Design for sustainable development, Konstfack Biomimicry & nature inspired design

 What does it mean to co-create with multispecies at the design table, and how can nature inspire us in our design processes towards solutions that are embedded in sustainability?

With these questions in mind, five groups have been challenged to develop models for cohabitation with multispecies, using a design perspective inspired by and designed for bees, earthworms, pigeons, slime mold and seahorses.

Their projects introduce us to the complexity of nature-inspired design methods and why they are important for achieving ecological solutions in industrial design. Their musings and projects are based on a design ecology that considers how design can create conditions to further life, where multispecies-centred design is at the heart of the task.

Nature, in its 3.8 billion years of research and development, holds many answers to challenges we might be grappling with. In the field of biomimicry, we look directly to nature for mentorship, measurement and model to solve our design challenges. This project, though, goes one step further into exploring the practice of more-than-human design, where each species is placed at the heart of the design and we humans merely become the companions to enable further life.

This collaboration emerges from a course in industrial design with focus on sustainable development at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm.

Course design and composition: Anna Maria Orru.

Course leaders: Anna Maria Orru & Stina Wessman

Themes and participating students:
Pigeons: Nikola Despotovic, Philip Ståhlbrand, Wilma Wågelöf & Kristin Wästberg.

Bees: Maria Bennani-Smires, Fanny Gulliksson, Linn Hammarberg & Silva Zander.

Earthworms: Ariana Drvota, Lovisa Ingman & Christoffer Isaksson

Seahorses: Alicia Ahlström, Gustav Sturk & Jukka Viitasara

Slime mold: Olivia Arwin, Felicia Larsson & Camilla Widén