Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: B-MBIES
Bio-inspiration Essentials
Course infoSchedule
Course codeB-MBIES
ECTS Credits2.5
Category / LevelM (M (Master))
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Science; Graduate School of Life Sciences; Graduate School of Life Sciences;
Contact persondr. J.H. Appelman
dr. J.H. Appelman
Other courses by this lecturer
Course contact
dr. J.H. Appelman
Other courses by this lecturer
dr. P. Krijgsheld
Other courses by this lecturer
E.N.D. Paddon
Other courses by this lecturer
M. Roobeek
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
3-GS  (06/02/2023 to 21/04/2023)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slot-: Timeslot not applicable
Study mode
RemarkThe course will be an online course. Please register via Osiris Student.
Enrolment periodfrom 31/10/2022 up to and including 25/11/2022
Course application processOsiris Student
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Waiting listYes
Course goals
Learning goals
  1. Distinguish different bio-inspired approaches
  2. Understand the philosophical and historical roots of the concept of bio-inspiration and biomimicry 
  3. Relate and classify different bio-inspired approaches 
  4. Select different elements from different approaches (depending on the context or level) as a step toward application.
  5. Apply biological knowledge in a design context
  6. Is able to determine the scope of a desired innovation or change and to specify the function(-s) that needs to be ‘biologized’ of a product, process or system
  7. Experience the intricacies of combining disciplinary insights
The subjects being addressed
This is a course that introduces the field of Bio-Inspiration. We start to elucidate the philosophical and historical roots of the concept of bio-inspiration. We will touch upon movements like: deep ecology and permaculture and illustrious predecessors such as, Leonardo da Vinci, Buckminster fuller, Viktor Schauberger, Jay Harman and Bill Mollison.
Next, we will give an overview of the main bio-inspired approaches, being: biomimicry, bionics, nature inspired design, natural capitalism, biophilia, Circular Economy and CtoC. Moreover, you will learn to see similarities and differences, by to comparing and classifying different bio-inspired approaches.
Finally, we will address Design as a discipline and process. In this way you can start to formulate and explore possibilities for innovation as a product, process or systems innovation.
You learn how to define the function you want to ‘biologize’. By doing so, you will describe the scope and hoped-for-outcome in such a way that a biologist can deliver the information as an important co-creative step in an innovation process.
This is an online course stretching over 10 weeks with a study load of approximately 7 hours per week. The course consists of web lectures as well as articles, group assignments, individual assignments, peer feedback and feedback from teachers. During the course you interact with other participants through assignments and discussions. The course is moderated actively by a professional moderator and teaching staff.
The added value for the participants
For students with a chemical biological or bio-medical background it gives a first introduction into a whole new and promising field that combines economic values and methods (innovation) with nature based approaches.
For entrepreneurs, programme & project managers, policymakers, trade and industry professionals: the course will help you to understand the main concepts within bio-inspiration that allow you initiate and direct bio-inspired innovation-trajectories.

Summary of course content (max 75 words)
This course introduces a new field in Science and Design: Bio-Inspiration you will learn to look at nature as source of knowledge that will help to make our products, processes and systems part of nature, compatible with and supporting a transition to a circular economy instead of designing for the ‘dump’. After an overview of different Biologically Inspired approaches you will learn to define the scope and function of an innovation and write a first design-brief.

Entry requirements
Required materials
Instructional formats

Final result
Test weight100
Minimum grade-

Kies de Nederlandse taal