Patterns In Nature #1 – Observation & Identification


On Day 4, we did an exercise in the morning taking a walk into the woods, where we were asked to observe any patterns, whether natural or behavioural, that we saw. We did this in silence but were allowed to take photos. Here’s what I captured:

Thinking further on this, I dug out some shots from a recent trip to Wales, where I remembered seeing lots of patterns in moss and lichen that were captivating:

Then, I went pattern crazy – here are a load of examples of different patterns, both in nature and human / behavioural; their characteristics and their benefits…

NET/WEB Pattern: Birds Nest vs Fishing Net

Check out what this America Robin does in around 8 minutes! Benefits – creates strong a light structure that doesn’t hold water but creates lots of pockets of air to keep the birds warm. Uses maximum surface area for contact between the twigs. The tructure speeds the load and distributes the tension around the nest.

Then, check out these Cantilever Fishing nets in the human application on Kochin, India:


HONEYCOMB Pattern: Beehive Honeycomb Cells vs vs Kings Cross Rail Station

Here’s a cool little clip from the BBC on Bees and honeycomb.  Those benefits include resilient and strong uniform structures that use maximum edge… as the chap in the clip comments, it almost looks like the honeycomb is manmade it’s so regular.

Then, look what I found in London at Kings Cross railway station – a HUGE bit of architectural design that uses the honeycomb structure on an enormous scale! (*I had to debate for ages whether to put this in ‘Net’ or ‘Honeycomb’ hhmmmmmm). This holds the roof up, again, distributing the load across a large area. I think it also looks aesthetically pretty awesome:

#Kingscross #commute #nofilter

A post shared by Rich Denyer-Bewick (@therichdb) on


BRANCHING Pattern: Circulatory System vs Freeway Design

First up, we have the thing that helps keep us alive! The key characteristic here is that blood can travel in both directions through the system, getting rid of the bad stuff, toxicity, and circulating the good stuff – new oxygenated nutritious blood! Much like the root system of a tree, which is working all the time to get rid of toxicity and circulate new nutrients – works both ways!

In the human application – I found a little vid about freeway architectural design… not sure this does any good in getting rid of toxicity – possibly only creates it!


SPIRAL Pattern: Tornado vs Herb Spiral

In this case the natural pattern I found was the Tornado – this was the one I first thought of on Day 4. Thinking of the characteristics, this pattern is smaller at the bottom but faster at the bottom too – more intense, so there is a felling of small to big and big to small! also it’s very powerful and… incredibly beautiful – even though it’s very dangerous. Possibly not as dangerous as the radio station these chaps are listening to:

Much gentler is the human application example of building a herb spiral. I think I like this one more – nice vid too!


WAVE Pattern: Tidal Wave vs Soundwave

Now, just for fun – a vid about waves from a giant wave surfing perspective. Characteristics are the repetitive movement or structure, their strength… the fact they build up – and they repeat a ‘message’, which is something found in sound waves…

Followed up by our human application, which I am going to let speak for itself:





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