Understanding Design in Nature Can Benefit Product Conceptual Design

Understanding Design in Nature Can Benefit Product Conceptual Design

D.E. Santos-reyes T. Lawlor-Wright 

Manufacturing and Systems Group, Industrial Engineering Department, Universidad Tecnológica de la Mixteca, Oaxaca, Mexico

Extreme Loading and Design Group, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

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Product design is a strategic activity in companies due to the intense competition, more sophisticated market needs, and diverse and rapid changes in technology. Effective engineering design can improve quality, reduce costs and lead-time, thereby better satisfying customer needs. The means to reduce cost, time to market and to improve product quality are more complicated. Product performance, quality, aesthetic and reliability, once considered as fundamental factors in developing new products, are now minimum requirements, as markets have grown more demanding for environmentally friendly products. Product designers are required to conceive faster innovative products of high quality at lower cost and environmentally sound in order to maintain competitiveness in today’s global market. Over the last few years, a significant number of tools and methods have been developed in order to assist designers in addressing these issues. In line with this trend, this paper explores the following research question: how would nature solve conceptual product design issues? It maps the process of design in nature into the traditional product concept design, resulting in a creative process for conceptual product design. It is hoped that this insight may help designers gain further understanding of a creative product concept design process so that they comply with market needs.


conceptual design, constructal theory, creativity, design, evolution


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