Better resource usage through biomimetic symbiotic principles for host and derivative product synthesis Conference Paper uri icon


  • In recent years, numerous methods to aid designers in conceptualizing new products have been developed. These methods intend to give structure to a process that was, at one time, considered to be a purely creative exercise. Resulting from the study, implementation, and refinement of design methodologies is the notion that both the structure of the development process and the structure of the developed product are key factors in creating value in a firm's product line. With respect to the latter key factor, product architecture, but more specifically, modular product architecture has been the subject of much study. This research is focused on two tasks: advancing the notion of a modular product architecture in which modules can be incorporated into a product 'post-market,' and creating a method that aids designers leverage knowledge of natural symbiotic relationships to synthesize these post-market modules. It adds to prior work by first, defining the terms 'derivative product' and 'host product' to describe the post-market module and the product that the module augments, respectively. Second, by establishing three guidelines that are used to assess the validity of potential derivative products, giving the newly termed host and derivative product space defined boundaries. And lastly, by developing a 7-step, biomimetic-based methodology that can be used to create derivative product concepts (post-market modules). By using this methodology, the engineered products are designed on symbiotic principles found in nature.

author list (cited authors)

  • Davis, M., McAdams, D. A., & Wadia, A. P.

publication date

  • August 2011