An outline of Hastrich’s process involves, firstly identifying and understanding the basic functions that need to be performed by the design. It is a place where we reflect on what an object/ system needs to do and more interestingly, what it potentially could do. Secondly, we translate and interpret that in biological terms, asking the question of ‘how does nature perform a certain function?’ Thirdly, we undergo a journey of discovering the strategies used by nature including materials, shapes, processes and systems. Fourthly, to interpret biological strategies back into terminology relevant to the item that you are trying to design. Fifthly, to emulate and create an item based on what you trying to design. Finally, to assess the design in alignment to the original objectives.
Design has a large role in determining how we interact as a society, this includes our relationships with others, with the environment and with the objects in our lives. Through breaking the barrier between science and art/ design we might find that each discipline helps us to ask better questions. If the firefly is able to generate light without burning fossil fuels, how might we be able to achieve the same? Why are our homes constructed and heated the way that they are? What can the rainforest teach us about how to run organisations that operate more efficiently yet optimise the wellbeing of the individual? Why do paving stones have to be grey and ugly, can the abalone teach us to to make something beautiful and supportive? It is a popular belief that we have reached the age of ‘stuffocation’ but perhaps the solution to improving our collective quality of life is not in having less or making less, but in changing how we make existing objects, experiences and systems so that they might serve us more effectively.
Words by Natasha J. Hussein