This is one of the current projects we are working on. The concept is based on a growing branching structure implemented with a Processing script. The patterns will be manifested as stainless steel jewelry in a similar process to the dendrite line.
I originally developed the idea behind the script a year ago for a housing project that Jessica was working on. We wanted a system that would grow to look for optimal conditions for housing units. The initial work was in three dimensions, and the branches were trying to grow toward better light and a better view. Another important property of the structure was that it was self-repelling, so each branch would have sufficient room.
The script was revived for a poster we created for Felt Club (upper left image). This time it was modified to be only two dimensional and incorporate color. The branches start as a single line segment. The process of growth then involves two basic decisions: when to grow and in which direction to grow. The self-repelling nature of the branches greatly effects the direction of growth. We can also create areas of attraction or repulsion to shape the structure on a larger scale. For instance the pocket in the upper left picture is created using several repulsive forces. The decision when to grow or branch can be influenced by numerous factors: random chance, the density of nearby branches, the age of the branch, how far from the root it is, etc.
Now, we are revisiting the script again to create a new line of jewelry. We are exploring more complex dynamics and rules as well as increased interactivity. We want to play with rules that involve relationships between properties: as a branch ages it prefers less dense areas or density breed growth but not branching. We want to explore the relationship between growth and branching. Another idea is to add the idea of growth inhibitors and catalysts to create a more varied pattern. We also will be able to draw field lines on the environment as it is growing to influence the path of growth. We think this idea has great potential, and we may bring it back into the 3D realm to create some really interesting pieces.