Storm's Journal

There is no scarcity abiding in Nature. Any scarcity we see is our own doing.


this month's featured 'neat stuff' is on Flowforms.
discovered the one below in Dornach (Switzerland, Oct. 98):

What is a Flowform? John Wilkes (ARCA) from England, invented the Flowform in the early 1970's as a result of his artistic and geometrical research into nature, and especially into the natural forms fluids make. Creating a Flowform is a similar design process to making a good musical instrument. --| Ecology Design Research Institute (NZ) |---
By: Iain Trousdell

There are many types of Flowforms but the central concept is that it is a vessel which brings streaming water into a flowpattern similar to that of liquid in the heart. The shape of the sculpture brings the water to stream through a full figure-of-eight flowpath. This rhythmical pulse and flowpattern is created and maintained by the sculpture. Until recently, such a heartflow only occurred within living organisms, but Flowforms have made it openly visible for the first time. It is this that makes Flowforms quite unique. (Experimental water form - From: 'Sensitive Chaos', T. Schwenk) As well as being works of art, Flowforms are also used around the world in water treatment. They can be very effective in oxygenation, and in polishing water. The rhythmic intensification has been scientifically shown to increase water's capacity to support lifeforms. They are used internationally in agriculture and effluent treatment. As such, Flowforms can be seen as organs for the regeneration of water's natural power. ARTISTICALLY, Flowforms are dynamic, modern sculptures, receiving critical and public acclaim. TECHNOLOGICALLY, they are a breakthrough in the perception and treatment of water, which is much in need of support in our present world wide ecological crisis.

HYDROLOGY There is a branch of hydrology which studies the natural processes by which organic forms are created in watery mediums, showing us the secret world of creation in nature. We can set up sculptures which can be combinations of: works of art with water, sounds, light... water treatment technology. children's playgrounds. ecology education sites. Forms For Life can create with expert certainty every aspect of running water found in nature: - running and standing waves - smooth water falls and waterfalls - vortices and stream swirls - upstream eddies and currents - natural and man-made light and shadow play in the water - repeat rhythms of all of these inter-relating with each other - ripples and cross ripples - welling and bubbling - falling droplets and splash - pond and stream interactions - all the varied chuckling, gurgling, swishing sounds of water - the unique figure-of-eight pulsing flow pattern of the Flowform. We can maximise water flow patterns and sounds from even small flowrates, by creating sculptural surfaces for the water to play over. Or we can create massive waterflows in new exciting ways. There are unending variations and designs with which we can accentuate water's different aspects. --| Flowforms - Some Notes |----- Woody Wodraska Mon, 16 Dec 1996 18:13:30 EST Flowforms are sculpted vessels set up in cascades of 3 to 12 or more, through which water flows, from one to the next. The Flowforms' shape coaxes the water (which would otherwise flow along the axis of the cascade by gravity) into eddies and vortices, a pulsating figure of eight pattern in each form before it drops into the next--a mimicking of the action water undergoes in its natural undisturbed flow in, say, a mountain opposed to captive water in manmade channels or pipes. The action in a Flowform cascade is freeing, healing and enlivening to water that has been deadened by pollution or pumping. Flowforms take many sizes and shapes, with certain common characteristics: a smaller entry "bowl" which receives water from the source or the Flowform above, from which it flows into two larger basins where the figure of eight movement takes place, then an outlet through which the flow drops to the next Form. To give an idea of the size, you could probably almost encircle most Flowforms with your arms. The size and positioning of the entry bowl, its outlet, the larger basins and their outlet and the shaping of the surfaces over which the water flows is what does the "coaxing" referred to above. Flowforms are typically made in molds, of cast concrete/aggregate, after much design work in clay. They are used as indoor and outdoor landscape features; as a means of potentizing the Bio-Dynamic preparations (in the same way homeopathic preps are potentized); as a means of purifying and oxygenating water in water treatment and bio-remediation contexts, including constructed wetlands for sewage and dairy farm effluent ponds. The alternation between chaos (as the water enters the Flowform) and vortex is what does these jobs. -- A certain sense of aliveness can be sensed in the atmosphere surrounding flowforms. Their gentle swishing lend a grace and beauty to many settings. This makes them useful in therapeutic settings for disturbed children, in greenhouses, and meditative settings. They are a low-tech, high art, and Nature-friendly technology. References: - - California Flowforms - - You can order premade and custom built flowforms from: Flow Forms America - John Wilkes, in England, was the originator of Flowforms and his work is being carried on at the John Wilkes Flow Design Research Group (Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, England RH18 5JX). - Jennifer Greene designs, makes, and distributes Flowforms in the U.S. from Water Research Institute (Rt. 177 P O Box 930, Blue Hill, ME 04614). - Work is also being done by the Ecological Design and Research Institute (the Flow Research Group), P O Box 1255 Hastings, Hawkes Bay, NZ.

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SUBMIT AN ARTICLE posted: february 2, 1999 updated: october 1, 2010