The forms, patterns, and processes found in the natural world—refined by 3.8 billion years of evolution—can inspire the design of everything from clothing to skyscrapers.
This approach to innovation, called biomimicry, is becoming increasingly popular, a news release from the Putnam Museum says. “Nature’s Blueprints: Biomimicry in Art and Design” will open Wednesday at the Putnam Museum and Science Center, a Smithsonian affiliate, at 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport.
“The Putnam is the first stop on this exhibit’s national tour and we’re honored to be selected for its premiere. Our ability to host this exhibit—our first traveling show since before the pandemic—speaks to the Putnam’s resiliency and the many ways that the Quad-City community has supported cultural institutions during this difficult period in history,” says Rachael Mullins, CEO/president of the Putnam. “We are so grateful to our community and can’t wait to show a bit of our appreciation through this wonderful new exhibit.”
The exhibit brings together design and environmental science using artifacts and photography, and interactive learning stations. The traveling exhibit will be enhanced with special items from the Putnam’s own treasured collection.
Biomimicry is not a novel idea; Gaudi and Da Vinci both took inspiration from nature, the release says. Modern science and technology are rapidly expanding the types of materials and systems we can create. Bird wings, Rainbow Trout and spiderwebs have inspired design improvements that enable faster travel, more effective wind turbines, and safer bridges.
The exhibition is aimed to encourage discourse among audiences of all backgrounds as the understanding of the natural world can lead to extraordinary creations that improve lives and reduce environmental impacts. The exhibition is an adaptation of the High Desert Museum’s Innovation Lab: Design Inspired by Nature, and is produced and toured by ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. Exhibit transportation provided by Simplex Leasing.
Exhibit admission is included in the price of general admission—$9 for adults, $8 for youth (ages 3-18), seniors, college students and military. Through the Putnam’s Museums for All program, admission is $1 per person for households (up to two adults and three children) with the presentation of an EBT card. Admission is free for members.
For more information, visit here. For groups, or to plan a visit, call 563-324-1933.