Using Biomimicry for
Delivering the Good Life

A sampling of MCAD's Sustainable Design Biomimetic Design Course



Sustainable Brands has embarked on a three-year journey to understand what “The Good Life” means to people today, to raise this conversation around the globe, and to find, share and celebrate brands that are innovating on this new collective vision.  The theme for the third year of this journey is Delivering The Good Life.

Sustainable Brands has discovered that today’s version of “The Good Life” appears to be shifting; less focus on money and status, and more towards a pursuit of a simpler, balanced life that is rich with connections to people, community, and environment.  

SB’19 Detroit will help brands and organizations map their way forward to a sustainable future by equipping product and service innovation teams to Deliver The Good Life, engaging marketing/communications teams to support Good Life values, and evolving supplier relationships with principles of The Good Life.

Sustainable Brands has partnered with MCAD’s Master of Arts in Sustainable Design Program to create a set of mini-courses  (non-credit) to help empower and equip you for Delivering The Good Life.  This mini-course is a sampling from the sustainable design course called Biomimetic Design.


How might we—leaders of brands, as well as their consumers—shift our focus from seeking money and status to seeking a simpler, balanced life that is rich with connections to people, community, and environment?

One way is to take cues from nature—where life is already simpler, balanced, and rich with connections to others, community, and environment—and use Biomimicry for Delivering the Good Life.

Biomimicry allows scientists, engineers, and designers to take cues from nature to find breakthrough solutions, and allows leaders to reinvent the way they run their organizations and the way that they conceive sustainability.

Biomimicry allows us to say “yes” to new possibilities, rather than saying no to the socio-political forces that leave us feeling vulnerable, frustrated, and uncertain about the sustainability of our future.

If we want to engage in a life that is rich with connections to people, community, and environment—The Good Life—we can use take cues from nature by using Biomimicry.

In this mini-course, you will have a chance to explore how biomimicry can be applied to both technologies and organizations and why biomimicry is important for Delivering the Good Life. You will leave with tools you can use to practice biomimicry in your own work.


  • You will learn about biomimicry and reflect on how it can be leveraged to Deliver The Good Life.
  • You will explore and reflect on how organizations have leveraged biomimicry to Deliver The Good Life.
  • You will identify actions you can take to use biomimicry to Deliver The Good Life.
  • You will learn 3 tools you can use to develop and practice biomimicry to Deliver The Good Life.


This mini-course contains two videos and two readings followed by “Questions for reflection” and “Taking action: How might you use what you learn?”  The questions and actions will help you embed what you’ve learned as well as make it personally real and relevant. At the end of the course, you’ll find a “Try This” section with 3 tools you can use to help you practice what you’ve learned.


Taryn Mead, PhD
Adjunct Faculty, MCAD’s MA in Sustainable Design program

Taryn Mead is an innovation and management scholar whose research focuses on the interface between corporate sustainability strategies and conceptualizations of nature. This includes subjects such as sustainability-oriented innovation, biomimicry, circular economy, the integration of planetary boundaries into corporate strategy, and the role of corporations in sustainable development. She also has substantial experience in sustainable design and expertise in creativity for sustainability among design and engineering professionals in interdisciplinary settings.

Before pursuing her PhD in innovation management, Mead worked as biologist, sustainability strategist and Certified Biomimicry Professional consulting with over 30 corporate, municipal, and non-profit clients using biomimicry as a tool for innovation and sustainability. As a practitioner of biologically-inspired innovation, she has worked on domestic and international projects ranging from new product design to industrial ecosystems to new cities for 2 million inhabitants. She has also served as the lead facilitator for numerous workshops with corporate clients and blossoming biomimics and lectured for large audiences.

Denise DeLuca
Director, MCAD’s MA in Sustainable Design program

Denise DeLuca is the Director of MCAD’s Sustainable Design program. She was co-founder of BCI: Biomimicry Creative for Innovation, a network of creative professional change agents driving ecological thinking for radical transformation. DeLuca is author of the book Re-Aligning with Nature: Ecological Thinking for Radical Transformation, which was illustrated by sustainable design alum Stefanie Koehler.  She also teaches with the Amani Institute. DeLuca's previous roles include Education Director for the International Living Future Institute, Project Manager for Swedish Biomimetics 3000, and Outreach Director for The Biomimicry Institute.  DeLuca is a licensed civil engineer (PE) and holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering with a focus on modeling landscape-scale surface and groundwater interactions. In addition, DeLuca is a Biomimicry Fellow of The Biomimicry Institute, on the editorial board of the Journal of Bionic Engineering, and volunteers with Katerva. DeLuca is based in Montana.

Dive into the course materials