Tuesday, April 24, 2012

envelope doodle design family

I'm still playing with some simple designs and also with the "envelope doodle" of a few posts back. I called it "envelope doodle" because, it's a doodle that I used to do (I think in middle school every time we were given graph paper) and it's made up of a bunch of lines that form the envelope of a curve.

Both the first (the one made of squares at the top of the post) and last (the one below on the right) design look like standard tiles that you might find on any floor. Some family resemblance might be clear, but it is a little surprising that both are stages in the same series.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

some simple designs

The images at the top and bottom of this post were made in Processing and were inspired by some of the exercises from the 1972 book Principles of Two-Dimensional Design by Wucius Wong

Forty years ago this book introduced a language for thinking and talking about the then emerging world of modern design. Today it could also be a source of exercises in basic programming, particularly well-suited for Processing. 

Wong's later book, Principles of Three-Dimensional Design includes really nice examples of geometric sculpture, many based on polyhedral forms.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

phyllotaxis multiplication colouring pages

I thought I would try to make some printable colouring pages of phyllotaxis spirals - thinking that they could be coloured-in using multiplication-table / skip-counting rules to make patterns like the ones shown in the previous post. I've put a two-page pdf here - page one has a spiral with the numbers filled in (as above), and page two has one without numbers (for unfettered colouring).

When colouring these in, you might just shade the multiples of five - and get the picture below.

As you colour, you'll see the spiral pattern formed by the sequence 5, 10, 15, ...

You also can't avoid noticing a radial pattern as the dots seem to line out on spokes pointing out from the center. Take a closer look at that, and you'll see that adjacent numbers on the radial arms always have a difference of 55. Neato! this was something I didn't see when I generated the same pattern via software - using a pencil slows things down a bit and helps you notice things.

I'm wondering what relationships might be found in the patterns that other multiplicative colouring rules produce.

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Postscript: I shouldn't have been surprised! Any time you make a number spiral skip-counting by n with k spokes, the difference along the spokes is going to be nk - in this case, skip counting by 5 and generating 11 spokes gives a radial difference of 55.