MANILA, Philippines – Leonardo Da Vinci was a man ahead of his time.
This was evident in the 64 inventions of the 15th century Italian Renaissance genius that were put on exhibit Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia.
Known as the “Da Vinci Workshop”, the exhibit features the inventor’s sketches and designs that have become the bases for modern machine and equipment like helicopters, cars, tanks, guns, clocks, gliders, and diving suits.
“We live everyday with his inventions, it’s like we live with Da Vinci,” Ezequiel Pena, owner of Aurea International Exhibits of Argentina, told INQUIRER.net on the sidelines of the launch.
“Without him we would be in the Stone Age I think, it’s like he’s much more than today’s rockstar,” he said.
Featured in the exhibit is an “aerial screw” or what was then called “vite aerea” and designs for gliders and parachutes that gave humans the gift of flight. The mechanics behind the “vite aerea” paved the way for the invention of modern helicopters.
The “carro manovella” and “carro ad autotrazione” that moved through gears connected to wheels were the first carts.
Da Vinci, an accomplished engineer, created designs for many weapons of war that he was commissioned to do. Among them was a mobile armored tank called “carro armato” that had several guns and needed nine men to operate.
He also designed a type of cannon that had multiple barrels known as “mitragliantrice a ventaglio,” the mechanics of which later paved the way for the machine gun.
Several inventions of Da Vinci to help humans in water were also featured such as a paddle boat dubbed “batelo a pale a manovella” that could travel along rivers and seas.
A diving suit with breathing apparatus design called “scafandro” was proven to be effective in 2002 after a professional diver tried out a replica based on Da Vinci’s design.
Anatomy and medicine were also extensively studied by Da Vinci. Prints of his manuscripts, some of which were featured in the exhibit, showed accurate drawings of the bones in the human arm and even the fetus while in the womb.
“We should thank [Da Vinci] everyday because we would really be ages behind without his curious mind,” Pena said.
“I couldn’t imagine how humanity would be without that genius, that greatest mind that ever existed,” he added.
Some of the world’s most recognizable paintings such as The Last Supper and Mona Lisa were created by Da Vinci.
The exhibit, which was brought by the SM Family Entertainment Center Inc, will run from July up to January 2014 at The Exhibit Hall, second level south side Entertainment Mall, SM MOA.