why the name "elytra"?

why elytra? and the hidden beauty of pollination

People often ask, "What is Elytra?" I wrote a short answer to this question here in the about section of our website. I wrote this in 2002, when I first ventured out on my own as a young web designer and started this studio. What I wrote then still holds true today. I wanted to capture the heart of what I wanted this web studio to be and to represent. I wanted to bring on this journey a love for nature, biology, art and technology. I'm a biologist by training, so nature in all of it's magnificence, wonder, complexity and mystery were coming along for the ride. 

The elytra are the outer wings of a beetle. If you're not used to looking closely at small creatures like beetles (and other insects) you may miss the spectacular designs of these wings. Their purpose is to protect. The underwings are for flying. I chose the name Elytra for two reasons. I love the name, and the flow of the word. And secondly because the elytra (pleural - there are always 2 wings :-) represent a timeless and complex process of design born out of the the intelligence of evolution. 

I stumbled upon this TED talk by Louie Schwartzberg this morning. It is called The Hidden Beauty of Pollination. It has nothing to do with web design. It also has nothing to do with the wings of a beetle, the elytra. But in some amazing and remarkable way, his talk and time lapsed video is close to the heart and purpose of all things design. It speaks to the heart of what I feel compels the art and science of successful web design. It speaks to why I was compelled to name this little web design studio Elytra Design. It is so compelling, I couldn't resist sharing. Enjoy!

Louie Schwartzberg: The hidden beauty of pollination from TED on Vimeo.