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Biomorphism: the revolution of design

Biomorphism, one of the many sub-methods of biomimicry, consists of drawing inspiration from the shapes of nature, for its aesthetic aspect but also for its performance.
Since the first use of the terms “biomorphic” or “biomorphe” by Alfred CORT HADDON, in his work Evolution in Art published in 1895, biomorphism has been found in various works. The latter has an artistic but also technical character. Biomorphism meets technological performance objectives, particularly in the fields of mobility and construction!

Players in the transport and real estate fields face issues related to reducing the consumption of energy and limited resources.

In aeronautics or automotive (to name just these two sectors), aerodynamic losses lead to excess fuel consumption which involves pollution and additional costs. Minimising these losses is therefore a crucial issue for these two industrial categories.

In the construction industry, raw material costs and the impact on the environment are major issues for tomorrow's buildings. Succeeding in developing premises, offices and homes with resistant, lightweight and thermally efficient structures (among other things) are challenges of the highest order.

However, traditional methods of reflection to optimise current solutions encounter their limits. The majority of shapes are currently generated from an anthropo-thought solution, dependent on manufacturing methods and performance parameters.

What if in reality we had to push the changes further to see the beneficial effects appear? In terms of resources and time, it is not possible to test all possible combinations. How then can we know if a drastic change will be better?

A specialist in the field, Bioxegy explains to you through a few examples why and how biomimicry is a source of solutions and new approaches for thinking about the biomorphism of the future.

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Natural forms emerged as a result of 3.8 billion years of evolution and natural selection.

The interest of biomorphism is to be able to offer new designs that are very different from the usual ones. Industrial design methods, based on anthropomorphism, have favoured the emergence of simple and regular shapes: paving stone, square cube, rectangle, round, sphere, etc. By reproducing the shapes and trends found in nature, biomorphism makes it possible to make drastic changes towards more organic shapes: comb, grooves, scales, hexagonal tiling... In life, these shapes appeared as the result of 3.8 billion years of evolution and natural selection.


Biomorphism can be a source of incremental or disruptive innovations. Using this approach, new shapes and geometries can be designed to result in innovative and improved designs.


In nature, the design of each living being are compromises in order to optimise all parameters: maximising performance by minimising trade-offs.


For example, the shape of birds' wings allows them to glide with minimal effort and minimal mass. The shape of fish scales reduces friction with the water while protecting them. Thanks to the shape of its beak and skull, the kingfisher penetrates the water without splashing or making waves, which allows it to catch its prey without blurring its vision. And there are a plethora of other examples of biomorphism designed from the two million species known to date (2022)!


By using these forms, it is therefore possible to develop high-performance systems.

What is the role of Bioxegy in the field of biomorphism?

A specialist in biomimicry, Bioxegy will use a biomorphic approach as a response to some of the many industrial and complex problems. Through a few examples, biomorphism will perhaps convince you that it is a method of reflection that can lead to concrete results.

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Passive thermoregulation of the cactus

Biological inspiration: Torch cactuses live in hot, arid deserts. They must therefore regulate their surface temperature to limit water loss. A particularity of these cactuses is the presence of outgrowing awns.

This shape creates a temperature difference between the inside and outside of their sides. This not only creates shading but also causes convective flows of cooling air.


Biomorphic technical system: The Votu Brazil hotel decided to implement boards on all building facades, thus reducing exposure to the sun's rays.

This biomorphism, which imitates the ribs of the torch cactus, limits direct exposure by 75% on average and generates external air currents. The surface temperature of the protected windows is reduced by 6°C in summer.

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Box fish: an inspiration for some vehicles

​Biological inspiration: Box fish are astonishing animals, their cubic (or cobblestone) shape contrasts with the usual rather elongated shapes of fish and clashes with our conventional conceptions of hydrodynamics. However, the boxfish moves with agility in the aquatic environment, it is even capable of maneuvering in all directions.

Biomorphic technical system: These shapes intrigued the engineers at Mercedes-Benz, who focused on the development of a concept of a car imitating the shape of box fish. The results are surprising: in addition to reducing friction, the volume available inside the passenger compartment and trunk is maximised.

Vehicles such as cars, trucks or buses are subject to a high drag force due to their large frontal area, which leads to high fuel consumption and significant costs. Air has difficulty flowing in this area.

A car fairing is inspired by the shape of the boxfish to guide airflow. The coefficient of friction is reduced by more than two (from 0.56 to 0.24) compared to a conventional vehicle. Biomorphism therefore reduces the effort to move forward, reduces the influence of side winds and pressure fluctuations on the sides due to the separation of the air flow around the fairing. Fuel consumption is therefore reduced and driving is more pleasant.

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Rethinking wind turbines: biomorphism is used to change the way they operate and produce energy

Biological inspiration:

Kelp, also called bladderwrack, is a kind of algae that floats and undulates in a column thanks to the presence of small balls filled with air. This allows it to remain on the surface to carry out photosynthesis and protect itself from drought by remaining in the currents. The kelp also secretes a mucus which limits its evapotranspiration and it is one of the longest, flexible and mechanically resistant species of kelp.


Biomorphic technical system:

Conventional tidal turbines look like wind turbines but underwater, they are driven by sea currents. Only the rotating movement of the blades disturbs these currents as well as the local fauna and flora. Scientists were therefore interested in a paradigm shift, another way of producing electricity by capturing the energy of currents or waves.

After a snake tidal turbine and another with a membrane inspired by eels, they designed a tidal turbine inspired by the kelp. Developped in Australia by BioPower Systems teams, it is attached to the ground in medium depth areas (between 30 and 50m) near the coast and can be directly connected to the network. It follows the movement and direction of the waves by pivoting on its base for greater energy production and less resistance. In addition, its biomimetic design makes it safe for local wildlife. This device is easily detachable to be able to carry out maintenance on land without moving the entire structure. 25m high, one unit would produce up to 1MW, like a small wind turbine.


Likewise, our wind turbines can be redesigned thanks to biomorphism.

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Other promising prospects for biomimicry in industrial sectors


Biomimicry & aerodynamics :
a commonplace



Biomimicry & NVH: improving noise and vibration mitigation technologies


Biomimicry to cope with the elements (abrasion, erosion, oxidation)


Biomimicry, sensing and information processing: shaping the intelligent systems of the future


Biomimicry & tribology:
a promising technological duo

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