Yes, it’s FREE! 4-Week Online Biomimicry Course


The best things in life are free.

Going outside is free. Connecting with nature is free.  And now, learning a sustainable design methodology based on nature’s functional strategies is free!

We are happy to announce that MCAD’s Master of Arts in Sustainable Design program is once again partnering with to offer the 4-week online course Biomimicry: A Sustainable Design Methodology, starting March 25th.

This course will be a fun introduction to biomimicry, a sustainability framework where you will learn how to use nature’s best design ideas to help solve human design challenges. It is designed for people who are new to biomimicry and are looking for a convenient (online) introduction. In addition to readings and video, you get to practice what you learn with weekly assignments (ungraded – no pressure) and engaging discussions with your fellow participants and instructor.


Course dates:  
The course will run for 4 weeks, from March 25 to April 21, 2019.

Course description:
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 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.

Time commitment:
To complete all the readings, videos and activities (assignments, discussions and quizzes) in this course will take approximately 2-4 hours a week. Please schedule an extra 1-2 hours during the first week to get accustomed to the Canvas platform as well as to get used to the weekly course framework. (Note that none of the assignments are required unless you are seeking a course badge.)

Learning outcomes:
After the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Define and apply key concepts employed in biomimetic design through the experience of creating novel biomimetic designs.
  • Differentiate between nature’s unifying patterns, strategies and functions, and apply them to human-made designs.
  • Observe nature and conduct research to learn from nature through real-world, outdoor observations.
  • Employ the biological solutions database to serve as a research tool for design challenges.

Course instructors:
The course will be hosted by Denise DeLuca, Director of MCAD’s MA in Sustainable Design.  You’ll also be learning from Cindy Gilbert, founding and former director of the MA program.  Two program alumni, Aoife Fahey and Shannon Reece will be assisting as your course mentors.

MCAD is an Academic Partner of The Biomimicry Institute, and Denise DeLuca and Cindy Gilbert are Biomimicry Fellows.

Course registration:
Course registration is now open. Sign up today — it’s free!

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]