In 1490 Leonardo da Vinci designed one of the most iconic drawings of human being history: “The Vitruvian Man“. Its legacy influenced not only visual arts and, in particular, architecture but also a whole generation of philosophical thinking, which for years has been perpetuating its insights on the subject of harmony between human kind and nature.
Leonardo’s man is measure of the universe.
Until early 20th century the human body has been the rationale on the subject of proportions to be applied to urban, architectural and product design. Human based proportions were the continuous thread between “the spoon and the city“. For centuries the body has been the second term of a mutual relationship with the environment, with the intent of creating harmony between microcosm and macrocosm.
With the emergence of wearable technologies the perception of the body in design has been registering an important shift. Wearable design is no longer the medium that interfaces human kind with nature. Nature is on the body, it follows human biorhythm and performs accordingly. Through sensors, adaptive technologies and smart materials we are capable of modifying any kind of environmental condition in relation to our personal perception of it. If hot, we can wear sweatless fabric, which gets riddle of any unnecessary drop, the same applies to cold. We now wear the environment, there is no longer any detachment – i.e. a threshold by which we define border of identities – but a single interwoven mesh that weaves bodies with the everyday life.
The seamless condition we find ourselves in melts any demarcation line, which traditionally divides for defining and enhancing the self critical acknowledge of the real.
Contrast and constrains help on developing challenges.
Poetry, poem, music and visual art have been created under restrained circumstances. I love the idea of avoiding the freezing cold of the winter, but I hope that there will be always room for a mutual, challenging and contrasting relationship between human being and nature.
Crisis unfolds invention.