Biomimicry is Not “Just” Biology ResearchPosted: August 31, 2011 | Author: Carl Hastrich | Filed under: Biomimicry Methodology | Tags: biology and design parallel design process, biology and design process, biology and design research, biomimicry design methodology, biomimicry design process, design research and biomimicry, identifying design challenges through design process, integrated design methodologies, parallel design methodologies | 10 Comments
Having taught biomimicry for 6 years now, you’d think preparing for another wave of students would be relatively straight forward. In fact, it is probably more complex now that it ever has been before. Bruce Hinds (my co-teacher) and I have taught this enough times to be confident with the material, so much so that we are growing increasingly ambitious for meaningful projects to emerge from the class. Consequently, the question that drives the class has evolved from “how can we do biomimicry” to “where should we do biomimicry”. In other words;
What design topics should we tackle?
Why is this a challenge?
Biomimicry is not “just” biology research. It also includes design research. While this might be obvious for some, there are many more who think the design insights should magically appear from thin air, with no need for context from the area of research. The reality suggests otherwise, and requires that in the limited time we have in the class room, our students need to cover twice as much ground. On one hand you think sounds straightforward, the students are in their higher years, and therefore have been exposed to a lot of design process already, but the reality is, introducing biology research adds a layer of healthy complexity to the design research and makes the whole process more time consuming (also pronounced “rewarding”).
And guess what, this is also the reason why businesses and design practices are not jumping vigorously on the biomimicry bandwagon; it’s hard work.