Wednesday, February 03, 2016

When design is about replicating nature

I don't know how but I ended up ordering a book called "The reality of the artificial: nature, technology and naturoids" by Massimo Negrotti. I had no expectations. However, the book surprised me and has forced me to reflect on a lot of questions I have not really thought about. The main topic of the book is "naturoids", that is, human made objects that imitate or replicate some aspect of nature. One chapter is for instance labeled "Duplicating Reality". Massimo makes the case that duplicating nature is different from creating 'new' objects. He discusses this using notions as the 'essentiality of things', complexity, transfiguration, etc. He also tries to define what is an exemplar and how it can be defined.

I find the book fascinating and insightful. Also well-written. To the point and clear. The specific perspective in the book is quite different from what we usually find in theoretical investigations into design. It opens up for new questions, such as, when is design really about the creation of something new and when it is about replicating something already existing. It also becomes a philosophical approach to innovation (it involves the creation of naturoids, their transfiguration, etc.). Very cool!


Gary Dickson said...

This sounds really interesting and may have some implications for my obsession with evolution in design. It seems to me that real replication in such a processes is only possible if it incorporates notable mutations :)

Anonymous said...

I've probably earned the right to screw up a few times. I don't want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I really care about.
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