Natural patterns as a source of inspiration – Onionlab
12-5-20

Natural patterns as a source of inspiration

There are so many things that inspire us when creating new projects. When it comes to patterns, our main source of inspiration is undoubtedly nature. We have used natural patterns in our 3D video mapping projections, creative stage designs and interactive art installations

 

Oolites or cave pearls are sedimentary rocks formed from ooids, spherical grains composed of concentric layers
Oolites or cave pearls are sedimentary rocks formed from ooids, spherical grains composed of concentric layers

Natural patterns occur in nature and are aesthetically beautiful and remarkable. Thanks to the familiarity of the patterns, there is something pleasing and calming about them. The way we perceive these extraordinary patterns, is as if nature expressed herself and maybe somehow made art. It’s like she chooses a theme and runs with it. The most fascinating part is that the patterns are not random. The question is how can nature put together these patterns?

Reefs
Reefs

Different Natural Patterns

Nature is an eternal source, it is something present, that surrounds us everyday and thus it is constantly on our minds. There are many patterns created by natural forces. They capture and reveal the results of dynamic energy combined with physical law. They are produced by energy, pressure, gravity and other forces. 

We can find the natural patterns in the shape of a leaf and the branches of a tree, the structure of a crystal, the spiral of a shell, the symmetry of a snowflake and the camouflage and signalling patterns on animals, fish and insects. They resemble natural rhythms that are rather striking. Perhaps one of the most remarkable is the pattern of the snowflake. All snowflakes have the same theme—this six-fold, hexagonal symmetry and yet there is an infinite variety within these snowflakes.

Bubbles by Robin Broadbent
Bubbles by Robin Broadbent

Another pattern that keeps appearing in different places is called Turing structures, named after a mathematician, Alan Turing. He was very interested in how patterns form. Turing explained how many different chemicals that are floating around in space can interact as to create differences from one bit of space to the next. In this way, the seeds of a pattern will emerge. It seems that something like this might be responsible for the patterns in sand dunes and sand ripples forming after wind has blown sand.

New forms of patterns are being discovered daily. The truth is that once we look around, we can see the patterns everywhere. 

Green marble
Green marble

Natural patterns applied in art

These beautiful creations of nature can be used in a metaphorical way that can be applied to artworks. They can easily set the rhythm of the artwork. We can play with the patterns to attract the attention of the spectators and fascinate them. Natural patterns evoke something familiar and yet intriguing, things we wish to examine and explore. They have a soothing effect on spectators once they are recognized.

Mountain Grape
Mountain Grape

Throughout history these patterns have been recognized in art and design; from rock and cave art to Grecian architecture and the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci to Jackson Pollock. Modern artists are using new digital technology to create contemporary fractal art. Many believe that natural patterns in art can help with stress relief among people, that it can help patients to recover faster and change the way we respond to stress. 

 

Melting Greenland Ice Sheet
Melting Greenland Ice Sheet

We are stunned by natural patterns and in awe of their beautiful artwork that is so fascinating and perfect. 

They reveal the smallest, tiniest parts of nature that we can’t see in normal life.