Deep Biomimicry: Co-creating With the Dream of Nature
Co-Creating With The Dream of Nature
Mark Shekoyan, PhD
Senior Design Researcher – Cisco Systems
Biomimicry: An Emergent Discipline
• Inspired by sustainable design projects,
focusing on HCD for 15 years.
• Studying to be Biomimicry Specialists through
• Biomimicry: “Conscious Emulation of Nature’s
• Taking Nature as “Model, Mentor, and
• Hybrid emergent discipline at the edge of
Biology and Design.
Bullet Trains, Kingfishers and Sharkskin: Matching Life’s
• Japanese Shinkansen Train
• Designs Based on Kingfisher
• Reduce Sound, Faster, Reduced Fuel
• Sharklet: Germ Resistant Adhesive Surface used
In healthcare to reduce infections
• Sharks don’t accumulate barnacles like ships
• Texture of their skin
How It’s Done: Design Cycle, Isites & the “Functional Bridge”
Cultural categories: Ethos, Emulate, (re)connect
• (re)connect: listening to nature and rediscover one’s
• Emulate: Nature as model, mentor and measure (Sharklet
• Ethos where we “Fit In” and life creates conditions for life.
A people’s “Ethos is the tone, character and quality of their
way of life, Its moral and aesthetic style and mood; it is the
underlying attitude towards themselves and their world that
life reflects….It contains their most comprehensive ideas of
( Geertz - Ethos, Worldview and the Analysis of Sacred
“Trumping” Nature with Insect Drones and Cyborg Fashion
• Increase in military and corporate funding for “Biomimicry.”
• Israeli Military Uses Biomimicry to Design Drone Butterfly: “The
Butterfly drone can perform tricks that have never before been
achieved by a surveillance device. It can fly indoors, thereby enabling
covert information gathering during meetings inside buildings, at train
stations and other public buildings as well as outdoors, and it is
equipped with a tiny 0.15 gram camera…DRONE BUTTERFLY TRUMPS
• Intel’s “Expanding Dress.” Mirroring “Threat display’s and self
confidence of animals.” (Sensors)
• “Biomimicry Turns Nature into a Factory.” (Newsweek 2010)
• Mirrors Trend in the “Monetization of Nature” what’s known as
“Ecosystem Services. (Water, Soil) can only be preserved if we put a
price tag on it.
Problematizing “Ethos” as Contested Turf
• Ethos: Ethics, Moral Philosophy, respect for all life
forms, “FIT IN” on earth, survive and be a beneficial
species. Create conditions conducive to life.
• Self-social-nature orientation and behavior is
unconscious and rooted in deep historical and
• Western’ man’s assumptions and conceptual
orientations to nature, it-It vs. I-Thou relationships.
• Separate competitive utilitarian egoic self vs. holistic
integral co-creative self
Intentionality in Biomimicry
“Seeing is a value laden undertaking.” (N.R. Hanson)
• Biologist Assumptions & Tacits:
• Techno-scientific paradigm ,
• Nature is without soul/purpose.
• Waking rational test/study/experimentation is best way to “Know.”
• We know more through science then through mysticism or intuitive reverie.
• Design Assumptions & Tacit:
• Design is problem solving.
• There are problems to be solved that should be solved.
• “Clients” “Stakeholders” need to be served.
• The designer has the knowledge and skill, not the people themselves.
• We should design things. (Letting things be is not a designers forte.)
• Bottom line:
• Both disciplines that underlie Biomimicry bring their own intentionality:
cultural frames/schemas/orientations and tacit to Biomimicry.
• These tacits, in turn, are rooted in modernity: enlightenment thinking, 300+
years of techno-rationality, empiricism, science as we know it today, and
Gestell (Enframing) The Essence of Modern
Enframing means the gathering together of that setting-
upon that sets upon man, i.e., challenges him forth, to
reveal the real, in the mode of ordering, as standing-
reserve. Enframing means that way of revealing that
holds sway in the essence of modern technology and that
it is itself not technological.
"the rule of enframing threatens man with the possibility
that it could be denied to him to enter into a more original
revealing and hence to experience the call of a more
Instrumentality: technology is an instrument to achieve
human ends, specifically those of building up or
Emulating Ecology: From Shallow to Deep Biomimicry
Rational and Non-rational
Opening the Sensory Gates to the Dreams of
Anima Mundi – The Soul of the World
• All nature an expression of underlying archetypal patterns, like Plato’s
• These archetypal patterns dwell in the imaginal realm ….a non-physical
• Bohms “Implicate” Order.
• Sheldrake’s Morphogenic Fields
• Our sensory gating channels (normative Consciousness) block these out
• (Rooted in 400 years of scientific materialism and Techno-rational
• The plant and animal realm itself has “Mind” and the nature of that mind
• Archaic word for this collective dream mind (Anima Mundi- The Soul
of the World)
• To enter this imaginal realm is to understand the “Dream of Nature” and
potentially access these archetypal patterns
Neo-Animism: Remembering the World Soul (Anima Mundi)
“In their visions, shamans take their consciousness down to the molecular level
and gain access to information related to DNA, which they call “animate
essences” or “sprits” This is where they see double helixes, twisted ladders and
chromosome shapes. This is how shamanic cultures have known for millennia
that the vital principle is the same for all living beings and is shaped like two
entwined serpents. DNA is the source of their astonishing botanical and
medicinal knowledge, which can be attained only in de-focalized and “Non-
rational” states of consciousness though its results are empiraclly verifiable.
(Narby – Cosmic Serpent 117).
• Shamans de-focalize their consciousness via Ahayuasca and are able to see
• Show up in shamanic art
• What we call DNA shamans see as an animating life force in all of
creation that gives nature it’s form and patterns…Cosmic Mother
• My hypothesis is based on the idea that DNA in particular, and nature in
general are minded. This contravenes the founding principle of the molecular
biology that is the current orthodoxy P145)
Back to Bateson
• “My central thesis can now be approached in words: The patterns
that connects is a metapattern. It is a pattern of patterns. It is that
meta pattern which defines the vast generalization that, indeed, it
is, patterns which connect.” (Bateson, Mind and Nature -11)
• “There is a larger Mind of which the individual mind is only a
subsystem. The larger mind is comparable to “God.” But it is still
immanent in the total interconnected social system and planetary
ecology. "Freudian (Depth) psychology expanded the concept of
mind inwards to include the whole communication system within
the body – the autonomic, the habitual and the vast range of
unconsciouss processes. What I am saying expands mind outwards.
And both of these changed reduce the scope of the consciousness
self.” (Bateson, Steps to the Ecology of Mind 461)
Changing Our Way of Knowing: Epistemology
• “The Goethean Scientist seeks to participate in the objects
investigated to such a degree, that the mind makes itself one with
• Why should it not also true in the intellectual area that through
intuitive perception of eternally created nature we may become
worthy of participating spiritually in its creative processes?”
• “Beauty is an archetypal phenomenon. While it never materializes
as such, it sheds its glow over a thousand different manifestations
of the creative spirit and is as multiform as nature
GAIAIN MIND -COSMO CENTRICISM
(The Pattern That Connects)
Human Centered Design
Biomimicry : Contested Space
Anthropology of Consciousness & Deep Biomimicry:
• Altering Sensory Gating Channels:
• Altered States/Shamanic States of
• Entheogens & Creativity
• Dreams, Reverie and Visions
• The “Ecological Self”
• Transpersonal Ecology
• Integral Epistemology/Ontology
Bringing the “DEEP” to Deep Biomimicry
A Fork in the Road
Newton’s Sleep & The Satanic Mills Deep Biomimicry & Co-Creating the Garden
What Does The River Want From Us?
What a river, a world, wants of its
people may be not merely pollution-
dispersing agents but, I would suggest,
an entire culture of engagement,
whereby our sense of our own meaning
becomes suffused with the meanings
that the river, as part of a living
universe, has for itself. This is achieved
when, in synergy with the river, we no
longer think of it merely as ours but also
think of ourselves as its - when we take
our place in the river’s world, and build
our desires, our ends, on that premise.”
(Freya Matthews – Towards a Deeper
Philosophy of Biomimicry)
Mark Shekoyan, PhD
Senior Design Researcher
Wir haben unsere Datenschutzbestimmungen aktualisiert.
Wir haben unsere Datenschutzbestimmungen aktualisiert, um den neuen globalen Regeln zum Thema Datenschutzbestimmungen gerecht zu werden und dir einen Einblick in die begrenzten Möglichkeiten zu geben, wie wir deine Daten nutzen.
Die Einzelheiten findest du unten. Indem du sie akzeptierst, erklärst du dich mit den aktualisierten Datenschutzbestimmungen einverstanden.