Student Design Challenge

 2011 winner | “Life in the Desert” by Team BioArch from the Art University of Isfahan.

Real world challenges + biomimicry tools = sustainable innovation
Each fall the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute facilitates a Student Design Challenge focused on a selected real-world problem. Aimed at university students, these biomimicry challenges provide opportunities for students to work in interdisciplinary teams to apply biomimicry concepts and tools as a means to arrive at sustainable and innovative designs.

Faculty or professional mentorship for all students is strongly suggested and we further encourage college faculty to offer an elective course for credit to give students ample time during the semester to work on the challenge. Alternatively, the challenge can be incorporated into an existing design, engineering, biology, or innovation course, or students may take it on as an independent project.

4th Annual Biomimicry Student Design Challenge
WATER WISE: Biomimetic Solutions to Water Access and Management
Visit the Challenge website  for full details.


History of the Student Design Challenge
In 2009 and 2010 the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute facilitated two Student Design Challenges that were sponsored by a small and well-known outdoor gear manufacturer, Pacific Outdoor Equipment (POE). The first design challenge asked students to use biomimicry tools and principles to design a specialized backpacking tent. We created an interdisciplinary and collaborative design team of university students and faculty from our Affiliate institutions and facilitated the design process throughout the semester-long project, from idea to prototype.

In fall of 2011, we hosted the third annual Biomimicry Student Design Challenge and for the first time, participation in the challenge was opened to student teams from any university around the world. Not limited by a client this time, students were free to let inspiration from nature guide their designs, whether the final products, processes, or systems they designed resulted in improved energy storage, more effective insulation, systems to expand usage of  existing energy efficiency technologies, or a myriad of other solutions.

3rd Annual Biomimicry Student Design Challenge (2011) | Biomimetic Solutions for Energy Efficiency
For information about the 2011 Challenge, and to view a gallery of submissions, please visit the Biomimicry Student Design Challenge 2011 site.