Thursday, January 18

Biomimicry: Wasp Nest Paper/Home/Garment

I stumbled upon the coolest blanket yesterday and wanted to tell my blog readers about this group of artists: Los Osos. Check out their product development slideshows and this awesome wasp nest blanket. I want one of those!

For inspiration, here are a couple of wasp nest images from my flickr pics ... the birdhouse engulfed (swallowed) by a hive of paper wasps is in my sister's garden on Vancouver Island. I've never seen anything like it -- have you?

Margie's wasp nest on birdhouse

Guardian -- look closely, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

I am using the term, Biomimicry, loosely, in an artistic sense rather than scientifically. My examples of a blanket inspired by a paper wasp nest may not technically fit the definition of "biomimicry" put forth by Janine Benyus of Stevensville, Montana in her book, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. To me, it's a start in thinking about way to innovate by gaining inspiration from nature.

An example of true biomimicry/innovation inspired by nature might be an innovative fabric that changes according to the ambient temperatures -- deer have evolved a fur structure that changes it's properties in response to seasonal temperature fluctuations. Deer fur properties might inspire textiles for human clothing or building envelope structure and materials.

If you'd like to learn more about biomimicry, check out the Biomimicry Institute.
The Biomimicry Institute also has a newsletter available here as downloadable PDF files.

Here are a few other resources about Biomimicry:
Article in Bay Soundings (Tampa Bay)

Book by Janine Benyus

Biomimicry Guild website
World Changing (article)
What people are saying on technorati about Biomimicry
A conversation with Janine Benyus


Jean Albus said...

Okay, so I subscribed to Los Osos newsletter. What beautiful products. That white merino wool blanket is amazing, too. The wasp blanket is pure imagination. And that birdhouse of your sister's! It's gorgeous, Maureen. xoxoxo J

maureen said...

Hey, Jean ... yeah - i love all their products, mostly the wasp blanket and the dirt rug. I want a dirt rug with some plants growing out of it! heheh. Maybe I'll suggest that to them. I'm not exactly set up to produce stuff like that here -- the garage being my only place to do anything where I have to "spread out." (see my Garages of North America post)

i'll pass along your compliments to my sister.

Rachael said...

The wasps have done a really nice job redecorating the bird house. I've never seen wasps do such a thing.

There is an artist in Toronto (I don't know that name) and he/she makes beautiful boxes from wasps nests. I wish I could find them to show you because the boxes are incredible.

maureen said...

Rachael, I also had never seen this kind of "creative" nest building by wasps before -- at first when my sister showed it to me I thought it was fake. It's so cool.

And ... I would love to see the boxes made of wasp nest paper -- sounds fascinating! If you think of the name, or find her on the web, please let me know. That would be great. Thanks for your compliments.

georgie leigh said...

Hi I was just wondering if you knew the name of the artist who produced the wasp blanket as the website given is no longer a working website?
thanks xx