The Leonardo da Vinci museum was everything I could have hoped for and more. As an engineer, I appreciated Leonardo’s works and the complexity of what he was creating immensely. Being able to see Leonardo’s sheer brilliance while contemplating the challenges he faced were truly inspiring and incredible for me today. I loved Leonardo’s daring nature and innovative thoughts and designs that allowed for a huge realm of possibilities when it came to designing projects.
Leonardo is responsible for many of our current luxuries, including but not limited to medicine, advanced military equipment, and useful, innovative tools. I noticed that he made bold hypotheses about the human body, and was even responsible for creating an accurate skeletal structure of the human body and a basic hypothesis about the muscular-skeletal system. Without these core structures of the human body, modern medicine would not exist and we would have more casualties. It was fascinating to me to think that Leonardo has such a positive impact on medicine and what the world would be like for doctors without this basic knowledge.
I was also amazed by Leonardo’s ability to design such modern warfare designs for the duke when he was attempting to work for the duke in Milan. For example, his rowing boats and aeronautical designs were so innovative that they would not be brought back for many years. However, his designs and hypotheses are almost identical to the first structures built. For example, in the museum we saw some of Italy’s first aircrafts. Without Leonardo’s original design, we would not have any of these aircrafts. This becomes even more incredible to think about considering Leonardo did not have a computer like we do now to test and check his hypotheses, yet the hypotheses were still very correct.
Leonardo’s innovative and sustainable solutions was also incredible to me. For example, Leonardo built a thermal power plant to produce energy by another means. This was fascinating to me that Leonardo was so forward thinking that he was able to think of ways to conserve energy and produce different forms. His ability to create new and unique solutions for water and loom-making were also incredible with how little technology he had to work with when making his hypotheses and designs. Despite his lack of technology, Leonardo was able to design some incredible and amazing designs with his imagination, basic knowledge of engineering, and materials he found to be the most effective.
As our guide had mentioned, Leonardo’s work is mostly studied by art history researchers rather than engineers. This was extremely disturbing and disappointing to me because with his blueprints and piece by piece models, engineers could create a “revolution” as our tour guide had mentioned and allowing for us to completely understand Leonardo’s intelligence and mind better. When I saw the blueprints, I instantly became intrigued by the intense details and the extraordinary hypotheses Leonardo was daring enough to write. I know I personally had difficulty, specifically chemistry, for making bold hypotheses for fear of looking stupid or uneducated. Therefore, I loved seeing Leonardo’s seemingly outrageous hypotheses play out and become successful later on.
I was also amazed at how well planned out Leonardo’s plans were always drawn out. Not only did Leonardo’s plans for an ideal city were sustainable and efficient, but also beautiful. Leonardo combined art and science perfectly to get a unique combination of design and style. This design is similar to what I had mentioned on my first day, where I had noticed the Italians like to be both fashionable and practical whenever possible. This was surprising to me at first but has become a part of my mentality as I have explored Milan more and more.
It is absolutely incredible to me to think that Leonardo created and thought of these processes and designs on his own and without any of the current technologies engineers now utilize to succeed. When I think about this, I am even more blown away by Leonardo’s sheer genius. His boldness to hypothesize and try what may sound foolish and bold at the time was incredible and inspiring to me and has motivated me in many ways as I enter the industry as a professional engineer.