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Pursuit

“This is the classic reference on how the golden ratio applies to spirals and helices in nature.” – Martin Gardner

The Curves Of Life

What makes this book particularly enjoyable to flip through is an abundance of beautiful hand drawings and diagrams. Sir Theodore Andrea Cook explores, in great detail, the nature of spirals in the structure of plants, animals, physiology, the periodic table, galaxies etc. – from tusks, to rare seashells, to exquisite architecture.

He writes, “a staircase whose form and construction so vividly recalled a natural growth would, it appeared to me, be more probably the work of a man to whom biology and architecture were equally familiar than that of a builder of less wide attainments. It would, in fact, be likely that the design had come from some great artist and architect who had studied Nature for the sake of his art, and had deeply investigated the secrets of the one in order to employ them as the principles of the other.

Cook especially believes in a hands-on approach, as oppose to mathematic nation or scientific nomenclature – seeing and drawing curves is far more revealing than formulas.

252264because I believe very strongly that if a man can make a thing and see what he has made, he will understand it much better than if he read a score of books about it or studied a hundred diagrams and formulae. And I have pursued this method here, in defiance of all modern mathematical technicalities, because my main object is not mathematics, but the growth of natural objects and the beauty (either in Nature or in art) which is inherent in vitality.

Despite this, it is clear that Theodore Cook has a deep love of mathematics. He describes it at the beautifully precise instrument that allows humans to satisfy their need to catalog, label and define the innumerable facts of life. This ultimately leads him into profoundly fascinating investigations into the geometry of the natural world.

 

Relevant Material

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“An organism is so complex a thing, and growth so complex a phenomenon, that for growth to be so uniform and constant in all the parts as to keep the whole shape unchanged would indeed be an unlikely and an unusual circumstance. Rates vary, proportions change, and the whole configuration alters accordingly.” – D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson

D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson wrote, on an extensive level, why living things and physical phenomena take the form that they do. By analysing mathematical and physical aspects of biological processes, he expresses correlations between biological forms and mechanical phenomena.

He puts emphasis on the roles of physical laws and mechanics as the fundamental determinants of form and structure of living organisms. D’Arcy describes how certain patterns of growth conform to the golden ratio, the Fibonacci sequence, as well as mathematics principles described by Vitruvius, Da Vinci, Dürer, Plato, Pythagoras, Archimedes, and more.

While his work does not reject natural selection, it holds ‘survival of the fittest’ as secondary to the origin of biological form. The shape of any structure is, to a large degree, imposed by what materials are used, and how. A simple analogy would be looking at it in terms of architects and engineers. They cannot create any shape building they want, they are confined by physical limits of the properties of the materials they use. The same is true to any living organism; the limits of what is possible are set by the laws of physics, and there can be no exception.

 

Further Reading:

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Biomimicry in Architecture by Michael Pawlyn

“You could look at nature as being like a catalogue of products, and all of those have benefited from a 3.8 billion year research and development period. And given that level of investment, it makes sense to use it.” – Michael Pawlyn

Michael Pawlyn, one of the leading advocates of biomimicry, describes nature as being a kind of source-book that will help facilitate our transition from the industrial age to the ecological age of mankind. He distinguishes three major aspects of the built environment that benefit from studying biological organisms:

The first being the quantity on resources that use, the second being the type of energy we consume and the third being how effectively we are using the energy that we are consuming.

Exemplary use of materials could often be seen in plants, as they use a minimal amount of material to create relatively large structures with high surface to material ratios. As observed by Julian Vincent, a professor in Biomimetics, “materials are expensive and shape is cheap” as opposed to technology where the inverse is often true.

Plants, and other organisms, are well know to use double curves, ribs, folding, vaulting, inflation, as well as a plethora of other techniques to create forms that demonstrate incredible efficiency.

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KICKSTARTER VIDEO & CAMPAIGN LINK: http://kck.st/1qGLHSw

PURSUIT is an interactive art installation that celebrates humanity’s ongoing quest for Peace, Freedom and Joy – in Life, Love and Art. The design aims to create an interactive and unique sculptural playground for visitors of the 2016 Burning Man Festival, which takes place from August 28th to September 5th in Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

THE PROJECT

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

PURSUIT emerges from the playa in tiers of intertwined timber elements that ascend seamlessly in unison to form a series of congregation and celebratory spaces. The final design is the result of a year-long study into the sensuous geometry generated from a mathematical theory known as Pursuit Curvature. This theory was explored as I wanted to utilise something that could fully embody the notion of people coming together from different places and striving towards a common goal. With Pursuit Curvature, each point starts at a unique position of a polygon, and moves incrementally towards the nearest adjacent point until they all converge in the centre. The path travelled is directly influenced by the points around it, so the final curves represent the effects all of the points have on one another as a group.

Frame 25 Ornate Central Space

Central Space

Burners can rest inside the ornate central space of Pursuit, which frames the ongoings of the playa and provides burners with a place of respite from the open sun. The six inhabitable pillars connect the playa directly to the platforms that lie atop Pursuit. Here, a glorious vantage point in which to congregate and take in the festival is gifted to Burners. During the day the interiors of the pillars are concealed from the elements, and their curved form helps to guides burners ascent to the open air. Here they can bathe in the wondrous light of either sunrise or sunset, a truly magical playa experience indeed.

Frame 125 Final Light Shot Night Time

At night time each pillar’s interior is powerfully lit to envelop the burners in light, so they can experience a sense of weightlessness and freedom. The soft glow emanating from each of the pillars’ cores invites burners to commune atop Pursuit to celebrate the radiant beauty of the night sky.

OUR PURSUIT

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Interior of each Pillar

“As I look back on my life, I realise that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” – Steve Maroboli. 

Pursuit is a gift to the Burning Man community. Every year, we apply for funding from the Black Rock City LLC (Burning Man) to help fund our projects. Unfortunately this year, nobody received funding towards their project. Despite initial disappointment, I realised that this helped elevate the project’s intent and concept to a new level than originally planned. By crowdfunding the entirety of the project, we can manifest the collective Pursuit of people from all over the world to see this project built. This is not only tremendously exciting, but also a very humbling prospect, in that we have a passion to give this gift to the playa, but we need your help to give that gift. It is through this collective pursuit that we can embody the spirit of the festival and the project in a built architectural form.

REWARDS

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To show our gratitude for any of your generous pledges, I have created some truly beautiful and unique rewards for all levels of contribution – Each inspired by the projects form and concept, that are all exclusive to this campaign. Please do go and have a look for yourself at them and support the campaign. If you can’t spare a donation at this time, then please share the campaign to as many people as you can – so that together, we can make the project a reality.

Thank you

Joshua

KICKSTARTER LINK: http://kck.st/1qGLHSw