growing objects – algorithmic sculptures

morphostem flora ornata #1

This summer we created an exhibition  called “Growing Objects” which explored our work with simulations of natural growth processes through 3D printed sculpture. It was hosted by the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics in Stonybrook, New York.

Our work at Nervous System explores processes which cause structure and pattern to emerge in nature. We adapt the logic of these processes into computational tools; translating scientific theories and models of pattern formation into algorithms for design. The exhibit focused on four such computational systems: reaction (2010), xylem / hyphae (2011), laplacian (2011), and florescence (2014). (The florescence system was actually developed specifically for the exhibit). These algorithmic investigations of nature were each documented by digitally fabricated sculptures and a series of posters explaining the math, science and natural inspiration behind them. Each growth process was also illustrated through 3D-printed zoetropes. When in motion, these kinetic sculptures animate the formation of complex forms and when still they allow the viewer to examine each steps of the growth process.


Special thanks go to the Simons Center for making this exhibition possible. As a self-funded business, we usually focus on small scale projects that we can afford to fabricate and sell. This exhibition gave us the rare opportunity to work on things without worrying about commercializing them and create larger scale, experimental objects.

view the art: Growing Objects Exhibit

Here’s a few of the pieces we created. For more information on how each piece was generated and fabricated please visit the Growing Objects Exhibit page.

hyphae crispata #1

hyphae crispata #1
hyphae 3D #2 - nylon 3D printed by Selective Laser Sinteringhyphae 3D #2 - nylon 3D printed by Selective Laser Sintering


hyphae 3D #1 - nylon 3D printed by Selective Laser Sintering IMGP3486

morphostem elysia #1 - full color 3D printed plaster

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  1. JPJ

    Beautiful pieces. The repetititve patterns are hypnotizing in a way. Contemplative…