Decagon has expanded quite a bit since I started working with them several years ago. They're smart, innovative people and they keep doing what those kinds of people do: inventing new instruments and finding new uses for the ones that already exist.
The latter is actually how this set of illustrations came to be. The Aqualab (which I've drawn on many occasions) is a versatile instrument. It measures water activity and moisture content in various settings and environments. This is pretty important for applications like food production, but it turns out it can also be helpful in the construction industry.
Mold isn't exactly a welcome discovery anywhere, but it's particularly bad in buildings and homes. That sounds like a no-brainer, but I wasn't really aware of how toxic mold could be until events like hurricaine Katrina and Sandy happened. The Aqualab can be used for detection and prevention of conditions that are conducive to mold growth.
I think that's pretty cool. Granted, I'm an illustrator, so I suppose there's an argument to be made that my metric for what's cool is a bit off. Fair point. But I still think it's cool.
The drawings had to be produced fairly quickly (less than a week). These first two visualize the movement of water molecules through cell walls due to differing energy conditions:
I think they relate the information in a competent and sober way, which I suppose is exactly what they're supposed to do.
This one, on the other hand...
I think this one is cool. It's an illustration of mold spores. These particular spores are sort of a hybrid of two different kinds of spores (with a bit of artistic license as well). Here's what I like about this illustration:
-Detail (The fuzzy-looking stuff around the edges in particular).
-Composition (I'm experimenting these days with creating visual interest through asymmetry).
-The atmosphere: This drawing, to me, creates a sense of stillness. If that sounds a little too touchy-feely, let me try again: Mold almost always seems to grow in dark, wet, quiet places. I think this drawing does a good job of conveying that suspended, static feeling. It's a little creepy. And I love it.
Overall, a great little project.