Fields from architecture and art to engineering and nano-technology are increasingly looking to biology for inspiration. Strategies such as biomimicry and biodesign have produced electronic screen designs based on butterfly wing scales and gecko-inspired adhesives, pavilions constructed from mycological bricks, and aerial art installations derived from organic structures. Given the 1.5 million described species on earth, there is a vast repository of knowledge that can inform future bio-based research and design. However, spanning these diverse fields comes with challenges. How do researchers from disparate backgrounds communicate effectively? How can varied disciplinary perspectives expand the questions that we ask? What are the most productive approaches to biology-based interdisciplinary collaborations? How can students structure interdisciplinary learning within a discipline-focused curriculum? A book chronicling the interdisciplinary symposium held at the University of Minnesota in April 2016 explores these ideas with three pioneers in the fields of biology, art, and architecture.
Brownell, Blaine, Neil Olszewski, Emilie Snell-Rood, Marc Swackhamer, and Diane Willow, eds. Biologically Motivated. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota School of Architecture, 2016. Design by Luke Bulman Design.