THE THEORY OF DESIGN NATURALLY
Master’s 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 inspiration 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 design projects. In my point of view, this common approach to the aesthetics of nature deprives us of perceiving the complex reality of nature which can be of great potential for renewing the normative aesthetic language and conventions in the field of design.
Accordingly, I conducted a phenomenological study in 2011 to learn from nature’s approach to the matter of “form”, with the aim of achieving a possible renewal solution. A number of natural phenomena including several species of birds and plants were randomly chosen and observed carefully. The general outcome of this observation showed that nature’s approach to the theory of form is fundamentally different from the designers’ approach and it seems that the factor of growth in nature, in contrast with assemblage in design, is at the bottom of these differences.
The findings of this study are presented as “The Theory of Design Naturally”. Under the umbrella of this theory, I try to introduce product designers to an analytical and practical perspective on the different paradigms of the matter of form in nature, including the form-giving process, geometry, gestalt, visual abstractions, function, etc.
The plaster models presented here 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 depict how each of the elements of forms (line, plane, volume, color, and texture) would behave according to these principles.