Bio-Inspiration Essentials

This course introduces a new field in science and design: Bio-Inspiration. You will learn to look at nature as source of knowledge. We aim to design products, processes and systems that are part of nature, compatible with and supporting a transition to a circular economy instead of designing for the ‘dump’. After an overview of different Biologically Inspired approaches you will learn to define the scope and function of an innovation and write a first design-brief.

Course topics
This course provides an introduction to the field of Bio-Inspiration. We start to elucidate the philosophical and historical roots of the concept of bio-inspiration. We will touch upon movements like: deep ecology and permaculture and illustrious predecessors such as, Leonardo da Vinci, Buckminster Fuller, Viktor Schauberger, Jay Harman and Bill Mollison.
Then we will give an overview of the main bio-inspired approaches, being: biomimicry, bionics, nature inspired design, natural capitalism, biophilia, Circular Economy and CtoC. You will learn to see similarities and differences because you will learn how to relate and classify different bio-inspired approaches.
Finally, we will address design as a discipline and process through which you can start to formulate and explore possibilities for innovation be it a product, process or systems innovation. You will learn how to define the function you want to ‘biologize’, to describe the scope and hoped-for outcome in such a way that a biologist can deliver the information you need to gather as an important co-creative step in an innovation process.

Relevant course for students and professionals
For students with a chemical biological or bio-medical background it gives a first introduction into a whole new and promising field that combines economic values and methods (innovation) with nature based approaches. For entrepreneurs, programme & project managers, policymakers, trade and industry professionals: the course will help you to understand the main concepts within bio-inspiration to allow you initiate and direct bio-inspired innovation-trajectories.

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