This course provides an introduction to the tools and principles of biomimicry, a new discipline that emulates nature's best ideas and blueprints in order to solve human design challenges and to inspire innovative solutions. You will learn how nature can inspire design concepts that you will be able to apply to develop novel products, processes and organisations. In this module you will learn how to apply and adapt ecological concepts to business and innovation strategies, discovering that biomimicry is a methodology used by some of the most innovative organizations worldwide.
Full module specification
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 2: |
This module aims to engage you on how to learn from nature. You will be inspired to create novel sustainable design, organizations and enterprises trough accessing the wealth of ecological information available and applying it effectively to product and business design. This module introduces biomimicry, a new discipline that emulates nature's best ideas and blueprints in order to solve human and societal challenges.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Synthesise multiple perspectives of biomimetic design in response to business and organisational challenges
- 2. Explain how an ecological worldview and biomimicry can help to shape sustainable and innovative business strategies
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 3. Critically assess innovative solutions inspired by nature
- 4. Demonstrate an understanding of the links between ecological dynamics and socio-economic challenges
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 5. Demonstrate the use of ecological-inspired problem-solving techniques
- 6. Use digital tools & resources to create original content and argument in academic and social activities
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity||16 (2 hours per week)||Lectures|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity||4 (1 hour each)||Class room experiments with discussion|
|Guided Independent Study||130 hours||Reading, research and assessment preparation - both revision for examination and assessment production|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group presentation||30 mins||1-6||Tutor feedback via ELE|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Time Constrained Assessment (TCA)||70||2 hours||1-6||Tutor feedback via ELE|
|Report||30||2000 words||1-6||Tutor feedback via ELE|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Time Constrained Assessment (2 hours) (70%)||Time Constrained Assessment (2 hours) (70%)||1-6||July/August|
|Report (30%) (2000 words)||Report (30%) (2000 words)||1-6||July/August|
Topics discussed on the module include (not exclusively):
- Introduction to biomimicry
- Biomimicry and complexity
- Biomimicry in organisation
- Biomimetic design
- Biomimetic innovation
- Unifying patterns, strategies and functions
- Biomimicry and grand challenges
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
- Benyus, J. M. (1997). Biomimicry: Innovation inspired by nature. New York: Morrow.
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Other resources
- Kennedy, E., Fecheyr-Lippens, D., Hsiung, B. K., Niewiarowski, P. H., & Kolodziej, M. (2015). Biomimicry: A path to sustainable innovation. Design Issues, 31(3), 66-73.
- Hayes, S., Desha, C., & Baumeister, D. (2020). Learning from nature–Biomimicry innovation to support infrastructure sustainability and resilience. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 161, 120287.
- Volstad, N. L., & Boks, C. (2012). On the use of Biomimicry as a Useful Tool for the Industrial Designer. Sustainable Development, 20(3), 189-199.
Last revision date