Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Foraging for Inspiration: Understanding and Supporting the Online Information Seeking Practices of Biologically Inspired Designers

[+] Author Affiliations
Swaroop S. Vattam, Ashok K. Goel

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Paper No. DETC2011-48238, pp. 177-186; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 9: 23rd International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; 16th Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5486-0
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Finding suitable biological systems to emulate is one of the key initial steps in biologically inspired design. Designers often turn to online information environments such as the World Wide Web to seek biological sources of inspiration, which poses its own set of challenges. The focus of our research is to understand and address those challenges. In this paper, we first present an information-processing model of the task of seeking bio-inspiration in online information environments based on our observations of designers engaged in biologically inspired design. Then, we analyze the information foraging behavior of designers that is encapsulated in this model to understand the costs associated with this task. Next, we propose an approach for enhancing information environments to better support the task of seeking bio-inspiration. Our approach augments individual information resources within an information environment with conceptual models to make the task of finding relevant information resources more efficient. Finally, we describe an interactive online information environment called Biologue that realizes this approach.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Design , Biomimetics



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In