Dr. Ben Bolker has kindly provided some words for his upcoming talk at the fifth Architecture in Combination event:
Biologically Inspired Design of Design
While designers and engineers have traditionally looked to living organisms for solutions to design problems, they have also recognized the limitations of this approach – airplanes are not birds, and submarines are not fish. More recently, mathematicians and computer scientists have looked to natural systems for inspiration, not about designs themselves, but about methods or algorithms for design, a topic broadly known as “evolutionary computation”. How well do biological systems design themselves? Do organisms evolve to be more evolvable? What characteristics of biological evolution are worth copying?