Research in biologically-inspired design (BID) practice often focus on team composition or ideation based on an already discovered fascinating biological solution principle. However, how are the outcome of the early design phases affecting BID projects' quality?
In this study, historical data from 91 reports from student teams documenting their BID efforts from a 3-week course constitute the data source. Thus, the relationship between design problem types, function types, functions descriptions and BID projects' quality is addressed.
The study show that especially design problem types and function descriptions affect the BID projects' quality. For instance, BID projects dealing with open-ended problems yield better results than redesign problems with existing solutions operating in a very domain-limited solution space. Next, BID projects obtain the best results when using functions as drivers for analogy searching rather than properties. Finally, BID projects with certain function types seem to have more complicated conceptualization phases.