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The Shark's Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation Hardcover – July 23, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 326 pages
  • Publisher: White Cloud Press (July 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935952846
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935952848
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Imagine Indiana Jones, Huckleberry Finn, and Erasmus Darwin rolled into one person, and you will have some sense of what it is like to roam and see the world through Jay Harman's biomimetic eyes. The Shark's Paintbrush is a memo of kindness from the living world in a time of crisis and doubt: life in all its intricacy offers untold possibilities for the transformation of civilization."
- Paul Hawken, author, Blessed Unrest

“Jay Harman is the quintessential biomimic, a principled inventor who sees solutions everywhere he looks in the natural world. And he looks deeply, with the soul of a student. He moves with grace from a world of waving sea kelp to the world of sustainable design, bringing nature’s wisdom into the board rooms of global companies, to the design tables of the engineers and designers who make our world. This is more than a business book, more than a memoir, more than a new way to solve global challenges. It’s a book about a new way to think.”
–Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry and founder of Biomimicry 3.8

The Shark’s Paintbrush reveals how nature is inspiring design to be more efficient, effective, resilient, and beautiful. In Nature’s 3.8 billion years of design experience, the roughly 99% of designs that didn’t work got recalled by the Manufacturer. The 1% that survived can teach profound lessons about how things should be made, how they work, and how they fit. Jay Harman’s immersion in and curiosity about the natural world have made him one of the best biomimetic designers. The Shark’s Paintbrush is a masterly field guide for all designers and entrepreneurs who aspire to help the world of the made work like, and live harmoniously with, the world of the born.
–Amory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute

“At this point in our global ecological crisis, the survival of humanity will require a fundamental shift in our attitude toward nature: from finding out how we can dominate and manipulate nature to how we can learn from her. In this brilliant and hopeful book, Jay Harman shows us how far the new field of Biomimicry has already progressed toward this goal. The Shark’s Paintbrush makes for fascinating and joyful reading — much needed in these dark times.”
–Fritjof Capra, author of The Science of Leonardo and The Tao of Physics

“It blows my mind how the same patterns repeat themselves in flowers, growth in animals, and in shell spirals. When engineers mimic designs from nature, more efficient designs for windmills and fuel efficient vehicles are the result. Many of the breakthroughs are counter intuitive. Jay Harman has told the promise of Biomimicry in a compelling way. The Shark’s Paintbrush is essential reading for people interested in design and engineering.”
–Temple Grandin, author Thinking in Pictures

From the Inside Flap

In a world of depleted natural resources, entrepreneurs and scientists are turning to nature to find inspiration for future products, and to build them in a way that is more energy and cost-efficient, and
friendlier to the environment. Biomimicry, the science of employing nature to advance sustainable technology, is arguably one of the hottest new business concepts attracting a spectrum of markets.

In his debut book, The Shark’s Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation,
Jay Harman introduces us to pioneering scientists and engineers working in a wide array of businesses who are making technological breakthroughs by uncovering and copying nature’s hidden marvels.

Harman shows business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs alike how we can rectify the oft-competing desires of creating more powerful, lucrative technologies while preserving the planet and maximizing
sustainability. He injects a whole new vocabulary and way of thinking into the business sphere that speaks to both small start-ups and corporate giants.

Among the many fascinating topics Harman explores:
• What the human heart and dust devils have in common, and how this parallel structure can lead to better technologies in medicine
• How studying seaweed can lead to resistance-free antibiotics
• How the noxious-smelling durian fruit can offer ideas for helping humans live on Mars
• How the blowfly maggot could lead to breakthroughs in materials science, helping to lower production costs and manufacture higher-efficiency substances

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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So I recommend The Sharks Paintbrush as a fascinating read.
Sue Wilcox
The writing style is unpretentious, clear, engaging, and any reader will gather take-aways of real significance.
Faye Sinnott
Overall it's a sharp and insightful book that I certainly am glad to have read.
TheVonBraun

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not only is this a well-written, highly readable introduction to the wealth of innovations found in nature that would benefit our world, it's also one of the best overviews of the challenges of change dynamics within established industries. The sweep of the potential that understanding and application of the natural world's designs and approaches has for improving the effectiveness of many of our commercial/industrial designs and tools is astounding. How innovations are accepted and incorporated, however, is a long and winding road. Any and all aspiring entrepreneurs in the industrial space should read this, especially the last section of the book. Harman has captured the experience of entrepreneurs, whether they go the "self-financing/grants/angel" route, or venture capitalists. The writing style is unpretentious, clear, engaging, and any reader will gather take-aways of real significance.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rose Dawson on August 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As a layperson knowing nothing about biomimicry, I got this out at the library as I love to read about new things. Jay Harman takes you through learning something that ultimately is so simple yet complex with great examples and illustrations in the book. For someone interested in going "green" this is a great read on how we can accomplish that by making things more efficient using nature as guidance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pete Foley on January 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Shark’s Paintbrush is an excellent read that intersperses insights from the world of design inspired by nature with stories of the natural world drawn from the authors personal experience. I found this personalization provided terrific context for why he is so passionate about biomimicry and bio-inspired design, bringing the ideas contained in it to life, as well as making the book particularly readable.

The book kicks off with a pretty comprehensive tour of what can be achieved from a biomimetic approach to problem solving, drawing on both 'classic' examples of biomimicry as well as sharing cutting edge examples that were completely new, to me at least. The section on fluid dynamics, and how nano and micro vortices can create quite surprising efficiencies in fluid and air flow was particularly fascinating, and started to finally hint at why a bumble can fly, when I believe classic calculations suggest that it is an aerodynamic impossibility. Sometimes evolution is so efficient that it designs executions that far outstrip even our most sophisticated models.

The next part of the book focuses more on the challenges facing entrepreneurs and biomimicists wanting to translate their ideas and prototypes to market. While not applicable to me personally, I found this a fascinating ‘walk a mile in my shoes’ exercise. The later chapters explore how the study of nature can help us to understand systems and processes, and how natures inherent efficiency can act as a model for sustainable innovation. Its hard to overstate how important a concept that is.

All in all an informative, engaging and inspiring book that nicely melds an extremely important and useful topic with the experiences of an interesting individual
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Format: Kindle Edition
The introduction of The Shark’s Paintbrush by Jay Harman starts the reader off with a bang. Although it is brief, this initial, intriguing discussion sets the stage for some of the most engaging reading in books on nature. Harman summarizes some of the more exotic ways in which certain animals produce bodily substances that mankind has found a use for. The author calls these biomimicry, utilizing techniques for synthesizing certain bio chemicals. He moves on to form an argument for their necessity. He believes that biomimicry can reduce green house gas emissions and eliminate waste.

The Shark’s Paintbrush is as awe-inspiring as a similar book, Learning from the Octopus by Rafe Sagarin, which was released March, 2012. Harman builds his case by organizing his chapters into three broad areas, the New Golden Age, in which he talks about the Next Industrial Revolution; Biomimicry at Work; and the Nature of Change.

He placates the readers with dazzling anecdotes and selective points of view that make the read an exploration of alternate worlds. He plunges the reader’s mind into an aura of untapped plenty, giving us a responsibility of further developing his mission. You will not be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Biomimicry is an exciting "new" field of science. The author details how we can learn how to solve energy and health issues by observing how nature does. Author Jay Harmon intersperses a fairly technical read with lively stories from his own experiences.
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