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Biomimicry Across the Globe

Biomimicry Across the Globe Exhibit by Max Fyfe

Sm[ART] Commons Blog co-editor Mannie McBride, Interviews MCLA Student and fellow co-editor Max Fyfe about his exhibit in Bowman Hall.

Mannie: For those who know nothing about this exhibit, can you explain it?

Max: Yeah, so it was the project that I was working on for my intermediate art lab class that I did this past fall semester. It's a bunch of different house designs there's eight of them. And each of them are located in different areas around the world. And throughout each of the pieces are sticky notes with words that are a reminder to me as to why I keep making art, and I guess in a way who I make my art for.

Mannie: And who is that?

Max: That would be my great-grandfather, we called him Bumpy but his first name was Leo. He would do little drawings for people all the time. Instead of writing a note that he was going to the store, he would draw himself going to the store. I think in a way I make art because I want to do something that would have made him proud. That's why there is a drawing in the exhibit of a face. It was something that he would do a lot and if you turn it the other way around it's the same face.

Mannie: That's really sweet. How are you bringing awareness to this type of architecture?

Max: A lot of people will have actually been asking me questions about it around campus from seeing the project. I started to explain to them what the style is. When you look at the little nameplate and it says biomimicry across the globe, it's okay, but what's biomimicry? You don't wanna have to google it! Basically, biomimicry is a form of architecture that involves natural shapes. In using that concept, I implemented it along with implementing the designs into natural environments. That helps to alleviates the footprint made by humanity, with it still being something that's manmade.

Mannie: How do you, as an architect plan to help design structures that help take care of the environment?

Max: There's a lot of different things that are going on when it comes to resources that are used when it comes to making buildings that have been sprouting up all over the place. An example of this is plastic that was found in the ocean is being made into these bricks that are used as foundation pieces, and it's plastic, so it's gonna last a really long time. It's no longer in the ocean. With the ideas within this exhibit, as well as just the overall concepts of them, it is meant to get that idea out there.

Mannie: Save the environment! What's your inspiration for these pieces? Did a specific artist inspire them?

Max: I got inspired to do this project through watching a series on Netflix but I don't know if it's still on. It is called The World's Most Extraordinary Houses. It follows two people, one of them being an architect, and they would go to different countries around the world. A lot of them used this biomimicry concept within their designs. There is a house that's located in the desert somewhere and it's made to look like sand dunes. Which is where I got inspired to do the sand dunes house. If it's still around, you should check it out!

Mannie: Sounds beautiful. How can the non-architects help bring awareness to these eco-friendly housing?

Max: Well, I think it comes with the idea of acknowledging how the world is with climate change and how we only get one world. It's better to do things that sort of promote those more environmentally conscious ideas. For example, when you are using forms of AI and search for a city in the future - they always show you these planty futuristic looking buildings. There's always plants everywhere with interesting looking waterways. It's not exactly that idea, but a little bit of it, to give the sense of being more self aware about the effect that we have on the environment.

Mannie: Nice! One last question for you, when it comes to viewing the exhibit, what are the intentions behind it?

Max: That's actually a really good question! I think something that I definitely want the viewers of this exhibit to reflect on is, can you picture yourself in these houses? Imagine living your day-to-day living in them. Which one would you want to live in? I go back and forth on the one I would want to live in, and if your answer changes that's cool too! I think in the future I would like to make these homes into digital 3D models. It might be a fun adventure. Let me know which house you would want to live in!

Mannie: That sounds wonderful! Is there anything else you would like to share?

Max: I hope you enjoy the exhibit!

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