Dr. Edith Öller
The Know-How of Nature
“Biomimicry” offers us the opportunity to make use of nature's millennia-old know-how. The process can be used both for technical problems and, for example, for organizational challenges.
The Biomimicry Institute (www.biomimicry.org) has defined a “Biomimicry Design Process” in its “Toolbox”, according to which we can analyze problems and solve them with the help of nature. The process is similar to an agile design process such as Design Thinking and can also be combined very well with Design Thinking methods.
The Biomimicry design spiral shows the following main process steps at a glance:
Define: At the beginning, the desired impact is precisely defined, the framework and the success criteria.
Biologize: In the next step, the relevant functions and the context are described. These are then abstracted into biological terminology in order to be able to search for analogies in nature.
Discover: Then the journey of discovery begins - which organisms or ecosystems have to fulfill the same functions, in a similar context? Which biological strategies support success and survival here? (e.g. on www.Asknature.org)
Abstract: The successful strategies are analyzed and abstracted through sketches and written formulation.
Emulate: Which patterns and relationships are shown between the solutions found and what are the key findings from them? This is the basis for new design concepts.
Evaluate: Finally, it is evaluated how well the solutions found meet the requirements and whether they are technically and economically feasible.
In the sense of an agile process, individual steps or sections are repeated in loops if new findings or restrictions become relevant.
"Nature‘s Unifying Patterns" (https://toolbox.biomimicry.org/core-concepts/natures-unifying-patterns/) also apply as the basic principles and goal for a biomimicry design process