Design and a theory of everything

Cati Vaucelle posted a picture of NASA using 3D composing with sound-controlled CGI to make magnetic fields visible, and this got me thinking about universality.

Recently as I have been studying design strategy, I’ve noticed that the most effective design processes as cyclical. User research feeds design prototyping, which feeds user research. And with sustainable design, cradle to cradle creation is all about industry that mimics the cycle of life — a cyclical, universal process.

Ideo process

Back to universality, magnetic fiends, and math…

The fundamental building block of music is a vibrating objects and sound waves, and the harmonic series — a physical constant that when a string vibrates, it’s first in half, then in thirds… etc. etc.. so you hear a pitch, and then a series of overtones in the background.

And so in this way, music is math. Sound is simple geometry. just take a look at these simple musical sounds vibrating in water, and the shapes created by these vibrations…

So music is math.

Math is a universal language.

And the most basic particles that make up world, matter, us, life — are vibrating — are music. This is the essence of string theory, which says that:

“Absolutely everything in the universe—all of the particles that make up matter and forces—is comprised of tiny vibrating fundamental strings. Moreover, every one of these strings is identical. The only difference between one string and another, whether it’s a heavy particle that is part of an atom or a massless particle that carries light, is its resonant pattern, or how it vibrates.”

Looking at the basic components of the universe, it’s hard not to see patterns and very clear parallels between the composition of the world around us, and the way over time we as a species and as a culture have learned to re-structure this world using design.