The human ambition to reproduce natural objects and processes has a long history, and ranges from pure dreams to actual design: from Icarus’s wings tomodern-day robotics and bioengineering. The concept of naturoid has been introduced in the last decade or so, for referring to man’s attempts to reproduce natural phenomena. The development of naturoids may be viewed as a special class of technological activity, distinct from the general class of technology. The concept of naturoid should be useful for methodological research aimed at finding possible common rules, potentialities and constraints characterizing the human effort to reproduce natural objects. Tacitly, many designers think that the continuing improvement of a naturoid consists in its ever-growing overlap with the natural instance, and that the holy grail, as it were,is the complete reconstruction of a natural object of process, from its external appearance to its inner workings. This paper tries to show that a naturoid is always the result of a reduction of the complexity of natural objects, due to an unavoidable multiple selection strategy. Nevertheless, the reproduction process implies that naturoids take on their own new complexity, resulting in a transfiguration of the natural exemplars and their performances, leading to a true innovation explosion. As a matter of fact, the core performances of contemporary naturoids improve, but, paradoxically, the more a naturoid develops, the further away itmoves from its natural counterpart. Therefore, naturoids will more and more affect our relationships with advanced technologies and with nature, but in ways quite beyond our predictive capabilities.

Naturoids: From a dream to a paradox

NEGROTTI, MASSIMO
2010-01-01

Abstract

The human ambition to reproduce natural objects and processes has a long history, and ranges from pure dreams to actual design: from Icarus’s wings tomodern-day robotics and bioengineering. The concept of naturoid has been introduced in the last decade or so, for referring to man’s attempts to reproduce natural phenomena. The development of naturoids may be viewed as a special class of technological activity, distinct from the general class of technology. The concept of naturoid should be useful for methodological research aimed at finding possible common rules, potentialities and constraints characterizing the human effort to reproduce natural objects. Tacitly, many designers think that the continuing improvement of a naturoid consists in its ever-growing overlap with the natural instance, and that the holy grail, as it were,is the complete reconstruction of a natural object of process, from its external appearance to its inner workings. This paper tries to show that a naturoid is always the result of a reduction of the complexity of natural objects, due to an unavoidable multiple selection strategy. Nevertheless, the reproduction process implies that naturoids take on their own new complexity, resulting in a transfiguration of the natural exemplars and their performances, leading to a true innovation explosion. As a matter of fact, the core performances of contemporary naturoids improve, but, paradoxically, the more a naturoid develops, the further away itmoves from its natural counterpart. Therefore, naturoids will more and more affect our relationships with advanced technologies and with nature, but in ways quite beyond our predictive capabilities.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2502108
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