About Bouncing Ideas:

Bouncing Ideas is a resource for creating, discovering and sharing insights and possibilities that emerge between design, biology, architecture, ecology, materials research, consumer insights, business, systems thinking and anything else that is dug up. The emerging insights and questions are source material for speaking, workshops, research and consulting.

Carl Hastrich, in the wild, on a Eames Elephant drinking a lovely red.

Carl Hastrich, in the wild, on an Eames Elephant drinking a lovely red.

About Carl Hastrich

Carl Hastrich is the founder of Bouncing Ideas, and a Biomimicry  Fellow. Born in Australia, he  practiced as a toy designer before recognizing a need and desire to dramatically evolve design innovation and strategy. Carl moved to North America and worked directly with Janine Benyus and Dayna Baumeister on the development of the Biomimicry Guild, an innovation consultancy and the Biomimicry Institute, an educational non-profit, to develop core processes of engagement, research and translation between biology, ecology, design and business. Carl has consulted, presented, and taught workshops  with audiences ranging from high school students to working professionals.

In Toronto, Carl has been an Associate Professor at OCAD University, developing biomimicry courses with Bruce Hinds which included research for Herman Miller and Autodesk, while teaching in the Industrial Design program. Most recently he was a senior designer and researcher at KerrSmith, a unique innovation strategy company that centres its practice on research to application. A key project explored the relationship between historical ecology and the city, seeking inspiration for cities to function and natural systems. Carl was trained at the Swinburne National School of Design in Melbourne and OCAD University, where he is currently in the Masters of Strategic Foresight and Innovation.

If you’d like to know more about anything in particular, or to discuss possible opportunities, please drop me a message; info.bouncingideas@gmail.com

Speaking & Workshops

  • 2013: Urban Ecology and Biomimicry – Building Science, Ryerson Toronto
  • 2013: Design for Play, portfolio workshop at OCAD University – for high school students
  • 2013 & 2010: Biomimicry and Design Thinking, with Bruce Hinds – McMaster University, Engineering & Design Masters Program
  • 2013: Biomimicry and Architecture, ArchiTEXT – for Future Builders workshop, young high school students
  • 2012: Design Thinking Primer, with Zahra Ebrahim – Trade School Toronto
  • 2011: Biomimicry and Innovation – University of Guelph with Centennial C.V.I. Included a hands on workshop with high school students, facilitated with PhD biology students.
  • 2011: What would a cactus do? Sustainability Crash Course – Pratt Institute of Design
  • 2011: Biomimicry, with Bruce Hinds – University of Akron
  • 2010: Biomimicry, Art City – Art and Design Festival, Calgary
  • 2010: Biomimicry & Systems Thinking, with Bruce Hinds – Strategicy Foresight and Innovation Masters Program
  • 2010: Biomimicry and Design – CCAD, Columbus Ohio
  • 2010: Biomimicry Alumni Gathering, with Bruce Hinds – San Diego
  • 2009: Chemerical, interview for documentary – Toronto
  • 2009: Paper Futures Conference – Canopy, Toronto
  • 2009: Biomimicry and Design Process – Whirlpool Corporation, Design Team, for Biomimicry Guild
  • 2009: Intro to Biomimicry – New York University – Environmental Monitoring by Natalie Jerimijenko, New York
  • 2008: Green Building and Design – Centre for Design – Brisbane and Perth, Australia

For an overview of services and experiences, click here.

10 Comments on “About”

  1. melanie says:

    i didn’t see your email so i’m leaving mine. i’m excited by the ideas you’re expressing and to start building the bridge between design + science.

    melanie (mdecola@comcast.net | http://mdecola.home.comcast.net)

  2. Tink says:

    Hello Carl!

    My name is Tink Stephenson and I studied biomimicry in Costa Rica with Karen and Carla. While not practicing biomimicry in a formal design sense, it continues to inform my work on a daily basis. In a couple of weeks time I am speaking at an event and would like to include my experience of biomimicry in that. On the off-chance that you have time for a skype meet-up in the next few weeks, it would be great to connect!


  3. Oliver says:

    Dear Carl,
    I am working on a solar powered boat in the Ecuadorian Amazon. I think biomimicry could help solve some of the seemingly intractable design problems we are facing. Please email me if you would be willing to share some ideas!
    Many thanks,

  4. Hey Carl!

    How are you doing? Recently stumbled on your blog and I like what I see, very informative entries!

    Thank you for contributing so much to the biomimicry class, it was great having you as an instructor!

    I have posted my final project from your class on my portfolio page, feel free to check it out:



    • Carl Hastrich says:

      Hey Andrey!
      Thanks for posting your work – I’ll spend some time on it and make it a post: there’s a few things in there I want to discuss.

  5. Collin says:

    I am excited to see your toy design class! This is an area of great interest for me… I worked in the industry for about 5 years and am finishing up my graduate studies at IIT Institute of Design (Chicago). I am hesitant to jump back into the toy industry in its traditional sense, would be interested in chatting with you about the changes you made to the class, having a ‘broader’ look at play.


  6. […] Carl Hastrich was the reporter for the third discussion breakout group.  He’s incorporated some of their conversation into his reflections on “Beginning to Learn Systems Thinking” particularly on “normal versus post-normal science” and “hard systems versus soft systems”. […]

  7. Tom Dibble says:

    Hello Carl,

    I stumbled across your blog in doing some research on biomimicry. My company GSMI will be holding our first biomimicry event Biomimicry World Summit and we’d love to reach out and see if you would be interested in working with the event.

    You can reply to tom.dibble(at)gsmiweb.com and I hope to hear from you!

    • Carl Hastrich says:

      Hi Tom,
      Thanks for reaching out – I sent an email but am concerned it might have ended up in the junk folder?
      Hope to chat soon,

  8. Justine Fox says:

    Dear Carl,
    I’m researching a column about structural colour in design and have been going through your posts. Your ideas are fascinating. I’d love to ask you a couple of questions about commercial applications in the market now.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

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