Sustainability, Climate Change, Biomimicry

Published January 17, 2018

Sustainability, Climate Change, Biomimicry are all topics and themes high on the list of design and innovation priorities in the 21st Century. Currently, no university in the world can match the work and creative explorations in the field of Biomimicry that is being done at California State University, Long Beach in its Department of Design.

Last year, two of the university's design student teams were not only selected to be part of the top ten finalists in the Biomimicry Institute's Global Design Challenge, but both teams ended up as part of the 2018-2019 Biomimicry Launchpad, a program that supports prototyping, a path toward commercialization, and the potential to win the $100,000 Ray C. Anderson Foundation Ray of Hope Prize. This year, three of the top ten teams are from CSULB - not a single other university or design program had more than one team in the finals this year or last. Additionally, this year two of our student design teams were among the six honorable mentions in the competition that attracted nearly 100 teams from 17 distinct nations. CSULB teams are five out of the top 16 - Utrecht University in the Netherlands came closest with one team in the finals and two honorable mentions.

Rice Age - a team comprised of Josselyn Alcaraz, Dominique Gan, Aman Dembe, and Wesley Ihezue - aims to solve the problems of too much plastic use, water loss, and methane emissions in the rice growing industry. By emulating the hexagonal shape of the honeycomb and the circulatory system of termite mounds in a closed-loop system, Rice Age is able to maximize land use, oxygenate the soil, and preserve water in rice production. Team "Rice Age" earned a second place finish in the Global Design Challenge, and was the top US finisher.Team "BryoSoil" from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Columbia took top honors among the finalists. Team "Limonene Pods" and Team H2U - Hydration to You" were the other CSULB finalists. Later this year, we'll find out which of the finalists will join the 2019-2020 Biomimicry Launchpad and move from idea to implementation.

Additional information can be found on each of the winners, along with the teams that earned honorable mentions at the

From the main list of winners and the brief overview, simply click on the name of the Team to see the team project more fully broken down, and to watch the 3 minute submission video of each project.

Biomimicry CSULB Project

CSULB Design Department Project from left to right: Limonene Pods, H2U-Hydration to you and Rice Age.