Biomimicry is our new favorite concept. It just makes so much sense. By looking at any healthy ecological system — take a forest, for example — we can identify a set of basic principles at work. Waste being reused as energy. Diversity and cooperation. And one of our favorites: realtime information feedback.
I encountered this concept last week in Amsterdam at Arup’s “How Green Can We Go” workshop on sustainability in the luxury hospitality field. I participated in a design charrette with innovation leaders from global hotel brands, lighting and engineering firms, and visionary architectural practices. Our output: four scenarios describing a new kind of luxury hotel experience that minimizes environmental impact.
We looked at Janine Benyus’ ten principles of biomimicry as one of our starting points. Janine’s book is one to download to your Kindle, immediately.
Alongside folks from Intercontinental, Marriott, and Philips, we innovated a feasible 5-star hotel experience, complete with gray-water bathrooms, living walls, a seawater spa and natural cooling system. And suddenly, I had an “aha.” Namely, that realtime is “green.” Realtime information can help us make more sustainable choices. Realtime media can minimize paper waste and lower the levels of “embedded energy” in the supply chain. And just as significantly: realtime personalization can deliver high-value, I’m-willing-to-pay-for-it experiences that can help fund the new sustainable infrastructures that will need to be engineered and built.
How green can do you think we can go? And how can realtime help get us there?