If biology seeks to answer the question, "what characteristics of living things?", then design biology tries to understand how the processes and artifacts of living systems help define design opportunities for humans and other systems.
I've adapted this definition based on how Elizabeth Tunstall defines what it means to be a design anthropologist. However, whereas the anthropological approach is (perhaps) more concerned with meaning, I think the design biologist is at least as concerned with function. The reason for this is that there has to be a certain level of integration for living systems to continue to cooperate, behave, or evolve dynamically. Therefore, if we are designing a product, understanding what the consequences of the product's lifecycle are for humans and other living organisms is crucial if they are going to sustainable.
Any thoughts on integrating the discipline of design and biology (sans the so-called "intelligent design" propositions)?