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The Sand Dollar and the Slide Rule: Drawing Blueprints from Nature
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The Sand Dollar and the Slide Rule: Drawing Blueprints from Nature (Paperback)

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In The Sand Dollar and the Slide Rule, Delta Willis explores the relationship between natural forms and human design. In so doing she brings to life a fascinating group of architects, physicists, and biologists devoted to a new science of form called Construction Morphology. Like the German physicist we meet who studies trees to refine car parts, they all look to nature to find blueprints for unparalleled efficiency. In a fluid and wide-ranging narrative, Willis's focus shifts from the insights of Darwin and the organic influence on Frank Lloyd Wright, Antoni Gaudi, and Gustave Eiffel, to an examination of the lightweight strength that Buckminster Fuller called Tensegrity, to the construction of the ornithopter in Bruce Willis's movie Hudson Hawk. Along the way, she shows the relationship between Greek temples and human anatomy, between pterodactyls and flying squirrels, between the faces of Miss Universe contestants and the divine math of the Golden Mean. But her primary guide through this rich and evocative subject is the work of D'Arcy Thompson, the Scottish biologist who studied the role of forces such as gravity and wind in determining the shape of organic structures. It is through his basic insights that she is able to see the relationship between a butterfly's proboscis and the shaft of an oil drill, or the dome of a sea urchin and the dome of Saint Mark's Cathedral. Economy and flexibility are the grand themes, now made more precise through the formulas of thermodynamics and biomechanics.

Architecture & DesignDesign & DesignersArt, Fashion & PhotographyArt monographs, history & theoryScience & MathematicsMathematicsApplied mathematicsScience & MathematicsScience: general issuesPopular scienceTechnicalEngineering & General TechnologyTechnical design Publisher: INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US Publication Date: 28/07/1996 ISBN-13: 9780201488319  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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