Beyond LEED: Constructing a bridge to biomimicry for Canadian interior design educators

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Cash, Karen
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Interior designers require advanced sustainable strategies beyond the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system to expand their ecological accountability. Biomimicry is a biology inspired design (BID) methodology that is integrating into U.S. interior design (ID) curricula. This thesis research aims to identify the extent to which biomimicry is taught in Canadian post-secondary ID programs. Through a mixed-methodology research design, this study explored the strategies and lessons learned from North America interior design educators teaching biomimicry. Integrating a science-based problem-solving methodology into design education requires a transition strategy that includes both high-tech and low-tech teaching tools. This study discusses avenues to heighten biomimicry awareness, for Canadian educators, and addresses the challenges that weaving a complex multidisciplinary topic into interior design pedagogy will bring. Future research regarding biomimicry applications from interior design learner and practitioner perspectives would complement this study, and inform biology inspired design curricula development.
Biomimicry, Biology inspired design, Sustainable design, LEED, Interior design, CIDA, Integrated design process