Origins of Life

Origins of Life: The Origins of Life and seeing the unseen
- a tessellated view of underwater life forms through digital interactive floor tiles:

Who would have imagined that once upon a time, humans were a sponge-like creature from under the deep oceans! The intriguing question of where we come from is today at the heart of an ongoing debate amongst evolutionary biologists, whose most recent research work points to our having descended from sponges that were a complex group of predatory creatures known as comb jellies.
So, if our ancestors were a sponge, “feeding by filtering tiny particles from the water” and that water was the seemingly unfathomable ocean, shouldn’t we then try to get a peek into the underwater world of living organisms? And better still, be able to experience the deep oceans by actually “seeing” how these organisms and animals moved around. Indeed, where life itself originated?

Welcome to the mysterious and the immensely complex world of living species under the ocean. Placed before you on the floor are interactive tiles, four sets to be precise, covering the four time periods of the existence of our planet since life came to originate on Earth.
Chosen for each time period are four to five underwater organisms, such as the trilobite (Devonian), the reptile (Carboniferous), lobster (Jurassic), and the blue whale (Tertiary). Besides the ones mentioned above, the tiles when stamped will activate all the other chosen organisms from the installation.
Further, the tiles are tessellated. Which is a visual technique that dovetails images with images to morph into one another. The tessellated tiles, in turn, have been animated and then made interactive to be stepped upon in order to activate the chosen sea organisms and get a glimpse of the world that lies hidden from our usual vision.
Welcome also to a world of “magical realism” where design helps build mystery and beauty out of complex information and ends up “humanizing” not only science but also philosophy. If what lies hidden can be thus unfurled through part human imagination and part data, then we have achieved the trick to see the unseen.


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