Consumer products often are manufactured in quantities numbering in the millions. From their factory production to their disposal, products can have enormous downsides for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soils we cultivate. As a result, InnovationSpace is committed to exploring new methodologies for sustainable product innovation.
One of the most promising is the emerging discipline of biomimicry. Biomimicry explores the materials, processes and functions of nature for clues to solving design and engineering problems. This new area of study can help designers and engineers to create innovative solutions that will minimize the environmental impact of new products.
Life's Principles are used to generate solutions to design, business and engineering problems and to evaluate their sustainability.
With grants from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance and ASU's Pathways to Entrepreneurship program, InnovationSpace launched a major biomimicry initiative in fall 2008.
The goal of InnovationSpace is to develop a deployable methodology for using biomimicry in academic and business settings; establish ASU as a major center for the exploration of biomimicry in disciplines as diverse as business, product design, architecture, the fine arts and engineering; and help stimulate the development of biomimicry-based technologies and business ventures at ASU.
“The interest in biomimicry is exploding,” says InnovationSpace director Prasad Boradkar. “We are excited to be at the forefront of advancing the suite of applications for this new tool in the classroom and in the studio.”
In spring 2010, InnovationSpace’s groundbreaking work in the area of biomimicry was the subject of four video programs:
Sustainable Design, produced by KAET-TV
Designed by Nature, episode three of The Innovators series produced by Bloomberg TV in New York
Water by Design, created in collaboration with the Phoenix-based Television Workshop
Design from Life, produced by teaching assistant Dan Wandrey in collaboration with InnovationSpace faculty and staff