Archive for November, 2014

Imitation is the highest form of flattery they say…..

If imitation is indeed the highest form of flattery, then after 3.8 Billion years of perfecting something, why wouldn’t it be imitated? That’s precisely how the study and practice of biomimicry came to fruition.




1. the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modeled on biological entities and processes.

Put another way, “biomimicry is an innovation method that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul” (

Practitioners of Biomimicry subscribe to the idea of capitalizing on what we have already studied and know and implementing it into our world as a sustainable solution to our  21st Century problems.

Drones that are designed based on the structure and qualities of a honeybee, owls fly without creating turbulence or noise, schools of fishes swim using less energy…these are just some of the examples of how nature is inspiring technology. Biomimicry influences innovation at its core; from engineering, to technology, to architecture to all aspects of design.

biomimicry 1Biomimicry 2biomimicry 3 Wheel

For centuries nature has influenced design, especially recognized in architecture and technology. This fairly new paradigm raises the bar on not only design, but integrates a  compelling green story as we push the envelope of innovative solutions for our growing, ever-more complex world.


Beth Anne Branden; Small business owner, Interior Designer, and self proclaimed, “Dog Grandma”


Beth Anne Branden started BA Designs 19 years ago.  The first BA Designs office was actually housed on the 2nd floor, within the “Engine Division” of Martin Tractor Company , which Beth Anne’s family owned. The story goes her first, “desk,” was actually a folding table; ironic, for someone that quickly expanded from design services to… furniture dealer.

Beth Anne hasn’t always worked in the Interiors/Commercial Furniture industry; in college she could be found at Johnny’s Bar in North Lawrence.  And no, we don’t mean as a typical college student, she worked there, as a bartender! Upon completing her degree from KU,  Beth Anne accepted a role with a Kansas City furniture dealer as an Interior Designer.

Being a small business owner certainly has it’s share of ups & downs. Beth Anne says one of her most memorable “ups” moments came when the annual sales for the year were targeted at 3 million dollars and BA Designs was awarded a military project eclipsing 3.3 million dollars that same year.  If only annual sales goals were routinely met in one single job!!

The wonderful mentors, such as Beth Anne’s Dad, Harry Craig, Jr., and other Martin Tractor Company employees is who Beth Anne credits as her early influencers/teachers; as well as her design colleagues at BA Designs who she learns from every day.

When not space planning, meeting with clients, networking, or overseeing the daily nuisances of being a business owner, Beth Anne enjoys being “Grandma” to her two “Granddogs,”  Zoe  & Bailey and relaxing with her very handy husband and work colleague, Russ.

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