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Biomimicry: A Sustainable Design Methodology is a Course

Biomimicry: A Sustainable Design Methodology

Ended Apr 16, 2017

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Full course description

Course Date:

Mar 20 - Apr 16, 2017


4 weeks


2-3 hrs/week



Course Type:





Nature offers boundless inspiration for sustainable design, but how do we access the wealth of biological information available and apply it effectively to design? This course provides an introduction to the tools and principles of biomimicry, a new discipline that emulates nature's best ideas and blueprints in order to solve human design challenges. Each week you’ll get outside to explore nature and learn a key biomimicry design concept that you’ll then apply to develop a novel biomimetic design.


At the completion of the course, students will have:

  • Defined and applied biomimicry concepts, tools, and principles by creating novel biomimetic designs.
  • Differentiated between nature’s design principles, strategies, functions, and patterns to apply them to human-made designs.
  • Observed nature and conducted research to learn from nature through real-world, outdoor observations.
  • Employed the biological solutions database to serve as a research tool for design challenges.

Course is offered by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Course Instructors

Cindy Gilbert

Cindy Gilbert, M.Sc., M.Ed.


Cindy Gilbert is the director of the online Master of Arts in Sustainable Design program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). In this role, she fosters a culture of awareness and creativity through sustainable, innovative, and collaborative design. Gilbert has extensive research experience in the fields of climate change and polar ecology, and she has taught several courses and workshops in the fields of biology, sustainability, and biomimicry. Most recently, Gilbert served for over three years as the founding director of university education at the Biomimicry Institute, where she developed and managed all higher education programs, including the biomimicry professional certification program, the annual biomimicry education summits, the biomimicry affiliate and fellows programs, and the biomimicry student design challenges. Gilbert earned her M.Ed. from Griffith University in Australia and her M.S. in biology from Oregon State University.