BioDesign – Close-up World
Kennedy: If you’re trained to solve problems and make creative leaps, then I think looking at the natural world is just another layer of potential inspiration.
Looking at the world of nature close up is one way to inspire new ideas. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Kennedy: One example is different types of surfaces found in nature that cause water to kind of bead up in droplets, as opposed to sinking into those surfaces. And there are a lot of great applications for this and a lot of examples in nature of plants, like the lotus leaf which is able to convert rainwater into droplets such that it flushes away and washes off.
Brook Kennedy invented the Macronaut, a magnifying lens that fits over a smartphone. It enables you to take close up pictures of leaves and other natural structures.
Kennedy: Because there are different types of plants and different insects, many other things, but now, I constantly gathering new photos and sometimes, I don’t make the connection between something in a photo and an actual potential design application, until weeks or even months after the photo has been taken. I have a library of these photos and sometimes I’ll go back and look through them and suddenly, I’ll think “Wow,” this leaf or the shape of this armature on a bug or something like that, will make me come up with a new connection, a new potential design application.
The Macronaut is still in development, but you can achieve the same result by placing a magnifying lens in front of a camera.
Kennedy: Being able to take the picture is really I think key, so you can really look at it closely and ponder it. As opposed to just looking under a magnifying lens, I mean – you see it momentarily but then, when you leave, it’s gone.
Be open to some kind of unexpected detail that’s there right in front of you, that maybe you just wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.
I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.