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Bio Inspired DesignDeveloping sustainable products that performWhat is it?Bio Inspired Design, is about studying nature to discov-er what products should be like, if they would contributeto a sustainable society.Three levelsNature can be studied at three levels:1. Form - natural structures, shapes and functionalities2. Process - mechanisms behind the development ofnatural elements3. System - cooperations and connections between at-ural elements, that form entire self-supporting systemsWhy use it?Nature has 3.8 billion years of experience with perform-ing the most complex functions, while being sustain-able.The goalDevelop sustainable products that perform, and fit intheir environment just like organisms would in their eco-systems.
How to apply it?With three tools, Bio Inpired Design can be implement-ed in any product development process. Using these,your product will become a valuable part of its environ-ment.Environment scanWhat are the products basic functionalities? What ener-gies, forces, materials, and organisms are present inits environment? What are the needs of the main user?Draw a map, and connect the product’s functions withits environment. It will show you why the product doeswhat it does, and what possibilities are present, to addvalue to its environment.Asknature.orgYou know the funtions of the product, but how to real-ize them? The database at asknature.org shows overa thousand strategies animals use to realize the mostcomplex functions. Browse around, and get inspired!LIfe’s PrinciplesTo fit in an ecosystem, you have to follow general rulesand strategies. Decades of experience of biologists andecologists have been summarized in a comprehensivecollection of Life’s principles. Use them to create ideas,and to evaluate if your product is fit for its place in theecosystem.
Get startedGood sources are available on Bio Inspired Design. Start looking atnature to design better products:Watch“Dat willen wij ook”Dutch documentary series on bioinspired innovations. Available forfree at noorderlicht.vpro.nl/dossiersExplorewww.asknature.orgAn online database composed by biologists and engineers withnature’s best strategies to perform.ReadJanine Benyus: Biomimicry, innovation inspired by nature, 1997,Harper PerennialStandard work on biomimicry. Many examples of research, and anevaluation of the value of Biomimicry.ContactMore questions or looking for advice?Visit my website or contact me:firstname.lastname@example.org “Life’s Principles” taken from www.biomimicryinstitute.org Ernst-Jan Mul 2010