This week we got to see people’s projects come to fruition and work on the completion of our own projects. On Tuesday we got to see the final projects of those who made projects relating to food. It was very exciting to get to taste people’s creations and learn about the cultural and scientific information behind it. Enjoying food together always seems like the fastest way to unite a group of people so it was nice to book-end our class with that.
On Tuesday of this week we got to go to south campus and see the meteorite gallery and planetariums. We started out by going to the meteorite gallery where there were some amazing pieces in the collection. I really enjoyed looking at the shapes and textures of the rocks, they felt like they were smoothed and stretched by the speed at which they hurtled towards earth. One particular meteorite caught my eye which had gemstone-like inclusions within it.
This week I dove deeper into my material development for my project. Firstly, I started a new batch of SCOBY in order to grow material for my window. I wanted to grow larger sheets of SCOBY in order to use it for material, so I made it in wider dishes. I also did a preliminary experiment using a cornstarch base to make bioplastic. While it yielded a result, I was not happy with how it turned out because I wanted to create a rigid shape.
This week we have been able to hone in on our projects and solidify details of how we want to work. Considering I am making a window, I have begun thinking more about the light involved in my project. One of the key purposes of a window is to allow light into a space and so I think that considering the light interaction with my piece will be very important. I began thinking about this because Professor Vesna sent me a picture of a closeup dragonfly wing.
Tuesday started off with a talk from designer Maryam Razi. Razi is a curator, eyewear designer, and graphic designer. Razi designed a typeface for the Hox Zodiac project and also shared about her experience with the dinners component of Hox Zodiac. Razi bravely hosted a dinner with friends in Tehran which brought together perspectives and allowed for a culinary journey from a year of the dragon chef.
Week four started off with a brain dump. Though not directly related to the subjects of the course, the act of releasing all of my thoughts on paper felt very therapeutic and helpful for visualizing information. Once I had written out a lot of things I was thinking about, I was able to draw connections between them and see the way my mind wandered. It was similar to the activity of mapping our class concepts on Thursday!
Week three started off with a celebration of the lunar new year. This year we are celebrating the year of the rabbit and we got to share some delicious snacks together. We learned about the Hox Zodiac project which is an interesting way of merging the concepts of the chinese zodiac with genetics. The Hox gene is present in all creatures and responsible for informing our bodies what to become.
In our second week, we really got to take an interesting look at more botanically related science concepts. I really enjoy the fauna of the natural world, so I loved getting to dive into the science behind it. On Tuesday we got to bring in bread and share it amungst ourselves while learning about it. I loved seeing the spread on the table, with various forms of bread coming from each person.
The first day of class started by learning about the pencil. We began by talking about carbon as the building block of all life. We are 40% carbon and it all comes from the big bang. We learned about 3 forms of carbon: Graphite, Diamonds, and Buckee Balls. The third category is interesting because it is the most recently discovered.