Chaos Theory

Product Concept
Date : 2011
Materials: Porcelain

The natural order is a tendency towards disorder. Through form and pattern these series of domestic objects visualise the progression of structure to chaos.

These sets of plates and tiles uses the mathematics of chaos theory to inform their design. Mathematics is often seen as an abstract and unfamiliar field of study, unrelated to everyday life and which many people would rather avoid. But mathematics is rich and dynamic. It governs the iterations of everything around us and can produce beautiful patterns and models. By incorporating the patterns of mathematics in to the design of domestic products, I want to both highlight the contrast between the fields of maths and domesticity, and bring them closer together.

The patterns on the plates are transformed by the Arnold’s Cat Map function. Arnold’s Cat Map is a simple and elegant demonstration of some of the principles of chaos theory - the underlying order to the apparently random evolution of a system.

The image is put through a series of transformations which seem to randomise the original organisation of the image’s pixels. However, if iterated enough times, the original image is restored. These six plates illustrate the first six iterations of the transformation - a quick descent into (apparent) chaos.