• Lux

Identify + Translate Functions


image credit: leon / unsplash

Design Challenge #1

How to develop an effective feedback loop between designers and clients?

5 Things you want your biomimetic design to do

  1. Develop a feedback loop

  2. Provide clear communication

  3. Allow for adaptability

  4. Shift ideas based on new thoughts / ideas

  5. Show empathy

Identify 10 functions you want your design to perform

  1. Manage workload

  2. Manage time

  3. Coordinate activities (workshops or touch points)

  4. Optimize feedback loop

  5. Generate strategy

  6. Build structure

  7. Capture relevant information

  8. Distribute knowledge

  9. Navigate deadlines

  10. Sense signals

Translate - “how does…”

  1. How does a mammal manage stress? There are two classes of hormones driving varied responses to help vertebrates survive short and long term stressors. (https://asknature.org/strategy/hormones-regulate-stress/ )

  2. How does a leaf manage time with water contact? Ridges on garden nasturtium leaves reduce contact time with water drops by enabling faster drop recoil (https://asknature.org/strategy/leaf-ridges-reduce-contact-time-with-water-drops/)

  3. How do starlings coordinate movement within a flock? Starlings stay together within a flock by paying attention to the movement of the seven other birds closest to it (https://asknature.org/strategy/starlings-coordinate-movements-within-a-flock/ )

  4. How does a leaf optimize nutrient flow? Vein systems in leaves allow for optimal flow and resilience to damage due to a dense network of nested, interconnected loops (https://asknature.org/strategy/looped-network-optimizes-water-and-nutrient-flow/)

  5. How does a bat generate wing flexibility? The wing of Pallas’s long-tongued bat generates lift by flipping the outer edge upside down and quickly back up for the upstroke. (https://asknature.org/strategy/wing-flexibility-generates-lift/)

  6. How does a bird’s brain build structure? The DVR brain region of birds displays similar neuronal organization and connectivity to the mammalian neocortex. (https://asknature.org/strategy/bird-brains-use-unique-structure-to-support-high-intelligence/ )

  7. How does a flower capture nutrients? Bromeliads capture water and spawn a small community whose collective roles lead to nutrient supply for the epiphytic plants (https://asknature.org/strategy/epiphytes-capture-nutrients/ )

  8. How do fungi distribute resources? Mycorrhizal network sustains diversity in a forest by transporting nutrients and water (https://asknature.org/strategy/fungal-network-distributes-resources/)

  9. How does an eel navigate? European eels navigate during long migration by being sensitive to many different types of stimuli (https://asknature.org/strategy/senses-help-navigate-during-migration/ )

  10. How does bacteria sense signals? The membrane of E.coli bacteria detects chemicals of interest through transmembrane receptor proteins. (https://asknature.org/strategy/bacteria-sense-and-move-toward-chemicals/ )

image credit: christin-hume / unsplash

Design Challenge #2

How might we help educate designers about sustainability through a toolkit?

5 Things you want your biomimetic design to do

  1. Provide material to learn from

  2. Give designers an opportunity to learn

  3. Build a strategy

  4. Capture real world examples

  5. Find connections

Identify 10 functions you want your design to perform

  1. Distribute Information

  2. Store knowledge

  3. Breakdown information

  4. Process material

  5. Generate inspiration

  6. Modify behaviors

  7. Coordinate systems

  8. Manage learnings

  9. Apply learned behaviors

  10. Assemble solutions

Translate - “how does…”

  1. How does an ant distribute food? Ant colonies distribute food effectively and safely after famine using a decentralized response to quickly spread food (https://asknature.org/strategy/ant-colonies-respond-quickly-to-distribute-food/ )

  2. How do plants store water? The leaves of ice plants store water in surface bladder like cells (https://asknature.org/strategy/surface-cells-store-water/ )

  3. How does bacteria break down chemicals? Unique molecule from bacteria help them digest petroleum, vegetable oil and coal. (https://asknature.org/strategy/special-molecules-enable-bacteria-to-break-down-oil/ )

  4. How do chimpanzees process information? Chimpanzees train the next generation simple by sharing tools (https://asknature.org/strategy/sharing-tools-passes-on-knowledge/ )

  5. How does a lotus generate heat? A lotus attracts pollinators by producing heat through a nonphosphorylating electron transport pathway that releases energy by electron flow through an alternative respiratory pathway. (https://asknature.org/strategy/electron-flow-generates-heat/ )

  6. How does a plant modify location to get enough nutrients? Light intensity concentrates hormones that alter the water levels in cells causing plant to bend toward the light source. (https://asknature.org/strategy/flowers-follow-sun/ )

  7. How does a molecule coordinate behaviors? Pathogenic bacteria in chronic would communicate using signaling molecules (https://asknature.org/strategy/communication-molecules-coordinate-behavior/ )

  8. How do cells manage incoming information? Lipid membranes in living cells facilitate non-polar chemistry in an aqueous environment by forming microscopic spaces friendly to fat soluble compounds. (https://asknature.org/strategy/membranes-make-and-manage-fats-and-oils-in-a-water-based-environment/ )

  9. How does a frog apply math to communicate? Male Japanese tree frogs apply a mathematical algorithm to take turns calling ,enhancing the chance a female can find a specific mate. (https://asknature.org/strategy/mating-calls-follow-algorithm/ )

  10. How does bacteria assemble? Bacterial colonies that form stromatolites self assemble by making independent decisions while maintaining communication. (https://asknature.org/strategy/colonies-self-assemble/ )

image credit: klara-vernarcova /unsplash

Design Challenge #3

How might we define sustainable graphic design?

5 Things you want your biomimetic design to do

  1. Define through behaviors and mindsets

  2. Bring awareness

  3. Find resources to support

  4. Understand the definition

  5. Expand on the definition

Identify 10 functions you want your design to perform

  1. Distribute information

  2. Contribute resources

  3. Navigate processes

  4. Learn and apply

  5. Attach permanently

  6. Expand impact

  7. Maintain community

  8. Adapt to coevolve

  9. Make structure

  10. Store knowledge

Translate - “how does…”

  1. How does grass distribute evenly? Grasses in deserts uniformly distribute rainfall and nutrients by forming a mat of roots that limits shrub establishment (https://asknature.org/strategy/mats-uniformly-distribute-resources/ )

  2. How does bamboo fiber contribute to structural properties? Fibers of bamboo and trees provide toughness by their simple structure of fiber -reinforced composites (https://asknature.org/strategy/fiber-gives-toughness/)

  3. How does a bee navigate? The eyes of bees help them navigate by detecting polarized light (https://asknature.org/strategy/eyes-help-navigate-using-the-sun/ )

  4. How does a dolphin learn and apply? Generation of bottlenose dolphins adapt to changing situations by learn from peers and not just mothers (https://asknature.org/strategy/dolphins-learn-new-behaviors-from-their-peers/)

  5. How do roots attach firmly? Roots of English ivy attach firmly to surfaces using a multi step attachment strategy involving glue and shape changing roots hairs. (https://asknature.org/strategy/roots-attach-firmly/)

  6. How does slime expand and protect? Glands of the hagfish secrete a concentrated slime that expands rapidly and protects from predators through interacting fibers and water - holding proteins (https://asknature.org/strategy/slime-rapidly-expands-and-protects/ )

  7. How do whales maintain community? Killer hales use vocal learning to adopt vocalization patterns of neighboring species. (https://asknature.org/strategy/vocal-learning-makes-communication-style-adaptable/)

  8. How does a leaf adapt? Leaves of the kukumakranaka plant adapt to dry, hot conditions and continue photosynthesis by keeping their stomata open (https://asknature.org/strategy/leaves-adapt-to-dry-hot-conditions/ )

  9. How do bees / wasps create structure? Bees and wasps build space - efficient and strong nest using hexagonal cells (https://asknature.org/strategy/honeycomb-structure-is-space-efficient-and-strong/ )

  10. How do trees store carbon? Boreal forested peatland captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it long term through delayed decomposition of plants (https://asknature.org/strategy/boreal-forested-peatland-captures-and-stores-carbon-dioxide/)