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Semester 1/2012 Module 1

VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS Divya Punjabi (548634) Group 8

Concept 1

Analysis of the butterfly

I think the formation of a butterfly is a very interesting natural process whereby the development shape of the creature is truly fascinating.

The images below represent the time lapse as a caterpillar transforms into a cocoon and then that cocoon into a butterfly

process: caterpillar to cocoon

process: cocoon to butterfly

It is very interesting how the caterpillar folds into itself forming the cocoon. A geometrical pattern can be noticed as the caterpillar has a regularly striped yellow and green skin. When turned into a butterfly, however, it has completely different appearance where the pattern is concerned.

Process Analysis I found the delicate movements of a butterfly to be quite interesting. After watching a few videos of butterflies flying, I sketched a few diagrams (below) representing what kind

of patterns would be formed if we were take snapshots of the butterfly’s positioning every few seconds. Although they formed similar type of random patters, they are all different and unpredictable. However, one of the figures formed seemed to stand out the most according to me (shown in blue).

This is the most appropriate simplification of the movement of a butterfly in my opinion, as it illustrates upwards motion as well as a sudden downward drop which we often see butterflies do when in the air. It also demonstrates the graceful aspect of these movements with its soft curves and to some extent, relates to the life cycle of the butterfly as its starting and ending points of the shape are at the same level.

A butterfly in its natural environment

Idea development Orthographic view

Perspective views Top view

Creations inspired by the caterpillar, cocoon and butterfly Caterpillar

Architectural design in Kansas City, USA

Garden design


A restaurant in New Zealand


A museum in New York, USA

Eco friendly cat house Outdoor chairs

Concept 2

Analysis of sand dunes

The beauty of sand dunes is another inspiring natural phenomenon. It is truly fascinating how the sand can form such intricate lines naturally.

How does nature create these patterns?

The patterns of sand dunes Sand dunes often appear to be almost magical and can be interpreted in many ways if they are to be sketched.

Presumed sight if viewing at eye level (in this case, eye level being the bottom right of the sketch). The increase in distance can be seen as the lines flow further apart. Realistic sketch

Exaggerated sketch inspired by the movement of sand dunes

Forms a spiral shape whereby the diameter increases disproportionally

An abstract of sand dunes: the spiral shape As observed previously, the diameter of the spiral increase disproportionally in the sense that the exterior of the spiral increases at a faster rate than the interior of it as seen adjacent.

There are other similar concepts in nature which can be observed below.

A sea shell

The Milky Way galaxy

A cyclone

A rose

Creations inspired by sand dunes

An opera house designed for Dubai (currently under construction)

A rug

Idea Development Orthographic view

Perspective views

Top view

Concept 3

Analysis of the sea turtle The turtle shell is indeed one of the natural world’s masterpieces. It is impressive mainly because of its geometry and also because of its vital role: it provides the turtle with a hard and strong exterior which functions as a shelter and protects the creature.

The shell consists of a series of hexagonal figures. Since they are almost regular, a clear pattern can be observed.

A clear resemblance can be seen. However this representation of the sea turtle is too literal as it appears to look just like the exact pattern of the turtle shell and thus this creature and its relation to geometry will be explored further. Geometrical sketch of the pattern of the turtle shell


Process Analysis

I watched a few videos to be able to see how the flippers of the sea turtle move while the creature is swimming. Sea turtles use their front flippers to propel through water. To the left is a sketch representing the movements as they rise upwards (1 to 5) and then begin to go downwards (6) after which the whole process repeats itself again.

The time lapse sketch led to a zigzag design that can be seen on the right

Idea Development Orthographic view

Perspective views

Top view

Creations inspired by the turtle

A pavilion in Chicago, US

A museum in China

A stool

Final Concept

Further development : motion of the sea turtle

I have chosen to explore the concept of the sea turtle as it is the one that inspires me the most. I am interested in the abstract geometry obtained from studying the movements of the flippers of the swimming turtle and hence want to develop this further.

Flippers moving downwards tend to be almost straight:

Flippers going upwards tend to be slightly curved:

• more force needed for flippers to push downwards • more pressure applied against water • stronger movements

• less force and pressure required to move flippers upwards • relaxed motion • weaker movements • smoothness

I wanted to incorporate the strong and weak movements of the turtle into my design

Further development: motion of the sea turtle

I related this to the exterior of the turtle, the shell, which is extremely hard compared to the inside of the shell, which is very soft. This again brought similar ideas for the design whereby there are both strength and weakness.

Sharp edges usually represent strength (downward motion of the turtle) and hardness (shell) while curved features tend to represent smoothness (upward motion) and softness (inside the shell). The inner part of the design was altered to a curved shape as it is the inside of the turtle that is soft.

Further development: motion of the sea turtle Perspective views

Orthographic view

Reflection This task has been quite challenging for me as I have never done anything similar before. It was quite hard to identify geometry in nature that had nothing to do with the physical geometry but rather, the process. For instance, while trying to generate ideas, my first instinct for the analysis of the butterfly was to concentrate on the pattern of the wings. Similarly for the concept of the sea turtle, I took instant notice of the striking geometry apparent on the shell which is a hexagonal pattern. It was difficult to move away from what we see and what is extremely obvious to the eye and instead focus on what is not: that is, the way the natural element/creature moves, grows, settles or positions itself for example. This process felt more like finding geometric patterns in the “story of nature” than simply “nature”, which I found truly inspiring.

Module 1 (Week 4)  

week 4 presentation

Module 1 (Week 4)  

week 4 presentation