In my MFA grad year, I was lucky enough to get to take a biomimetic industrial design class from Fulbright Scholar Tom McKeag.
Though BioWerks was a studio class with time to invent, Tom also took us to tour the beach and wetlands of Bolinas, UC Berkeley’s CiBER lab, and Berkeley’s Innovation Lab, where we took Clark Kellogg’s brilliant Communication by Design workshop.
After a visit to the California Academy of Sciences’ Skulls exhibit, our 10-person class broke into four teams and pitched booth ideas for CAS’s competitive NightLife event. CAS soon established that the entire evening would feature CCA design teams, including all of our class’s projects. Our BioWerks stations — ears, beaks, eyes, and teeth — were produced and presented on November 7, 2014.
The class was a phenomenal experience, despite it being a steep learning curve for this design-world neophyte who hasn’t studied biology since high school. (Which made it extra special to land an A- in the class!) I credit our class’s success to Tom and our tireless T.A., Patima Pataramekin, who had to leave partway through the semester to start her first 9-5 job, doing User Experience Design at Apple. (Despite this, the superwoman still made time to support and advise us, and help grade our projects for the rest of the semester.)
To see my designs, let’s talk(at)berenice.ca