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Nature Inspired Design swisstainability


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Nature Inspired Design is about designing products that make a positive impact on society and the environment, instead of products with a reduced negative impact, as is the case with traditional ecodesign. The idea is to emulate strategies used by living systems into technologies that are economically and ecologically successful. Two design strategies exist that have this goal: Cradle to Cradle and Biomimicry. Both receive much enthusiasm and sometimes even seem to be a hype.

But are the resulting designs truly sustainable? How is Nature Inspired Design different from business-as-usual? And how can you apply NID in your daily design practice, and with which method? These are the main questions in the project Nature Inspired Design Method, a research project financed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

Running from 2012-2015 with a consortium of ten companies, a novel design method will be developed and tested that lets designers integrate Cradle to Cradle and Biomimicry in their daily design practice. Each of the companies counts as a leader in its field, with a proven track record on at least one of the two strategies, bringing in valuable insights and experience. The project results will be materialized in an easy-to-use handbook. It will combine the best practices of the ten companies, complemented with state-of-the-art design research and insights in the principles of sustainable living systems. These results will be presented at a symposium in Delft, The Netherlands on the 6th of November 2014.

For more information on the project or the symposium, please contact
the project leader, Dr.Ir. Erik Tempelman at
or visit us at

Published in: Design
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Nature Inspired Design swisstainability

  1. 1. Swisstainability forum, Lausanne, June 5-6 2014 Ingrid de Pauw PhD/postdoc Bram v.d. Grinten and Ernst-Jan Mul Action Researchers C2C / biomimicry Erik Tempelman Project leader
  2. 2. Overlap Life Cycle thinking Recycling Efficiency Safe materials Renewable energy Product-service systems
  3. 3. Differences Ecodesign: Biomimicry: Cradle to cradle: Circular Economy: Ecodesign: LifeCycle Analysis Biomimicry: Life's Principles Cradle to cradle: Three principles Circular Economy: Inner circles
  4. 4. Best practices Top-down & troughout Chemist & biologist Focus: first phase Ambitious target Chain collaboration
  5. 5. NID method
  6. 6. NID method
  7. 7. NID method
  8. 8. NID process team up set goals map contexts get ideas integrate solutions test goals start cycles keep optimizing
  9. 9. NID process team up set goals map contexts get ideas integrate solutions test goals start cycles keep optimizing
  10. 10. Business as usual
  11. 11. Business Model canvas
  12. 12. Product / service
  13. 13. Cycles & BenefitsBenefits
  14. 14. Cycles & BenefitsBenefits
  15. 15. Cycles & BenefitsBenefits
  16. 16. Cycles & BenefitsBenefits
  17. 17. Biomimicry & Cradle to cradle
  18. 18. Biomimicry & Cradle to cradle
  19. 19. Biomimicry & Cradle to cradle
  20. 20. Biomimicry & Cradle to cradle
  21. 21. Biomimicry & Cradle to cradle
  22. 22. Time
  23. 23. Time
  24. 24. Time
  25. 25. Team
  26. 26. Team
  27. 27. Team
  28. 28. Tools
  29. 29. Tools
  30. 30. Symposium TU Delft, November 6th 2014