One of my favorite designers will always be nature. I can’t count how many times I’ve come across a plant or a field of flowers that interests me off the strength of its appearance, colors, & brilliant patterns.
photo source: local fields of echinacea from my camera roll.
What is a Fractal?
When a close up or a part of a whole structure follows a pattern similar to the one seen on a larger scale, it’s considered to be a fractal structure. This can be observed in the pictures above, with each flower growing in an almost identical kind of way. The similarities between the flowers can go on infinitely, existing down to the smallest scale. In every part of the natural world, fractal patterns can be seen from roots & veins on leaves - to the way the human body's systems, such as the lungs and blood vessels naturally form branching patterns.
photo sources: Pinterest, local gardens.
In my opinion, it’s safe to say that fractal patterns symbolize nature’s way of expressing how everything is connected.
Their Universal Footprint
This kind of repetition seen in natural life is called self-similarity. Despite it being rediscovered, named, and conceptualized by scientists in the last few decades, they are far from random or new. Since the beginning of time, nature simply embodied this growth consciousness. The inner knowing needed in order to have boundless access to resources like oxygen and sunlight, has always existed.
Outside of the plant world, life itself is fractal. This appears in genetics with how genes interact across generations; despite never having interacted, people belonging to the same bloodline can display self-similarity through shared traits, physical features, talents, and tendencies. This patterning also shows up in the act of following through on a desire, thought, or feeling - and reaping the outcome. If these things were to be mapped out, it would look like a formation of branches created by cause and effect. With this in mind, it can be said that fractals are a scientific effort to understand energy & organized chaos.
Inspiration to Create
I had been working on physical designs for months & went through different titles that I thought I’d settled on based on the patterns I planned to sew. One day, while I was preparing fabric for the “Dusk” design, the layout of the material inspired me to randomly change the collection name to “Fractals”. I didn't question it, because I liked the way it felt & I believed in exploring the idea.
Throughout the research process, I began to see how much of the world is fractal, & my interest grew to understand how they apply to reality. In many ways, I began to see how learning more about fractal patterns can help expand how I perceive life.
Intuitive nudges defy logic, but I firmly believe that exploring them anyway opens more possibilities to experience creativity. So I'd love to know, what fractals are you surrounded by in your own daily life that you notice?