Exploring BioMimetic Interfaces – Using a design thinking approach to design interactive interfaces that take influence from nature.
In contemporary times of extreme technological innovation, Social infrastructures (Facebook, Google, Yahoo) are built upon sourcing individual data to inform collective intelligence. Redesigning urban frameworks for efficient transit options are becoming increasingly critical due to growing urban populations.
Therefore, looking to nature for influence for organising emergent intelligent systems is increasingly crucial for design considerations. This course will approach design as a hybrid combining the digital and biological interfaces.
Prototyping Biomimcry: How can we understand nature better in order to utilise it better?
This week, we will explore how to best use nature as a tool for solving design challenges in practical, conceptual and educational settings. We will take a human- based design approach to consider how to translate biological processes into digital and physical systems that are centered around the user interface. We will spend time in the classroom, as well as outside in the city and outdoor environment.
In the classroom, through lectures and discussion, we will explore theoretical concepts of biomimetic design (including emergence, genetics, evolutionary robotics, cybernetics, collective intelligence, cognition, and self-organization), as used in engineering, architecture, conceptual art, urban design, social networks, and software platforms.
Through design thinking methods, we will engage with a variety of natural materials to discover their physical characteristics. We will then explore methods to represent natural forms and functions using software and hardware. Processing and Arduino will be the primary tools.
Redesign a digital or physical interface using nature as an inspiration.
This will be a continuation of the design process with most of the time spent conducting hands-on work on the projects.
The first part of the week will be spent mostly in the workshop prototyping with Processing, raw materials, and Arduino. We will make use of CIID’s mechanical tools and digital fabrication equipment, such as the laser cutter and 3D printer.
Because human interactivity will be our main focus, we will conduct daily de-briefs, user-feedback sessions, and critique on the design process thus far. We will follow the design thinking framework during each step of the development cycle : defining the problem, ideating the solution, iterating, prototyping, and getting user feedback.
Throughout the week, each person will document their work on a blog. This can include writing about the design process, technical diagrams, code snippets, photographs, and videos.