Day 1: Of YUTPA and your POV

The Introduction to the course, and a few epiphanies about the task at hand.

The Athens Course on Biomimicry in TU Delft, started on a particularly great note. I had come in to this course hoping for a Bio-oriented course with regular lectures on what I can understand of the newly emerging field, but the organizers truly pulled off something even better. They made us think of the Social aspects of Biomimicry and Design. A factor set we had considered so little of and knew even lesser about, Dr. Caroline’s lecture on YUTPA did just that.
Through new terms to me such as Trade-off and Presence, I got to have a peek into a completely new world. And it was something I particularly enjoyed. The concept of ‘With You in Unity of Time, Place and Action’ concept was fascinating, having its origins in Theatre lectures, the term helped us understand how seemingly endless are the ways in which we interact with one another. Using the factors of Time, Place, Relation and Action we can analyze the far reaching connected consequences of our deeds. I also enjoyed the exercise session where our group took the simple act of ‘Gathering Food’ by analysing it on the basis of the above 4 factors and the various sub-factors under them which had interesting headings such as Emotional Space, Impact of the deed and Communion. The very important example of having the same button which can be used to nuke a country or just interact a family member, highlighted the significance of our actions.
The second lecture by Dr. Appelman was the perfect way to end our Introduction to Biomimicry as we got to see wonderful insights into the minds of the world’s top researchers and how they have tried taking the examples of Nature into giving us truly sustainable artefacts. Systems which shall not only be in sync with our environment but also show increased efficiency in various ways. I took studious notes on the various concepts given through Cradle to Cradle, Ecological Footprint and Natural Step theories in order to understand the final task at hand of designing functions of socio-technically conscious Bio-based Engineering building by the end of this course.
At the end of the day after an excellent discussion about the current problems faced by Biomimicry studies with Dr. Appelman and my friends, I felt that I had indeed had a truly marvellous start to my Athens Experience.