WIT Press

Evolutionary design: the application of biological strategies in the product design process


Free (open access)


Volume 12 (2017), Issue 2



Page Range

204 - 213

Paper DOI



WIT Press




The research aimed at understanding how strategies developed by nature endure and sustain organisms and the environment in which they are placed. Accordingly, this understanding of biological strategies led to the development of a product design process that enhances both the innovation and sustainability of the product and its surroundings. An in-depth comparison was discussed of two main strategic directions that shape existing nature-inspired design process; outcome-focused strategies and process-focused strategies. Two processes were developed that follow nature’s method of adapting to survive in changing environments which were tested in the product design field. The approach of experimentation was divided into two main parts; case studies and interactive participant labs to experiment and apply the research outcome. Participants from different disciplines and professional backgrounds were involved in both experimentation methods. The methods were analysed using observation, interviews, questionnaires, and focus group discussions. The experiments showed that participants from the design, engineering, and management fields produced sustainable outcomes by applying the proposed processes in their projects. By introducing nature-inspired processes during the start of project development, participants were able to create sustainable solutions. The proposed framework can be applied in the education sectors for design students. It can also be applicable for professional design projects to achieve advanced sustainable outcomes.


evolution, product design, processes, sustainability, strategies.