Part 1: How fauna and flora shaped the human mind.

Tocean, lagoons, and rivers provided the peoples of all continents many resources — not least the enrichment of their imagination. From the legends describing the birth of islands pulled out of the waters and separated from the sky by the gods in Hawaii and New Zealand to the primordial crocodile of the Middle Sepik in New Guinea, everything originates from water. The interplay between man, land, and water throughout different cultures, allowed for the emergence of tools, particular geometry, and ornamentation.

Our relationship with nature fashioned how we perceive the world. In this first installment of a 3-part series, we…


The continual exchange of matter and the palm oil boom

Climate change and increased land use are threatening globally important ecosystems. An ecosystem is defined as a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment. As environments, forests and oceans are important habitats because they mitigate climate change. Both habitats, on land or on water, absorb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that would otherwise be free in the atmosphere and contribute to continuous changes in climate patterns.

An ecosystem is often represented by a network. To the naked eye, the qualities of a spiderweb such as its strength, complexity, and fragility hold a more organic representation. Each line…


How can we imagine something that we’ve never seen? Something that may be at the edge of the world?

Transparent yellow square within a larger patterned square. The patterns have varying directions and create movement illusion
Transparent yellow square within a larger patterned square. The patterns have varying directions and create movement illusion
Anni Albers. Second Movement II, 1978. Color etching and aquatint

Geometry explains a large part of the world around us. It not only describes what we can sense but also what we may imagine. As its own branch of mathematics, it is concerned with questions of shape, size, the relative position of figures, and the properties of space.

Historically, basic geometric shapes (e.g. square, circle) are found in a number of early cultures (e.g. Mayan and Mesoamerican cultures). Such shapes were first considered since they can be created by combining specific amounts of lines and/or curves. The consideration of more complex 3D shapes seem to have permitted mathematics and more…


Closing the valley of indifference with compassion

Our relationship with nature fashioned how we perceive the world. In the first installment of a 3-part series, I explored how fauna and flora shaped the human mind. In the second, I looked at how colorful landscapes attest to cultural exchange. In this article, I will voyage through various cultures and examine how nature influenced the human mind, ultimately influencing our design choices.

Throughout the series, we’ve explored how nature has been offering us all that we need. Our need for resources has pushed us to ultimately reshaping our planet. Whether it is to obtain food or construct shelter, we…


How colorful landscapes attest to cultural exchange.

In part 1 of this series, we laid the groundwork by presenting aspects of culture, art, and cultural history. In this installment, I’ll go through the colorful landscapes that humans have fashioned and their interactions with each other.

Natural resources are necessary for settlement. Forests provide wood that has many uses. Harbors and calm waters are attractive as they provide shelter from the elements. Land that is good for farming and rivers that are filled with fresh water to irrigate them is very important to sustaining life year-round. …


Thunderbird VII. 2010. Courtesy of Susan Point.

“If we could construct a microscope of sufficient power, we should be able, by the help of such an instrument, to resolve the molecular constellations of every little terrestrial milky way, exactly as our first rate telescopes resolve the celestial nebulae and separate double and triple stars. Were our sight sufficiently penetrating we should behold what now appear mere confused heaps of matter, arranged in groups of admirable symmetry”
All the Year Round by Edwin D. Babbitt [1]

As a quality of an object, symmetry defines an invariance to any of various transformations including: reflection, rotation, or scaling. …

Georges Hattab

Georges is a scientist, creative writer, sci-fi fan, and fervent hiker. Visit him at https://ghattab.github.io/

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