Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
WildnessRelations of People and Place$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Gavin Van Horn and John Hausdoerffer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226444666

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226444970.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 May 2022



Business from the Wild

(p.50) 6 Biomimicry

Margo Farnsworth

University of Chicago Press

This chapter follows Ray Anderson and his carpet company, Interface, Inc., on their journey toward sustainability in business. Too long set apart from nature, most companies have sought maximization over optimization and sacrificed a bevy of natural resources along the way through extractive practices and waste. Ray, his employees, and contractors like David Oakey learned that if they could rediscover the wild places around their sites and mimic nature through a process called biomimicry they could operate in sync with the natural cycles and rules of the planet. Biomimicry is a relatively new tool used in business to recreate connections and perhaps even reconcile human technologies and products with the wild. Biologists, designers, engineers, and other business professionals are reconnecting to the wild with biomimicry by emulating organisms and even ecosystems, using nature’s forms, processes, and systems as muse, teacher, and template. Doing this, Interface cut waste, built profit, and acted in line with nature’s existing limits and boundaries. By looking at how nature covers its floors and mimicking those forms and structures, Interface achieved optimization, employee satisfaction, and became the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet tiles.

Keywords:   biomimicry, mimic, Ray Anderson, David Oakey, Interface Carpets, sustainability, optimization, carpet tiles

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.