2013-04-19Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/6660
Lebende Prototypen und lebhafte Artefakte
Die (Un-)Gewissheiten der Bionik
In the context of its current popularity Bionics is often depicted as a promising approach to design more efficient and sustainable technologies by just copying nature’s solutions. In the present article I am investigating the epistemology of Bionics in regard to its historical roots in Cybernetics and the military-industrial academic complex of the 1960s. The paper argues that the early actors of Bionics were well aware of their discipline’s epistemic constraints and the antagonism between mimesis and abstraction. In fact, as a close look at the research practice at Heinz von Foerster’s Biological Computer Laboratory reveals, the imitation of nature often involved a great deal of tinkering, a little bit of patching up and sometimes even a hint of trickery.
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