How does biologically inspired design cope with multi-functionality?

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

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Svendsen, Nicklas; Lenau, Torben Anker
Series: ICED
Institution: Technical University of Denmark
Section: Design creativity
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


As catalysts for product innovation and product development, different approaches for biologically inspired design (BID) are exciting options. However, while general BID theory require a focus on single functions, real world products are characterized by performing multiple functions. The development of an anterior eye-chamber model is used to showcase the issue.

In a systematic literature review (SLR), state-of-the-art methodologies, methods and tools BID practice are discovered and the current state of multi-functionality in BID are assessed.

The SLR revealed 18 contributions with 8 BID methodologies and 12 stage-specific BID tools (of which 50% addressed the solution search phase) in addition to 5 papers addressing multi-functionality in BID.

At present multi-functionality in BID is only treated in a limited set of papers. While designers interested in BID are advised to discover multi-functional analogies, the present approach to handling multi-functional problems in BID suggest functional decomposition and multiple BID efforts. Therefore, the development of design support for handling multi-functional problems, including tools for problem analysis are needed.

Keywords: Bio-inspired design / biomimetics, Design methodology, Design process, Conceptual design, Multi-functionality


Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Privacy Policy.