This week on Monday, we visited the Biomedical Library to view a special collection of old literature, ornaments, toys, decorations, and books. The collection was impressive and featured things such as ant farms, a book created out of compost bags, a collection of grain with instructions to create flour, and a book comprised of toxic lead.
After understanding the issues with plastic waste and pollution as well as our interest with food as a classroom, I decided to combine the two ideas to think about ways of packaging food that have no negative impact on the environment. My friends dad is in his initial stages of starting a company that provides a breakfast/lunch/dinner service in the form of prepackaged Indian foods to consumers. This is similar to a "tiffin service", however is put in disposable packaging that can also be saved in the freezer for up to three months.
Last week, I really enjoyed my experience at the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library. It actually wasn’t my first time visiting their special collections—I had also visited this hidden gem of UCLA during my sophomore year. As a Global Studies minor, I’m required to take several history courses, one of which being a course called The History of Stuff, basically an object-based history throughout modern time.
We watched a short video on an investigation conducted by Forensic Architecture in class and I wanted to learn more about the group because I was interested by their work. On their website, it says that Forensic Architecture is an interdisciplinary research agency from the University of London that consists of architects, scholars, artists, filmmakers, software developers, investigative journalists, archeologists, lawyers, and scientists.
The trip to the biomedical library is an eye-opening one. We were exposed unconvention books which unconventional materials and messages, as well as artifacts which have educational purposes. I was intrigued book made out of lead, and we needed to wear gloves to touch it because it is toxic. That is interesting, because books are normally an easy access to knowledge, but it gives us this toxicity that frightens us to approach it.
This week we got the chance to visit the Biomedical Library and got to see the research library’s special collection and rare book collection led by Russell. He had a collection of the most interesting objects and books. I was really happy to see that many variety of books, all so different — bounded differently, made with different materials and medium, one of the books even contained lead.
This week, we looked at different projects and books in class and from the biomedical library. I am glad we were able to take a look at these project because they were inspiring and showed me that a book is more than just bound paper with words inside. From the class lecture, there were a lot of projects I was intrigued by such as Juvenile in Justice by Richard Ross.
Biomedical Library and Project Proposal
Earlier this week, our Special Topics class was given the opportunity to get an in-depth look into the eclectic collection of cultural archives kept in the Biomedical Research Library’s Special Collection here on campus, namely through the Rare Books room on one of the upper floors, which is run by librarian Russell.
During our fourth week, we had an interesting group visit to the Biomedical Library, more specifically we had a tour to their Special Collection. From the moment we enter the space, Russell Johnson was welcoming us and introducing to different parts of this very unique collection. I was surprised that most of the items in the library are not actually books; moreover, he showed us a wide range of different objects, photographs, handcrafted boxes, skulls, etc.
Week three of class brought into our discussions the the idea of fungi and the way it can be used in solving worldwide problems such as replacing common materials, decomposing plastics, and many more while also providing as a source of food. During the class, everyone got a chance to eat different kinds of cooked mushrooms and I thought it was intriguing how each one had its own unique texture and flavor.