Patterned by Nature

Lately a trend has been set in the world of art and new technologies. In certain fields of arts, e.g. Environmental Art or Landscape Architecture, artists have been involved in researching new ways to express themselves and the relationship with the Nature all around.

Given this introduction, I want to present you a great piece of art, an installation very hard to forget, called ‘Patterned by Nature’, commissioned by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for their newly built Nature Research Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, US.

The installation is essentially a 3×30 meter LCD display built framing in an aluminium structure 3600 15 cm squared glass panels. These glass panels aren’t one of a kind, they are very common pieces that use the same LCD the you can find in a normal calculator: the same technology that has been around for decades.

The gigantic display was created in part by Sosolimited, an art studio who has made a similar project before. The display hanging in the atrium of the Raleigh Nature Research Center is amazingly efficient for its size drawing only 75 watts (for comparison, the laptop I am writing from, a 15 inches MacBook Pro, draws 85W while charging).

The exhibit celebrates our abstraction of nature’s infinite complexity into patterns through the scientific process, and through our perceptions. It brings to light the similarity of patterns in our universe, across all scales of space and time.


Animations are created by independently varying the transparency of each piece of glass. The content cycles through twenty programs, ranging from clouds to rain drops to colonies of bacteria to flocking birds to geese to cuttlefish skin to pulsating black holes. The animations were created through a combination of algorithmic software modeling of natural phenomena and compositing of actual footage. An eight channel soundtrack accompanies the animations on the ribbon, giving visitors clues to the identity of the pixelated movements. In addition, two screens show high resolution imagery and text revealing the content on the ribbon at any moment.

Some pictures below show the building process and some details of the built.

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