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November 21, 2006

Technopolis Twister

Technopolis, as I understand it, is the creation of things in the world that were built by humans for the bettering of humans. The creations come into existence by human thoughts, knowledge, experiences, and desires. Nature, on the other hand, consists of creations that human beings are trying desperately to understand. Although the two, human beings and nature, seem somewhat separate entities, they really feed off one another. Man could not exist without nature, although unfortunately, nature has and could again exist without humans. This is perhaps why humans are so keen to learn from nature to better understand how the two can coexist.

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I see technology as a means of diverting humans from nature, while simultaneously, humans use technology to bring themselves closer to nature.
Everyday, millions of people around the globe spend a good percentage of their day looking at bliss. I don't mean some beautiful landscape, with rolling hills as far as the eyes can see, or sharp blue skies that play a muted melody. No, what I'm talking about is Windows XP background titled bliss. A great compensation for what we humans are missing out on everyday, right? Maybe not so much! To their credit, Microsoft realized that many people spend countless hours staring at their computer screens between work and home, depriving themselves of mother nature right outside their window, so they brought mother nature inside. You can almost feel the sunshine radiating off the flat screen monitor while you take a deeply inhale the sweet clean oxygen created by prairie landscape 12 inches from your nose. Is this really a great substitute for the real thing? It must be, as how many of you reading this can admit to spending several minutes, ok, perhaps hours, searching the web for a great photo for your desktop, only to be attracted to images portraying the wonders of nature? I know I sure have.

Perhaps you have trouble sleeping? Those new sound proof walls blocking traffic congestion from entering your home is actually suffocating what you desire the most, the sounds of nature. Crickets chirping, frogs croaking (okay maybe not to Elvis songs), birds twittering, wind flowing, tree rustling, and if you're lucky, waves crashing; the sounds of nature are without a doubt beautiful.
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But who needs the real thing anyways when you have:

homedics.jpg Photo from: http://www.naturestapestry.com/soundmachines.html
"The Sound Spa 5000 produces 6 different sounds (thunder, rainforest, ocean waves, rain, summer night, and waterfall). The SS-5000 has an AM/FM Atomic Clock Radio with a Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer with a remote sensor. It can project time and temperature on the ceiling."

Shoot, with all those features, you could nearly live without the sun!

No matter how hard we try escape mother nature, we are relentlessly pulled back in.

November 7, 2006

MATHEMATICS, AT THE CORE OF EVERY DESIGN

panth.int.jpg
The Pantheon is one of the most pure examples of mathematics being utilized in design. Most profound are its use of geometry.

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Many definititions could be used to define the science of Mathematics. As discussed by professor Ozayr Saloojee at the University of Minnesota on October 31, 2006, mathematics can be considered a "pursuit of pure relationships and structure" and "a state of nature, waiting to be discovered by man, it is a time capsule, sent out into space, awaiting discovery, an internally consistent way of mapping the world". The Pantheon of Athens, Rome is all that and more. As Euclid of Alexander, the "father of geometry" would greatly appreciate, the Pantheon makes use of the most basic geometric shapes in it's structural design.

Consisting principally of a sphere with a radius equal to the height of the cylinder upon which it rests, the most profound space in the Pantheon is the rotunda. By using the basic geometric shapes, the building was able to enclose the largest space of its time, 142.5 feet wide beneath the dome interior.

The sphere, the most basic 3D shape to exist is present in nature in numerous forms, from planets and stars spinning throughout the galaxies to the electrons that zip around the nucleous of atoms that make up our very existence. The grandeos spherical enclosed space maps our existence differently than the stars or parts of the atoms. The Pantheon is unique as it maps mankind and mankind alone. It symbolizes the beliefs and achievements of the Greek era and serves as a template for the architecture used in present day design.

Taken from "The Pantheon" by William MacDonald, page 68, Vitruvious, who architectural writings are the earliest in existence today, "speculated about proportions in both architecture and the human figure, and their sympathetic relationships". Leonardo da Vinci's drawing of the "Vitruvian Man" depicts this idealized relationship.

vit man.jpg

Images and documentation for this blog were obtained from the following sources:

1. MacDonald, William L. The Pantheon. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1976.
2. azothgallery.com/vitruvian.html.
3.www.elite-view.com.
4. Saloojee Ozayr, Lecture at the University of Minnesota, October 31, 2006.