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Biologically Inspired Designs

Power, J ORCID: 0000-0001-5354-0842 and Bernabei, R 2018 , 'Biologically Inspired Designs', in Y Bar-Cohen (ed.), Advances in Manufacturing and Processing of Materials and Structures , CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, USA, pp. 53-74.

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Product designers are engaging with new making opportunities that depart from traditional massproductionprocesses and are forming new collaborations shifting practice and material opportunities.Pioneers in the field of biological art, Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr have said, “Life is increasinglyseen as the new frontier for exploitation; from industrial framing through in-vitro meat and bioprospectingto synthetic biology, life is extracted from its natural context into the realm of themanufactured” (Catts and Zurr, 2013). The concept of growing products is an enticing one for bothdesigners and users, with positive impacts on a number of scales including ecosystem impacts.Design and art historian Christina Cogdell (2011) has noted that scale is “absolutely critical tothe theory and practice of bio-design, yet it is little mentioned by its promoters.” In the context ofproduct design, scale is perhaps best considered in relation to scale of production. Such a viewpoint,however, must recognize the impact of this production across various scales. It suggests guilt-freeproduction and consumption at an individual level, and at an urban scale, such production couldfacilitate a utopian polis that is self-sufficient, existing in equilibrium with the natural world. In thissense, the promise of bio-design is enticing, in addition to the new materials and ways of makingthat are being opened up to designers. It has been suggested by William Myers that “The spread ofbio-design promises to be much like mechanization in the 20th century, as described by historianssuch as Sigfried Giedion… upending accepted practices, extinguishing traditions, attenuating naturalbeauties, and shaping an alien way of life” (Myers, 2012). Designer and a leading thinker in thisfield Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg has asked, “When working in such a future-oriented area, a keyquestion that arises is how to inhabit the spaces of promise?” (Ginsberg et al., 2014).

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Power, J and Bernabei, R
Keywords: bio-design, codesign, personalisation
Publisher: CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group
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Copyright 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

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