As graphic designers, we have to consider many factors in our daily work. We have to make sure we satisfy the customer, ensure the correct message is conveyed, keep up with the newest trends in technology and software, keep up with intangible channels like social networking and brand perception, and stay creative, happy, and healthy.
Recently, the green wave has added another responsibiltiy to our plate: Our solutions should have little or no impact on our planet.
Many steps have been taken already to reduce the carbon footprint of our industry. Yet, there is still so much more we can and should do. One new approach is to incorporate biomimetic principles into our design process so that we can be even more efficient and successful with our time, energy, and resources.
My passion for nature was born during my childhood. I grew up in Switzerland in a little town called Boswil (1500 inhabitants). My dad is from Lenggries, Germany and my mom from Phoenix Arizona. Avid gardeners, both my parents introduced me and my sister to the world of fresh vegetables and fruits from our own backyard. I remember coming home from school and wanting a snack…”go grab a carrot from the garden” was most often the response. Thinking back now, that was heaven!
We moved to Zürich when I was a teenager, and there I worked as a business travel agent for Hotelplan/First Business Travel. My dad was a pilot, so travelling was in my blood as well. I had the priviledge to see much of the world during my younger years. While my friends went camping near a lake in Switzerland, my sister and I would travel from Bangkok to Hongkong to Rio and Capetown. The different cultures, languages, traditions, and economic situations left big impressions on me; especially the poorer countries and their struggles.
When I was 25, I decided to move to the United States for 6 months and try to build a life here – 15 years later I am still here haha. I love how life operates unexpectedly when you let it. I have since worked here as a marketing associate, and then, after getting my degree in visual communication as a graphic designer. Being exposed to all the waste that is associated with graphic design, I could not continue doing my job within the given parameters. I did not want to send out yet another postcard to 50,000 people asking them to do whatever it was we thought they needed to do. It seemed like such a waste. I tried to offset my feelings by printing on recycled or 100% FSC paper and worked with printers who printed with vegetable based inks, but that seemed trivial after a while.
Therefore, in 2009 I decided to go back to school and get my Masters. And here I am :) Right now I am in the middle of collecting data for my research, hence this website. This site strives to serve as a resource to graphic designers and to spread knowledge about the new approach of biomimicry.
This is where YOU come in. YOUR input, YOUR critical thoughts, and questions and comments will be invaluable to this project. I would like to find tangible and actionable steps graphic designers can include into their daily lives to arrive at biomimetic graphic design pieces that are good for the people, the living organisms and our planet. I will be defending my applied project in April, 2012…until then I would love for you to join me in my journey of discovery…
I hope you are as excited as I am to explore and be inspired by the diverse and magnificent living organisms that live around us.
P.S. Click here to read on about my trip of a lifetime