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Download The Shark’s Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature Is Inspiring Innovation Audiobook

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Why does the bumblebee have better aerodynamics than a 747? What structural design is shared by a tornado and a blood vessel?

Since the Industrial Revolution, manufacturers have built things by a process known as “heat, beat, and treat.” They use enormous amounts of energy to heat raw material, shape it with heavy machinery, and maintain its design, strength, and durability with toxic chemicals. Now, in a world of depleted natural resources, entrepreneurs and scientists are turning to nature to inspire future products that are more energy and cost efficient. Biomimicry, the science of employing nature to advance sustainable technology, is arguably one of the hottest new business concepts. At the center of this growing movement has been award-winning inventor and biomimetic entrepreneur Jay Harman.

In The Shark’s Paintbrush, Harman introduces us to pioneering engineers in a wide array of businesses who are uncovering and copying nature’s hidden marvels. He shows business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs how we can reconcile creating more powerful, lucrative technologies with 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The world’s most elegant engineer is without a doubt Mother Nature. She’s efficient, creative, and has time on her hands to put her innovations to the test, and Harman thinks we can learn a lot from watching her work…Harman points out that many of these developments would not only save money, but also prove an enormous boon to the survival of Mother Nature. His vision of a biomimetic ‘new global economy’ is timely, crucial, and thrillingly eye-opening.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A useful update on recent developments in biomimicry and an intriguing case for innovative green technology that goes beyond sustainability.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • The Shark’s Paintbrush reveals how nature is inspiring design to be more efficient, effective, resilient, and beautiful…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

  • “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

  • 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

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About the Author

Jay Harman is a scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur dedicated to creating breakthrough technologies through biomimicry that will radically reduce energy consumption worldwide. He continues to conduct field research leading to new biomimetic products. He is CEO of PAX Scientific based in San Rafael, California.