Biomimicry - a Method that Can Stimulate Creativity in Design Education: Opportunities and Limitations


Biomimicry is one of the advanced approaches that allow students to design by emulating nature knowledge which leads to the concept of sustainability. “The skills we teach are too often related to processes and working methods of an age that has ended” Victor J. Papanek. Since the book, (Biomimicry, Innovation Inspired by Nature) by Janine Benyus in 1997, the field of Biomimicry has expanded rapidly across global design schools. By incorporating “biomimicry” in design education, future designers might be able to innovate sustainable and creative solutions for solving design problems. Design schools need to improve their courses and design curricula to use biomimicry efficiently. This study starts with literature reviews about biomimicry and its role in stimulating creativity. Then, it compares the information to reach clear definitions, elements, levels, and tools of biomimicry and to list its principles. In addition, the research explains the three levels of biomimicry: nature as a model, nature as a measure, and nature as a mentor, assisted by case studies that show the implementation of each level. Finally, it analyzes the results of some exploratory studies of some design schools to highlight the limitations of Biomimicry. In conclusion, this research discusses the opportunity of biomimicry and its challenges and limitations. The results showed that most of the students failed to use biomimicry efficiently. They need to learn about the tools that can help them to transfer biological knowledge into their designs successfully.


Eman Moheb
Student, Master's, Carleton University, Ontario, Canada


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design Education



Digital Media

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