Morphic Resonance


plate from ‘Kunsterformen Der Natur’ (1899-1904) by Ernst Haeckel

For the better part of the past two weeks I’ve stopped all production in order to spend time with family and nourish my exhausted body and brain. Over the holidays we’ve been making leisurely day trips, hiking the beach, cooking, napping and reading, seeing movies and spending time with friends.

I’ve been particularly re-invigorated by reading ‘Morphic Resonance’ by the brilliant and eccentric British biochemist, Rupert Sheldrake. Originally published in 1988 and recently revised, the book lays the groundwork for Sheldrake’s concept of morphic fields that might model “the means by which simpler organic forms synergetically self-organize into more complex ones, allowing a different explanation for the process of evolution itself, as an addition to Darwin’s evolutionary processes of selection and variation.” Though grounded in contemporary science, Sheldrake’s theories are not easily proven by experiment, and the book rings with a pre-modern sense of wonder and awe. Reading it has me researching the work of self taught 19th century naturalists, particularly Ernst Haeckel, who is also an accomplished artist and whose plates are shown here. Haeckel discovered several species in the course of his explorations and research, and was a major proponent of Darwinism in Germany.

Though we have yet to make any scientific breakthroughs, I’m beginning to appreciate what a productive year it’s been for Ene and myself as 2010 winds down and we enjoy a much needed respite from our busy lives on and off the wowhaus studio compound. Here are some highlights of what we’ve accomplished over the past year: two public art commissions for the cities of Oakland and San Francisco; an interior design commission for a new house in Marin County; a design commission for an observation tower/treehouse in Sonoma County; design commissions for a production dining chair, one-off conference table, and assorted stacking stools; an artist residency at Kohler; a visiting professorship at CCA; trademark registration of the ‘deep’ logo in three classes and a business plan for a Deep Craft product line. Some of these projects are recently completed and have been documented on these pages (see ‘project dispatches’ in the scroll-down menu in the sidebar). Others will soon be documented, posted and promoted as we forge ahead in the year to come.

Ene and I will soon be back in the studio and out in the field, laying the groundwork for another productive year. We’re looking forward to developing a new public art commission for the City of Santa Cruz, developing furnishings for the ‘Shed’ in Healdsburg, tooling up to manufacture my ‘deep deck’, and bringing our rural studio compound to the next level of functionality and conviviality. I wish everyone a healthy and happy 2011 and thank you for tuning in to my Deep Craft ruminations.



plates from ‘Kunsterformen Der Natur’ (1899-1904) by Ernst Haeckel

6 replies on “Morphic Resonance”

  1. That sounds like an amazingly productive year to me! 😉 Love the Haeckel images, we have several framed in our living room, including the third one from the bottom on this post.

    Let’s get the families together soon!

  2. Happy New Year Bruce! Thanks for the comment. Let’s definitely get the families together soon. Sorry our Tuesday coffee dates devolved into alternating bouts of forgetfulness! Shall we try again this week to kick off 2011? Please text/call me at 510-604-9588. Cheers- S

  3. What a great year for Wowhaus.
    Its been a great pleasure and inspiration sharing some serious chunks of it with y’all!
    All the best for a chaotically crammed and exciting 2011!!

  4. Same to you, mate. Also, thanks so much for Infinite City! We’ve been enjoying it immensely and it rounds out and updates my little collection of historical atlases. I have a little present for you and Sandra which I will leave at Jonive for next time you’re both up. Now, we’re off to Calistoga to start off the new year with a good hot soak!

  5. A truly beautiful entry depicting your numerous and extraordinary accomplishments during 2010. Your talent is boundless and truly outstanding ! Keep up your fabulous work in 2011 and far beyond.

  6. Love this website; how come I continue to learn from you, Ene & Aili? Isn’ it supposed to be the other way around!!! I am always so proud.From the other 1/2 of poppop, nanny

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