What We Discover
BIOLOGICALLY INFORMED DISCIPLINES: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF BIONICS, BIOMIMETICS, BIOMIMICRY, AND BIOINSPIRATION AMONG OTHERS
This article offers a complementary approach to research and education in biologically informed disciplines through the lens of bionics, biomimetics, and biomimicry terminology. For the purpose of developing this approach, we look at past and current contexts in which the three fields have emerged and identify three issues: an absence of common ground that unites the fields of bionics, biomimetics, and biomimicry while recognizing their contextual differences, a non-standardized use of the terminology that leads to ambiguity within the field of biologically informed disciplines, an incomplete and disorganized historical and contextual knowledge about the field that inhibits a common starting ground for collaboration, and confuses nonscientists who seek biological understanding.
Open production is still mostly in its infancy with a focus on tool development, making toys and fixing components. As the field and tool designs mature, a wider development of original products for market will become available. As consumers gain acceptance of these new local niche products, an increased self-reliance will begin at the community level, empowering society and the makers that produce them. The online communities will continue producing specialized open knowledge, allowing anyone with a little skill to get involved in every facet of production a society needs, requiring little to no need for specialization; giving people the ability to control their own wealth, removing the feeling of being an undervalued gear in a production model.
The ‘co’ in evolution, just as the ‘social’ in innovation is the mark of the future – the lives of modern people are increasingly more codependent than ever. All innovation these days means interdisciplinary innovation, and interdisciplinary innovation, means co-innovation. Kevin Kelly wrote in his book Out of Control: The rise of neo-biological civilization “The new online communities built between the spaces of communication networks are coworlds. Marshall McLuhan was not quite right. We are not hammering together a cozy global village. We are weaving together a crowded global hive – a coworld of utmost sociality [ ... ]. In this environment, all evolution, including the evolution of manufactured entities, is coevolution.” (Kelly, 1994).