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Biologically Inspired Design: Process and Products



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Biologically Inspired Design Process and Products Published in Design Studies 30 2009 606 622 doi 10 1016 j destud 2009 04 003 www elsevier com locate destud Michael Helms Swaroop S Vattam Ashok K Goel School of Interactive Computing Georgia Institute of Technology 85 Fifth Street NW Atlanta Georgia 30308 USA Biologically inspired engineering design uses analogies to biological systems to develop solutions for engineering problems We conducted a study of biologically inspired design in the context of an interdisciplinary introductory course on biologically inspired engineering design in Fall of 2006 The goals of this study were to understand the process of biologically inspired engineering design and to provide insight into biologically inspired design as a type of design activity This paper provides a descriptive account of biologically inspired design processes and products and summarizes our main observations 1 designers use two distinct starting points for biologically inspired design 2 regular patterns of practice emerge in biologically inspired design and 3 certain errors occur regularly in the design process Keywords Biologically Inspired Design Biomimetic Design Engineering Design Cognitive Study Biologically inspired design uses analogies to biological systems to develop solutions for engineering problems Biologically inspired design is gaining in importance as a wide spread movement in design for environmentally conscious sustainable development e g Anastas Warner 2000 Benyus 1997 Papanek 1984 Wann 1990 that often results in innovation Collins and Brebbia 2004 Forbes 2005 French 1998 Vogel 2000 Bosner 2006 and Bosner Vincet 2007 trace the growth of biologically inspired design patents From the perspective of design studies a number of characteristics make biologically inspired design an especially interesting problem to study 1 Biologically inspired design is inherently interdisciplinary By definition it is based on cross domain analogies requiring



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