THE THEORY OF DESIGN NATURALLY
Master’s Thesis in Industrial Design
Our vision captures a world teeming with complexity, yet our brains naturally focus on what piques our interest, simplifying our perceptions. This subconscious process is deeply influenced by the traditional geometric and reductionist approach to nature. In product design, particularly when drawing inspiration from the natural world, designers often tend to distill intricate organic forms into basic geometries and adapt materials for their projects. However, this prevailing approach may hinder our ability to truly grasp the complex reality of nature, which holds great potential for revitalizing the aesthetic language in design.
In response to this, I conducted a thorough phenomenological study in 2011 to learn from nature’s approach to “form,” aiming to uncover a fresh perspective. I meticulously observed various natural phenomena, including birds and plants, chosen randomly. The insights from these observations revealed that nature’s method of dealing with form significantly differs from that of designers, with growth being a fundamental differentiating factor as opposed to the assemblage in design.
The culmination of this study is presented as “The Theory of Design Naturally,” which serves as a platform to introduce product designers to an analytical and practical understanding of diverse form paradigms found in nature. This theory encompasses form-giving processes, geometry, gestalt, visual abstractions, function, and more.
The plaster models showcased here are the result of my experiments, aiming to illustrate how the core principles of “The Theory of Design Naturally” regarding visual abstractions can be applied in various compositions. These models demonstrate how each element of form, such as line, plane, volume, color, and texture, behaves in accordance with these principles.