In this paper, I delineate the first pages of a philosophical genealogy which outlines the cornerstones of a philosophy of bio-technical forms. In so doing, the essay contributes to the philosophical understanding of some key scientific concepts. In particular, it analyses the philosophical and historical preconditions, the epistemic assumptions, as well as the ontological commitments of the concept of form as used in digital design and in bionics. In the first section, I investigate Ernst Kapp’s philosophy of technical forms. In the second section, I analyse the emergence of biotechnology, today’s bionics, as an independent technical discipline. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Austro-Hungarian botanist Raoul Heinrich Francé (1874–1943) founded this discipline with the aim of imitating the technical solutions chosen by nature. In the conclusion, I draw broader conclusions about the philosophy of bio-technical forms. Particularly, I argue, first, that the role of materiality and form-intrinsic propriety is of central importance in processes of form design. Second, I define morphology as a theory of possible constructions of forms in space and not, as in evolutionary biology, a science of the changes of forms in time. This characterises what I have called the ontological turn in form-design disciplines: nature operates technically to conceive new forms.