Decompositions; Part 3
[Animals, with their myriad superhuman senses, can teach us new unprecedented ways of occupying space. Shared spaces can allow us to mentally occupy each other, sensing our spaces with new eyes, new ears, new antennae, new tentacles.]
Decompositions III: Mountain [Signal Tower]
Can sharing spaces teach us an animal’s understanding of a global ecosystem?
Wild animals have evolved with their ecosystems over millennia. Therefore, many are known to be integral parts of their ecosystems, maintaining balance through foraging, hunting, and spreading of seeds, pollen and nutrients. Honeybees have the need to create honey for sustenance during the winter months. To make honey, the bees must spend the spring and summer gathering pollen from thousands of plants, consequently pollinating the plants. Through the bees, the plants are able to reproduce.
Migratory birds engineer ecosystems on opposite sides of the planet. When cold weather comes in one of their homes, many species fly across the globe in a great migration to warmth in another home, following ancient senses such as a sense of earth’s magnetism. Species such as osprey also link together the air and the water by hunting fish, diving to extreme depths to reach their prey.
Can sharing spaces with ecosystem engineers teach us how to be responsible engineers and designers of our shared environments?
In this design scenario, shared spaces are winter refuges. As winter approaches in the high places, birds depart on their migration and bees go dormant, huddling together for months on end. In the above image, airships too, go dormant. The airships dock onto signal towers and are frozen over to form mountain icecaps. Researchers spend the winter studying pollen from the dormant honeybee hives to learn about the sources of the pollen, and therefore determine which habitats need what kinds of ecosystemic engineering. During the spring awakening, the airship-icecaps are melted and minerals, seeds, and nutrients are sent downstream on the melt to meet the other habitats.
As birds return for the summer, they are communed with and researched to learn about their winter homes on the opposing hemisphere. By sharing spaces with these ecosystem connectors, humans receive insights into the intricacies of the natural world on a micro and global scale.
Brandon's work focuses on animals, and particularly how architecture and design can coexist more peacefully (or interestingly) with the greater natural world. His work is influenced by nature, science fiction and fantasy work, as well as the rituals and lifestyles of indigenous cultures. Brandon also writes fiction, poetry, and music.