Engineering and Design in Nature

My interest in reverse engineering extends to projects on the micro and nano scale as well as nature inspired projects that aide in the exploration of space and the ocean deep with explicit goals of furthering knowledge in the sciences. More importantly, it is also endeavors in reverse engineering and nature inspired design that can be inversely applied to answer basic questions in physics.

Wilson McCord, M.A.

Reverse Engineering | Bioengineering Applications from Biological Design

Bioengineering brings together the research of the life sciences and the principles of engineering to answer basic and fundamental questions about the living world. These disciplines form a synthesis that more readily answers pressing questions in, but is not limited to, medicine, biotechnology, environmental science, robotics, biomedical engineering and industry.

With a unique background of extraordinary research collaborations in experimental biology, an excellent graduate education in anthropology and an accomplished and highly developed expertise in design I have synthesized and applied these techniques to the discipline of bioengineering.

Research studies of biomechanics in numerous animal models have contributed to my understanding of the biomechanical design, kinematics, motor control and mechanisms involved in locomotor function. My thesis on the tissue mechanics of the rat femur at 2g and observations of a cartilage engineering project while enrolled in a biomedical engineering design course has aided in a clear understanding of reverse-engineering principles. These studies and future investigations of human movement; joint articulation, musculoskeletal mechanics, movement physiology and factors affecting mechanical work together with my design expertise can lead to better biomaterial designs for improved functional prosthetic design, human in-vivo prosthetic performance of mechanical joints (ie. hip, knee, etc.) and viscoelastic tissue replacements. My electrophysiological experience, used in the study of neural control and motor activity, lends itself to the development of biosensors, signal analysis and medical implants ( useful in the rehabilitation of paralyzed individuals with preserved neuromuscular apparatus ) and research where the interface between the human motorsystem and implantable stimulators will someday afford people without musculoskeletal function the use of their limbs via robotics.

Movement behaviour research is key to the design of the new biorobotics frontier. My behavioural studies on arm movement in Octopus biomaculoides have lead to the discovery of virtual joints in the octopus arm ( target areas of reference for the control of movement ). The locomotor apparatus system can be measured and analyzed to determine the morphological and physiological effects of stress environments (ie. space, ocean, etc.) during ontogeny and regeneration making it possible to develop newly engineered environments for human space exploration and deep sea habitat environments. This research is wholly important to the study of biophysiological and biomorphologicaladaptation and the development of space medicine.

While working as an industrial design intern in one of the World's largest Medical Design, Development and Industrial Design Companies I made an anatomical study for the use of a needle-free injector. Since use of the superficial extensor muscles during pronation and supination over prolonged periods causes tendonitus and straining of the thenar and hypothenar muscles could subsequently cause lesioning of the carpal tunnel I suggested that movement be limited to the axis of flexion and extension in the elbow joint by creating a 180¼ lever from hand to elbow while arming the injector. The technical skills I acquired during that time contribute greatly to my work in experimental biology; set-ups and my ability to design experiments that will produce excellent results. In the future, industrial ventures involving human factors andhuman industrial interface technology will rely heavily on the research of biologists and bioengineers.

Science, Engineering and Design

Design Techniques

Wilson's expertise in digital imaging emerged from his excellence as a draftsman and from his knowledge of multiple mediums. From drawing and collage to graphic, photo and three dimensional digital imaging he continues to progress and produce concepts and designs using new techniques for technology and science.

Science and Design

After synthesizing science, technology, design and art from an anthropological perspective in graduate school and completing his research thesis in space medicine / bone biology; examining the effects of 2g, g and microgravity to aide in bioengineering habitable environments for astronauts, Wilson combined his science and design experience; beginning with his book Biology for Beginners and used these skills in biomedical industrial design, creating biological habitats, as an expert in biological and science imaging, and aiding in science education.

Functional Biomechanical Design

Wilson McCord is an expert in functional biomechanical design, biomechanics, the kinematics involved in moving and organism through its environment and describing biophysical mechanisms of function. His work in Biological Research has applications to numerous aspects of Engineering and Design. Zooplankton biomechanics, kinematics & functional biomechanical design (above). Using the image on the right Wilson theorized and reconstructed the functional biomechanical architecture of zooplankton swimming apparatus (above left). He confirmed his findings with high speed video documented and shown below in a video clip. Methods like these are used to reverse engineer biological mechanisms.

Early Design & Education

From 1979 until 1989 Wilson McCord studied design and art including; drafting, lighting design, set design, interior rendering, drawing, photography and numerous other visual, two and three dimensional design techniques as well as working as a designer in New York and Paris.

Science Imaging, Illustration, 3 Dimensional Design and Infographic Design

Science and Engineering Imaging

Wilson McCord is a Science Imaging Expert. Throughout the website are examples of his extraordinary ability to document Theoretical and Experimental Research as well as Engineering Research and Development. On this page is one sea shell photographed so that it can be observed in three dimensions. Scroll down until these words dissappear from the page. Face the page with your nose approximately 18 inches from the computer screen and cross your eyes. You may have to adjust the image by tilting your head slowly from side to side. It might take some time but eventually you will be able to see the 3mm shell in three dimensions. Imaging is an important aspect of documenting discovery and explaining complex theories.

CURATION and DESIGN for SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION: Design for Science and Technology: Zoological Habitats, Museum Curation and Exhibition Design


Biological Habitats

As an Exhibit Specialist at one of the World's leading Wildlife Conservation Societies and Zoos Wilson worked with every material used in animal habitat construction. This work has aided and contributes to his ability to construct and design artificial habitats and laboratory environments. Most major zoos are engaged in captive breeding programs of the world's endangered species. The new habitat designs help insure the survival of the animals bred in captivity. Additionally, more and more zoos are becoming bases for conservation programs throughout the World.


Background Photo: Gorilla Exhibit; Hills for animal habitat; small roots made of pipe cleaners, epoxy and mulch; large roots made of urethane and wire. Bird habitat construction made of metal lathe filled with cement, natural elements are used.

Living Exhibit Design and Development

Extensive Design Experience

Early Design

Before 1989, when Wilson McCord began to study and work in the sciences, he studied design and worked in New York as a visual, set and lighting designer, interned at The Metropolitan Opera Design Studio and worked in Paris as a Creative Director, Decorator and Visual Designer.

Early Designworks

Publication Contributions

Valentino Couture

Valentino Couture Article, Wilson McCord, Sit in Editor and Photographer for Master the Art of Style


Joyeux Noel, Paris Christmas 2012, Wilson McCord Photographs for Master the Art of Style


Printemps Dior Christmas Windows 2012, Wilson McCord Photographs for Master the Art of Style

Early Design

Wilson McCord was first educated and worked as a; Theatrical Set, Lighting and Costume Designer; then as a Fashion Visual Designer and Creative Director (Art Director)in New York and Paris until his internship in the Design Studio at The Metropolitan Opera House - where Franco Zeffirelli was designing Don Giovanni - in 1989. After studying and graduating with a Masters in Anthropology, and concentrating on Science, Technology, Design and Art, Wilson began to combine his expertise in Design within the Sciences building Zoological Habitats, creating Media, interning in one of the world's most important BioMedical Industrial Design firms and now creating Digital Science Media in Physics, Biology, Medical and Bioengineering Research and Technology.

From 1979 to 1981 Wilson studied Theatrical Production Design and Technical Theatre at William Patterson University and worked as a costume design assistant for the winning show, “Going On.” in the American College Theatre Festival XIII performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C..  Before finishing his first degree he moved to New York and worked for an international and Emmy award winning Lighting designer as an apprentice during Peter Martin's debut at The New York City Ballet and aided that designer during production of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.  He worked as a lighting designer at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and numerous theatres, like the Julliard School, as technical support.   Wilson began to design fashion show productions working as lighting designer at the New London in New York fashion shows that ushered in the British Fashion craze in the early 1980’s. He worked as a visual designer on Fifth Avenue and at Luxury Boutiques like Alfred Dunhill doing visual window display and worked as a Creative Director (Art Director today), Visual Designer and Decorator for luxury fashion boutiques and showrooms in New York and Paris all before the age of 25.  At the City University of New York Wilson studied science and design; drawing, photography and cinematography. In 1989 he completed an internship in the Design Studio at The Metropolitan Opera House while Franco Zeffirelli designed Don Giovanni.  He graduated with a BA in Art and Design from Hunter CUNY that same year. All of the lighting design and design work has benefited Wilson McCord greatly in the laboratory; in creating laboratory set ups and designing research experiments as well as creating extraordinary presentations. In 1990 after studying Visual Anthropology at Columbia University he entered the City University of New York as a Graduate Student of Anthropology. His work as a Graduate student is documented in the e-book Anthropological Perspectives on Science, Technology, Design and Art; Collected Writings 1989 to 1993. It can be bought on Amazon.

Visual and Three Dimensional Design

Fashion Visual Design

Interior Decoration


Thierry Villenave

Theirry Villenavel Article, Wilson McCord, Photographs for Master the Art of Style.


Christophe Josse Article, Wilson McCord, Photographs for Master the Art of Style

Atelier Du Sartel

Atelier Du Sartel Article, Wilson McCord, Sit in Editor and Art Direction for Master the Art of Style. Photographs from Atelier Du Sartel


Beacon News Review of Wilson McCord's Lighting Design for the Creative Source Dance Theatre

      All writing, media, photographs, illustrations, artwork, designs and documents on this website are the intellectual property and under copyright laws legally belong to
      Wilson McCord copyright 2017 and are subject to the copyright date of their creation.