BBC-1: Of Arteries, Patient Nutrition, and Pogonophoras

To understand what is going on in this post, take 5 minutes to read this one. It’s an introduction to the concept of Biomimicry Biweekly Challenge. Besides, you all are very brave to have read my incoherent thoughts this far. Stay strong! You can get through this!

Of birthdays, arteries, and Möbius strips

It all comes down to my husband, again. Well, to him and his bookshelf. Have you ever heard of a book “Imagining the Tenth Dimension” by Rob Bryanton? I highly recommend reading it, if you are into mind-expanding exercises.

According to Rob, as we move through the fourth dimension – time – we are very much like an ant on a Möbius strip. To us, time feels like a straight line, moving from past to the future. But as we move along the straight line, our choices are constantly branching in the fifth dimension. When we look back in time, it feels like a straight line to us moving in the fourth dimension, but that straight line is an illusion.

As you read this post, your fifth-dimensional self might now have two main branches – one would be the version of you that continues reading into the next paragraph, while another would be the one who decides to take a break and go do something else.

 Scenario 1

Hello to all those fifth-dimensional selves, who have chosen to tread onto the next paragraph! Let me introduce you to Mykola and Max.

Myk is a computer scientist, specializing in game programming. This particular choice of branch was influenced by his father, who specializes in cybernetics, by Myk’s exposure to computers and games at a very early age, and many other factors. He is also surrounded by the multitude of paths, one of which might as well lead him to become a surgeon. This has been his dream for many years. In the future – if chance, choice, and the actions of others permits – Myk will achieve his dream, regardless of how improbable it may seem at the moment.

On one of his birthdays, Myk was given a book – titled “The Human Body” – with beautiful illustrations explaining the structure, functions, and malfunctions of the machine we operate. This action, in principle, led me to my first Biomimicry Challenge.

A scan from a book that really caught my attention!

Continue reading

Gliding in the wind: Biomimicry approach to death and life

As an interlude, here’s a short exercise I worked on as a very personal project. A cremation urn inspired by nature: Gliding in the Wind.

A page from my sketchbook. Physical properties and suspected functions of a mysterious object. Writing: Dr. Sandra Dudley. March, 2010. La Cusinga Lodge, Costa Rica

I had this project in mind for quite a while, ever since I attended the Biomimicry workshop in Costa Rica. There was this one activity, when my partner – Dr. Sandra Dudley – would hand me various natural objects  to explore through touch, smell, sound, even taste – all senses but my eyes (I was blindfolded). After listing all the different properties I discovered, my next task would be to list the function for each property.

Turns out, I was way off! What I thought was some sort of a leaf with properties to ward off predators, turned out to be a seed of Alsomitra macrocarpa vine. If you follow the link, there is a remarkable footage of a falling Alsomitra vine seeds, which use paper-thin wings to disperse like giant gliders. If that didn’t convince you to watch it, the footage is narrated by David Attenborough. Go!

There was a time in my life when I was very ill, and thoughts about life and death accompanied me everywhere. Some of these thoughts came back as a surprise, when Karen Allen explained to me the function of this beautiful glider. One year later – as a Biomimicry workshop anniversary-present-to-myself – I decided to get it out of my system though the project on memories and personal connections (twisted present, I know).

Continue reading