Introduction to Biomimicry: A Sustainable Design Methodology

Nature offers boundless inspiration for sustainable design, but how do we access the wealth of biological information available and apply it effectively to design? This course provides an introduction to biomimicry, a discipline that emulates nature's best ideas and blueprints in order to solve human design challenges sustainably. Each week will include three lessons following one of three main themes: Biomimicry Basics, Observing Nature, and Biomimic’s Design Studio. A typical lesson will include an introduction to the topic, readings, and an (ungraded) assignment. Your coursework will include getting outside to explore nature and learning a key biomimicry design concept that you’ll then apply to develop a novel biomimetic design. This introductory course is primarily self-directed, with peer-to-peer feedback and engagement. An instructor will be present to facilitate and provide guidance, but individual feedback will be limited. / Open to students ages 18 and above. / View complete policies.

How does this non-credit online course work?

This course is asynchronous, meaning there are no set class meeting times. There are no grades, but expect to spend 2 to 4 hours per week to achieve the learning outcomes.  If you are new to the Canvas platform, you will want to allocate an extra 1 to 2 hours the first week to learn how to navigate the course, post assignments, and engage in the discussions. 

See for a list of required textbooks.

Please Register Before: April 1

If the minimum enrollment is not met by the deadline above, the class will be canceled on this date. Registration will remain open after this date if the minimum enrollment has been met. 

No discounts will be applied to this class.


Contact MCAD Continuing Education at or call 612.874.3765.

Image credit: Stefanie Koehler, MASD ’13

Course Details

CSSD 5601 20 SP20
Date Start: 
Monday, April 6, 2020
Date End: 
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Age Group: 
Age Requirement: 
Open to students ages 18 and above.
Days of Week: 
Sustainable Design
Online Classes