Biomimicry, beyond inspiration


Most people that discover biomimicry become hooked. As described by The Biomimicry Institute, “Biomimicry is a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges — and find hope along the way.” And hope, as well as nature, is more compelling than ever these days.

In the iconic book by Janine Benyus, Biomimicry is described as “innovation inspired by nature”.  But for many people, the engagement with Biomimicry stalls out at the inspiration phase. They recognize the power of emulating nature’s strategies for creating sustainable design solutions; however, they don’t have the knowledge, skills, and understanding to actually use it. 

If you are one of those people and are ready to do a deeper dive into Biomimicry, you might be interested in our fully online graduate level course called Biomimetic Design. In this course, you and your fellow students will gain a deep and broad understanding of biomimicry, learn how to use the biomimicry design spiral to create innovative and sustainable design ideas, and consider biomimicry in the greater context of sustainability and innovation. This fall, the course will be taught by Asheen Phansey and Billy Almon.

You can take this course as a student in the MA in Sustainable Design (MASD) program or through MCAD’s Continuing Education program. If you want to know more about this course or about our MASD program, and what might be right for you, please email me and we can set up a time to chat.

Registration for Fall 2021 courses opens August 4

Denise DeLuca / Former Director

Denise DeLuca is the Director of MCAD’s Sustainable Design program. She was co-founder of BCI: Biomimicry Creative for Innovation, a network of creative professional change agents driving ecological thinking for radical transformation. Denise is author of the book Re-Aligning with Nature: Ecological Thinking for Radical Transformation, which was illustrated by MASD alum Stephanie Koehler. She also teaches with the Amani Institute.

Denise’s previous roles include Education Director for the International Living Future Institute, Project Manager for Swedish Biomimetics 3000, and Outreach Director for The Biomimicry Institute. Denise is a licensed civil engineer (PE) and holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering with a focus on modeling landscape-scale surface and groundwater interactions.  In addition, Denise is a Biomimicry Fellow and a member of the Advisory Council of The Biomimicry InstituteBoard Member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), on the editorial board of the Journal of Bionic Engineering, and an Expert with Katerva. Denise is based in Oregon.

contact:  [email protected]