Bionic Design: Presentation of a Two Way Methodology

By Carlos A. M. Versos and Denis A. Coelho.

Published by The International Journal of Designed Objects

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Essential tools in any design process, providing guidelines, goals and technical guidelines for the successful development of products, design methodologies must take an important character in the valuation, the optimization, and the expansion of the approach and principles of bionic design. A number of methods have specifically been proposed which are intended for designers to guide the development of biologically inspired designs. This paper is intended to develop the results of a comparative analysis of existing methods of systematization of the bionic approach, proposed by different authors, which was previously presented. The parameters for analysis and comparison of methods were identified and defined as key goals to be achieved in design projects. Another parameter of analysis and differentiation is the orientation that the methods of analysis follow, and the possibility of orientation from the starting problem towards finding a biological solution, and the direction initiated by seeking inspiration from a biological solution and then locating a problem that can be solved with the proposed bio-inspired solution. The comparative analysis identified the strengths and weaknesses of each method, such as recognizing the goals missed, or the aspects bound to be answered by the methods only sparingly, in order to establish guidelines for the preparation of a new methodological approach. The presentation of a new methodology to support the process of bionic design, following the two directions of analysis, constitutes the core aspect of this paper, as this is the ultimate and main purpose of this contribution. The paper hence brings forward a new methodology for bionic design in two directions with illustration of application in two design cases (new quad-bicycle and CD storage tower).

Keywords: Bionic Design, Methodology of Design, Design Thinking, Design Planning, Validation, Innovation

The International Journal of Designed Objects, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.17-37. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 838.762KB).

Carlos A. M. Versos

Technological Industrial Design Studies, Department of Electromechanical Engineering, Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

Carlos A. M. Versos was born in 1987 in Covilhã, Portugal. In the academic year of 2005/2006, he entered the Industrial Design program at Beira Interior’s University. After graduation he continued pursuing the interest in this design field and concluded his master thesis in Technological Industrial Design at Beira Interior University with the theme of Bionic Design, with the tutoring of Professor Denis A. Coelho. His interest in nature, the background theme for his master's thesis, led him to participate in projects to raise awareness and foster action for the preservation of forests through education and volunteering programs. In his free time, Carlos Versos enjoys to draw and practicing sports to relax, such as cycling, karaté, kickboxing or jiu jitsu. Currently he is developing his international industrial design career.

Prof. Denis A. Coelho

Assistant Professor (tenured), Technological Industrial Design Program, Department of Electromechanical Engineering, Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

Denis A. Coelho has been responsible for the creation and development in the University of Beira Interior of an entirely new program of studies in Industrial Design (undergraduate studies leading to a Bachelor's degree) and Technological Industrial Design (Masters program). He has also designed and helped design post-secondary programs of studies including Multimedia product development, Ecommerce web applications and multimedia web applications. As a Mechanical Engineer with an Ergonomic Design and Production Management post-graduate education, his research has focused in several areas. He has worked with car seat comfort (ergonomic design) and has also been interested in Management Systems in Small and Medium Enterprises, as well as providing a contribution to the advancement of ergonomic design methods. He has also participated and coordinated Multimedia design projects, focusing on the application of ergonomic guidelines at both the conceptual and application level. International exposure has included research performed in collaboration with Swedish and US universities, applied to the automotive and healthcare sectors.