An Approach to Validation of Industrial Design Concepts Inspired by Nature

By Carlos A. M. Versos and Denis A. Coelho.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Various systematic approaches to generation of bionic design concepts, following an analytical direction that involves seeking inspiration in nature to solve a given problem, have been proposed. Three such methods were analysed considering their perceived ability to support the attainment of five design goals. The latter were deemed representative of the high level aims sought by those using bionic approaches to design, even if not every single goal considered is necessarily sought in every project. A major shortcoming that was found, concerning the approaches scrutinized, is that these rarely prescribe any verification procedures regarding the level of attainment of the goals sought. Hence, in order to support the use of those methods, within systematic approaches to design, a validation itinerary is proposed, encompassing the five goals identified for bionic design. The paper also presents the deployment of the validation process proposed within a design case study, consisting of a novel CD shelf, which is inspired on the spider-web.

Keywords: Design Goals, Design Methodology, Bionic Design, Systematic Approach to Design

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.535-552. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.303MB).

Carlos A. M. Versos

PhD student, Technological Industrial Design Studies, Department of Electromechanical Engineering, Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

Carlos A. M. Versos was born in 1987 in Covilhã, Portugal. In the academic year of 2005/2006, he entered the Industrial Design program at Beira Interior’s University. After graduation he continued pursuing the interest in this design field and concluded his master thesis in Technological Industrial Design at Beira Interior University with the theme of Bionic Design, with tutoring of Professor Denis Alves Coelho. His interest in nature, the background theme for his master's thesis led him to participate in projects to raise awareness and foster action for the preservation of forests trough education and volunteering programs. In his free time, Carlos Versos enjoys to draw and practicing sports to relax, such as cycling, karaté, kickboxing or jiu jitsu. Currently he is developing his PhD thesis, reflecting on the theme of bionic design, while interning at a furniture design, manufacturing and sales multinational company.

Prof. Denis A. Coelho

Assistant Professor (Tenured), Technological Industrial Design Program, Department of Electromechanical Engineering, Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

Denis A. Coelho has been responsible for the creation and development in the University of Beira Interior of an entirely new program of studies in Industrial Design (undergraduate studies leading to a Bachelor's degree) and Technological Industrial Design (Masters program). He has also designed and helped design post-secondary programs of studies including Multimedia product development, E-commerce web applications and multimedia web applications. As a Mechanical Engineer with an Ergonomic Design and Production Management post-graduate education his research has focused in several areas. He has worked with car seat comfort (ergonomic design) and has also been interested in Management Systems in Small and Medium Enterprises, as well as providing a contribution to the advancement of ergonomic design methods. He has also participated and coordinated Multimedia design projects, focusing on the application of ergonomic guidelines at both the conceptual and application level. International exposure has included research performed in collaboration with Swedish and US universities, applied to the automotive and healthcare sectors.


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