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Irrational economy

April 1, 2014

I am currently taking a MOOC on irrational behavior with Dan Ariely and my assignment was to solve a problem. I get to choose the problem, use the resources provided, and find a way to fix it. I thought I’d share my problem and my solution with you. I haven’t received my grades yet … so I’m interested to know what do you think of it, and how much would you give me, out of 9 points🙂

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Having ideas is a problem we all face daily. It doesn’t matter if there are not enough ideas or not enough “good” ideas, the problem remains that everyone needs ideas daily.

Not having enough ideas, or not having the right idea can worry a person so much that goes beyond what keeps him/her productive (Frank, 2011). We need ideas to manage our time, to raise our kids, to use our limited resources. We need ideas to run our businesses, to stay connected, to feel alive. We need ideas to live by, to interpret our public policies, to impose fairness and figure out ways of making the impossible, possible (Surowiecki , 2012)

What if, hypothetically, we asked people about their intention to generate more ideas on a daily basis, Would that imply an increase in the probability of their subsequently engaging in that behavior? Would they actually produce more ideas?

In a number of experiments that asked participants about their intention to engage in various behaviors, they were more likely to engage in those behaviors than participants not asked (Levav & Fitzsimons, 2006).

In one of those experiments, participants found it easier to imagine themselves engaging in a behavior rather than to imagine someone else engage in that behavior (Experiment 1, p.208). I would add, who would admit of NOT having any ideas at all during any given day? Or that their colleagues have better or more ideas then they do?

In the second experiment, it was the framing of the question about intention that was the focal point; weather participants had intention to engage in a behavior (intent condition), the likelihood of not engaging in the behavior (negation condition), or likelihood of avoiding it (avoidance condition) (p.209). In such experiment, we expect similar results of people finding it much easier to either produce more ideas when intending it beforehand (intent condition) or avoid new ideas at all cost (avoidance condition). It would be similarly difficult to represent the negation condition of asking them what was the likelihood of not producing any ideas at all.

Therefore, as Levav and Fitzsimons (2012) clarified, we have evidence that “the simple act of stating one’s intent to engage in a behavior is associated with an increased likelihood of subsequently engaging in the behavior when it is easy to mentally represent or imagine” (p.211). This is good news for the hungry artists among us.

 

My suggested solution is creating situations in which we can exchange the use of money with producing ideas. What if we pay for some products and services with ideas, and not money. This would instantly shift the power from those with lots of money, to those with lots of ideas. It might also help shift us slightly from monetary market to a social one (Heyman & Ariely, 2004), making us happier (Quoidbach et al, 2010). Consider for example a local bakery that needs creative ideas in packaging, accounting, or using unique ingredients in different recipes. The experiments explained by Heyman and Ariely (2004) can shed some light on how to move our relationship with our baker slightly from pure monetary market into a social one. It’s important to keep those two methods of compensation distinct and not comparable so as not convert a social market into a monetary one by mistake. This could happen simply by converting the number of ideas into monetary expression or a “non-social extrinsic reward” (p.793), but to add it to a “package” option by offering products or services that are not listed in the menu of dollars at all (so as not to compare the number of ideas to a dollar sign). An example of this is: rather than stating the coffee price as either $2.50 or 10 marketing ideas, we offer the following menu:

  1. espresso for $2.50,
  2. espresso with almond croissants for $2.50 and 10 marketing
  3. espresso with caramel truffles for $2.50 and 10 ideas on using caramel in different recipes.

 

Please note that almond croissants and caramel truffles are NOT offered for any other price.

 

Any other ideas?

 

References:

  • Frank, R. (2011, May 14). Why Worry? It’s Good For You. The New York Times.
  • Heyman, J., & Ariely, D. (2004). Effort for Payment: A Tale of Two Markets. Psychological Science, 15 (11), 787 – 793.
  • Levav, J., & Fitzsimons, G.J. (2006). When Questions Change Behavior: the Role of Ease of Representation. Psychological Science, 17 (3), 207 – 213.
  • Quoidbach, J., Dunn, E. W., Petrides, K.V., & Mikolajczak, M. (2010). Money Giveth, Money Taketh Away: The Dual Effect of Wealth on Happiness. Psychological Science, 21 (6), 759 – 763.
  • Surowiecki, J. (2012, June 4). The Fairness Trap. The New Yorker
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Dubai Impact HUB ideation session

February 28, 2014

An ideation workshop took place during the opening night of Impact HUB Dubai on Jan 13, 2014. This workshop was only half an hour event organized to offer maximum flexibility for people coming in and out of the room yet gaining as much knowledge or experience on how to use their creativity in the workspace.

We started the workshop with a practice ideation session.  The first 3 people were able to generate 20 different uses for a normal single chair within 7 minutes. Gradually, the group expanded to 10-12 people. We listed a number of “problems” to solve and I’ve used 4 of the ideation tools explained in the previous post and each method went for approximately 5 minutes each. Some of those ideas are not as clear now as they were then when the owner explained them. You can interpret them the way you desire.

Feel free to add your notes or comment on which one had a better result for you or easier to implement.

Change the word

Problem statement: How to improve brand loyalty?

Further statements after changing the verb:

How to better brand loyalty

How to enhance brand loyalty

How to maximize brand loyalty

How to support brand loyalty

How to decrease brand loyalty (negative) – the ideas generated from this stream will be implemented in the opposite direction.

Ideas generated from “change the word” method (in no particular order):

  1. Make it personal
  2. Awards for staying
  3. Identity
  4. Variants
  5. A need as opposed to a want
  6. Change design
  7. Culture
  8. Giving back
  9. Re-import environmental trees, air, water
  10. Motivation
  11. Consistency in quality
  12. Marketing budget
  13. Break down in its elements
  14. Long life
  15. Quality
  16. Big market live
  17. Promote positive attitude to no-name product alternatives (opposite)
  18. Make it Untrusty (opposite)
  19. Harmful effect (opposite)
  20. Bad after-sale (opposite)
  21. Hurting your consumer (opposite)
  22. Bad example (opposite)
  23. Neglect (opposite)
  24. Bad customer service (opposite)
  25. Bad product (opposite)
  26. –unreadable post —🙂

It was extremely easy for the group to come up with the negative aspects as we tend to see the problems in other products/services much easier than we see their positive sides. This is a great way to generate ideas on how to not do it. However, when stating the problem, it’s important as well to keep it in its negative term “how to harm” rather than “how not to harm” and then simply reverse the implementation of the idea

Tip to further explore this problem: Try changing the words brand, or loyalty, or both with other similar or related meaning and generate more ideas

Concept fan

Problem statement (1) How to get more hours in the day?

Ideas:

  1. Slow down
  2. No facebook
  3. Sleep less
  4. Multitask
  5. Meditate
  6. One spare
  7. Remove distraction
  8. Plan ahead
  9. Delegate
  10. Organize better
  11. Prioritize
  12. Quit your job
  13. Increase human interaction and face to face meeting
  14. Lessen tech dependency

Problem statement (2) Bigger picture: how to organize our time and lives better

  1. Check your Values
  2. Location
  3. Perspective
  4. Efficiency
  5. Family cooperation
  6. Nutrition
  7. Transportation
  8. Lifestyle habits
  9. Consumption pattern

Problem statement (3), branch of bigger picture: how to live in harmony with society

Problem statement (4), branch of bigger picture: how not to notice time

Problem statement (5), branch of bigger picture: how to create your legacy now

We came up with 23 ideas just by shifting our perspective once to see the problem from a bigger point of view. If we continued with the branches or making it even bigger, that would generate even more ideas and some would be extremely creative for our problem.

Put on a different hat

Problem statement: How to improve communication?

How would a  ……………….. improve communication?

Ideas:

How would a performing artist / actor improve communication?

  1. Humor
  2. Do the opposite of what you are known for
  3. Facial expression
  4. Body language
  5. Silence
  6. Sign language
  7. Tone of voice
  8. New language
  9. Movements
  10. Audible notes

How would a Bio Evolutionist improve communication?

11. Breed example animal / insect

12. Visual listing

13. Go outdoors

14. Releasing theorem

15. Communicating with farmers

16. Gardening

17. Time machine

18. Dress up clues

19. Tattoo breeding of evolution

How would a Formula 1 Driver improve communication?

20. Trainings / courses

  1. Visuals (photo)
  2. Take pictures of family life
  3. Sounds of tire engine and actions
  4. Intuition
  5. Signs
  6. Training
  7. Vibration
  8. Lights

University Professor

  1. Asking
  2. Showing interest
  3. Simplify technical jargon
  4. Write articles and publish
  5. Change way of speaking
  6. Relate explanations to need / practical expresses to theories in real life
  7. Be open
  8. Define the audience
  9. Simplify
  10. Encourage feedback
  11. Use technology
  12. Listen

Farmer

  1. Visibility trips to farms
  2. Broadcast
  3. Transparency and more information
  4. Going out more
  5. Community
  6. Educate
  7. Engage
  8. Horns
  9. Party
  10. Follow the cows

This method was definitely a highlight as people learn how to use empathy to see their problem from someone else’s point of view (especially if that person has an occupation that we can barely pronounce🙂.

5 whys

How are we viewing our problem? From what perspective? How to make it more abstract? Less abstract? Ask “WHY” five times and ask “HOW” the same way, then decide at what point of abstraction do you want to generate your ideas.

Problem statement:

How do I overcome fear?

è In what ways can I overcome fear?

Why?

How do I become more free?

è In what ways do I become more free?

Why?

How to become happier?

è In what ways can we become happier?

Why?

How to return to our true nature?

è In what ways can we return to our true nature?

Why?

How to live better with others?

è In what ways can we live better with others?

Due to time limit, we were not able to generate ideas for this method but it was clear that each person needs to work on a different level of abstraction and their answers to this question “why” differs as much as their experience and knowledge. This method is best used individually and ideas will flow like river.

I hope those who were in the workshop can share their opinion about their preferred method, and if they used others from the previous post. And those who did not make it there, which method you think you can use the most?

Till next time,

cheers

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idea generation tools for the lonely head

January 3, 2014

Two heads are better than one. Yes. Sometimes that is correct. But other times, there’s only one head to think of ideas or solutions. So what’s that head to do?

Creativity can be taught, nurtured, and enhanced. We are all born with it. In fact, the right brain part  – responsible for ideas, intuition, love and absorbing information fast – is developed faster in the fetus than the left brain that is in charge of rational, linear or logical thinking. Geniuses are no different than any of us. They are not smarter by birth, but they know how to balance logic with play and therefore think smarter, a tool anyone can learn

Luckily, there are hundreds of tools to generate ideas. Sadly, not many people use those tools regularly. There is a strong correlation between the quality and the quantity of ideas. There’s a need to try many ideas in order to generate something groundbreaking. My intention here is to showcase some simple tools, each can be done in 5 minutes or less, and require nothing but a pen and paper to produce a lot of ideas to solve one problem or challenge. And remember, just like Einstein claimed, sometimes imagination is more important than knowledge.

CHANGE THE WORD

A simple change of words or the order of words in a problem statement will stimulate your imagination by adding new dimensions of meaning, as an unobservable process in your mind has initiated and may lead to a new thought or idea, says Michael Michalko  in his book, Cracking Creativity. Suppose you want to increase sales. See how you can change perspectives by changing the verb:

In what ways might I increase sales?

In what ways might I attract sales?

In what ways might I develop sales?

In what ways might I extend sales?

In what ways might repeat sales?

In what ways might I stop sales?

Notice the last question has a negative aspect. By thinking in the opposite way, you can rid your mind from all the reasons why you cannot make sales. And when you set to plan, plan the opposite.

Using the same exercise, try to change the words in your challenge. If you look at the opening between two rooms and think door, that’s the only idea you will get. But if you consider another word like passageway, air curtain, tunnel, or even a hole in a wall, you will bring your thinking into a different lateral level.

PROVOCATIVE STATEMENT  

Deliberately ask stupid questions to shock your mind out of its original patterns. Then suspend judgment and use that statement to generate ideas. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make a statement (examples: people should fly to work, we should eat for free in restaurants, people need to sleep standing up)
  1. Examine it
    1. Consequences of the statement
    2. What the benefits would be
    3. What special circumstances will make it a sensible solution
    4. Principles needed to support it and make it work.
    5. How it would work moment-to-moment
    6. What would happen if a sequence of events was changed

The more outrageous your statement is, the more creative your ideas to try and make it work. It’s worth a try.

CONCEPT FAN

Take a step back to look at the bigger picture.

Place your problem in a bubble (draw it) and then produce the ideas or solutions that you can think of for this problem. Next, move that problem into a bigger area or category. Come up with ideas or solutions for that bigger issue. Repeat another time if needed and then choose the level at which you find an inspiring solution.

concept fan

5 WHYS  + HOW

Are you solving the right problem? Or is it a symptom of it? To find out the right level at which you need to focus, do the 5 whys method. Write your problem down, and ask yourself “why” do I need to do it. Write your answer down (so now you have 2 sentences written on top of each other). Then ask again, why (for the second statement) and write the third response and then ask again, why. Do that 5 times and each time you will reach a higher level of abstract thinking. Make sure to write your answers on top of each other with the “why” in between each sentence.

Then go for the “how” and next to each sentence you wrote, ask “How” and give an idea or two on how you can solve the problem at that level, and at each level consequently. Once you’ve answered all 5 hows, you can see your problem, and some initial ideas on different levels of abstraction. Choose the one you are comfortable with to try out and continue from there. Here’s an example. The first “steps” WHY are in blue, the second steps HOW are in orange

Choose the level which you are comfortable (and able) to work with and generate as many ideas as you can to solve that issue.

how how

DECOMPOSITION BY SEQUENCE

There are a number of ways to decompose a challenge to smaller more workable bits. One can decompose it based on sequence of events. If it’s a product to be used, then what are the steps to use such product (from needing the product, to looking for it, finding it, using and then releasing or archiving it). If it’s a service, then those are the steps to accomplish it. Note down the sequence of steps as a diagram and then work on each one to generate more ideas on how to improve that step. For example, how to make our morning routines go smoother and maybe faster. We note the steps and then we find a way to combine, shorten or eliminate unnecessary ones

decompose sequence

IMAGINE YOU ARE YOUR PROBLEM

What if you were the very same idea you are trying to come up with. What if you were the project you’re trying to complete at work. How does it if feel to get close to a “dead” line? How could you be easier to handle? Who do you need to speak with when you are happy? When suffering? Imagine yourself a watch or a chair. How could you become more attractive? More comfortable? How can you make others want to be around you, and you only?

CREATE A METAPHOR

Roger von Oech advices in his Creative Whack Pack that the key to metaphorical thinking is comparing unrelated concepts and finding similarities between them. What similarities does your idea have with cooking a meal? Conducting an orchestra? Building a house? Raising a child? What can you compare your idea to?

SIMPLIFY

Explain your problem to a 5 years old. What would you say? Explain it to your great grandmother. How would you relate? Simplify your language to get a clearer image of what you’re up against.

PUT ON A HAT

write a random list of jobs that are as far from your immediate life as possible. A nurse, a truck driver, an architect, a fire fighter or a winter sports olymian. State your problem as you see it, then re-state it thinking how would that person in one of those professions see it. Then generate ideas from his/her point of view.

For example, if your problem is manging the overloaded sales for a particular product, you can ask, how would a nurse manage  an overloaded ICU unit, giving each patient what they need, when they need it? how would a truck driver manage an overloaded vehicle or an overloaded street? how would a fire fighter mange to take care of a full “overloaded” building that has a fire alarm set and no sign of fire, yet. Write ideas for each new hat you are wearing, then re-group all ideas and see which ones you can alter or change or use as it is for your overloaded sales problem

NATURE’S PROBLEM SOLVING

Use what you know about nature in imagining your problem from its perspective. Choose an animal you are familiar with, and ask yourself how would this animal solve your problem? Do the exercise another time and choose a plant, and then a third time and chose an insect. Repeat.

…….  Now that you have a number of tools to work with, let me know which one did magic for you and which was lame. I will add more tools or ideas to help you out whether you are a long, or with a group of people, anything from 2 to 200 people. Good Luck. Cheers!

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February 11, 2013

A supplement to my previous post on disrupting education

Online Learning Insights

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”  Albert Einstein

A change of thinking is almost obligatory when considering the future of Higher Education. Last week was the final week of the MOOC Current/Future State of Higher Education (CHFE12); its overarching objective was to explore the influences and pressures facing universities today and to identify where higher education is headed. Numerous esteemed educators [including author and Georgia Tech’s  Richard Demillo and Vice Provost Joel Hartman of University of Central Florida] shared their knowledge, expertise, research, and in some cases predictions via webinars, to shed light on the conundrums within higher ed. The results are surprising, encouraging and telling of what educators need to do to adapt and be prepared.

In this post I’ll share my synopsis of the course by focusing on three areas of change…

View original post 1,048 more words

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Disrupting our learning

February 11, 2013

The school system is instantly outdated. The very second the students memorize the information and enter it into the final exam, they forget it. And why shouldn’t they? They won’t use it anymore.

We turn knowledge into subjects, and systems into streams. We favor the linear over the complex and we seek clear-cut problems with right or wrong answers rather than offer ambiguous dilemmas with uncertain consequences to our decisions, thus enhancing our leadership skills. Basically, we create a fabricated world that is irrelevant to how we live our lives, use information or make decisions.

For the past century, this system worked fine as the industrial age favored the belt-educated factory workers. But now in the information age, where everything and everyone is connected, no specialization can work in silo from others, and no field of technology can ever succeed without depending on a number of other subjects, along with their own branches of learning, style, and discoveries. How else can we employ analogy across topics and deliver creative outcomes?

Texture of the school subject

Image

Some colleges and universities have attempted to offer a solution using a multidisciplinary approach. You major in two or more subjects and you find connections to improve all. Yet, this approach is delivered the same way as the rest of the majors, by experts passing their teaching of their specific subject and students learning from a number of experts from different fields try to find or relate topics to each other. Thus the student may become multidisciplinary but the teachers themselves are not.

What if we can find a way to teach and learn in a multidisciplinary process? What would it look like? What if everyone in the room is both teaching and learning at the same time? Using their own colorful style and subject? What if we all are trying to learn our very own subject in a brand new way? Will still be experts after?

This is an attempt I’m trying to make.

By inviting a number of creative minds, each specialized in a different subject, they will teach and learn at the same time. The process will keep in mind the different learning styles (auditory, visually, and kinaesthetically), as well as use different tools borrowed from the creativity toolbox and design thinking. The results will be circulated for all interested, including followers of this blog.

To kick off this project, join me in a MOOC webinar (#cmc11) on February the 14th (12:00pm NY time, 9:00pm Dubai time) to talk about this very “subject”.

If you are in or near Dubai, UAE this month, give me a shout and join our event in the last week of February 2013. More on that to come soon.

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Bringing facilitation into the classroom

February 22, 2012

The word facilitation comes from the Latin facilis, which means to make easy. While normally, facilitation is used in organizations and companies trying to figure out solutions to their problems, it is alos a skill, if applied correctly in a classroom environment will help students learn through self-discovery using techniques that encourage sharing group’s knowledge and experience. It is a learner-centered method of teaching. You share control with students and let them decide, with you, on the path the class should take.

Process vs. Content

The facilitator is the process expert, and not necessarily the master of knowledge; the one who’s responsible for keeping track of logistics, timing, idea flow, and group development.I say  not the master of knowledge because he or she normally would not concern themselves with providing information directly, but rather the group members’ involvement in learning all the data themselves. This position of neutrality must be understood and practiced by the teacher if the students’ potential is to be fully reached. And with a position title as “Instructor, Lecturer, or professor”, this is not always easy.

In an ideal classroom that uses the facilitative method, the content would be the subject matter, the facts, data, and background information are the responsibility of the students who have the freedom to decide to get more information, continue to work with what they have, or choose a different area to focus on. It will be their job to bring and study the material, put their thoughts in it, and make decisions on the subject matter. The teacher in such a class simply leads the process, guides the students through it, and brings to their attetion where to locate the information and which is the most important.

Personal Experience

Teaching studends about the principles of design and ordering in the Architecture Design Studios at the undergraudate level fits the profile of the environment that requires a facilitative teacher. The students were given a suggestion of a book that taught the basics, but they were free to bring other material. They learned about the subject and experimented in class on their new findings. There were no lectures per se, it was more like bringing all the information to the same table and sharing it. Every class had different information, material, and pictures to share. The basics were always visible to all. My role was certainly just to help them go through the design process, from understanding the situation, researching the facts, sketching out initial ideas, developing the promising ones, and finaly making decisions, all the while continuing on prototyping their solution to perfection. As you imagine, in such a studio, it’s easy to apply such a role, but what about “theory” classes?

With some imagination, one might be able to pull out a facilitator mode every now and then. By definition, these classes require an “expert” giving the informaiton and explaining the theories. But what if the students were required to pre-read before class? then perhaps the instructor can offer exercises for them to experiment with their newfound information straight away. What if they could be given contrasting or un-true facts?  This might be a good job for them to debate it in class and find the right answer.

Designing your course

Many educators make the mistake of thinking that their extensive knowledge makes them good at helping others learn. Although what you teach is a cornerstone for students at college, it will make little difference if you do not know how to engage the minds of your audience effectively. Words alone will not ensure transfer of knowledge to others. To really take advantage of student-led methods in teaching, be careful not to assume the role of “expert” automatically and continuously during the course. For active learning to happen, use activities that will force students to use their knowledge, skills, and abilities in passing their grades. With all the resources available at your fingertips, there is little reason for you to do all the work in stimulating learning. You want your students to think, discuss, feel, and act using as many senses as they can engage. Rather than giving them answers, provide the theory, tools, support, and an opportunity for them to resolve issues.

Anne Davidson writes in The Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook about three levels of the process. First, process designs structure the whole facilitation or a major portion of it. This addresses the students’ purpose for taking the course, their goals after completing it, assignments and projects to assess their knowledge, etc. Methods are more specific processes used to move the group through a series of steps (for example using the Design Thinking or the Creative Problem Solving models). At the most micro level, tools represent discrete activities used within a method. To emphasize divergent and convergent tools for example, one can use brainstorming or card sorting, consecutively.

If you’re thinking of changing the format of your next class, try one of these methods:

Open ended questions: encourage input and feedback

Small group learning: form small groups to address parts of the problem

Teacher-led discussions: Use dialog to draw from the collective knowledge of students.

Group learning: When you need to get consensus or teach a theory

Team activities: Exercises, Games, Role plays all enhance class time

Peer Coaching: out-of-class practice or rehearsal can provide feedback.

Individual learning: out-of-class work to ensure the full value of the course is met

Participant teaching: Presetations are an excellent method of a practiced skill.

The above were examples adapted from Robert Lucas’s The Creative Training Idea Book. Take the time to choose appropriate learning techniques as you design your course. Mix up the format to provide variety, contrast, and stimulation for yourself and your learners. Most importantly, have fun with it.

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A Rabbit Detour

February 12, 2011

It is said that Rabbits are one of the only species of animal simultaneously considered pets, pests, and livestock animals by people in the same culture. talk about being so versatile!

Rabbits, animals, forests, and the whole ecosystem are fascinating me these days. I’m looking at nature as a live book or a very animated teacher, sometimes, it becomes a good listerner friend when I find myself babbling on today’s issues and problems we face daily.

In celebrating the new Chineese Year, and in keeping with the spirit of the rabbit, I will maintain sensitive ears and eyes to watch my surrounding, continue an unpredictable way of dealing with life’s detours, and still go with the flow.

It’s been almost 2 years since i last wrote something on this blog, or any place for the matter. it was not beacuse i didn’t have anything to say or the time to say it. i was simply getting too much involved in everything that i didn’t take the time to reflect on things as they happen. A requirement to make the necessary connections.

To say the least, it was a speedy, bumpy ride. However, with every slow-down over a bump, i managed to take a quick glance on the scenery around me, get lost numerous times, and overall enjoyed the ride. In times of change like this one, i plan to write about those speedy roads, as well as the unpredictable detours.

One of those short turns was my initial encounter with biomimicry 4 years ago. I fail to remember when did i hear about it first, but i rememeber very well how much sense it made to me. The basics are considering nature as a model, as a measure, and as a mentor. In Janine Benyus’s book “Biomimicry: Innovation inspired by nature”, she explained those facts:

1. Nature as model. Biomimicry is a new science that studies nature’s models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf.

2. Nature as measure. Biomimicry uses an ecologucal standard to judge the “rightness” of our innovations. After 3.8 billion years of evolution, nature has learned. What works. What is appropriate. What lasts.

3. Nature as mentor. Biomimicry is a new way of viewing and valuing nature. it introduces an era based not on what we can extract from the natural world, but on what we can learn from it.

As i hit another bump in my life, Architectural Engineering, I see a big connection between both fields and a story that screams to be told. There has been many attemps and examples on using nature as our inspirational teacher when desinging our buildings. One of the famous ones is the East Gate Center in Harare, Zimbabwe. Designed by Mick Pearce and Arup Associates, developed an air conditioning system modeled on the self-cooling mounds of Termites.

Image source: http://inhabitat.com/building-modelled-on-termites-eastgate-centre-in-zimbabwe/

I claim no interest in developing a final model of a building that took nature as its first draft, but i have an urge to find where biomimicry links with the design process or design thinking for the matter. If the Rabbit lives in burrows or underground passages which they excavate in the soil, how does one of its predators (the fox for example) design its home? Does it look for rabbit hideouts or it locates it in a place that best fits the family need? does it consider the material available on hand or it has special requirements? how does their home serve their lifestyle?

That, and other things, are some of the upcoming bumps I look forward to find on my road.

Happy Rabbit’s Year.

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