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Horst F. Wedde und Muddassar Farooq
Nature Centered Design - A Novel Framework for Engineering and Science Education in a the new Millenium
SEC III – Open IFIP-GI-Conference on Social, Ethical and Cognitive Issues of Informatics and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), Dortmund, Germany, 2002-07


Technological developments have brought a substantive revolution in human society. The famous motto of the Chicago fare “Science finds, Industry applies, Man conforms” has undergone a tergiversation to “People propose, Science studies, Technology conforms”. This change of mind resulted in evolving novel design methodologies that ultimately resulted in an extensive research, initially in Man Machine Interfaces and later on in Human Centered Systems [ND86][No93][No95]. This transformation of design philosophy is a right step in the direction of developing soft and humane systems that are human centered. However, this design approach extracts itself out of resentment against the machine-centered approach. Since this philosophy puts human at the center of the design process and machines at the periphery, therefore it received an egregious approbation in the community of designers. In this paper, we want to propose a novel design approach namely Nature Centered Design as a true replacement for Machine Centered Design. We believe that Human Centered Systems are one limiting case of Nature Centered Systems. We believe that a technology based on the principles of Nature can bring tranquillity and harmony to a society. We had around us marvelous manifestations of Nature in the form of animal and plant kingdoms, a harmonic system of oceans and rivers, clean and healthy atmosphere to breath, and a wonderful solar system. These w onders of Nature were not used to cope with awe as a driving impulse to awareness and consciousness of a designer. If we explore Nature and try to understand design principles and processes in natural objects and apply them in designing industrial products, then this may lead to an evolution of a technology that integrates into our daily life, we call it natural technology. A natural technology produces objects that are integrated into our ecological system as familiar natural objects i.e. like trees, fountains and flowers. We call this design process Natural Engineering. We also propose a framework for gradual integration of this approach into the existing Engineering and Science education. Hence the motto for the technological revolution in the new millennium, as we propose is “Nature proposes, Humans discover, Technology conflates”.