Research Papers: Survey

Bio-Inspired Design: An Overview Investigating Open Questions From the Broader Field of Design-by-Analogy

[+] Author and Article Information
Katherine Fu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, MA 02139
Singapore University of Technology and Design,
Engineering Product Development Pillar,
International Design Centre,
e-mail: Katherine.fu@gmail.com

Diana Moreno

Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, MA 02139
Engineering Product Development Pillar,
International Design Centre,
Singapore University of Technology and Design,
e-mail: dmoreno@mit.edu

Maria Yang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, MA 02139
e-mail: mcyang@mit.edu

Kristin L. Wood

Singapore University of Technology and Design,
Engineering Product Development Pillar,
International Design Centre,
138682, Singapore
e-mail: kristinwood@sutd.edu.sg

This result was derived from a preliminary study, which the authors were not able to replicate the fixation effects observed by Jansson and Smith; this was potentially due to the participants being novices in the study by Purcell and Gero which they were not in the former study, or due to the correlation within the examples of familiarity of aspects of the designs with frequency of occurrence, causing confounding effects in the results.

Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received June 29, 2014; final manuscript received August 12, 2014; published online October 8, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Shapour Azarm.

J. Mech. Des 136(11), 111102 (Oct 08, 2014) (18 pages) Paper No: MD-14-1381; doi: 10.1115/1.4028289 History: Received June 29, 2014; Revised August 12, 2014

Bio-inspired design and the broader field of design-by-analogy have been the basis of numerous innovative designs throughout history; yet there remains much to be understood about these practices of design, their underlying cognitive mechanisms, and preferred ways in which to teach and support them. In this paper, we work to unify the broader design-by-analogy research literature with that of the bio-inspired design field, reviewing the current knowledge of designer cognition, the seminal supporting tools and methods for bio-inspired design, and postulating the future of bio-inspired design research from the larger design-by-analogy perspective. We examine seminal methods for supporting bio-inspired design, highlighting the areas well aligned with current findings in design-by-analogy cognition work and noting important areas for future research identified by the investigators responsible for these seminal tools and methods. Supplemental to the visions of these experts in bio-inspired design, we suggest additional projections for the future of the field, posing intriguing research questions to further unify the field of bio-inspired design with its broader resident field of design-by-analogy.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Design , Biomimetics
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Fig. 1

Depiction of comparative qualitative research methodology

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Fig. 2

Design for a flying machine, Leonardo Di Vinci, 1488 (Reprinted from source: Wikimedia Commons)

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Fig. 3

Diagram illustrating biomimicry designlens, and its components: essential elements, life’s principles, and biomimicry thinking (Reprinted from source: Biomimicry Institute 3.8 under Creative Commons License)3

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Fig. 4

Biomimicry taxomony, an underlying representational and search structure for AskNature (Reprinted from source: Biomimicry Institute 3.8 under Creative Commons License)4

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Fig. 5

SAPPhIRE causality model/representation to explain natural and artificial systems (Reprinted with Permission from Srinivasan, V., and Chakrabarti, A., 2009, “SAPPhIRE—An Approach to Analysis and Synthesis,” paper presented at the Proceedings of ICED'09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Stanford, CA. Copyright 2009 by the Design Society) [15]

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Fig. 6

Quantitative structuring analysis of 60 paper subset of literature

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Fig. 7

Visual summary of state of research questions in bio-inspired design methods and tools




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