MAPPING BIO-INSPIRED DESIGN

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We are seeing an ever-increasing body of design research that taps into concepts, themes, and knowledge from various scientific discipline. This is inundated with confusing terminology.

One of the first tasks of the Bio-Inspired Textiles project was to create a map of multidisciplinary practice that intersects the Arts and Humanities with Natural and Applied Sciences (Engineering). We quickly realised the extent of ambiguous terms used in this space.

 

For example, bio-mimetics? bio-materials? bio-technology? bio-chemistry? bio-engineering? bio-fabricated? What do these terms actually mean in relation to design practice? What if there was a way to describe design research that intersects the sciences without using complicated terminology?

 

So, we devised a mapping method to help us categorize practice that intersects design and biology without using bio-related terms. We used this method to produce a working visual map of contemporary, bio-informed design practice. We have populated the current version of the map with just a few case studies, it is far from exhaustive. The map itself is a work in progress, it presents nothing more than a snapshot of design practice that we have reviewed as part of this project.

Case Studies 

Tissue Engineered Textiles

Amy Congdon 2020

Cell Biology and tissue engineering is combined with textile design [embroidery] to inform a new approach to growing mammalian cells on textile scaffolds. 

Hygroscopic Textiles

Veronika Kapsali 2009

Botany and materials engineering is combined with material chemistry [fibre design] and textile design [yarn and non-woven] to introduce intentional, autonomous, shape change behaviour to textiles.

 

Programmable Knitting

Jane Scott 2015

Botany is combined with  textile design [Knit] to introduce intentional, autonomous, shape change behaviour into textiles. 

 

Biocouture

Suzanne Lee 2003

Ecology and systems theory underpin the combination of microbiology with materials engineering as a novel approach to creating compostable sheet materials that can be manipulated using textile design processes for towards more sustainable fashion applications . 

 

Mycelium Textiles

Bolt Threads

Ecology and systems theory underpin the combination of mycology with material engineering to grow fungi as textile sheet materials for applications in product design

How can you use our map to position yourself?

We are developing a new resource to help practitioners to position their work on the map.

 

In the meantime if you would you like your project to be part of our ongoing mapping activities please see below. 

Would you like to add your research project as a case study to our map?
 

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HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGE OF OUR MAP

*All submissions will be peer-reviewed by the Bio-Inspired Textiles research team and will only be included if they are relevant to the research aims. 

Interested in the method we used to create the map?

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MAPPING INSTRUCTIONS

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JOURNAL ARTICLE -  

ALL THINGS BIO: A CONCEPTUAL DOMAIN-BASED APPROACH TO MAPPING PRACTICE WITHIN THE LANDSCAPE OF BIOLOGICALLY INFORMED DISCIPLINES