Biomimicry Design Challenge
Students of Bio Inspired Innovation joined the Global Biomimicry Design Challenge. They used the Biomimicry method to design solutions to prevent, combat or to endure the effects of climate change. Here you can find an overview of the submissions from all the Utrecht University teams.
Air pollution is a major environmental and public health problem. Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) has a direct effect on global warming. Eliminating all PM would result in a 20-48% net warming reduction within 5 years, whereas eliminating 30% CO2 would have the same effect only after 50-200 years.
The problem we are trying to solve is microplastic pollution in the oceans. This pollution is one of the causes that make our oceans less resilient to climate change. We strive for cleaner oceans to conserve marine biodiversity and indirectly our food security.
Mexico city’s predicament is indicative of things to come. As climate change accelerates, it is expected that rainfall events will become more intermittent and powerful. Increasing urbanisation and over-exploitation of ground water resources is exacerbating water stress and flooding events. We feel that a new approach to the water system in Mexico city is imperative. Many diverse management strategies need to be integrated in an ecosystem approach.
The reality of climate change is increasingly evident within our vast oceans. With rising temperatures and ocean acidification, as well as human-induced pollution, agricultural run-off, and overfishing, ocean ecosystems are changing drastically and natural food webs are being disrupted. Jellyfish are becoming increasingly abundant in the world’s oceans owing to their ability to survive in harsh environments. They are so successful that they are blooming in numbers that imbalance entire ecosystems and disrupt local fisheries. We aim to create a bio-inspired solution that restores balance within the local ecosystem and helps local communities mitigate the impacts of climate change.
The climate is getting warmer, yet people want to stay cool. Due to rapid economic growth, individuals in countries such as China have greater amounts of disposable income and spending power. In a hot, humid area like Shanghai, these air conditioning units condense large quantities of water, however, this water is often simply discarded on the outside of the air conditioning unit. A/C easy aims to provide simple solutions to convert already installed air conditioners into a source of water. Using our easy modular approach a previously wasted source of life can again be used for good.
These last decades, more and more plastics accumulate in nature, due to abundant use of petrol-based material. In agriculture, for example, these polymers are frequently used for diverse applications, eventually ending up into the ground, increasing pollution of soils. This is why we focus on designing a biodegradable alternative.