Challenge #21

How can we …

apply biomimicry techniques to light production?


This challenge is part of the project ‘Maakbaar’ where we stimulate social, ecological and economically sustainable design, inspired by nature. It is a project from BOS+, together with OVAM, Flanders DC, Aider Peru and Design Museum Gent, with the support of the Flemish and Belgian government.

Involved SDG's

#11 – Sustainable cities & communities

#12 – Responsible consumption & production

#13 – Climate action


  • Dutch
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Problem description

Which lessons from nature can we apply to design products and systems in the light industry?

Bioluminiscence (a form of chemoluminiscence) is the production and emission of light by a living organism. Bioluminescence is most common amongst marine organism, but also occurs in some fungi, microorganisms including some bioluminescent bacteria and probably most known in insects such as fireflies. This light can be bacteriogenic, produced by symbiotic organisms or autogenic, produced by the animals themselves.

Join this project

Do you want to work on a challenging project in one of the courses you follow? Let us know and we’ll bring you in contact with the contact person for this challenge. If other students are already working on it we’ll bring you in contact as well.

students are working on this challenge

What has been done already?

Today, the principles of bioluminiscence have already been used in some technical applications, mainly in the medical world. However, there may be thought of possible applications in various domains.

Recent start-ups like Glowee ( are interesting examples of bioluminiscence’s possibilities in industrial design and new domains.

What are the next steps?

A study of the concept, principles and existing applications of bioluminiscence should lead to a better understanding and new insights. Together with designers and multidisciplinar teams, new applications in industrial design or other domains may be proposed and developed.

Expected outcome

We expect valid concept ideas and prototypes of new applications for bioluminiscence, as well as suggestions for further research and development.