• Lux

BCI - Session 2

Sept 04 2021

Father Hennepin Bluff Park – Minneapolis, MN


Local Conditions

Blue skies with scattered clouds

Mid 70s, windy


Observing and finding functions.

Be: Sensing surrounds with my eyes closed (10 min)

Contemplate: Finding functions performed by organism and strategies (10 min)

Imagine: Applying strategies in a design(10 min)


Rustling leaves from the winds and squirrels. The sounds of footsteps as people walked by talking about their day and the nice weather. I could sense which direction they were coming from and the area they were headed. Right behind me I could hear cars driving by and repetitive clinking noises from the dog collars. Birds chirping in unison.

How are these 3 functions performed by organisms at your natural spot?

Squirrels are able to:

  1. Navigate quickly (move or stay put) due to how their claws are created. "Squirrels can easily navigate their arboreal homes by coordinating two structures in their feet. They can quickly change direction and even run headfirst down trees by swiveling their back ankle joints. At the same time, well-developed claws in both the front and hind feet dig into the substrate as anchor points. Friction-based grip suffices on small tree branches. This is because the squirrel is light, and forces applied by the pads of its paws are at a wide enough angle that friction overcomes the competing downward force of gravity." (asknature.org)

  2. Maintain community and helping one another. "To build and maintain a community requires that living systems interact with other living systems in ways that contribute to the overall function and survival of the community as a whole. These interactions include cooperation and/or competition among one or more living systems. Ecosystem services come from a functioning community." (asknature.org)

  3. Protect themselves from temperature differences. "Although coat color remains constant, solar heat gain at low wind speeds is about 20% greater in winter coats than in summer coats. This change is in an apparently adaptive direction and is predicted to have a major effect on the animal’s heat balance in nature." (asknature.org)

How you might apply these strategies to accomplish these functions in a design?

Applying these functions to design:

  1. Navigate quickly (move or stay put) Adapt and learn quickly Design processes including client/team feedback require designers to adapt to new ideas and navigate how they will problem solve for specific pain points, all with a project deadline. This requires an agile approach and a strong framework to begin with. Preparation, organization and research can help designers steer in the right direction as needed.

  2. Maintain Community Develop strong connections Our design community is smaller than we think, staying connected allows us to share knowledge and bring awareness to relevant information. Design only gets better with diverse perspectives and feedback. In order to maintain these relationships, we have to find value in the interactions. Creating always needs a thought partner!

  3. Protect themselves from temperature differences. Setting clear expectations Workload and burnout are a common issues in the design industry. In order to protect and prevent that, organizations / leaders should create space for designers to set clear expectations and develop an adaptable relationship to ensure everything feels balanced / manageable.

Thanks for reading!