Monday, March 7, 2011

Biomimicry Applications: Occupied Sign

Many animals in nature, such as the poison dart frog, wasps, and certain sea serpents, are brightly colored as a warning that they are dangerous in some way. This coloration is naturally recognized by other animals as a sign. Rather than using camouflage to avoid predators, these colorful animals declare to all others that they should be avoided. By sticking out like sore thumbs, they avoid any unfavorable interactions.

We can apply this to our dilemma of keeping people out of the 2nd floor library while we are in class. First, the window into the room needs to be covered completely, so that any person trying to enter is drawn to look at what is covering the window. Second, the covering should be brightly colored, in my image I made it red, yellow, and black like a sea serpent. The combination of forcing any potential intruders to look at the sign, and making it "dangerous" colors should cut down on our interruptions in class, or at least make them aware that something dangerous lies in wait beyond the door. I also recommend that the handle be covered with something similar to the sign, because people often look at a door handle as they grab it. The connection between the colors of the handle and the colors of the sign will lead people to associate the two; people that reach for the handle will look to the sign and understand and reading the sign first will reenforce a person's natural instincts when they reach for the handle.

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