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SuperNature

September 21, 2009

Thursday 17 September: Presented by Artisan and QUT Creative Industries, the 2009 LIVE IN QUEENSLAND – DESIGN IN THE WORLD one-day seminar, SuperNature, brought together nine internationally acclaimed designers and thinkers to discuss the awesome power of nature and its influence on their innovative work.

“How does a bee revolutionise avionics? How does a termite mound become an office building? How do butterfly wings influence material manufacturing?” SuperNature explored the process of design ideas from inspiration to realization, taking strict design principles and turning them on their head. It revealed the infinite ways in which nature can provide the most effective solutions to a design conundrum and the purest form of inspiration for aesthetically pleasing design. Speakers included:

  • Mick Pearce, Architect talked about creating sustainable buildings and spaces
  • Sheridan Kennedy, Contemporary Jeweller showcased her work ‘Specious’
  • Marty Ross, Mathematician questioned Fibonacci Numbers, the Golden Ratio and the Golden Rectangle
  • Christopher Boutsinis, Director of Mance Design explained the inspiration of nature on the work of the lighting studio
  • Jon Coe, Zoological Park Designer shared his life experiences with nature and their impact on creating humane habitats for people, plants and animals
  • Stephen Perry, Landscape Architect discussed his Phd based on fractals in park design
  • Professor M V Srinivasan, Professor of Visual and Sensory Neuroscience and Electrical Engineering, The Brain Institute, UQ shared studies of how bees navigate and their role in avionics and robotics
  • Dr Larry Jordan, Chief Scientist, Innovation and Engineering, GM Holden looked at nature in the auto industry
  • Lawrence English, Sound sampling from the environment Artist, shared his work (unfortunately, I missed this presentation)

It was an absolutely riveting day, which has left me completely inspired. I have to mentioned though, that the speaker who really moved me was, Jon Coe, as he said “in order to understand nature, you have to experience nature”. It is this philosophy, which lead him to create the first immersive zoos, where animals were no longer kept in cages. To me, this truly showed how passion, dedication and understanding some of the most basic and primal instincts in us lie deep within the natural world. One of those is survival… and I believe another one is happiness.

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