Does the Solution Based Design Process Result in More Multifunctional Designs?
Biological systems in general are multifunctional and environmentally sustainable. Thus, biologically inspired design is posited as leading to multifunctional and environmentally sustainable designs. Design in general is characterized as a problem-driven process. However, biologically inspired design also entails the twin process of solution-based design. Previous work has postulated that the solution-based design process is prone to design fixation but leads to more multifunctional designs. Design Study Library (DSL) is a digital library of eighty-three cases of biologically inspired design. We present a preliminary analysis of the DSL case studies to examine two hypotheses. (1) The process of solution-based design results in more multifunctional designs than the problem-driven design process. (2) The process of solution-based design is more prone to fixation than the problem-driven design process. We find strong evidence in favor of the first hypothesis.