Biomimicry is broadly used to describe any process in which a shape or process in nature is used to inspire an innovation. Biomimicry has been used across a range of disciplines to develop low-energy building solutions, more aerodynamic cars and even more intelligent computer systems that can "learn" from user interactions.
Biomimicry in use
Self-cleaning paints that, once dry, repel dirt were copied from the nano-structure of lotus leaves. Glazing that birds can see and so don't fly into was inspired by spiders' webs. In Zimbabwe a shopping centre and office block in Harare, the Eastgate Centre, is said to successfully regulate its temperature like a termite mound.
Biomimicry in the news
Inspired, naturally – The FT examines the use of biomimicry in building design.