Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Art of Systems Thinking

Creating Shelter in the Forest
We are learning about systems thinking this week during my biomimicry intensive at the Harvard Forest, so one of our exercises was to go out into the forest and create a piece of art with nature using systems thinking. The architect in me came upon a collection of downed tree limbs and I instantly wanted to build a fort. I thought about how animals create their own shelter using local dead things. Perhaps most interestingly, they follow certain rules of thumb to make sure the structure is stable, but the overall design emerges based on the characteristics of the material. So that is what I attempted to do here - create shelter using found objects. I found three live trees that I used as columns, added large felled limbs to the sides and placed medium sized limbs on top as a roof. The smallest limbs were used as a floor. Had I had more time than 45 minutes, I would have spent more time on the overall aesthetic, but it was fun to get outside and create something fun.

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