I am a biologically informed designer and a co-founder of Ecotonos Design + Manufacturing in the process of writing a book on the subject of knowledge transfer between biology and design. I am already experiencing an abundance of writer’s blocks and look forward to endless rejection letters and caffeine-related anxiety episodes.
To remedy those, I frequently conduct lectures and hands-on workshops at conferences and summits on the subjects of biologically informed design and engineering. Some of the venues include Canadian Museum of Civilization, Canada Science and Technology Museum, University of British Columbia, School of Industrial Design at Carleton University, University of Ottawa, Wessex Institute of Technology, and multiple elementary and high schools.
Ultimately, I believe the role of a designer is to become an active facilitator and participator in solving complex systems challenges. It is not enough to simply be aware of ill-defined problems, it is important to seek practical empathetic approaches that encompass multiple disciplines. Thoughtful design is capable of breeding understanding between various types of knowledge, and making sense of the world we live in.
Brian Burns has taught me that a key to good design is responsibility. As long as the actions of the designer are not frivolous endeavours, but rather a means to create something that is good; something that heals, inspires, and serves its purpose – then design is capable of positively redefining and enhancing the quality of our lives and the lives of all other organisms we share the planet with.
What inspires me to design?
I am continually inspired by the world of nature – be it natural or synthetic – and its connection to human systems through Biologically Informed Design [BID]. BID – a synthesis of biological and design approaches – offers systems solutions to design problems and is a critical tool that can help address the complexity of the challenges we face.