BIO-MIMICRY: SYSTEM REFORMULATION
“How? Why? What? Where?” to reformulate the current learning system. And “How? Why? What? Where?” will the chosen nature genius, “Praying Mantis” to be the perfect genius for the change. For humans better learning.
BIOMIMICRY: SYSTEM REFORMULATION
The disclosure of a flawed and typical system, conventional. By general mankind.
The flawed system, basically are the libraries, schools, cafés, homes and etc. Anywhere that people are relying on, to learn. Not mentioning that these places are not imperfection for learning. Disturbance around, from the kids’ corner in libraries, chattering from everywhere in shopping malls, limited outdoor experience and minimal viewing to natural elements. Even outside these places, mankind will still be kept in the void to this bellowing traffic roads. Learning has been kept inside from outside for lots of decades.
We are drawn to learn in places with books, internet, quiet spaces, resourceful places and with best facilities.
Yet, these places control mankind learning.
Education inculcates learning system to allow these places to exist. Learning shouldn’t be fixed, it should be flexible. Adjustments have to make, to keep learning conducive and encouraging for all learners of all age.
“Once you stop learning, you start dying.” –Albert Einstein
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
Two wise men mentioned learning have to be continuously, in order for one to stay young (in terms of knowing up to date skills, technologies, etc.). Learning is not only for the educational sake like all others do. It is also to keep your mind & body active in the pursuit of knowledge.
55 responses from a survey of a few questions(below) conclude that a learning area need not have a shelter, tables, chairs, air-condition, etc. People rely too much upon what is given, may affect you. Many have also preferred for a learning area to be exposed to the bigger surrounding and more connection to the outside.
. Where did you usually learn or acquire knowledge? What have they learned?
. Do you think the environment is important for learning? Why?
. What do you think of the learning system now?
. “System reformulation for learning. Would you prefer a sheltered “cube” with 4 walls and air-conditioning, desk, chairs and shelves of books? Or a space where learning is limitless? And why?
. What do you think about typical libraries? Why?
. INDOORS / OUTDOORS?
(Imagine you’re deaf, which condition works best for you?)
Searching through the beneficiaries, rather than the neutrals and pests.
Praying Mantis. A smart carnivore that is at its extreme for efficiency.
It is titled as a deadly predator.
These geniuses are found inside the Mantis.
Each of the geniuses has its own essence.
. LEAPING - Firm and Well-Balanced
. PREYING - Speed and Accuracy
. DEFENDING - Alert of surrounding
. MATING - Sacrificial for nutrients
. HABITATS - Camouflaging
. HEARING - Partially heard and partially not
. EYESIGHT - Binocular and stereo-vision
. HEAD - Pivot / Rotatable 180
I categorized its leaping, preying, defending and mating processes as Daily Cycle.
The habitats as Environment. And the Hearing, Eyesight, Head system as Experience.
This three categories shall be either found on-site or inside mankind.
The institution shall fully be dedicated to learner needs.
Leaping represents the start of life.
Mating represents processing thoughts.
The leaping movement of a mantis is essential for the mantis to survive for food. A mantis leaps and lands firmly. And the mantis is the most well-balanced insects among all. Tracings of the leaping movement inform me that the distance of a mantis jump is twice as long of a mantis length. And to look at its side view, it shows the potential of programs in two levels for learning to take place for mankind.
The Upper ground and underground section.
In the mantis family, they eat all types of creatures. Namely, snakes, hummingbirds, crickets, etc. Oddly, the mantis even consumes their own kind. The females usually eat up the males during or after the mate. And this “ritual” becomes a continuous cycle every single day, hour, minutes, seconds, that mantis has to encounter. The mantis life becomes so vulnerable. Yet, so sarcastically they are so strong as well. I came out with a term for the process of Mating, “Give and Take”. As the logical reason seems so uniquely nonsensible. And in evolutionary terms, it is a good thing at least. In this sexual cannibalism, the male mantis acts as a sacrificial for proteins to the females to lay more eggs. So this process which can be relatable to learning condition. A space that allows learners to be able to practice “Give and take” in learning. To be sacrificial for knowledge by giving up time.
Mantids live in mild winters and sufficient vegetation, spending their time in the garden, forest, or vegetated areas. Mantis lived quietly on their own, doing the preying with the skills, like a serial killer. Anywhere surrounded by it are vegetation. For mankind context, to the institution that lies on the site have to works best for learners. Experiencing the same condition of mantis do.
In Mantis context, their ear act as a protective weapon to defend from their predator, the Bats. Mantis can only hear sounds that are higher than 20000Hz.
Concludes Partially heard and partially not.
An essence that made them attentive to avoid danger.
“How can we made use of this essence to apply to the institution?”
By separating spaces into semi-public space (partially heard) for active learners like children and private space (partially not) for collectives and individuals that prefer quiet learning.
In search of the site, the forest at Bartley road. The site that has the perfect context that is vital for the outdoor elements to implement indoor which the institution need or require for learners. Comparing from the previous sites, Serangoon, Hougang and Bras Basah.
This chosen site allows the institution to be devoid of traffics noise and disturbance from shopping malls for the better of learning.
The entrance of the forest, the stairs, a luring element for the visitor to enter the institution. And the north wind blows into the forest without obstructions from any high buildings. This wind creates fresh air, a natural cooling system. During rainy weathers, the leaves from the big trees create shades for learners in the institution. The noise is generally reduced because of the location of higher grounds. The scorching sunlight that penetrates gives enough for plants to photosynthesis and enough for natural light to enter while reducing heat because of the tree shades. The orientation of trees gives the institution depth for the interior and exterior to be formed.
The programs for the institution:
Low seating learning
Climbing Bar for children
Other than using the mating patterns of a mantis as the plan, the leaping patterns of a mantis as section, we see irregular heights of the institution, this irregular up and downs are derived from the site’s meandering hills, so as to keep the site at its original state as well as minimal removal of trees and grounds.
For these sustainable purposes to the environment, the institution will look like it has been created there, giving a sense of belonging to the site.
Series of gardens planted by users/learners, start to grow and overtake the façade and interior over time. These plantings morph into the institution forming a series of gardens that fuse into the site of Bartley forest.
The Underground lower seating and the upper ground creates both partially sheltered areas for learners to choose their desired areas to study.
And also create an undisturbed field of vision experience from the second floor’s viewing room to be still exposed to a wide vision of the outdoor even there is pouring weather. Keeping the institution boundless, approachable and accessible to anywhere and anytime.
The natural beauty from the site and the built form creates an “outdoor implement indoor” kind of transitional experience. This transitional experience makes the interaction of outdoors and indoors differently in learning.
The disclosure of a flawed and typical system, conventional. By the general mankind.
THE MANTIS INSTITUTION; LEARNER'S INSTITUTION
-Minimal removal of trees and no flattening of grounds
Entrance to Site
Side Elevation 1
Side Elevation 2