Man vs. Nature
We are surrounded. 76% of the earth is infected, and 65% of our bodies are made up of it. What is this formidable force that we cannot seem to escape?
That's right. H2O. It's everywhere, and as homo sapiens, we fight it with great vigor. As much as it gives us life, and is such an important aspect for anything (and everything), we are constantly in opposition with it. Such an unpredictable element, it is something to be reckoned with. When I visited Seattle this summer, I noticed how sprawling the city was, and how much of it was right next to the water. There were ferries, and boats, and other ways to reach from one side of the straight to the other, but I noticed the lack of bridges. Why? Because there's no way that concrete or anything else can stand up to the weathering/unpredictable effects of the water.
While traveling through the various parts of the city and state, I did notice a couple of bridges. I was quite curious as to what made these unique and able to withstand where other bridges have failed. I discovered later from local sources that they were actually floating bridges; concrete structures, reinforced with rebar (just like any other structure), but weighted down to the bottom of the water with anchors and cables. The actual pillars of the bridge were made with a porous cement, allowing it to sit a certain level in the water and float, but the cables allow for the wear and tear of the shifting waters. It was fascinating, really, to drive over these bridges that sit so low in the water, and to wonder if I could actually feel it moving beneath me (just for the record, I did not...but who knows?). I love that the people/engineers of WA were able to adapt to their conditions, not trying to "swim against the tide" (in a manner of speaking), but going with the flow. Perhaps it's another example of Biomimicry, humans working with nature instead of trying to oppose it. It's inspiring for future design.
*I'm terribly sorry for the use of puns...I simply cannot resist*