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 is composed of three lessons that follows these main themes: Biomimicry Basics, Observing Nature, and Biomimic’s Design Studio. A typical lesson includes 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

You may also be interested in MCAD's fully online Master of Arts in Sustainable Design.

This online course is asynchronous, meaning that there are no set class meeting times. Instead, the course is project-based, with 2 to 3 deadlines per week, and students can choose a time and place that works best for them to complete the work. Course activities may include readings; video demonstrations and tutorials; online discussions; projects; and critiques. The workload of this course is roughly 8-10 hours per week, whether the course is being taken for credit or noncredit. 

Required hardware: Computer with internet access, a camera, and microphone.

Required textbook: See for a list of required textbooks.

Please Register Before: February 17
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. 
Contact MCAD Continuing Education at or call 612.874.3765.

Image credit: Stefanie Koehler

Course Details

CSSD 5601 20 SP21
Date Start: 
Monday, February 22, 2021
Date End: 
Sunday, April 4, 2021
Age Group: 
Age Requirement: 
Open to students ages 18 and above.
Days of Week: 
Sustainable Design
Online Classes