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Biomimicry Exhibit In Tempe Looks At Nature-Inspired Design

Published: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - 3:02pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - 5:01pm
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(Photo by Mark Brodie - KJZZ)
Alexandra Bowers, one of the artists-in-residence for the Biomimicry Challenge, does pyrography, which means to write with fire.
(Photo by Mark Brodie – KJZZ)
Sonoran Desert Thistles by Alexandra Bowers

The Tempe Center for the Arts is spending the summer exploring nature — specifically as it relates to art and design. Its exhibit is called Biomimicry: nature inspired design.

Michelle Dock is TCA’s gallery coordinator.

Looking around the gallery, that becomes apparent — there’s sculpture, furniture, wood and other art forms.

But it’s not all about aesthetics, Dock points to the example of the Japanese bullet trains. They were making these huge booming sounds when they went through tunnels. But, an engineer who was interested in birds decided to try to design the trains more like the Kingfisher Bird – an aerodynamic bird with a long, pointy beak. Once that happened, the booms went away — and the trains went faster. Dock says the arts and sciences are, indeed, connected.

As part of the exhibit, Tempe Center for the Arts is also putting on the Biomimicry Challenge – three local artists have been chosen to take part. It’s a 10-week paid residency for them; the artists will also be mentored by experts at ASU, and create their work in little studios right inside the gallery.

Alexandra Bowers is one of the artists-in-residence. She does pyrography, which means to write with fire. Standing in her workspace, I asked her how she does that.

The exhibit, Biomimicry: nature inspired design, will be up through Aug. 26.

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