ArticlePublisher preview available
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract and Figures

Biomimetics has been a subject of increasing interest but, where it has proven its scientific relevance and innovative potential from a theoretical standpoint, it remains rarely used in practice. Facing this lack of implementation, our work aimed at asking practitioners for their help to better understand the remaining impediments preventing biomimetics’ blooming. Thus, practitioners’ feedback and experts’ opinion on risks, adequacy and weaknesses of the current biomimetic practices were gathered and structured to present an extensive descriptive phase on biomimetic processes. Key levers for improvements, such as the need for a better risk management, the need for biological expertise and the need for clear guidance during the process, were then identified. Based on these insights various methodological contributions are prescribed. Among these inputs, the duration of the various steps of the biomimetic process was estimated through industrial projects’ feedback, semantics misunderstandings were tackled, and the integration of a new transdisciplinary profile combining an expertise in both design and biology is proposed. From these improvements, a new version of the unified problem-driven biomimetic process is proposed. A final descriptive phase performed through the evaluation of the new process by professionals underlined its relevancy along with the remaining research axes. Through the integration of a new profile matching the practitioners’ current needs and the adaptation of the process to their feedback, this article aims at proposing a biomimetic process fitting the reality of biomimetic practice in order to support its implementation.
This content is subject to copyright. Terms and conditions apply.
1 3
Research in Engineering Design (2021) 32:349–375
Biomimetics frompractical feedback toaninterdisciplinary process
EliotGrae1,2 · AnnelineLetard1,2· KalinaRaskin2· NicolasMaranzana1· AmézianeAoussat1
Received: 16 February 2020 / Revised: 26 October 2020 / Accepted: 5 January 2021 / Published online: 10 March 2021
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag London Ltd. part of Springer Nature 2021
Biomimetics has been a subject of increasing interest but, where it has proven its scientific relevance and innovative poten-
tial from a theoretical standpoint, it remains rarely used in practice. Facing this lack of implementation, our work aimed at
asking practitioners for their help to better understand the remaining impediments preventing biomimetics’ blooming. Thus,
practitioners’ feedback and experts’ opinion on risks, adequacy and weaknesses of the current biomimetic practices were
gathered and structured to present an extensive descriptive phase on biomimetic processes. Key levers for improvements,
such as the need for a better risk management, the need for biological expertise and the need for clear guidance during the
process, were then identified. Based on these insights various methodological contributions are prescribed. Among these
inputs, the duration of the various steps of the biomimetic process was estimated through industrial projects’ feedback, seman-
tics misunderstandings were tackled, and the integration of a new transdisciplinary profile combining an expertise in both
design and biology is proposed. From these improvements, a new version of the unified problem-driven biomimetic process
is proposed. A final descriptive phase performed through the evaluation of the new process by professionals underlined its
relevancy along with the remaining research axes. Through the integration of a new profile matching the practitioners’ cur-
rent needs and the adaptation of the process to their feedback, this article aims at proposing a biomimetic process fitting the
reality of biomimetic practice in order to support its implementation.
Keywords Biomimetics· BID· Multidisciplinary team· Design process· Practical feedback· Risk evaluation
1 Introduction
Biomimetics is defined as “the interdisciplinary cooperation
of biology and technology or other fields of innovation with
the goal of solving practical problems through the function
analysis of biological systems, their abstraction into mod-
els and the transfer into and application of these models to
the solution” (ISO/TC266 2015). The innovative potential
of this approach has already been proven in many studies
(Ahmed-Kristensen etal. 2014; Keshwani etal. 2017) and
would not be tackled in this article. Instead, we will focus
on the methodological framework surrounding the use of
biomimetics as a technical problem-solving approach,
referred to as the technical-pull approach (ISO/TC266 2015).
Few argue against biomimetics, but its implementation and
practice are still highly limited. After the overwhelming
awareness of its potential, industrials soon faced a major
question: how to use biomimetics as a systematic innova-
tive strategy? Using nature as a source of inspiration for
analogical reasoning appears economically and technologi-
cally promising, not to mention the potential opportunities
it can offer from a sustainable point of view (Gamage and
Hyde 2012; Helfman Cohen and Reich 2016; Lenau etal.
2020) through biomimicry (ISO/TC266 2015). However, it
also involves great challenges. From the inherent difficulty
of multidisciplinary work, to the practical difficulties of
manipulating biological data, to the definition of key actors
in biomimetic teams, those large questions encompass a
range of issues that will be pointed out in this article. Facing
the gap that has emerged between research and practice in
biomimetic, this article tackles the following research ques-
tion: How can we adapt the current theoretical framework
designed and used by scientific researcher to a theoretical
* Eliot Graeff
1 Product Design andInnovation Lab, LCPI, Arts Et Metiers
Institute ofTechnology, HESAM University, 151 boulevard
de l’Hôpital, 75013Paris, France
2 Centre D’Études Et D’Expertises en Biomimétisme de Senlis
(CEEBIOS), 62 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, 60300Senlis,
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... Moreover, biomimetic design and the process of investigating biological models is associated with great uncertainty as research does not always pan out to be applicable to technology. While this is true for most fields of research, the lack of systematic approaches, strategies and guidelines highlights this uncertainty further (Graeff et al., 2021). Even when biological models are sufficiently understood, their complexity often exceeds available technical capabilities and thus need to be scaled back during the implementation phase. ...
... Moreover, tools and databases focusing on biological systems alone oftentimes neglect their extended use and function throughout the environment and their role among species, which can reduce comprehensibility of concepts drastically and cause loss of information. Hence, while many of these databases support biomimetic design, they can lead to misinterpretations and transfer failures, inevitably resulting in the abandonment of the entire approach (Graeff et al., 2021). Another problem for non-biology experts is how to find appropriate models to investigate regarding their suitability to technical challenges. ...
... In addition, concepts are often found to be too complex to compare them with anything known to the opposite party, thereby prohibiting the propagation of a detailed understanding of principles and systems required to transfer them into a working technical design (Yen et al., 2014). Therefore, to achieve the most effective biomimetic design approach, companies often prefer to have an interdisciplinary team of biologists, chemists, engineers, technicians and scientists working closely together to close the existing gaps and enable a more efficient and successful design process (Graeff et al., 2021). Still, transition gaps between the idea, its implementation and the creation of a profitable product persist (Sharma and Sarkar, 2019). ...
Full-text available
Nature benefits from a progressive evolution over millions of years, always adapting and finding individual solutions for common problems. Hence, a pool of diverse and efficient solutions exists that may be transferable to technical systems. Biomimetics or bio-inspiration has been used as a design approach for decades, revolutionizing products and processes throughout various industries. Thus, multiple examples can also be found in the space sector, since many characteristics found in biological organisms are also essential for space systems like response-stimuli adaptability, robustness and lightweight construction, autonomy and intelligence, energy efficiency, and self-repair or healing capabilities. This review focuses on biomimetics within the field of aerospace engineering and summarizes existing bio-inspired concepts such as drilling tools (wood wasp ovipositor drilling), telescopes (lobster eye optics), or gasping features (gecko feet adhesion capabilities) that have already been conceptualized, partially tested, and applied within the space sector. A multitude of biological models are introduced and how they may be applicable within the space environment. In particular, this review highlights potential bio-inspired concepts for dealing with the harsh environment of space as well as challenges encountered during rocket launches, space system operations and space exploration activities. Moreover, it covers well-known and new biomimetic concepts for space debris removal and on-orbit operations such as space-based energy production, servicing and repair, and manufacture and assembly. Afterwards, a summary of the challenges associated with biomimetic design is presented to transparently show the constraints and obstacles of transferring biological concepts to technical systems, which need to be overcome to achieve a successful application of a biomimetic design approach. Overall, the review highlights the benefits of a biomimetic design approach and stresses the advantage of biomimetics for technological development as it oftentimes offers an efficient and functional solution that does not sacrifice a system’s reliability or robustness. Nevertheless, it also underlines the difficulties of the biomimetic design approach and offers some suggestions in how to approach this method.
... Enfin, parallèlement de la création de ce modèle et de ce référentiel, Pierre-Emmanuel Fayemi a participé à l'élaboration des normes internationales définissant ainsi la terminologie associée au domaine de la bio-inspiration que nous avons cité en début de ce chapitre (ISO, 2015). (Graeff et al., 2021). ...
... En s'appuyant sur les définitions des niveaux d'abstraction publiés dans la littérature (Keshwani et al., 2015 ;Cheong et al., 2012 ;Gentner, 1989), Eliot Graeff (2020) à définit quatre niveaux d'abstraction : Réalité, Bas, Intermédiaire et Haut. Ces quatre niveaux ont été développés et détaillés pour chacune des étapes du processus (Graeff, 2020a;Graeff et al., 2021). ...
... • Étape 2 : L'abstraction englobe l'extraction, le raffinement, la structuration et la dynamisation de l'information qui caractérise le(s) problème(s) à traiter en modèles causals que l'on considère dans un environnement conceptuel formant un modèle générique (Graeff, 2020a;Graeff et al., 2021). Par conséquent, la 2ème étape est renommée : « Identifiez les problèmes techniques, leurs modélisations génériques, leurs causes et leurs effets ». ...
Full-text available
Bien que prometteuses et connaissant une évolution croissante, la mise en œuvre de la conception biomimétique et de l’approche du biomimétisme reste complexe et rencontre de nombreux freins méthodologiques et pratiques. Dans ce contexte, cette thèse de doctorat explore comment l’intégration de designers dans les équipes de conception, permet de favoriser le déploiement de la conception biomimétique. Cet axe de recherche nous a permis de définir le rôle des designers dans le cadre de projet en conception biomimétique notamment pour faciliter le transfert de connaissances et la génération de concepts inspirés du vivant. Pour favoriser leur intégration et pour structurer les apports globaux du Design pour la conception biomimétique, des préconisations méthodologiques et organisationnelles sont proposées. De plus, un ensemble de modifications sur le processus de conception biomimétique problem-driven unifié ont été formalisées afin qu’il s’adapte aux pratiques de conception et d’innovation. Les résultats de ces recherches nous permettent d’enrichir conjointement le champ scientifique et le champ industriel de la conception biomimétique. Ces travaux ouvrent des perspectives de recherche à court, moyen et long terme pour développer les recherches concernant le rôle et les impacts des designers et du Design en conception biomimétique, sur le développement du cadre méthodologique et enfin sur la bascule entre la biomimétique et le biomimétisme.
... In addition, more accurate and personalized BID solutions could help users make rational decisions. However, the application of biomimicry in the industry is limited [20]. The generation of systematic innovations by biomimicry has not been extensively studied. ...
... Abstraction is an important step in BID [41]. Based on descriptions in the literature [20], it is often considered to be the understanding of biological strategies. To better serve the BID, refining an index to express the selected biological strategy is necessary. ...
Bio-inspired design (BID) approaches have provided numerous novel proposals for innovative design. Meanwhile, it resulted in an explosion of alternatives. Choosing a small amount of the personalized recommendations is becoming more and more difficult, and engineers may prefer fewer goals. Furthermore, engineers may choose designs that have variety and feasibility in BID. However, the diversity and feasibility of BID are often contradictory. Engineers need to apply multi-objective optimization methods to find better BID to ensure implementable. Aiming to overcome the above problems, based on the biological strategies from the most popular BID-AskNature, we proposed an interdisciplinary approach with the bidirectional encoder representation from transformers (BERT) and Pareto dominance for biological strategy decision (BPBSD) in the BID. First, we use BERT to find potential biological strategies similar to the keyword of BID. Then, aiming at the functional diversity and the feasibility of BID, we used the Pareto dominance theory to solve the contradiction. Finally, we verify the effectiveness of the proposed approach with three different application cases. Experiments show that the proposed BPBSD can balance the relationship between diversity and feasibility in BID. It is hoped that this work provides practical guidance for BID.
... Because of the appeal of looking to natural systems for potential solutions, there is a breadth of people all different in motivation, experience, and training, who are engaging in biomimetic practice [2]. On the one hand, these include biomimeticians [3] educated in biomimetics specifically. On the other hand, and in the majority, this includes biologists, engineers, architects, and designers, in academic, industrial, and governmental settings, using biomimetics as a design methodology with no or limited formal education specific to biomimetic practice. ...
... To successfully focus our attention on the teaching of biology and of knowledge translation and transfer, and to not get "lost in knowledge translation" [41], we must study how non-biologists learn about nature and use biological information, how it is understood and/or misunderstood, and how it is used, shared, and valued so that we can integrate the use of biological systems knowledge into design, and support a culture change in the next generation of designers to include nature-inspired solutions. With a growing number and increasing experience of professional biomimeticians [3], those trained in biomimetics specifically and with knowledge of biology and design, there is an opportunity to describe the biomimetics education pipeline fully. If successful, we will be addressing one of the big challenges in Biom*, that is, "to educate new generations of would-be-designers in the paradigm of biologically inspired design" who address real problems [42] (p. ...
Full-text available
Biomimetics must be taught to the next generation of designers in the interest of delivering solutions for current problems. Teaching biomimetics involves teachers and students from and in various disciplines at different stages of the educational system. There is no common understanding of how and what to teach in the different phases of the educational pipeline. This manuscript describes different perspectives, expectations, needs, and challenges of users from various backgrounds. It focuses on how biomimetics is taught at the various stages of education and career: from K-12 to higher education to continuing education. By constructing the biomimetics education pipeline, we find that some industry challenges are addressed and provide opportunities to transfer the lessons to application. We also identify existing gaps in the biomimetics education pipeline that could further advance industry application if a curriculum is developed.
... Snell-Rood (2016) revealed that out of 300 biomimetic studies fewer than 10% included scientists working in the field of biology. In other words, biology is key to bioinspiration but, interestingly enough, biologists are more and more being considered as 'outsiders' (Graeff et al., 2019(Graeff et al., , 2021. Additionally, numerous tools have been developed over the last couple of decades, the purpose of which is the facilitation of the bioinspiration process Wanieck et al., 2017). ...
For many biological systems different strategies, morphologies and/or behaviours have evolved in response to similar functional demands (a concept known as convergent evolution). The biodiversity on Earth thus holds a wealth of natural strategies that may provide tailored solutions to the social, economic and environmental challenges the world faces—a practice often referred to as biomimicry, biomimetics or bioinspiration. Despite the great potential and increasing popularity of bioinspiration as a research approach, deciding which biological systems to explore remains a challenging and complex task. Not only does the incompleteness of the knowledge about biodiversity inhibit the identification of suitable biological strategies, but also practitioners in the field of bioinspiration often rely on the assumption that natural structures are the result of evolutionary processes that strive for optimization, thereby failing to acknowledge the processes that might constrain adaptive evolution. The purpose of this chapter is threefold. First, we shed light on the evolutionary constraints and limitations that pose potential pitfalls for using biodiversity as a source of inspiration for innovation. Second, we highlight the central role that the study of convergent evolution could and should play in addressing the current challenges to approaches to bioinspiration. Finally, we provide valuable insights into methodological trends that might facilitate the identification and experimental analysis of biological systems and thereby advance our understanding of biological structures in novel ways. By engaging with these three lines of thought, we present a perspective on future directions for bioinspiration, drawing attention to the opportunities for improving the translation of biological knowledge into innovative solutions.
... Σύμφωνα με πρόσφατους υπολογισμούς οικονομολόγων, τεχνολογικές καινοτομίες που βασίζονται στη βιομιμητική θα φέρουν κέρδη δισεκατομμυρίων δολαρίων ή ευρώ και θα δημιουργήσουν χιλιάδες θέσεις εργασίας μέχρι το 2025.5 Βλ. και φαρμακευτικά φυτά της Ηπείρου: και ...
Full-text available
Η περί τη βιομιμητική (Biomimetic) έρευνα αντλεί έμπνευση από ιδιότητες ζωντανών οργανισμών που υπάρχουν στη φύση και ζουν σε διαφορετικούς βιοτόπους και διακριτά ενδιαιτήματα. Η βιομιμητική βασίζεται στη μελέτη, την ανάδειξη, την αντιγραφή και την προσομοίωση ιδιοτήτων και δομικών χαρακτηριστικών έμβιων οργανισμών που έχουν αποδεδειγμένα αντέξει περιβαλλοντικές καταπονήσεις. Έτσι, δομές και ιδιότητες ζωντανών οργανισμών (υδρόφοβες, οπτικές και άλλες ιδιότητες) που αποκαλύπτονται με τη βασική έρευνα χρησιμοποιούνται από την τεχνολογία δημιουργώντας ανταλλακτικές αξίες, θέσεις εργασίας, χρηστικά και πρωτοποριακά προϊόντα. Η βιομίμηση (Biomimicry) έχει σχέση με την απατηλή μίμηση χαρακτηριστικών ενός οργανισμού από έναν άλλο οργανισμό για ξεγέλασμα, για προσέλκυση ή άμυνα. Για παράδειγμα, τα άνθη ορισμένων φυτών όπως οι ορχιδέες μιμούνται, καθώς ανοίγουν και επιδεικνύουν τον φαινότυπό τους (χρώματα, σχήματα και συμμετρίες) όσον αφορά τη μορφολογία, ορισμένα έντομα για να τα προσελκύσουν. Επίσης, πεταλούδες και έντομα μιμούνται το φύλλωμα δέντρων και θάμνων για να μην γίνουν αντιληπτές/αντιληπτά από θηρευτές. Τόσο η βιομιμητική όσο και η βιομίμηση σχετίζονται με την αποκάλυψη χαρακτηριστικών ιδιοτήτων της ύλης της φύσης από την ερευνητική δραστηριότητα των ανθρώπων. Ωστόσο, η ανάπτυξη των ηλεκτρονικών μικροσκοπίων ήταν μια κομβική υποδομή αναφοράς για τη βασική έρευνα που πυροδότησε πολλές από τις ιδέες της βιοέμπνευσης και των μετέπειτα εφαρμογών. Κατά συνέπεια, στη βιομιμητική τεχνική καθρεφτίζονται επιλεκτικά ιδιότητες της ύλης της φύσης που προβάλλονται με προσομοίωση σε τεχνητές, ανθρώπινες κατασκευές. Η πρωταρχική προσέγγιση θεμάτων βιομιμητικής (Biomimetics) συνδέεται με την άποψη ότι οργανισμοί που ζουν σε βιοτόπους έχουν ήδη αποκριθεί με επιτυχία σε περιβαλλοντικές καταπονήσεις, με την πάροδο του χρόνου και πρόκειται για εκατομμύρια χρόνια εξέλιξης και προσαρμογής. Δηλαδή, η επιβίωση και η ανάπτυξή τους έχει αποδεδειγμένα δοκιμαστεί και βασίζεται στις προσαρμογές τους στο φυσικό τους περιβάλλον. Η βιομιμητική μελετά και αναζητά τις επιτυχημένες αποκρίσεις στο περιβάλλον από τους ζωντανούς οργανισμούς, με απώτερο στόχο να προτείνει λύσεις, έτσι ώστε επιλεγμένα αντικείμενα, υλικά και δομές που θα βοηθήσουν την ανθρώπινη και ανθρωποκεντρική δραστηριότητα να βρίσκονται σε δυναμική ισορροπία με το περιβάλλον του πλανήτη μας. Στις μέρες μας είναι γεγονός ότι από επίμονες, επίπονες και μακρόχρονες μελέτες φυσικής ιστορίας, οραματισμό και έμπνευση προκύπτουν σύγχρονες τεχνολογικές εφαρμογές και νέα προϊόντα με ποικίλες εφαρμογές. Η ανάδειξη της σημασίας της βιομιμητικής, της βιομίμησης, της βιομιμητικότητας ή του βιομιμητισμού σχετίζεται με τη συμβολή την οποία μπορεί να προσφέρει η ενσωμάτωση “πληροφορίας” που προϋπήρχε και προϋπάρχει στη φύση σε καινοτομίες και ανθρωπογενείς επεμβάσεις στο περιβάλλον, με στόχο τη βιώσιμη ανάπτυξη. Στο πλαίσιο αυτό ενθαρρύνεται η διεπιστημονικότητα, η αλληλεπίδραση ιδεών και καινοτόμων απόψεων. Πρόκειται για ταχύτατα αναπτυσσόμενες διεργασίες διεθνώς, σε πανεπιστήμια και ερευνητικές δομές. Με εφόδιο το έργο που διεξάγεται και δημοσιοποιείται, θετικές επιστήμες, κοσμετολογία, αθλητισμός, φαρμακευτική, γεωπονία, αρχιτεκτονική, αρχαιολογία, καλές τέχνες, επιστήμες υλικών, κατασκευών, υφασμάτων, υγείας, περιβάλλοντος και διαστήματος, επιστήμες αγωγής και φυσικής αγωγής αποβλέπουν σε ανάλογα αποτελέσματα. Η έμβια ύλη της φύσης, η οποία αποτελεί “καλούπι” για την τεχνολογία. Επίσης, προσεγγίζονται με παιδεία νέες πτυχές έρευνας και τεχνολογικών δυνατοτήτων. προκλήσεων και προοπτικών για τις επερχόμενες γενιές. Εννοείται ότι τα κεφάλαια του παρόντος συγγράμματος δεν καλύπτουν όλη την έκταση της βιομιμητικής και της βιομίμησης, αλλά είναι ένα πρώτο, σημαντικό βήμα για την ανάδειξη του θέματος και της έμπνευσης καθώς και την προώθηση των ερεθισμάτων ή των παρατηρήσεων από την έμβια ύλη της φύσης.
... To utilize knowledge from biology, engineers and designers must first be able to comprehend it, then translate it into a context that is relevant to the problem they are solving. One way to do this would be to have a biologist as part of the team [10,11]. Another way is to introduce tools and processes for practicing BID. ...
Full-text available
Bio-inspired design (BID) has the potential to evolve the way engineers and designers solve problems. Several tools have been developed to assist one or multiple phases of the BID process. These tools, typically studied individually and through the performance of college students, have yielded interesting results for increasing the novelty of solutions. However, not much is known about the likelihood of the tools being integrated into the design and development process of established companies. The mixed-methods study presented in this paper seeks to address this gap by providing industry engineers and designers hands-on training with the BID process and four BID tools. Understanding which tools are valued and could be adopted in an industry context is the goal. The results indicate multiple encouraging outcomes including that industry practitioners highly valued the process framework tool (BID canvas) as it allows for flexibility in tool use, as well as valued learning with a suite of BID tools rather than a single one to accommodate different workflows and ways of thinking.
Full-text available
In bio-inspired design, the concept of “function” allows engineers to move between biological models and human applications. Abstracting a problem to general functions allows designers to look to traits that perform analogous functions in biological organisms. However, the idea of function can mean different things across fields, presenting challenges for interdisciplinary research. Here we review core ideas in biology that relate to the concept of “function,” including adaptation, tradeoffs, and fitness, as a companion to bio-inspired design approaches. We align these ideas with a top-down approach in biomimetics, where engineers start with a problem of interest and look to biology for ideas. We review how one can explore a range of biological analogies for a given function by considering function across different parts of an organism’s life, such as acquiring nutrients or avoiding disease. Engineers may also draw inspiration from biological traits or systems that exhibit a particular function, but did not necessarily evolve to do so. Such an evolutionary perspective is important to how biodesigners search biological space for ideas. A consideration of the evolution of trait function can also clarify potential trade-offs and biological models that may be more promising for an application. This core set of concepts from evolutionary and organismal biology can aid engineers and designers in their search for biological inspiration.
Searching for suitable biological strategies in bio-inspired design (BID) is the first problem that designers need to solve. Based on the biological strategy database of the AskNature, a natural language processing (NLP) method is applied to search for keywords related to design topics, and a multi-criteria coupled evaluation method is proposed for biological strategy. This paper firstly establishes the mapping relationship between BID topic and biological strategies through a NLP method-BERT. Then a coupled evaluation method is established based on the ordinal relation analysis and the deviation maximization method, highlighting the differences between biological strategies while considering the designer's preference. Finally, cases show the biological strategy coupling evaluation process. The results indicate that the proposed method is effective and efficient in biological strategy evaluation, which assists BID well.
Synopsis Bioinspired design (BID) is an interdisciplinary research field that can lead to innovations to solve technical problems. There have been many attempts to develop a framework to de-silo engineering and biology and implement processes to enable BID. In January of 2022, we organized a symposium at the 2022 Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting to bring together educators and practitioners of BID. The symposium aimed to (a) consolidate best practices in teaching bioinspiration, (b) create and sustain effective multidisciplinary teams, (c) summarize best approaches to conduct problem-based or solution-driven fundamental research, and (d) bring BID innovations to market. During the symposium, several themes emerged. Here we highlight three critical themes that need to be addressed for BID to become a truly interdisciplinary strategy that benefits all stakeholders and results in innovation. First, there is a need for a usable methodology that leads to proper abstraction of biological principles for engineering design. Second, the utilization of engineering models to test biological hypotheses is essential for the continued engagement of biologists in BID. Third, there is a necessity of proven team-science strategies that will lead to successful collaborations between engineers and biologists. Accompanying this introduction is a variety of perspectives and research articles highlighting best practices in BID research and product development and guides that can highlight the challenges and facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations in the field of BID.
Full-text available
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.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The strength of biomimetics comes from its ability to draw from life mechanisms and strategies to design innovative solutions. In spite of recent methodological progresses, more specifically on tools and processes, biomimetics' implementation still faces strong difficulties. Among other things, design teams have a hard time finding and selecting relevant biological strategies. Facing these challenges, we consider an alternative, yet well recognized, approach: the integration of profiles having a training in natural science within biomimetic design teams. As biologists aren't used to work in design teams, there is a need for a process actually guiding their practice in biomimetics and determining the way they will interact with the “traditional” design team. After studying the literature and asking for experts' opinion on the matter, we introduced a biomimetic design process considering this new profile as an integral part of biomimetic design teams. With the final goal of making biomimetics implementable, this proposed theoretical process is currently tested in both a student and an industrial project in order to optimize our methodological contribution with practical feedbacks.
Full-text available
Engineering design, as the science framing the practice of design through the elaboration of tools and processes, is constantly evolving towards new innovative strategies. To thrive in their extremely competitive environment, it appears that both industrial and natural worlds are highly dependent on innovation, optimisation and selection. These commonalities have led designers to look to living beings for inspiration. This innovation strategy, referred to as biomimetics, isn’t a new approach but its methodological aspects are still under development. This article deals with biologists’ contribution throughout the biomimetic design process. After introducing the context and the experimental protocol, we investigated the impact of possessing a background in biology during the practice of biomimetics and compared our findings with experts’ opinion. The main idea of this article is to show that to forego the integration of biologists is highly restrictive and may be one of the reasons explaining the difficulties of implementing biomimetics in the industrial context. Hence, this article argues for a new methodological framework taking into account biologists, allowing biomimetic teams to become truly interdisciplinary.
Full-text available
Through billions of years of evolution, a latent record of successful and failed design practices has developed in nature. The endeavors to exploit this record have resulted in numerous successful products in various fields of engineering, including, but not limited to, networking, propulsion, surface engineering, and robotics. In this work, a study of existing biomimetic designs has been carried out by categorizing the designs according to the biological organizational level, the abstraction level, and a novelty measure. The criterion of novelty has been used as a partial measure of the quality of bio-inspired and biomimetic designs already introduced, or ready to be introduced to the market. Through this review and categorization, we recognize patterns in existing biomimetic and bio-inspired products by analyzing their cross-categorical distribution. Using the distribution, we identify the categories which yield novel bio-inspired designs. We also examine the distribution to identify less explored areas of bio-inspired design. Additionally, this study is a step forward in aiding the practitioners of biomimetics in identifying the categories which yield the highest novelty products in their area of interest.
Full-text available
Biological systems have evolved over billions of years and cope with changing conditions through the adaptation of morphology, physiology, or behavior. Learning from these adaptations can inspire engineering innovation. Several bio-inspired design tools and methods prescribe the use of analogies, but lack details for the identification and application of promising analogies. Further, inexperienced designers tend to have a more difficult time recognizing or creating analogies from biological systems. This paper reviews biomimicry literature to establish analogy categories as a tool for knowledge transfer between biology and engineering to aid bio-inspired design that addresses the common issues. Two studies were performed with the analogy categories. A study of commercialized products verifies the set of categories, while a controlled design study demonstrates the utility of the categories. The results of both studies offer valuable information and insights into the complexity of analogical reasoning and transfer, as well as what leads to biological inspiration versus imitation. The influence on bio-inspired design pedagogy is also discussed. The breadth of the analogy categories is sufficient to capture the knowledge transferred from biology to engineering for bio-inspired design. The analogy categories are a design method independent tool and are applicable for professional product design, research, and teaching purposes.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Alors que l'innovation par la biomimétique prend son essor au sein de la communauté scientifique et dans le monde industriel, la question de la place des différents acteurs, en particulier celle des biologistes et de leurs rôles, dans ce type de processus reste entière. A travers, la caractérisation des attentes des différents acteurs, cette étude vise à apporter une première réponse à cette question fondamentale. Nous présentons ainsi nos premiers résultats sur les profils de biologistes attendus par les équipes de conception lors du processus biomimétique. Ces travaux constitueront par la suite notre base de réflexion lors de la conception de solutions prescriptives quant à l'intégration de ces profils originaux au sein des équipes classiques de conception biomimétiques.
Similarity and analogy are fundamental in human cognition. They are crucial for recognition and classification, and have been associated with scientific discovery and creativity. Successful learning is generally less dependent on the memorization of isolated facts and abstract rules than it is on the ability to identify relevant bodies of knowledge already stored as the starting point for new learning. Similarity and analogy play an important role in this process - a role that in recent years has received much attention from cognitive scientists. Any adequate understanding of similarity and analogy requires the integration of theory and data from diverse domains. This interdisciplinary volume explores current developments in research and theory from psychological, computational, and educational perspectives, and considers their implications for learning and instruction. Well-known cognitive scientists examine the psychological processes involved in reasoning by similarity and analogy, the computational problems encountered in simulating analogical processing in problem solving, and the conditions promoting the application of analogical reasoning in everyday situations.
Over the past half century, how we conceive of design research has changed significantly, as indeed have the boundaries of influence of the design profession. This paper takes an entirely personal perspective of the author and will discuss the change in the nature of design research through the lens of a career in design education and, especially, in the author's endeavours to develop design research as a respected discipline working with and alongside, science, social sciences and the arts and humanities. It will look at the social, economic and political drivers that have influenced design research in the UK but also globally, and at where this has taken design, in terms of research both within and beyond the design profession.
Biomimicry is a growing field within design communities, attracting practitioners and researchers from a wide range of domains. In the USA, The Biomimicry Institute, The Biomimicry Center and Biomimicry 3.8 share a common mission of supporting the growth of the practice of biomimicry, through commercial consulting, professional training and public education. Research to date has highlighted potential weaknesses and challenges to its growth as a practice. By gaining insights into the current state and funding of completed and on-going biomimicry projects we aim to provide more intelligence and strategic information for organisations with the mission of supporting the practice of biomimicry. We present the results of an online survey of 270 biomimicry practitioners from 44 countries and describe distribution trends, the level of practice support, and difficulties they are currently experiencing. We conclude with guiding recommendations for supporting the impact and growth of the practice of biomimicry.