Beesley Exhibit

Canadian architect Philip Beesley peaks through his immersive, interactive sculpture environment known as the Hylozoic Ground project. Next weekend, Palestine will become the second city in the entire U.S. to house a similar structure. 

Next week, Palestine will become the second city in the United States to ever feature the Hylozoic Ground project by Canadian architect Philip Beesley. The interactive exhibit is meant to challenge critical thinking skills in students and showcase the science that is driving the future.

“According to many respected experts, our students' future success depends on their ability to put ideas and technologies together innovatively to solve problems,” said Lucinda Presley, Director for the Institute where Creativity Empowers Education Success (ICEE).

The Beesley It Lives! education project has been on display in Italy, Canada, France, Spain, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, China, and Korea. The only other city to ever house the exhibit in the U.S. is Salt Lake City, Utah.

“On Nov. 21 and 22, a rare opportunity exists to meet leaders from three local, national, and international organizations that are addressing this vital need in education,” says Presley. “Their individual and collective work shows great promise for helping students learn to think innovatively while they learn in and out of the classroom.

“On Saturday, Nov. 22 a fundraiser will also be taking place to support the three organizations that are addressing this need in education.”

The three organizations, the Innovation Collaborative, the ICEE Success Foundation, and the Philip Beesley Hylozoic Ground project will be taking donations to further their missions. The Innovation Collaborative serves as a national forum to foster creativity, innovation, and lifelong learning. The ICEE Success Foundation's mission is to positively impact the future by promoting vital creative and innovative thinking skills in today's students. Money raised will be distributed evenly between the three organizations.

These initiatives are working together and independently to study and promote the most effective way to integrate innovation thinking with student learning in and out of the classroom.

“Globally, we are in a social and economic revolution,” said Sir Ken Robinson, international author and advisor on education to government, non-profits, and education. “The cultures that best learn to think creatively and to innovate will become the world's leaders.”

Using the exhibit, the It Lives! education project is developing and investigating models and curriculum that promote innovation thinking in partnership with required learning. According to the leaders behind the project it has completed a successful study that included Palestine ISD, Salt Lake City School District, and the Waterloo, Canada, school district. Those leaders say that the study's findings have pointed to important next steps that need to be taken.

The Hylozoic Ground is an immersive, interactive sculpture environment organized as a textile matrix supporting responsive actions, dynamic material exchanges, and 'living' technologies; conceived as the first stages of self renewing functions that might take root with architecture. Akin to the functions of a living system, embedded machine intelligence allows human interaction to trigger breathing, caressing, and swallowing motions, as well as hybrid metabolic exchanges.

“Basically this exhibit is looking at the future of architecture where buildings will respond to the humans inside and the environment outside,” Presley said. “Beesley isn't the only one studying this. I work with NASA on the Mars project. Twenty years ago no one ever dreamed of a human landing on Mars but now it's a reality. Same thing with this, they've already got responsiveness in the exterior buildings and in carbon capture paint and in the interior responsiveness is in the the blinds so their shades respond to light level. This project is theoretically looking at, can a building respond to humans.”

Presley says that the exhibit will look a little different from the more advanced models. It will have infrared sensors. When someone passes through the light beam it will read you and send a message to the motherboard that you are present. It then sends a message back to the controller which makes parts of the sculpture move and interact to you.

“In theory it captures your carbon dioxide and particulate matter in the air such as your skin cells and dust,” said Presley. “It collects this data in a flask that acts as a protocell.”

The long term future idea behind this project is to create actual living buildings that interact and react to the humans they regularly collect data from.

Beesley, It Lives! opens in Palestine on Nov. 21 at the Palestine Mall at 2 p.m. The exhibit will be in Palestine until January 21, 2015 and will be open to the public every Thursday through Sunday. Palestine ISD field trips are free. Other school districts will be required to pay $3 per student for less than 10 students and $2 per student for more than 10. Cost of admission for adults is $5 and children outside of field trips $2. For reservations and questions send an email to

For a preview video of the Hylozoic Ground Project visit this Youtube link:

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