Duration2 SWS
TermWintersemester 2021/22
Language of instructionEnglish


After participating in the module course "Bio-inspired design Seminar", students are able to apply practice-oriented knowledge of methods of conceptualization to technical problems by bio-inspired design. Students will learn the creativity techniques and analogy transfer of natural phenomena to technical problems. At the end of the module course, students should be able to conceptualize and evaluate a technical problem on their own or with guidance as part of a student research project and independently create technical concepts based on biological functions.


The bio-inspired design seminar is about finding concepts for technical problems by biologically inspired principles. If possible, teams of biologists and engineers are formed to work and create bio-inspired design concepts. Current technical problems will be addressed in interdisciplinary teams. Solution ideas will be demonstrated by generating prototypes. The following content will be conveyed: * Methods of problem solving/product development as applied to bio-inspired design: defining requirements, functional analysis, abstraction, identification of biological models, analogy transfer and evaluation. *Top-down/bottom-up design in bio-inspired design * Application areas of bio-inspired design * Current technical problems * Self-independent development of a bio-inspired design project The event will take place all day on the following days: 24th Jan - 03rd Feb 2022 We recommend blocking the entire period, as project-related work may also occur outside the event days.


Optional: Lecture Bionics Optional: Lecture Methods of Product Development

Teaching and learning methods

The seminar takes place as a block course in the form of a workshop. Based on current problems and biological phenomena, the students will independently find, conceptualize and develop by bio-inspired designed solutions. The solutions will be developed independently under the guidance of research assistants and student assistants. Highlights: - Tools and methods for the development of a prototype as a demonstrator will be provided - Participants are supported by experts and coaches who provide methods and expertise in the areas of product development as well as bionics. This will also build on established approaches such as Design Thinking, TRIZ, Systems Engineering, Lean and Agile Development. - On the last day, the DemoDay, all teams present their projects to an audience and demonstrate the concepts by prototypes. The content will be worked on in - group work - workshops: To teach essential methodological basics for interdisciplinary collaboration and innovative product development - hands-on learning: All participants are encouraged to become active themselves and learn through practical experience The practical elaboration of the project topic within groups with possible teaching supervision helps students to evaluate the problems and independently create technical concepts based on biological functions and to train interdisciplinary collaboration. Proactivity, self-efficacy and personal responsibility within the team are basic requirements. After registering for the course, students are required to attend at least the first two pre-events. After the pre-events students can still withdraw from the participation. The further participation obligates to the attendance of the 7-day workshop to get the examination achievement. The seminar usually takes place in January. Detailed dates will be published during the semester.


The examination will take place in form of project work: - an oral presentation (15 min + questions) of self-dependently worked out concepts to review the concept quality and method application as well as communication abilities of participants - documentation in form of a presentation or short paper to review the knowledge and the ability to transfer biological phenomena into technical solutions as well as the team work within the groups - building and demonstration of a prototype The evaluation will be in equal parts. The quality of the concept and the realisation of given requirements as well as the transfer of biological phenomena and presentation style of developed solutions will be evaluated.

Recommended literature

Nachtigall, W.; Wisser, A. (2013): Bionik in Beispielen: 250 illustrierte Ansätze: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Online verfügbar unter Nachtigall, Werner; Wisser, Alfred (2015): Bionics by examples. 250 scenarios from classical to modern times. Online verfügbar unter Nachtigall, Werner (2002): Bionik. Grundlagen und Beispiele für Ingenieure und Naturwissenschaftler. 2. Auflage. Berlin, Heidelberg, s.l.: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Hashemi Farzaneh, Helena; Lindemann, Udo (2019): A Practical Guide to Bio-inspired Design. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Corazza, Giovanni Emanuele; Agnoli, Sergio (Hg.) (2016): Multidisciplinary contributions to the science of creative thinking. Singapore: Springer (Creativity in the twenty first century).