Biologically Informed Disciplines: a Comparative Analysis of Bionics, Biomimetics, Biomimicry, and Bio-inspiration Among Others

Biologically Informed Disciplines: a Comparative Analysis of Bionics, Biomimetics, Biomimicry, and Bio-inspiration Among Others

A. Iouguina J.W. Dawson B. Hallgrimsson G. Smart

School of Industrial Design, Carleton University, Canada

Department of Biology, Carleton University, Canada

School of Linguistics and Language Studies, Carleton University, Canada

30 September 2014
| Citation



This article offers a complementary approach to research and education in biologically informed disciplines through the lens of bionics, biomimetics, and biomimicry terminology. For the purpose of developing this approach, we look at past and current contexts in which the three fields have emerged and identify three issues: an absence of common ground that unites the fields of bionics, biomimetics, and biomimicry while recogniz- ing their contextual differences, a non-standardized use of the terminology that leads to ambiguity within the field of biologically informed disciplines, an incomplete and disorganized historical and contextual knowledge about the field that inhibits a common starting ground for collaboration, and confuses non-scientists who seek biological understanding. We offer a fundamental understanding of the fields from theoretical perspective by bringing together opinions of researchers and practitioners of bionics, biomimetics, biomimicry, bio-inspiration and offering a comprehensive analysis of terms culminating in the introduction of an overarching term ‘biologi- cally informed disciplines.


bio-inspiration, biologically informed disciplines, biomimetics, biomimicry, bionics, linguistic discourse


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