specialized PG courses in various stream of design.

He is an empanelled designer for Design Clinic scheme for Ministry of MSME and has been designated as Chief surveyor for the State of Karnataka & Andhra to prepare an analytical status report on the wood working Industry, hosted on Govt. website. Along with working in the field of design application of Biomimicry, developing knowledge content, delivering lectures and workshops in 450 colleges affiliated to Council of Architecture in India, he has at present partnered with Business India group publisher for leading design magazine "Inside Outside" to carry out Conclaves on environment-sensitive issues such as Waste Water, Carbon emissions, energy, climate change etc. Recently, he has been appointed as Project Commissioner for various International & Bilateral Trade Organisations also.

How can nature streamline your business for innovation?

Biomimicry has become an innovation method for both large and small companies. For instance, windows that prevent bird collisions by mimicking the UV-reflective qualities of spider webs; a train that travels faster, uses less energy and makes less noise after it was redesigned to resemble a bird’s beak; highly efficient wind turbine blades that mimic the bumpy edges of a whale’s flippers. These are just three of countless examples of biomimicry technology inspired by forms, processes, and systems found in nature. The discipline is no longer just an academic exercise. It has become an innovative tool that allows companies to develop a new class of products and services. Biomimicry is transforming the ways we design, produce, transport and distribute goods and services; and more and more companies are approaching Mother Nature for innovative ideas to help solve complex human problems. Nature offers solutions that are practical and sustainable. It is important for industrial companies to understand and emulate it.

Already, lots of innovative and robust biomimicry concepts have proven their market value. Countless more can be scaled up once remaining technological issues have been resolved. Some exciting biomimicry applications currently under development include:

  1. A cement replacement that can help with reducing carbon emissions.
  2. Pulsed jet propulsion that is modeled after jellyfish.
  3. The next generation of LEDs designed after the nanostructure lens of a firefly.
  4. Joints modeled after the necks of ants that enable devices to withstand extreme stresses.
  5. High-capacity lithium batteries based on the packing design of pomegranate seeds.

Biomimicry in architecture: In India, a new hill resort and a bio-mimetic city named Lavasa has been constructed by HCC Group with the help of an architectural firm, HOK. Spread across 12,000 acres in a Western Ghats valley located outside Pune, the new city has been designed using Biomimetic technology. The idea was to restore 70% of the deforested land through detailed landscaping, reforestation, and slope greening, reduce 30% of carbon emissions, 65% of potable water consumption, and 95% of waste sent to landfills. The site’s original ecosystem was a moist deciduous forest, which was converted into an arid landscape in recent times.

Nanotech Biomimicry: Nanotechnology has taken a firm foothold in India in recent years and is in an advanced development stage. Engineering a material as a replica of nature at a nano-scale is not a simple task. Indian researchers have utilized the lotus leaf effect to engineer a surface, which self-cleans and finds its applications in self-cleaning toilets, wash basins, glasses, etc.

While biomimicry is still emerging and investors have not yet fully embraced the field. However, its possible impact cannot be ignored. It is obvious that entrepreneurs who recognize that nature is a treasure trove of innovation have an edge over the rest. Biomimicry will soon become part of the R&D processes at every major company. There will be a biologist at every design table. The availability of biological intelligence will have a tremendous impact. We should come to terms with the fact that a new world is beginning and anything magnanimous that has to happen beyond this point of time will be when biology and technology meet. And this intersection will in itself be creative and functional beyond the imaginations of the presently stuck cycle of growth. Basically, a sustainable world already exists; we just need to be at our best behavior to make it an enriching experience.

Nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. After billions of years of research and development, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival.

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