Proteins, one of the building blocks in organisms, not only control the assembly in biological systems but also provide most of their complex functions. It may be possible to assemble materials for practical technological applications utilizing the unique advantages provided by proteins. Here we discuss molecular biomimetic pathways in the quest for imitating biology at the molecular scale via protein engineering. We use combinatorial biology protocols to select short polypeptides that have affinity to inorganic materials and use them in assembling novel hybrid materials. We give an overview of some of the recent developments of molecular engineering towards this goal. Inorganic surface specific proteins were identified by using cell surface and phage display technologies. Examples of metal and metal oxide specific polypeptides were represented with an emphasis on certain level of specificities. The recognition and self assembling characteristics of these inorganic-binding proteins would be employed in develeopment of hybrid multifunctional materials for novel bio- and nano-technological applications.