Overcoming Cognitive Challenges in Bioinspired Design and Analogy

Chapter

Abstract

Bioinspired design and analogy are powerful tools for innovation. Engineers face many cognitive challenges when seeking to employ design by analogy and bioinspired design. This chapter presents known difficulties engineers must overcome for bioinspired design and summarizes the cognitive psychology, multi-media learning and design evidence for the cognitive challenges. A number of cognitive challenges block a designer from being effective when using design by analogy. The challenges range from retrieving appropriate analogues based on deep similarities to the challenge of seeing multiple solutions based on a single analogue, to becoming fixated on initial solutions. Like any other idea generation process, design fixation limits the solution space explored during design by analogy and bioinspired design. There are empirically proven strategies for mitigating design fixation ranging from presenting uncommon examples to abstractions and categories of solutions. From research on multimedia learning and design, additional heuristics applicable to the design of new bioinspired tools have also been identified. These include annotations directly next to ambiguous or unfamiliar representations to enhance communication and make learning easier. Design heuristics and principles are presented after each section of the relevant research. The chapter ends with the summary of the cognitive design heuristics for bioinspired design methods and tools. This set of heuristics can be used as guidelines for researchers developing new methods and support tools for bioinspired design.

Keywords

Design by analogy Cognitive biases Fixation 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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