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Launch Symposium

Exploring What Is, Imagining What Could Be

March 03, 2015, 1:00 PM–7:30 PM

Carson Ballroom, Old Main
ASU Tempe Campus

We invite you to celebrate the launch of the new Biomimicry Center, a joint partnership between Arizona State University and Biomimicry 3.8. Please join us for a half-day of presentations, conversations and performances about the power of nature to inspire innovative collaborations and create sustainable solutions for global challenges.




1:15 Dayna Baumeister Professor of Practice, School of Life Sciences Co-Director, The Biomimicry Center Co-Founder, Biomimicry 3.8 Darren Petrucci Suncor Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, The Design School
1:35 Juergen Gadau Professor, School of Life Sciences Associate Director for Graduate Studies, School of Life Sciences Associate Director of Educational Programs, The Biomimicry Center Prasad Boradkar Professor and Director of InnovationSpace, The Design School Co-Director, The Biomimicry Center
1:55 Michelle Fehler Lecturer, The Design School Mike McBeath Professor, Department of Psychology

Breakout activities

2:45 Everett Shock Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration Ed Kavazanjian Professor, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment
3:05 Hanna Breetz Assistant Professor, School of Sustainability Devens Gust Foundation Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
3:25 Ted Pavlic Research Scientist, School of Life Sciences
 Associate Director of Research, The Biomimicry Center Spring Berman Assistant Professor, School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy

Breakout activities

4:15 Jennifer Fewell President’s Professor, School of Life Sciences Shade Shutters Research Scientist, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development
4:35 Ximin He Assistant Professor, School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy Andrea Richa Associate Professor, School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering
4:55 Simon Ortiz Regents Professor, Department of English Joni Adamson Professor, Department of English

Symposium Summary



6:00 Janine Benyus Partner and Co-founder, Biomimicry 3.8
6:30 Janine Benyus Partner and Co-founder, Biomimicry 3.8 Michael M. Crow President, Arizona State University


7:15 The Amyloid Project A collaboration between the Phoenix-based arts collective urbanSTEW; Jessica Rajko, assistant professor in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre; and physicist Sara Vaiana, assistant professor in the Department of Physics. Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), a new class of proteins discovered in the 1990s, have attracted much scientific interest. Because they do not fold into well-defined three-dimensional structures, IDPs have a high degree of flexibility that allows them to bind with many different kinds of biological partners. This plasticity sometimes leads to the formation of aggregations that prevent IDPs from carrying out essential biological functions, causing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes. Working at the intersection of art and biophysics, “The Amyloid Project” explores the molecular choreography of intrinsically disordered proteins and makes visible their actions deep within the human body. Forest A composition by Garth Paine, professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and School of Music. This musical composition is part of a series of works that Garth Paine describes as “improvised conversations” with nature. In “Forest,” Paine plays a flute with the pre-recorded calls of birds and frogs. The sounds are electronically reprocessed in a kind of real-time call and response, an example of what he says is an “ongoing inquiry into the ways in which we converse with nature on a daily basis.”