Thursday, 24 September 2009

Biomimicry In Design - Greengaged Conference

On Wednesday I attended the Biomimicry in Design conference at the Design Council. The conference included a series of talks from industry professionals in the fields of Architecture, Biology and Product Design. Throughout the day there were also workshops that helped me engage with other members of the audience and explore ideas.
The conference explored the ways in which we can use nature as inspiration when designing. Biomimicry in design supports the concepts of multifunctional design and closed loop systems that create zero waste. The book 'Cradle to Cradle' and it's concepts for design is very relevant to Biomimicry.
Emphasis was placed on the idea that Biomimicry should inspire the function of a product, this links to the idea of Industrial Symbiosis, taking a waste material and turning it into something else. This can be a very difficult bespoke process, but companies such as Worn Again provide a good example of this in practice.
Another point highlighted at this conference was that designers need to look at a much wider area of disciplines and form collaborations that work across science, design and technology. We also need to think about the way we currently design objects, often we do this in a way which makes recycling very difficult, we need to think about the materials second and third life at the initial design stage.
Julian Vincent gave an interesting viewpoint on Design Processes and how we can use Biomimicry to improve design. Questions you should ask yourself when designing:
  • What do I want to improve?
  • What stops me making that improvement?

"Without contraries there is no improvement, you need to have conflicts to problem solve. "

If you are interested in Biomimicry, please look at the following blog for inspiration!