Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: B-MBIESS
Bio-inspiration Essentials
Course infoSchedule
Course codeB-MBIESS
ECTS Credits1.5
Category / LevelM (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
dr. P. Krijgsheld
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
4  (23/04/2018 to 06/07/2018)
Teaching period in which the course begins
4/  W45A
Time slot-: Not in use
Study mode
RemarkThe course will be a Small Private Online Course (SPOC)
Enrolment periodfrom 29/01/2018 up to and including 27/02/2018
Course application processOsiris
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Waiting listNo
Course goals
Learning goals
  1. Distinguish different bio-inspired approaches (biomimicry-bionica-nature inspired design-natural capitalism-biophilia, CtoC)
  2. Understand the philosophical and historical roots of the concept of bio-inspiration and biomimicry (deep ecology-permaculture-but illustrious predecessors: Leonardo da Vinci , Buckminster fuller, Viktor Schauberger, Jay Harman, Bill Mollison, land-institute)
  3. Relate and classify different bio-inspired approaches (mal-adapted vs well adapted and utilization-assistance-mimicry)
  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 / 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
  6. 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.
Then we will give an overview of the main bio-inspired approaches, being: biomimicry, bionics, nature inspired design, natural capitalism, biophilia, Circular Economy and CtoC. And you will learn to see similarities and differences because you will learn how to relate and classify different bio-inspired approaches.
Finally we will address Design as a discipline and process through which you can start to formulate and explore possibilities for innovation be it a product, process or systems innovation.
You learn how to define the function you want to ‘biologize’, to describe the scope and hoped for outcome in such a way that a biologist can deliver the information you need to gather as an important co-creative step in an innovation process.
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 to 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 (attendance required)
Individual (Required)

Final result
Test weight100
Minimum grade-

Kies de Nederlandse taal