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Integrating Biomimicry into Graphic Design Practices

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Design
Wordcount: 2495 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Integrating Biomimicry into Graphic Design to create more effective and innovative design process.

Problem Statement

Will this new and innovative design process of integrating biomimicry with graphic design help designers to think differently, using nature as their inspiration in order create more sustainable design solutions?



Integrating nature into design practices is a thesis proposal which intends to explore the effectiveness of combining methodologies of biomimicry into graphic design discipline. Through adapting nature’s principles into graphic design practices to create sustainable design solutions. The objective is to provide understanding to the designers and clients that nature has a lot to offer in resolving many great challenges which are created by graphic design. The aim of this thesis is to create a sustainable process for graphic design practices to avoid negative impact on our ecosystems. This thesis works as a lens for graphic designers to observe what observe the world around us through the implementation of a design process based on bio-mimetics. Overall, this thesis is meant to encourage designers to observe their surroundings and explore what does nature offers. This new mindset can help to shape a better future for people, design, and our planet.

Situation Analysis


The application of biomimicry into graphic design can be used as a challenge for the designers to create more effective and nature friendly solutions to create a sustainable design based solutions. Biomimicry is a new discipline it is innovation inspired by nature, as Janine Benyus. It is a process of looking at nature and learning and adapting into design better outcomes.

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Graphic design is one of the leading polluters of our environment. Its wasteful, costly and non-effective processes had made it 3rd largest industrial polluter releasing 9% of total manufacturing carbon dioxide emissions. 220 million pounds of toxic pollution and 3 million tons of chlorine are released into water and air annually. Deforestation adds 120 billion tons of CO2 every year. Moreover, other pollution sources are: VOC, transportation, hazardous ink compounds, binding materials, electronic tools and electricity.

In addition to the above factors most of the graphic and print design workspaces needs to rethink on their unethical energy consumption. The need to reframe their usage of materials that contribute to a pollution. Through this thesis project graphic designers can form a new insight which can provide an eco-friendly option to both clients and mother nature.

Target Audience


The specific target audience for this thesis is designers at professional level working in industry with extensive knowledge within the field of design. However, people who are interested in pursuing graphic design or biomimicry as their field of study can also understand the concepts presented through this project and how graphic design related practices can refined through using biomimicry design lens.





18 or higher

Male or Female

Professional level Designers











Nature works as a Stakeholder because it is too big to fail. It provides us such resources and her free ecosystem services which have been taken for granted and undervalued by business, society and by man-made inventions.

AIGA Design for good provides opportunities to designers to build their practice, expand their network. It works as an ethos for problem-solving and design thinking towards social and ecological change. AIGA Design for good works as a stakeholder for this project. The application of biomimicry into graphic design can provide an impactful toolkit for the upcoming designers through AIGA Design for good platform which can be a powerful resource for the designers.

United Nations Environment (UN Environment) is the global environmental authority which promotes the implementation of sustainable development in our ecosystem. By collaborating with UN Environment, we have developed a mission to inspire, inform and enable systems, people, designers and clients to improve their quality of life and our environment with compromising the future of upcoming generations.


How biomimicry can be integrated with graphic design?


Biomimicry is the imitation of models, elements and systems of our local environment for solving human created complex problems.

If I could reveal something that was hidden…I would reveal that we live in a confident universe, that we are part of a brilliant planet and that we are surrounded by genius. Biomimicry is a new discipline that tries to learn from those geniuses and take advice, design advice, from them…What’s happening now in Biomimicry is people are beginning to remember that the natural world is doing things now that we need to do and doing them gracefully to live here on the planet…What we need to do is to find a way to minimize the amount of materials we use, the kind of materials we use, and add design to it…How can we live here gracefully over the long haul? How can we do what life has learned to do?…which is to create conditions conducive to life…The design challenge of our century is we need a way to remind ourselves of those geniuses and to somehow meet them again.” (Benyus,2009)

TED Talks: Biomimicry in action, Filmed July 2009 (http://www.ted.com/talks/janine_benyus_biomimicry_in_action.html)

Biomimicry in graphic design refers to all the processes that integrates an environmentally friendly approach, considering natural resources as part of design and learning from nature and adapting into design strategies. To better fit in with the rest of nature, humans (graphic designers) can more correctly identify the problem, filter through nature’s solutions, think in a systematic perspective, and design for human user experience. Exploring how to integrate biomimicry + graphic design is one of the many avenues to a more sustainable world and is arguably one of the most powerful leverage points to creating conditions conducive to life. (Mckosky, 2019)



Concept Design for a new 3D Printer using carbon sequestration techniques. The carbon fiber powder is mixed with the ink resin to create products sequestered with carbon so it can decrease the amount of CO2 from our atmosphere. The Idea of using carbon Sequestration techniques was inspired by looking at nature. 

Life Building Blocks comic has spun from a school of thought by Janine Benyus. A process of looking at nature and learning, adapting in design disciplines. The major aim of this comic

“Life Building Blocks” is to make readers and designers learn, appreciate and adapt natures life building techniques in contrast with human industry and engineering.

Evaluation and conclusion


The evaluation criteria is very important in order to reflect the objectives are being addressed correctly and clearly demonstrates an understanding of the subject matter. To assess my designs, I will be regularly looking for the impacts on my audiences and will be able to analyze how can I improve my designs or mindset. The goal of my final application and prototypes is to create awareness among the masses and designers that integrating biomimicry with in their own unique processes can help our ecosystems. Through my thesis designers will be able to define, analyze, observe, select, implement and evaluate all the necessary steps to create sustainable design solution within graphic design.


Precedents and research


In order, to understand the methodology and process of graphic design and biomimicry an extensive research and in-depth survey of literature and precedents was done. This thesis revolves heavily around how modern design practices can be enhanced by using biomimetic principles. The innovators of biomimicry who are making this field prominent in design industry were important while investigating all the aspects of this thesis.


Survey of Literature

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus.

The Way Nature Works by Robins Rees.

Design Lessons from Nature by Benjamin De Brei Taylor.

Biologic: Designing with Nature to Protect the Environment by David Wann.

Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field by Ellen Lupton & Helen Armstrong.

A Top-Down Biomimetic Design Process for Product Concept Generation by I. Fornies.

Rethinking Print Design: The impact of Sustainability on the Future of Print

by Camille Romano

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by Michael Braungart & William McDonough




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