biological and technical

12 06 2006


(I found this photo on flickr and hope the person who took it, firequall, doesn't mind that I'm using it. Here's a benefit: you can click on the photo and see a bunch of other cool photos that firequall posted.)

I just finished reading Cradle to Cradle, a book in which the authors talk about designing products so they can be the beginnings of the next product's lifecycle when the current one is complete. The example I like is making paper cups that decompose rapidly and have some type of nutrient in them so when they decompose (as litter), they feed the plants and soil as they break down.

One important concept in this is to keep separate two different pathways: biological and technical. Once they mix, the end product can't be easy utilized for either cycle, but if kept separate as products and as waste, they can each enter their own reuse/recycle stream. An example is shoes: if the shoe can be taken apart after disposal and separated into synthetic (plastic soles) and natural (canvas top), they can each be re-used in different types of products. It's a good read and describes this (and other concepts) much better than I can.

SO, this picture reminded me of the concept of keeping the biological and technical separate after something is disposed and the photo illustrated it in a symbolic way.

Plus, it's just a nice composition and invites me into that space.

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