Biomimetics in Austria – B.A.U.M. Project

As promised, I’d like to share more details about the B.A.U.M. project in this post.

The B.A.U.M. project, named after the German word for „tree“ (Baum), is a school initiative focused on valuing trees with unique growth forms that are often overlooked in forestry and seen as burdensome. To address this, a consortium has been formed around the Bionikum: Alpen-Adria association, aiming to introduce this topic to children and young people. The consortium includes AAU Klagenfurt’s Institute for Innovation Management and Business Start-ups, the E-C-O Institute for Ecology, forester Mr. Kapeller, and the Wunderwelten Association. Together, they offer workshops in ecology, circular economy, forest art, biomimetics, product/furniture design, biomimetic design, and sustainable innovation at six schools in Carinthia, Austria.

The B.A.U.M. project uses trees and forests as role models to raise awareness and enhance understanding of natural processes and strategies that contribute to resilience and growth. It helps students recognize the human role in Earth’s ecosystem and the impact of a consumption-based society. The project’s goal is to instill a higher value for nature among students and encourage the use of natural ideas and resources for economic, ecological, and social benefits.

For primary school students, the focus is on raising awareness and connecting with forests. Middle school students explore innovative approaches through biomimetic design. Secondary school students learn about the wood-technical peculiarities of special tree growths and creatively design products or furniture derived from these forms.

Over two years, participating students engage in various workshops. The journey began with an introductory excursion into the forest, where students identified trees with unique growth forms in mixed groups of different schools and ages.

Participating students at the end of the introductory workshop


Subsequent workshops covered forest ecology, where students worked in small groups to understand trees as individual organisms and as part of a forest ecosystem. They examined tree processes and ecosystem interconnections.

Investigating different tree parts

Presenting gained knowledge














A workshop on circular economy raised awareness about human and natural production, use, disposal, and reuse processes. Students redesigned existing products to be sustainable and support a circular economy, based on principles observed in trees and forests.

Recognizing nature’s principles

Re-designing existing products










The youngest participants concluded the year with a creative forest workshop, using natural materials to create imaginary figures, writing stories, and creating 3D digital models.

As the first year ended and biomimetic activities are approaching, the final workshop before summer focused on observing and drawing inspiration from nature. Students improved their observation skills and created detailed drawings and data facts about their objects of interest. These posters will serve as a foundation for the biomimetic design process in the upcoming school year.

Characterizing the object/ process of interest


You can follow the B.A.U.M. project on Instagram, Facebook, and their website. There are also several podcasts (only in German!) about the project, with more to come. I will keep this list updated:

Stay tuned for more updates and enjoy the summer!


Anja Boisselet

My name is Anja and I come from one of the most beautiful places on the world – Bled, a small town in a very small country called Slovenia but very beautiful! Imagine that in two hours you can traverse this country, passing high mountains, numerous rivers and lakes, valleys, vineyard hills, and finish on the coast. No wonder why I decided to start my studies in relation to nature.

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