x= independently organized TED event

About "Biomimicry"

Biomimicry is design inspired by biology. It is a crossroads discipline, that requires perspectives from both fields. At the intersection of design and biology is function. Why does the idea of function join design and biology? Humans have functional design challenges (e.g. wet adhesion) and biological systems offer functional solutions (e.g. mussel ‘glue’). An owl must fly silently to sneak up on its prey - likewise, an aircraft must not create excessive noise pollution.  At this TEDx Salon you will learn about the practice of biomimicry from two graduate students with very different backgrounds both enrolled in the University of Akron’s first-of-its-kind Biomimicry Fellowship Program - Derek Miller, a designer, and Bor-Kai ‘Bill’ Hsiung, a biologist.




Bor-Kai Hsiung (Bill)

Bill (from Taiwan) is a certified Biomimicry Specialist (Biomimicry 3.8) and a Biomimicry Fellow in the Integrated Bioscience program here at The University of Akron sponsored by Sherwin-Williams. In his talk, he will walk us through a journey of the research that he is doing in the university labs and its connection with Biomimicry. Bill is researching structural colors in spiders. Structural color is the production of color by microscopically structured surfaces, rather than pigments; it has immense potential for biomimetic applications.

Derek Miller

Derek Miller is originally from Marion, Iowa. Being raised on taking apart computers, drawing in sketchbooks, and all-day adventures wandering the woods next to his childhood home has led him to appreciate both the arts and the sciences. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and Biology from the University of Northern Iowa, where he worked in a turtle research lab and took care of turtles, snakes, and a couple alligators. Being a designer, artist, and biologist, Derek became strongly influenced by the inspiration from nature that is seen in the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci. It was this interdisciplinary approach that inspired Derek to pursue the field of Biomimicry at the University of Akron, where he hopes to use art and design as a way to reveal the genius and beauty of the natural world. His undergraduate experience as a designer and a biologist has shaped his thinking about how biology has influenced and continues to influence designers throughout time and across disciplines, and gives his perspective as a designer about the field of biomimicry.

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