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BIONICS IN ACTION: THE NATURE OF INVENTION

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Life has been performing design experiments for 3.8 billion years and the best ideas on the planet today are those that perform well while economizing on energy and materials. Whatever a company's design challenge, the odds are high that one or more of the world's 30 million living creatures have not only faced the same challenge, but have evolved effective strategies to solve it, thriving. This article explores how bionics and biodesign have been critical to Franco Lodato's trend-setting products. Strategies can range from the mimicry of nature to conceptual abstractions. In one of his projects, a woodpecker provoked a fresh look at the design of an ice axe. In another, the exterior shells of lobsters and other crustaceans suggested a layered polymer design for the coverings of rugged cell phones.
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Keywords: Biodesign; Biomimicry; Innovation; Product development; Sustainability

Document Type: Commentary

Publication date: 01 February 2010

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