"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