Design Challenge: The Large And The Small

Jim Bruner | Mezzacello The Cosmic Orobourus

In this design challenge: the large and the small we explore the relationship between scale and action. This is an Oroboros. It is a snake eating its own tail and is a model for the scales of the universe.

Why a Snake?

There are a few reasons why the oroboros is a snake. The first is that it is a natural circle and most things are circular. The second is that snakes are natural predators and often scary.

The goal of this design challenge is to see patterns that emerge when we explore the curve of the circle to the very very small scale. It will be important to pay attention to the patterns of the snake. Take a moment to examine what is available to be seen on the oroboros.

The mouth is the point where the very large and very small interact. At the base of the belly, you will see a human. And in the belly is a range of white.

The Role Of Light And Energy

The white on the belly of the oroboros is the range that light is visible in the universe. That means most of the universe is beyond the reach of light. We call the white space “Midgard” which means middle land.

Why do humans live in Midgard? Does this mean most animals live in Midgard too? This design challenge will require that you place alive and non-alive things in their proper order.

You will probably be able to place life and physics elements in the proper place. But the goal here is to explain WHY that element or life form lives in that region of the oroboros. You will need to defend that theory.

This is important because some of the most dangerous elements in life live in those dark margins around Midgard. Can you think of one life form that is dangerous in the scale we are working? Can you think of one no-living element that is dangerous in the scale we are working?

The Challenge:

  • Working as a team, you must correctly place each of the 10 nested layers of reality on the Oroboros.
  • You will have to use notes and ideas that you have gathered.
  • Then you must create a story that tells why you placed things in the order that you did.

Use The Design Cycle

Jim Bruner | Mezzacello The Design Cycle

You may get the order right the first time, and that is great! But if you get the order wrong, remember that every wrong answer is a step closer to the right answer. In this way we can learn to apply data and experience faster!

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