Episode 15

Marjan Eggermont


Oct 22, 2020 | Arts, Science

In this episode, I speak with Dr. Marjan Eggermont, an expert in bio-inspired design. We speak about biodesign and biomimicry, and we also discuss Marjan’s artistic side!


Interview with Marjan Eggermont (Designer)

 In this episode, I speak with Dr. Marjan Eggermont, an expert in bio-inspired design. We talk about design and sustainability, new innovations in design, why companies should hire scientists, and Marjan’s own work as an artist.

(Full transcript available here.)


  • Intro (0:00:42)
  • Marjan has a degree in military history (0:01:25)
  • How Marjan also ended up with a BFA and an MFA (0:03:08)
  • Marjan followed her curiosity and then got a PhD (0:04:25)
  • Interdisciplinary approach to the arts (0:07:54)
  • Why is bio-inspired design part of engineering? (0:08:37)
  • Is biomimicry the same thing as bio-design? (0:10:22)
  • Have plastics become more sustainable because of biodesign? (0:12:31)
  • Studying animals in biomimicry (0:13:34)
  • Snakes in biodesign (0:16:48)
  • Life in urban centres (0:18:06)
  • Teaching biodesign (0:19:13)
  • Interest in microorganisms and Tardigrades (0:20:33)
  • Bio-inspired design inspired by the micro-world (0:24:15)
  • Reverse-engineering in order to create (0:27:13)
  • Companies are hiring biologists for design (0:29:20)
  • How can scientists get jobs in this field? (0:30:50)
  • Have animals mimicked humans? (0:32:22)
  • Zygote Quarterly: a biodesign journal (0:34:32)
  • How does Zygote find people to feature in their journal? (0:36:56)
  • Marjan’s art (0:39:05)
  • Moving to Canada (0:40:57)
  • Perceptions of being an artist who’s also a professor (0:42:00)
  • Pausing as an artist (0:44:25)
  • What inspires new work? (0:45:50)
  • Teaching as a passion (0:46:55)
  • Teaching online during the pandemic (0:47:18)
  • Using art in bio-inspired design classes (0:48:39)
  • Twenty years of teaching (0:50:06)
  • Living in Calgary (0:50:43)
  • Impressions of living in Canada (0:51:30)
  • First thing Marjan will do when the pandemic is over (0:55:50)


Zygote Quarterly: https://zqjournal.org/

U of Calgary bio: https://schulich.ucalgary.ca/contacts/marjan-eggermont

Marjan’s artwork: https://www.herringerkissgallery.com/marjan-eggermont

Little Ray’s Reptiles: https://littlerays.org/


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