Biomimicry Design Education Essentials

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Stevens, Laura (1); De Vries, Marc {M.J.} (2); Bos, Mark {M.J.W.} (1); Kopnina, Helen (1)
Series: ICED
Institution: Delft University of Technology / The Hague University of Applied Sciences
Section: Design Education
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


The emerging field of biomimicry and learning to design with and for nature has expanded in recent years through a diversity of educational programs. Inspiration following natural forms may give the appearance of being sustainable, but the question remains, how sustainable is it? Misunderstanding the function of these forms may leave designers with products not as sustainable as desired. Biomimicry education addresses these issues by integrating three essential elements into their design thinking phases and by using analogical transfer while doing so. This field learns from nature as model, nature as measure, and nature as mentor, throughout the design process. Through examination, analyses and verification of students designs and reflective processes at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, this research considers natures analogies in educational factors, determining which elements are influential when incorporating biomimicry into design education.

Keywords: Design education, Bio-inspired design / biomimetics, Industrial design, Sustainability


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