Karen Cash
Cash image

Beyond LEED®: Constructing a Bridge to Biomimicry for Canadian Interior Design Educators


Advisor: Dr. Shauna Mallory-Hill
Internal Examiner: Dr. Cynthia Karpan
External Examiner: Professor Cindy Gilbert


Interior designers require advanced sustainable strategies beyond the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system to expand their ecological accountability. Biomimicry is a biology inspired design (BID) methodology that is integrating U.S. interior design (ID) curricula. This thesis research aims to identify the extent to which biomimicry is taught in Canadian post-secondary ID programs. Through a mixed-methodology research design, this study explores the strategies and lessons learned from North America interior design educators teaching biomimicry.

Integrating a science-based problem-solving methodology into design education requires a transition strategy that includes both high-tech and low-tech teaching tools. This study discusses avenues to heighten biomimicry awareness for Canadian educators, and addresses the challenges that weaving a complex multidisciplinary topic into interior design pedagogy will bring. Future research regarding biomimicry applications from interior design learner and practitioner perspectives would complement this study, and inform bio-design curricula development.

Cover photo credit: Image 8.3A, List of Copywrited Materials

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