Biomimicry as a Meta-Resource and Megaproject

A Literature Review

in Environment and Society
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  • 1 Monmouth University vdavidov@monmouth.edu
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Abstract

This literature review of biomimicry and related models of treating nature as a meta-resource on a mega-scale integrates concepts of resources and abundance. Biomimicry, which lies at the intersection of biosciences and industrial design, is a praxis for drawing on designs and processes found in nature and using them as inspirational sources for technologies. Environmental anthropology often focuses on processes such as extraction and commodification that position nature as governed by an economy of scarcity with its existential state characterized by attenuation. The paradigm of biomimicry, on the other hand, construes nature as an infinitely renewable and generative mega-resource and meta-resource, one that is governable by an economy of abundance rather than scarcity. This literature review analyzes intellectual and epistemological trends and frameworks that have served as precursors to and have emerged around biomimicry across disciplines that treat the paradigm of biomimicry as a highly variable epistemological object.

Contributor Notes

VERONICA DAVIDOV is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Monmouth University. She holds a PhD from New York University and is an environmental and visual anthropologist. She is the author of Ecotourism and Cultural Production: An Anthropology of Indigenous Spaces in Ecuador (2013) and Long Night at the Vepsian Museum: The Forest Folk of Russia and the Struggle for Cultural Survival (2017). Email: vdavidov@monmouth.edu

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