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ICED 11
Papers

FROM NATURES PROTOTYPES TO NATURAL PROTOTYPING

FROM NATURES PROTOTYPES TO NATURAL PROTOTYPING

Year: 2015

Section: Pedagogical Practice

Editor: Guy Bingham, Darren Southee, John McCardle, Ahmed Kovacevic, Erik Bohemia, Brian Parkinson

Author: Fraser Bruce (1), Seaton Baxter (2)

Series: E&PDE

Institution: 1DJCAD, University of Dundee, UK, 2Schumacher College, Devon, UK

Section: Pedagogical Practice

Pages: 272-277

ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9

Abstract

Most educational courses in Product Design and Engineering feature the practice of prototyping. We define prototypes by two conditions. They are both the first model and one which gives rise subsequently to multiple copies (offspring). All around us there are many examples of the offspring of successful prototypes both created by mankind’s ingenuity and by the evolutionary processes of nature. This paper is concerned primarily with these evolutionary processes and their possible simulation by designers and engineers. We begin by briefly reviewing the main aspects and practices of conventional prototyping before comparing this with the way in which living systems continually prototype through evolutionary means. This we call biological prototyping. Here we briefly discuss the concept of evolution in nature and also where it is used to express progress in technological systems. The link between conventional and biological prototyping is conceived through developments in biomimicry and the philosophically aligned concept of biophilia. This combination we refer to as Natural Prototyping and we then enumerate ten (10) characteristics of natural prototyping. We conclude with some suggestions on how natural prototyping could be incorporated into the curriculum for engineering and product design education.

Keywords: Prototyping, nature, evolution, biomimicry, living machines, biophilia, Goethe.

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The 17th International Conference on Engineering and product Design Education will be hosted by the Loughborough University Design School in partnership with the Design Education Special Interest Group (DESIG) of the Design Society and the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED). The conference will bring together representatives from Education, Design Practice, Industry and Government agencies that have an interest in developing new approaches and direction in Design Education. The conference...

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Design 2010