Join design professor Pino Trogu for a discussion of his article "Giorgio Scarpa’s Model of a Sea Urchin Inspires New Instrumentation,” featured in the April issue of Leonardo Journal (MIT Press). The event will stream live on Facebook and Zoom on April 24, 2019.
Giorgio Scarpa (1938–2012) was an Italian designer, artist and teacher who worked in bionics, topology and rotational geometry. This article describes Scarpa’s bionic model of “Aristotle’s lantern”—the mouth of the sea urchin. The technical literature on Echinoidea lacks a detailed study of its remarkable mouth mechanism. Scarpa’s model is the only known analysis and physical analogue of the mechanism. It is a striking example of geometrical analysis and craftsmanship, bridging science and art. Built in the early 1970s and described in 1985 in Modelli di Bionica, his model has inspired designs for a biopsy harvester and for a mini-rover to collect soil samples on Mars.
"Leonardo is the leading international peer-reviewed journal on the use of contemporary science and technology in the arts and music and, increasingly, the application and influence of the arts and humanities on science and technology."
Prof. Trogu holding an early replica of Scarpa’s model of Aristotle’s Lantern, first presented at Living Machines: 3rd International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Milan, Italy, 2014.