Category Modelling

Tsimtsum

Tsimtsum is a Hebrew term meaning contraction, constriction or condensation. In the Kabbalah it is used to explain how God initiated the Creation by a process of contracting from his infinite omnipresence. Within the resulting space mankind could come into existence. So basically God actively shrunk for others to exist. The first creative act was the […]

We are the Model Organism

The Incredible Shrinking Man is interested in the scientific culture of model organisms. A model organism is an animal species that is studied to understand particular biological phenomena, with the expectation that discoveries made in the organism model will provide insight into human biology. This research strategy is made possible by the common descent of all living organisms, and […]

Savage Scale Models

In his structuralist anthropological study The Savage Mind Claude Lévi-Strauss writes: ” To understand a real object in its totality we always tend to work from its parts. Reduction in scale reverses this situation…in the case of scale models, in contrast to what happens when we try to understand an object or living creature of […]

Zebrafish Portraits

Although our last common ancestor lived approximately 450 million years ago the genetic profile of the zebrafish, or Danio rerio, is surprisingly similar to human beings. In addition they are easy to breed, have transparent embryo development and are very cost effective. These, and many other qualities, have made zebrafish into man’s most popular model […]

Golem Studio

What will the human species look like if we decide to shrink to 50cm? Will we shrink proportionally, or is it more realistic to anticipate on subtle, or dramatic, changes to the human physique? How do aesthetic desires influence developments, and what are the ramifications of biological principles? How will the simplification of physical function […]

Micro-Livestock: Guinea Pig

The 1991 OFA report ‘Microlivestock: Little-known Small Animals with a Promising Economic Future’ introduces several alternative small animals for domestication and meat and dairy production. Small animals are easier to breed and keep, and are a quick way of supplementing a diet, especially in less developed countries. One of the species of great interest to […]

Hourglass, Banana, or Spoon?

Even within a speculative research such as The Incredible Shrinking Man it is difficult to imagine what the average human body will look like if we decide to shrink to 50 centimetres. However, based on the specific physical adaptations to environment and our various diets and different functionalities of the human body, perhaps some presumptions […]

Japanese Miniatures: Immortal Bonsai

A tree in nature and growing under perfect conditions, will grow until it reaches the predetermined height and width for that species within the given environmental circumstances. Upon reaching full potential the now massive amount of foliage at the incalculable number of branch tips is just too vast. The tree starts to weaken and eventually […]

Fish Representatives

In most genetics research, Homo sapiens is represented by small fish like Danio rerio (zebrafish)  and Oryzias latipes (Japanese rice fish). Both are important model organisms, representing man in developmental genetics, neurophysiology and biomedicine. When we tinker with genes what happens to the fish is most likely to happen to us as well. If the […]

Japanese Miniatures: Suiseki

Although the love for miniatures is shared around the world it seems the Japanese know something about small that the rest of us have yet to understand. From bonsai, to netsuke, capsule hotels, sushi or even the notorious koonago, in Japan, more then any other place in the world, smallness is celebrated and cultivated. The […]