At a Glance


  • Applied Arts

Instructional Level

  • University


  • Design

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Collecting & seeking information
  • Reviewing & assessing peers
  • Creating & designing
  • Revising & improving
  • Writing
  • Presenting

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Adobe suite
  • PowerPoint
  • Keynote

Class size

  • Small (20-49)


  • Multiple class periods (2-3 classes)

Instructional Purpose

  • Application & knowledge building
  • Consolidation & metacognition


This introductory project is meant to help students transform their perspective of nature through the lens of biomimicry. The idea is to look to the natural world as a system of engineered designs and to apply the basic principles of biomimicry methodology to develop a biomimetic design, i.e. a design that abstracts functional strategies from nature, and apply them to a design problem.

Students will do research outside of class on biomimetic design and create a poster (11 in x 17 in format) which showcases a biomimetic design synthesized using biomimetic methodology. The poster will be displayed and critiqued in-class by both students and professor. Students will also do a final in-class presentation.

Instructional Objectives

  • Students will be able to explain three functional strategies used by an organism or system in nature
  • Students will be able to explain three examples of biomimicry technologies
  • Students will be able to create a conceptual design from one of their three organisms

Workflow & Materials

Contributor's Notes


The class works together to critique the posters. The process is anonymous because the names are not on the posters. The class gets a good idea of what the instructor is looking for the final version based on the many examples reviewed.


It is difficult to critique all of the posters (but not necessarily required).


Give the students instructions on how to assess the posters; perhaps the instructor can go through how he assesses a poster first before the students critique the posters. Explain how to give constructive criticism. Outline how to critique in a cooperative and collaborative fashion (how can we make the whole class to succeed? When we critique, we want to bring students up.).