Flow, metaphor, flow: Constructal Law

Some things can remind you about almost everything. (Jane Siberry demonstrated this with her song “Everything reminds me of my dog.”) Some ideas can explain specific physical patterns—patterns you can see around you if you start looking for them, patterns you can try to measure and ruthlessly compare with each other. And some of those ideas also can be metaphors that explain, in more general, more vague ways, all sorts of things about how people behave.

CONSTRUCTAL LAW is one of the theories that can be applied to all sorts of things. The theory suggests (or insists) that almost everything evolves over a long period of time shaped by the flow of this and that. Why does the person who gave name to Constructal Law call it a “law,” rather than just calling it a “theory”? Because, as he sees it, the idea truly applies, always, to the things to which it applies. (As a metaphor, it can be applied, in truly clever ways, to almost everything.)

Quartz magazine has a couple of essays about constructal law: “Physics can explain human innovation and enlightenment” and “Everything created is predicted by nature: A new video explains the physics of flow.” Here’s that video about Constructal Law and about Adrian Bejan, the person who thought it up.

And here’s a video of Jane Siberry’s dogged dog-idea idea:

(Thanks to Jennifer Ouellette for bringing this to our attention.)