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
Contactperson for the course
dr. J.H. Appelman
Other courses by this lecturer
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/  JAAR/  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

Final result
Test weight100
Minimum grade-

Kies de Nederlandse taal