Inspired by biometric design, the act of designing through imitating nature, I utilized Physarum Polycephalum, a brainless semi-intelligent slime mold for its beautiful and organic forms. Since the beginning of time biological design has formed the world in which we live. Nature’s designs have been tried and tested for billions of years and they work. This project bridges the gap between biology and graphic design to show that inspiration for design does not only come from traditional practices but can be from nature’s processes. I decided to collaborate with one of nature’s most interesting organisms, Physarum Polycephalum. Being able to branch out and create efficient networks of its own mass in search of food, Physarum Polycephalum is an excellent specimen to assist in designing typographical forms. I placed food sources, oats, in petri dishes in a way that mimics the points on letter forms. Physarum Polycephalum has grown organically from these points and in doing so has created the 26 letters of the alphabet with its own mass. After being photographed and converted to greyscale, I digitized these letters into a complete typeface. Displayed in the gallery is a series of booklets that feature the entire font as well as archival inkjet prints that invite the viewer to observe the type in greater detail. My intention by creating this work is not only to motivate designers to look to nature for inspiration, but rather, I aim to motivate people within all walks of life to think outside of the norm and find inspiration in unusual places.
- Patrick Owoc