Genius of Biome Report

What can we learn from nature’s 3.8 billion years of experience? Does the forest hold the answers to sustainable design?

HOK partnered with Biomimicry 3.8 to study how lessons from the temperate broadleaf forest biome, which houses many of the world’s largest population centers, can inform the design of the built environment. The result, Genius of Biome, is a highly visual report filled with insightful design strategies and sketches, application ideas and supporting research.

Genius of Biome describes the strategies and designs adopted by living organisms found in the temperate broadleaf forest biome. It describes the biological principles and patterns common to organisms and ecosystems within this biome. From this biology, designers can extract principles to inspire innovation and to identify specific criteria for place-based design for their projects.


By examining the strategies that plants and animals have used to thrive over millions of years, we can begin to conceive a completely different built environment – one that’s restorative and resilient and that works with nature.

We are sharing the complete report here because HOK and Biomimicry 3.8 want to encourage designers, architects and planners to begin integrating nature’s innovations into the design of buildings, communities and cities. If we can make these time-tested biological principles part of our design vocabulary, we all can define a new standard for what it means to practice sustainable design.

View the Genius of Biome report on Issuu.

For more information, contact Paul Woolford of HOK or Jamie Dwyer of Biomimicry 3.8.



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