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Professor Fun daMental

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Hire me for Geometry-, Chemistry-, Physics-, Engineering-,
Art-Class teach-ins, Science Fair and Library presentations

Special Show on Stilts for school assemblies & large audiences!

Octet matrix puzzle finished
C100 Buckyball_nanotube_LAD
Hyperbolic Paraboloids of octahedron-below
Geofrey Hexagonal Close-packs marbles
Magz-Eli_Michael
cube-octahedron of cedar
3 dodecahedra - 2 geometries

Magical Mystery Tour
of atomic domains

This Formal Professor will keep the audience, young and old alike, in rapt attention, as he reveals the mathemagical unfolding of the  multi-dimensional connections between elemental form and function.

 

 

 

Using large and visually spellbinding sets of transforming blocks, he explores how everything is interconnected in the realm of crystals and matter, how the tetrahedral bonds of carbon and silicon form the matrix of matter and life, How the true diamond shape and the domain of the gold atom are home to the honey bee, how the golden mean ratio brings life into matter, and a rich tapestry of fascinating discoveries.

soapfilmoctahedron102
Rhombic Dodecahedron Box-102

Turn our familiar 3-Dimensional World of the Cube inside out to discover hidden diamonds of enduring value.

Discover with soap films how our universe is constructed and why molecular forces align to this geometric matrix.

Explore curved spaces of straight lines, elementary physics of balanced forces, Bucky Balls and Nanotubes.

Rhombic Dodecahedron Box and Swing-Hub
MERKA007

...a unique and delightful way to learn fundamental principles of chemistry, physics, engineering and art.  Since everything relates to everything else in this elementary domain, the presentation can expand seamlessly from half an hour to a semester.

Course Description for
a home-schooling program:

Math, art, science, biology, chemistry, engineering FUNdamentals.

“Discover the elegantly simple and magically interrelated geometries underlying nature.  Learn the language of Form fundamental to science and engineering.  Explore the interrelationships of crystal structures, life forms, space grids, the Platonic Solids, the Great Pyramid, crop circles, bridges, bubbles, honeycombs, sunflowers, the Divine proportion, sound reflectors, curves & curved space.  Play with geometric blocks, puzzles, construction sets, marbles, soap bubbles and films.  Build a new world of archetypal forms with straws & cardboard.”

Teacher Qualifications / Background:
Larry Dobson is a scientist, engineer, inventor, consultant for biomass energy systems, a stilt-dancer and seeker of FUNdamental truth.  He has taught classes on this subject at South Whidbey High School, Whidbey Island Academy , Community School, and Tomanhaus School on South Whidbey Island; at Evergreen School for the Gifted, and at The Northwest School in Seattle.  He has built scores of geometric models, puzzles and construction sets, geometric playground equipment (featured on television), and houses and domes based on crystal facets.

Read a more detailed Building Biography

Hyperbolic Paraboloids in Cubeoctahedron - transparent cube edge
Hyperboloid star-weaving-1
OctCube construction set showing cube-Octahedron-Rh_dodecahedron
barbury2002sda
2STAR#2
Octet truss glider-2

CONVINCING TESTIMONIALS !

More classes & workshops

Class Description for an Archetypal Playschool on
NATURAL FORM - SHAPES THAT MATTER
Preliminary Course Description
for children of all ages

Discover the elegantly simple and magically interrelated geometries underlying nature.  Learn the language of Form fundamental to Science, Art, Engineering, biology, etc..  Explore the interrelationships of crystal structures, life forms, space grids, the Platonic Solids, the Great Pyramid, bridges, bubbles, honeycombs, sunflowers, sound reflectors, the Divine proportion, curves & curved space, etc.  Play with geometric blocks, puzzles, construction sets, marbles, soap bubbles and films.  Build a new world of archetypal forms with straws, cardboard, etc.
QUESTION:
1. Why do you want to teach this class?  Geometry of Natural Form has been a passion of mine for many years.  How elegantly simple and aesthetically beautiful are the underlying forms and principles upon which nature builds to create everything from atoms to honeycombs!  I have constructed many models, blocks, puzzles and construction sets to illustrate the magical interrelationships of elementary forms, and when I show them to people, they too get excited and often comment that they wished mathematics had been as fascinating and understandable in school.  I feel that this subject should be part of basic education and could be introduced in elementary school with blocks and construction sets. 
2. Why do you think there is a demand for this class?  Who would enroll and why?  The geometry of natural form is fundamental to many fields of interest.  The engineer will find the strongest, most modular and most easily analyzed structures in the crystal world.  The chemist, electronics engineer, geometrician, biologist, botanist, etc. will see their fields magically intertwined at their roots.  The teacher will discover “formal geometry” to be quite exciting, not tedious or booring.  The artist and metaphysician will delight in the infinite simplicity of archetypal forms that interpenetrate, transform, and reappear continually in nature's intricate dance.
3. What skills and/or knowledge do you hope the students will gain from this class?  A sense of order is essential to everyone's stability and sanity.  An awesomely simple order underlies our complex physical world, and in its recognition lies the potential for liberation from our flat superficial world-view.  The student should leave this course with an elementary mastery of an archetypal design language from which to understand the universe and evolve his/her own unique forms of expression.
4. In what activities will the students participate?  Students will be continually challenged to see the myriad interrelationships between elementary forms.  They will make models of straws and paper and play with construction sets, geometric blocks and puzzles.
5. What supplies and/or equipment will the students need to provide?  students will need pencil, note paper, ruler, compass, protractor, and colored markers.  They will also be asked to bring to class examples of flowers, honeycombs, crystals, etc. that they have ready access to without cost.
6. What supplies will the student receive?  I will provide all materials for construction projects, including straws, fishing line, cardboard, paper, glue, etc.
7. Describe your background in this area.  I have taught classes on this subject at Tomanhaus School and Community School on South Whidbey Island; at Evergreen School for the Gifted, and at The Northwest School in Seattle.  I have built scores of geometric models, puzzles and construction sets, geometric playground equipment (featured on television), and houses and domes based on crystal facets.
8. Describe your teaching/training background.   I taught 4 years in Peace Corps, India, and Peace Corps training programs in the U.S.; 3 years mathematics, film making, and tumbling at Tomanhaus School on Whidbey Island; and Geometry of natural form at 4 other  public & private schools.  I have further communications experience in acting.
 

ARCHETYPAL ARCHITECTURE
Environment and Language Reflect Consciousness

We live in a three-dimensional reality that limits our growth far more than we realize.  Our very language reflects our historical orientation.  "Normal" means literally, "at right angles to".  The norma was the Roman carpenter's square.  The right angle is our "norm", that is, we are "erect" creatures, at right angles to the earth's gravity.  Erect comes from the Roman Rex, ruler, as do realm, real, regal, regular and right.  The right angle rules in our orthodox (from Greek ortho - at right angles to, and dox - dogma) realm.  We define where we are by right, left, front, back, up, down; and surround ourselves with walls in these directions, the six faces of  the cube.  We also reflect and confine our three-dimensional consciousness to this projected normal reverberatory space, but it is not the most fundamental form of the material world outside us and atoms that form our bodies.  It is the static expression of gravity, the cross of mortal sacrifice, with grave consequences to our evolutionary expression. 

It is not the only way to perceive reality, however.

ORGANIC BUILDING WORKSHOP PROPOSAL

by Larry Dobson
dancer@stiltman.com
(360)579-1763

The following describes a hands-on class I would like to teach over several weekends at a site wanting a building based on such fundamental archetypal architecture, focusing on integrating aspects of design that are traditionally addressed separately:

  • Simple, ecologically sound Building materials & Techniques
  • Use of fundamental, archetypal form & space
  • Incorporation of alternative approaches to heating & cooling, energy, lighting, waste disposal - with emphasis on simple passive design

By taking an integral, organic approach, results can be achieved that are not possible by focusing on the sub-systems - The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

vORGANIC BUILDING

*Comparing building techniques
*Lumber framing, log, poles, concrete, stucco, composite, straw bale, other
*Insulation, dewpoint, sealing, ventilation, heating, etc.
*Materials, labor, ecological and monetary costs
*Repairs, longevity, pest control, Aesthetics

INTEGRATING SYSTEMS

Nature of the biological/social organism
Example: Hotsprings Resort & Healing Center
By integrating the combined needs of the whole system, so that the whole is far superior to the sum of its parts, where each part is interdependent with several other parts, unparalleled efficiencies many times better than presently available can easily be realized.  This is a primary key to success in making the business profitable, eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels and other costly outside resources, and allowing more elegantly simple lives.
vWhat will this wholistic healing environment include?  (Tubs, pools, sauna, physical therapy, natural systems, organic gardens, alternative energy & building, etc.?)  After developing an extensive list of elements to include, we will explore ways of integrating them more organically into the overall design.
vARCHETYPAL SPACE
vStructures in nature show superior design strategies and aesthetically resonate with our most fundamental sense of proportion and balance.
vDiscover the elegantly simple and magically interrelated geometries underlying nature.  Learn the language of Form fundamental to Science, Art, Engineering, biology, etc..  Explore the interrelationships of crystal structures, life forms, space grids, the Platonic Solids, the Great Pyramid, bridges, bubbles, honeycombs, sunflowers, sound reflectors, the Divine proportion, curves & curved space, etc.  Build a new world of archetypal forms with straws & cardboard, etc.
The Cube – the old paradigm
Projections of 2-dimensional space, duality
Acoustical properties and Structural characteristics
Other archetypal forms
The Honeycomb – rhombic dodecahedron – crystal domains
The Platonic solids - simplest form
The Octahedron/Tetrahedron system
Structural & acoustical properties
Domes and Curved Roof Structures
Simple parabolic trusses & catenary arches
Structural, aesthetic properties
Soap film curves, hyperbolic paraboloids & curves of all straight lines

HANDS-ON BUILDING PROJECT
After a thorough exploration of the above, we will choose a building project within the scope of the class and needs of the resort.  This will be executed as the construction phase of the workshop, over several weeks and weekends, to include a broader group of participants.
 

Geometry of Natural Form book list:

* Structure in Nature is a Strategy for Design – Peter Pierce
     The most complete and rigorous reference of fundamental form and interrelationships
     Out of print?
* The Geometrical Foundation of Natural Structure, a Source Book of Design – Robert Williams
     Excellent textbook
* Connections, the Geometric Bridge between Art and Science – Jay Kappraff
     Another excellent, information-filled book
* Mathematics and Optimal Form – Stefan Hildebrandt and Anthony Tromba
     More rigorously mathematical, but much of interest
* The Curves of Life – Theodore Andrea Cook
     Spiral growth, branching patterns, Fibonacci  numbers, etc.
* Molecular Origami, precision scale models from paper – Robert M. Hanson
     Chemistry bonding models for the chemistry student
* so many more......................