Nature inspired design
Bring nature into the classroom & change your students' perception of the natural world
This resource is part of our Teaching for Creativity series
Nature is one of the best models we have for a sustainable, regenerative way of life. In this resource, students will learn about nature-inspired design – biomimicry – and will be encouraged to look at nature with fresh eyes.
Throughout history, people have taken inspiration from nature to solve human problems, and in these three learning sequences, students will explore and identify some of the time-tested strategies that organisms and ecosystems have used to solve problems over millions of years of adaptation and evolution. Inspired by nature, they will work collaboratively to generate their own design solution.
Key Stage 2
- Year 6 – Evolution and Inheritance: identify how animals and plants have adapted to suit their environment in different ways, and that adaptation may lead to evolution
Key Stage 3
- Design Technology: use a variety of approaches (for example, biomimicry and user centred design) to generate creative ideas and avoid stereotypical responses
- Science – Relationships in an Ecosystem: the interdependence of organisms, food webs and pollinated crops
- Science – Plant Reproduction: how organisms are affected by their environment
- Science – Evolution and Inheritance: how animals and plants adapt to suit their environment
Objectives and outcomes
- I can understand what biomimicry is and how it is used in technology to inspire ideas
- I can connect biomimicry concepts to my observation of plants and animals
- I have explored how design solutions can be learned from nature
- I have worked collaboratively to find nature’s solutions to a human challenge
- I have grown in confidence in thinking critically and being able to give and receive feedback
Creative habit: Being collaborative
Collaboration is an essential part of working creatively and an important life skill that helps us harness the best learning.
By working together in this learning sequence, pupils explore what it is possible to achieve when being accountable to each other’s skills sets and contributions.
Pupil confidence is built through peer feedback as they contribute to the ideas of others and improve their own.
In this short CPD video, artist and architectural designer Seyi Adelekun talks through Lesson 2 in the Nature inspired design resource.
Follow on task: Think of your own solution to the problem of students slipping on wet floors, using biomimcry. Have a go at designing your own example of a gadget or product and sketch out an annotated diagram.
Assessment for learning
Seyi offers some tips and guidance for supporting students, measuring success, and embedding the creative habit.
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