Over the course of the last couple of months life has taken me for a rollercoaster ride. When I trace my steps I became part of this adventure, because of listening to what inspires the peoples around me, what they are doing and what their goals are.
For me Africa is the dream. I have been in love with wildlife all my life. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to know how and why animals are the way they are. First I was just intrigued by their beauty and quirky methods to survive. Now they fascinate me, because they have solved so many problems that we humans still encounter everyday.
As a designer you try solve problems. In my case I would like to do that in a fun, functional and sustainable way. It comes in handy that nature has been doing this for over 3.6 billion years. Biominicry is a way of designing by looking at how nature works and solves problems and applying the structures and methods in your design.
An example of biomimicry technology is the structure of sharkskin. Nothing attaches to sharkskin and this discovery was the foundation for Sharklet technologies. They are applying the structure to ships and on hospital walls to repel bacteria to stop the number one cause of people dying in hospitals. Like this there are many more examples and many more to be discovered.
I believe that in the future a lot of sustainable technology with be nature inspired.
Why you might ask... Because at the core; nature does not waste anything. This is something we should strive for.
Africa as a continent holds the largest population of wildlife on earth and The Congo rainforest is one of the most influential areas of nature influencing rainfall all over the world. However momentarily Africa’s population is growing at double the rate of the worlds average. Already this leads to serious problems like plots of forest being turned into farmland driving monkeys to look for food elsewhere.
My goal is to get inspired by the problem solving skills of the local people in Durdan and African nature. I am looking forward to work with the locals in the rural area in Durban to find out how we can help each other solve their everyday problems. And use my design thinking skills to see if we can come up with a solution together.
Now it is 5 hours for take off and all that’s left is pure excitement and a little angst for the unknown. With open eyes and open mind I am looking forward to being plugged out for a while and just observe, talk, learn, explore, do and create.