Please, see the design process of nature gadgets below as an inspiration for your design entries.
After going through literature on bio-mimicry and after comparing it with Sir Richard Buckminster Fuller’s masterpiece work, Synergetics, it becomes evident that present-day knowledge of bio-mimicry far supersedes its present-day application. Jenine Benyus and Michael Pawlyn gave this ever-present discipline a new life and young revolutionaries like Neri Oxman reinvigorated the world-view in more than one ways. Having said that, one cannot help but notice a ceaseless juggling of scientific jargon going on. Bio-mimicry can’t be replaced by new theories because it simply means to emulate the processes of nature. The need to create this journal was felt because academic discussion on bio-mimicry has arrived at a point (and too soon, sadly) where design inquiry has deviated from ‘a world which works for entire humanity’ and towards a world of high art and exclusive research. Here is an attempt to inspire young minds (most precious resource of the planet), and to foresee the humanity as synergistic outcome of its tools and technologies. An attempt made by designing future, one little gadget at a time.
Logical construct is imperative to design process of nature gadget. There are a number of weak areas one must avoid, like forced copying of a natural process where it isn’t needed, personal tendency towards a rather whimsical artistic expression and obliviousness to existing technology etc. So the design process goes through following stages:
1. Problem Statement
Time is spent on observing, thinking and reflecting upon natural processes and present-day tools and technologies. A list of problems, which can be fixed by design are identified sorted out in given cataegories.
2. Classification of Problem
The problem is rephrased as Research Question which helps break down a larger problem into smaller parts and helps focus down on select area only. Clasification of the problem helps determine both specific and general objectives of a gadget.
3. Nature Review
Similar situations (problems and their solutions) are searched in natural world. It is like Literature Review of Nature. There are several freely accessible databases available online and sometimes related scenarios are found in advanced scientific journals- which aren’t free (but hei, you read the abstract and now you know what you’re looking for. Search it!). Once a close scenario to the problem is identified in natural world, it is analyzed for inspiration of a gadget.
4. Technology Review
It is said that when Sir Richard Buckminster Fuller entered his class, he often began by asking students to bring latest research on given topic. The idea of latest research is central to NatureGadget.com. If one isn’t aware of an advanced material, for instance, which can perform the whole task by itself, lack of such knowledge can render the whole design project obsolete before it even begins. An independent research is done therefore, on many facets of technology before deisgning a gadget.
5. Research Montage
Selected sources of research are put together in the form of visual montage. It gives a glimpse of what is being refered to. Weblinks of the images are cited seperately .
6. Patent Illustration
After making a number of doodles, sketches and diagrams, a patent drawing/ invention illustration is prepared. Important systems/parts of the drawing are labeled numerically and explained.
7. Feature Image
Finally, a feature image is drawn to visualize the outcome of possible system. It is an underlying objective of this journal to make advanced ideas look colorful and simple.
For more information, please read this interview by Erica Christensen, Director at Top Hatch.