There are many designers and scientists who’ve become fascinated with origami and use paper folding techniques to create beautiful artworks to do improvements in science and technology. Erik Demaine is an MIT researcher who’s been studying origami techniques and it’s mathematical implications.
I paid a visit to the UCLA psychology and neuroscience researcher, Avishek Adhikari to discuss my biotech project. His research focuses on how the brain coordinates react to certain emotional behaviors, specifically on fear and anxiety. I thought he would be a good person to talk to due to his extensive research on behavioral neurons.
In March 1st, we had a textile artist named Amy Taylor who works with natural dyes and taught us the process of working with natural indigo dye. In her presentation, she showed different cultures who’ve worked with dye all the way back to the 8th century. It wasn’t until 1856 that a teenager who accidently created synthetic dye while trying to develop a cure against malaria.
This week we started to process of making bioplastic, I'm very intrigued by the different results that our bioplastic samples will have being that we all personalized our product by adding different ingredients. Scientists and designers are going back to creating their own materials and tools to produce products that they themselves and others could use rather than making use of non-biodegradable plastic materials to produce those same products.
In class, we discussed the importance of microorganisms that live in our body, such as the outer layer of bacteria that prevent us from getting diseases. Microorganisms have a lot of positive effects on humans, as well as other creatures, however we have yet to fully unravel all of its potential. I’m doing research for a project that focuses on the pollution caused by the fashion industry.
During class, we were presented with various artworks that deal with the idea of consciousness in animals and A-Life. One of the works that I was highly drawn to was Bird Song Diamond by Victoria Vesna where people are asked to imitate the bird motions. According to Vesna, people interacting in the scene began to function as a system where doing similar motions or using the wings as a form of communication.
In week 3 of class, we discussed mycelium networks as well as the different properties that fungi have. The mycelium serves as a network where it communicates information with other living creatures and where fungi receives nutrients when need be. Mycelium is the first and foremost successful (biological) network, the formal structure that the hyphae makes is very similar to the neurological network of our brain and what the internet strives to be.
In week 2, we discussed the different ways we are affected by the abundance or lack of grains. Most cultures are fully dependent on grains, from maíz in Mexico to wheat in Egypt. Gains have multiple functionalities, they feed individuals and they create communities by sharing these foods. In class, there was a discussion about how wheat has social implications meaning freedom and life, in Egypt, these implications have a more direct root coming from the word bread, which translates to life.