Evaluating the Directed Method for Bioinspired Design Conference Paper uri icon


  • Bioinspired design, the practice of looking to nature to find inspiration for engineering design, is becoming an increasingly desired approach to design. It allows designers to tap a wealth of time-tested solutions to difficult problems in a domain rarely considered by designers. Only recently have researchers developed organized, systematic methods for bioinspired design. These methods include BioTRIZ, an extension of functional modeling for bioinspired design, engineering-to-biology keyword translation tools, and specialized design tools like DANE and SAPPHIRE. These organized methods are currently active research efforts. Traditionally, however, bioinspired design has been conducted without the benefit of any organized method. Without the support of formal methods, designers have relied on the "directed method" of bioinspired design. The directed method approach simply directs designers to consider how nature might approach a problem in order to help designers find solutions. This paper presents an experiment to explore the impact upon idea generation of simply contemplating how nature would solve a design problem. This experiment is foundationally important to bioinspired engineering design method research. The results of this experiment serve as a fundamental baseline and benchmark for the comparison of more systematic, and often more involved, bioinspired design methods. Copyright © 2012 by ASME.

author list (cited authors)

  • Glier, M. W., Tsenn, J., Linsey, J. S., & McAdams, D. A.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • August 2012