How do we design the next generation of cars by learning from nature?
Fiat Chrysler Automotive brought us in for a year-long process of helping them integrate bio-inspired design and biomimicry into their innovation practices. We created a tail-gate party to help them learn how a pinecone could inform the design of an air filter, how a deer antler could give them the best strength through form geometry, and how windshields could be self cleaning like a lotus leaf.
After working with two other groups unsuccessfully, we turned the human-centered design process toward them, setting up site visits on campus, interviewing stakeholders from various sectors and levels, and immersing ourselves in their world. We ended up designing custom tools, workshops, and learning activities specifically targeting a shift in their relationship to nature, and getting them outside more on Chrysler’s campus. This work resulted in bringing team members together who typically never communicated, increasing work health and wellness by getting outside, and them developing radical new ideas — and even new patents.