THE THEORY OF DESIGN NATURALLY
Master Thesis in Industrial Design
Our eyes look out on a world full of complexity, though the brain is trained to pick only what interests us and makes it seem simple. This usually unconscious, process is strongly dominated by the long tradition of a geometric and reductionist approach to the world and nature. This phenomenon, in the context of product design, and in the hands of the designers, especially those who seek for inspirations in nature, has typically manifested in the form of reducing the natural complex forms and structures to the basic geometries and proportions and changing them to some manipulated and adapted materials for their designs.
I personally believe that this common vision to the aesthetics of nature, deprives us of perceiving its reality that seems to be based on complexity. Meanwhile, I believe that appealing to the complexity can be of a great potential for renewing the normative aesthetic language and seeking freedom from aesthetic conventions in the field of design. Based on this argumentation a phenomenological study was being conducted to learn from nature’s complex approach to the form issue in order to achieve some possible renewal solutions. With that in mind, numbers of natural phenomena including several species of birds and plants were chosen and studied carefully. The general outcome of this investigation and observation showed that nature’s approach to the theory of form was fundamentally different from the designers’ approach and, seems that the factor of growth in nature, in contrast with assemblage in design, is at the bottom of these differences.
The theory of Design Naturally (DN) is generated based on my observations on the nature’s approach to the aesthetics of nature and more specifically to the matter of form. Under the umbrella of this theory, it is tried to introduce product designers to an analytical and practical perspective about the different paradigms of the matter of form in nature, including the form-giving process, complexity, abstraction, geometry, gestalt, visual abstractions, function, etc. The plaster models on the left are some of my experiments to see how the major principles of the theory of Design Naturally about visual abstractions, would work in a variety of compositions and how each of the elements of forms (line, plane, volume, color, and texture) would behave accordingly.