Ornament and Wonder

A year-long thesis investigation into pattern and visual complexity. More than 200 unique patterns were created, using simple shapes and a strict grid. These patterns vary from as simple as possible to extremely complex, working with variables such as scale, line vs solid, binary color vs shades of gray, and layering.

These patterns were used to create 3 exploratory studies that were meant overwhelm, calm, or create a sense of awe. The first study put pattern into an environment, with contrasting patterns, intense colors, and high density. The second study uses the same visual ingredients to create two different large-scale posters, with one employing a soothing color palette and the other using a highly saturated, visually jarring color palette. The final study was a tile-based game for people to create their own level of complexity and find out at what point each person felt harmony or chaos. The goal of all of these studies was to show the subjectivity of our aesthetic values. 2011.


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