Engineers' and biologists' roles during biomimetic design processes, towards a methodological symbiosis

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

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Graeff, Eliot; Maranzana, Nicolas; Aoussat, Am
Series: ICED
Section: Design creativity
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


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.

Keywords: Bio-inspired design / biomimetics, Biologists, Design process, Collaborative design, Design Team


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