The Bionic Method in Industrial Design
The branch of industrial design known as bionics begins with an examination of natural systems, particularly the many bio-mechanical characteristics one observes in nature. This chapter discusses the bionic method in conjunction with computer modelling as an alternative design tool. Computer-based genetic algorithms have provided an interesting array of results, addressing highly complex relationships among competing variables. The bionic method seems specifically oriented towards applied science and tends to be grounded upon the general claim that exploring design through biology yields a superior result, particularly as measured against environmental criteria. Design educators took notice of such statements, and urged a restructuring of the industrial design process that would better take into account environmental concerns. Two brief case studies, drawn from the University of Canberra and the Instituto Europo di Design industrial design courses, illustrate the characteristics of the two approaches. These approaches are: the inductive approach and the deductive approach.