The Blue Beyond

April 15, 2008

I came across an interesting article about neuroscientists who are modeling a piece of a rat brain with supercomputers, to develop an understanding of how the brain works in detail. Thier research will ultimately inform artificial intelligence projects. It covers a lot of really interesting stuff that we have touched on over the term. Including questions of bottom up methods of artificial intelligence, consciousness, neuroscience, and the like.

Read the article here.


Walking Our Way Into History

April 15, 2008

Here’s an enlightening discussion/interview between writer Will Self, known for his long distance walks and Spencer Wells, a genetic anthroplogist. They talk about place, identity, and acessing our evolutionary history through walking. I thought it related to the city project as well as the thinking about the body in space.

Read the article here.

Lying Robots

April 15, 2008

Swiss scientists at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have conducted an interesting experiment with light sensitive robots, where the robots are allowed to pass on genes and evolve throughout the generations. Some very interesting emergent behavior was the result, including robots lying to other robots for personal gain and robots “dying” to save other robots. Here’s a link to the full story: lying robots

The Story of Stuff

April 9, 2008

by Mari Nakano
Thought we all would like this movie. It’s The Story of Stuff and it literally deals with our stuff. After today’s presentations about our more personal systemic designs, I thought this would be fun to watch. Enjoy!

go to:

Biomimicry: Structural Color

April 6, 2008

by Mari Nakano

Morphotex is a material that illuminates color without pigments. As graphic designers are looking into ways of incorporating sustainability in their practices, they are seeking ways of lowering the use of materials, particularly ones that are toxic. Might it be possible one day to create a paper that requires no ink? Might we be able to design on that paper? Might we be able to adopt the structure of a Morpho butterfly’s wings, a chameleon or any other animal that can illuminate or change color? Nature works in mysterious ways. 



robot biomimicry

April 2, 2008

this is a link to a video of the Big Dog robot. The legs are based on a study of human knees and deer and goat legs. It is a pretty literal example of biomimicry, but the results are pretty amazing. The Big Dog was developed for military applications but also has a lot of potential for search and rescue and space exploration. I was interested by how the animal-like motion of the legs inspired sympathy in me when it was slipping on the ice…

Ramachandran Talks

March 18, 2008

Here are a few talks to watch this week by Ramachandran.

The Artful Brain

Phantoms in the Brain