In the Design Across Biological Scales course, students were asked to choose between two briefs – growth and death, and use a biomimicry process to come up with a sustainable and nature-inspired concept.

After an exploration of both briefs, the team became interested in growth. This was largely based on their interest in learning more about snakes (choosing a mentor in the biomimicry process). Based on the skin shedding process that snakes experience to grow, they explored the concept of: “in order to improve (grow), a part of your old self has to die”. 

Snaketch is a digital sketch board designed to inspire and encourage people with no previous art education to improve their drawing skills. Located in strategic locations around the cities, Snaketch encourages users to draw and leave feedback for other users’ drawings. Once a user receives feedback, push notifications are sent to his/her phone encouraging them to go back to the board and improve his/her previous drawing.

As part of the process, it’s important that the mentors traits come through in the concept. The most important metaphor is that snakes’ skin shedding cycle is represented in Snaketch as the way in which users are encouraged to reflect and take action to improve their drawing skills. Further, other interactions can be related in the following way:

  • The tight skin of the snake is represented by the user’s urge to improve his/her drawing skills.
  • The rock used by the snake to lose up the tight skin is represented by the feedback from other users.
  • The snake’s new skin is represented by the new drawing.