For the first Biomimicry Action Project, GCE students investigated the following guiding question:

How would a fungus…?

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

You are a product designer for a company who has taken inspiration from Ray Anderson and is in the process of implementing your own “Mission Zero” business model. According to Anderson,

Mission Zero…is our promise to eliminate any negative impact our company may have on the environment by the year 2020… Every creative, manufacturing and building decision we make is intended to help us achieve zero environmental footprints by 2020 and give you the most fashionable, high performing and environmentally well-rounded products in the industry.

Your job is to choose one product from your company’s design portfolio and redesign it, using biomimicry to improve its design, energy consumption, and ecological footprint. Your design will be used as a model for the rest of your firm to transition all products to abide by the Mission Zero model.

Click on the products in the sketch to see the featured designs.

Alignment with Common Core Math & NextGen Standards

Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.

How does the environment influence populations of organisms over multiple generations?

What is biodiversity, how do humans affect it, and how does it affect humans?

Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

1. Patterns. Observed patterns of forms and events guide organization and classification, and they prompt questions about relationships and the factors that influence them.

6. Structure and function. The way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructure determine many of its properties and functions.

Sustainable Party Cup by AJE This AP is Pretty Smelly by NBE Littered with Waste by MDS Closing the Loop by MN BioBag or Bust by WH Plastic Straws Begone


Bioneers are “biological pioneers”: people who tackle social & environmental challenges from an ecological point of view by mimicking nature. Bioneers often ask: What would nature do in this case? The purpose of the Biomimicry course is to introduc …

Learn more about our Biomimicry Course