Hierarchy of Biomimicry Innovation

I'm really not sure what these levels should be, this is the first pass... looking forward to hearing any thoughts.

This post builds on my current obsession of taking other people’s diagrams and reinterpreting them through the lens of biomimicry. The “biomimicry ladder” above was drawn in my notebook after rediscovering the diagram below used to frame design in the broader context of innovation.

The design ladder is a useful 4-step model for grouping companies' design maturity on the basis of their attitudes towards design - from the Swedish Industrial Design Foundation.

Stages of the Biomimicry Journey?

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Biomimicry as Journey vs Destination

The two personalities are required for productive innovation, and are of course an integrated part of creative process, but they don't always play well together. Note: you could easily replace biomimicry with innovation for the following conversation.

Last week I had an “ah-ha” moment around questions of teaching and consulting biomimicry. It became apparent through conversations with architects, project managers and design students that there are two different “audiences” or “practitioners” of biomimicry (or innovation in general), and consequently two different ways of approaching them.

Explorers – Biomimicry as journey

Explorers are people who don’t care where they end up, and are passionate enough to dive in the deep end without seeing what’s below the surface. They are hungry for process and enjoy the experience of growing, learning and evolving. These maybe companies looking for transformative change, or individuals looking for personal growth.

The experiences explorers are looking for challenge them conceptually and personally. These are often candidates for biomimicry fanaticism,  i.e. whole hearted true faith in biomimicry as a solution to every human challenge.

Executor – Biomimicry as destination

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