Patterned By Nature

Curator: Matt Checkowski
date: September 27, 2012
Categories: Environmental Design, Experience Design
Tags: Glass, Museum, Organic, Procedural, Tiles
Installation view of Patterned by Nature, a transparent sculptural display at Raleigh’s North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

This artwork, a collaboration between Plebian DesignHypersonic Engineering and DesignPatten Studio and Sosolimited, celebrates our abstraction of nature’s infinite complexity into patterns through the scientific process—and through our perceptions. It brings to light the similarity of patterns in our universe, across all scales of space and time.

This sculptural ribbon—10 feet wide and 90 feet in length, and made of 3,600 tiles of LCD glass—winds through the five-story atrium of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. It runs on roughly 75 watts (less power than a laptop computer). Animations are created by independently varying the transparency of each piece of glass.

I love a project like this because it proves that you don’t need a million pixels or 3-D glasses to create a piece of screen-work that’s immersive, emotional and organic. In fact, there are moments when the effect feels as “natural” as being in an atrium with real birds. I think it’s a great solution that weaves together a unique technology, a dynamic consideration of the physical space and slick software development into a final design that transcends all the individual parts and becomes “real.”

This video shows Patterned by Nature in action.

Patterned by Nature, installation view

Patterned by Nature, installation detail

  • Michael Chase

    I love this piece. Living in Raleigh, NC, I have seen it various times and each time I am mesmerized by it. It truly becomes “real” like you mention in the article. If you haven’t seen, you should check it out.

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