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 From Organic to Digital: Applying Nature's Complexity, Symmetry and Beauty
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From Organic to Digital: Applying Nature's Complexity, Symmetry and Beauty

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Design benefits "non-designers" like scientists and engineers all the time in the field of Biomimicry a discipline that aims to innovate materials engineering and improve existing machines by copying …

Design benefits "non-designers" like scientists and engineers all the time in the field of Biomimicry a discipline that aims to innovate materials engineering and improve existing machines by copying nature which for millions of years has been manufacturing products without polluting the environment and producing strong materials.

This talk is about extending Biomimicry to designers, developers and everyone involved in the creative process by teaching them to observe the complexity, symmetry & beauty found in the natural world. It aims to extract design thinking lessons from nature’s cycles and their application to a creative team’s processes, methods and culture.

Nature tackles clearly defined problems of global proportions all the time and the way these are solved through its cycles of massive scale teaches designers and others to have a clearly defined problem, seek solutions by asking for different points of view and arriving at a holistic solution.

Nature is full of inspiration for anyone involved in the creative process: visual and audio sensory experiences; these all make up powerful caches of creativity. The way nature adapts to changing conditions speaks bold lessons about ideating multiple ideas in today’s modern development cycles by encouraging a culture of brainstorming, generating multiple ideas and collaboration.

The field of biomimetics is full of prototypes that are tested before introducing innovative products to market, a fact that speaks to any User Experience professional who values prototyping, soliciting user feedback and testing.


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  • 1. From Organic to Digital Applying Nature's Complexity, Symmetry and Beauty
  • 2. Nature... photo credit: http://honeymoondiaries.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/yellow-boxfish-juvenile.jpg
  • 3. photo credit: http://honeymoondiaries.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/yellow-boxfish-juvenile.jpg Engineers...
  • 4. Prototypes
  • 5. More than aesthetics photo credit: http://wallpaperskd.com/wallpaper/tree-rings/
  • 6. Embracing disruption
  • 7. Adaptive qualities
  • 8. #UXBiomimicry
  • 9. Decisions
  • 10. From beginning to finale photo credit: http://bolgcurtains.com/used-theater-curtains/
  • 11. Lead creative process "organically"photo credit: http://nofari.org/organic-farming/for-safely-and-quality/
  • 12. Continuous
  • 13. Provoke to readapt photo credit: http://www.desktopwallpapers4.me/photography/broken-tip-on-orange-pencil-11850/
  • 14. Reap change from the core
  • 15. Nothing to lose
  • 16. Separate?
  • 17. New ways of thinking
  • 18. What Nature teaches designers
  • 19. Complexity
  • 20. "Less is More" Jakob Nielsen
  • 21. Complexity on a massive scalephoto credit: http://www.wallpaperpin.com/wallpaper/1440x1024/planet-blue-earth-wallpaper-ibackgroundzcom-17899.html
  • 22. Underlying maths beneath complicated systemsphoto credit: http://www.niemanlab.org/2012/03/the-newsonomics-of-crossover/
  • 23. Order and patterns
  • 24. Not visible to the eye
  • 25. Human Experience
  • 26. Sustainable life on earth
  • 27. The Five Senses photo credit: http://blog.sanbornwesterncamps.com/?p=173
  • 28. DNA photo credit: http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2011/11/22/whats-your-dna-worth/
  • 29. photo credit: http://www.polymos.com/en/environment/environmental-policy1
  • 30. Earth's protective shieldphoto credit: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=44267
  • 31. Exerting creative energy efficiently & sustainably
  • 32. Nature's Models
  • 33. Culture Skills Motivation Disruption Structure Efficiency Nature's Models
  • 34. UI Patterns
  • 35. Just getting started... photo credit: http://cornelluxdesign.com/2012/03/24/agilelean-ux-19/
  • 36. "UX" Code
  • 37. Holistic photo credit: http://www.nexus-wallpaper.com/wallpaper/nature/seasons-tree/
  • 38. “Of course, we’re not designing specific pages like one for Joe’s biography. We’re designing systems, frameworks within which pages will be constructed.” Stephen Hay
  • 39. Symmetry
  • 40. “The shape toward which a complex system evolves is a strange attractor” Lance Hosey
  • 41. Design Implications
  • 42. Speaking our user’s language
  • 43. UI impact photo credit: http://www.productsthathateyou.com/
  • 44. Is the user happy? photo credit: http://www.washington.edu/news/2012/09/18/app-lets-you-monitor-lung-health-using-only-a-smartphone/
  • 45. “Symmetry creates balance, and balance in design creates harmony, order, and aesthetically pleasing results. It is found everywhere in nature, and is probably why we find it to be so beautiful. “ Kayla Knight
  • 46. Beauty
  • 47. "It's pretty much stealing from nature" Joanna Aizenberg
  • 48. Nature grabs our attention, speaks clearly and gets to the point
  • 49. Aesthetics Details
  • 50. Golden Ratio
  • 51. Doesn't always work...
  • 52. Beautiful Utility
  • 53. Textures
  • 54. 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597... Fibonacci sequence
  • 55. CSS (box model) Fn Fn Fn Fn Fn Fn http://jsfiddle.net/uxcodeine/syHXv/
  • 56. Motion Intervals Fn http://jsfiddle.net/uxcodeine/X995Z/
  • 57. Grid Systems Fn Fn http://jsfiddle.net/uxcodeine/68LWj/
  • 58. "So What?" photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/slworking/5120684021/
  • 59. “Although structures can be put in place and procedures can be taught, how you relate to your creative self is between you and nature.” Maggie Macnab
  • 60. How do I make sure I "do something meaningful"?
  • 61. Observing a tree’s structure of a trunk, branches and leaves.
  • 62. Sap flows Sunlight Branch thickness
  • 63. Creativity Meaning Strategy
  • 64. How can I end up "working with smart people"?
  • 65. Mimicking water cleaning techniques of algae in turf scrubbers.
  • 66. Filter CLEANWASTE Sunlight
  • 67. Culture VALUEFLUFF Mentors
  • 68. How do I "focus on creating value"?
  • 69. Emulating collision detection systems from Locusts.
  • 70. Visual Sensory Processing System
  • 71. egosdisunity miscommunication misinformed
  • 72. How do I make sure I'm always "building stuff"?
  • 73. Meeting Nature's modularity, efficiency, responsiveness and flexibility.
  • 74. Modularity Efficiency Responsiveness Flexibility photos: www.awaketotheheart.com, ccarrstarr.blogspot.com, msutoday.msu.edu , www.jillypics.co.uk
  • 75. Modularity Responsiveness Flexibility Efficiency
  • 76. How do I make sure I "help other people build stuff"?
  • 77. Mimicking human cells that selectively kill bad bacteria in healing wounds.
  • 78. Toxic
  • 79. Inspire
  • 80. "What's Next"
  • 81. "What if everything in the environment was embedded with computing power? Or if computing and information had organic qualities?" Rachel Hinman
  • 82. Organic User Interfaces photo credit: Shutterstock photo credit: Wikipedia photo credit: CBS Interactive
  • 83. graphic: http://www.mobiletuxedo.com/touch-gesture-icons/
  • 84. Computer Paradigms photo: http://scientopia.org/blogs/
  • 85. "Design Solutions"
  • 86. Instant gratification generation
  • 87. Continue to observe intently to create change photo credit: http://www.scoopempire.com/post/2012/08/31/Hellooo-Over-Population.aspx
  • 88. Questions & Contact: Luis Daniel Rodriguez @uxcodeline Thank You!