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. 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. On our map you can see how a few different case studies have been categorized. 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. It is not exhaustive.

Case Studies 

Tissue Engineered Textiles

Amy Congdon 2020

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

Hygroscopic Textiles

Veronika Kapsali 2009

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

 

Programmable Knitting

Jane Scott 2015

Botany is combined with knitted textile design 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 [textile design] for fashion applications towards more sustainable systems. 

 

Mycelium Textiles

Bolt Threads

Ecology and Systems Theory underpin the combination of [mycology] with [material engineering] to grow fungi as sheet textile for applications in product design. 

How can you use our map to position yourself?

We are developing a 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 this mapping 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