No. 119

Non Flowers for a Hoverly, Fractal Series

By : Thomas Pausz

Entrant’s location : Iceland



Non Flowers are a new type of synthetic lifeforms designed to interact with pollinating insects. The hybrid forms are based on scientific data on how insects see the world in fractal patterns. Thomas Pausz Studio is working with a team of 3D Artists and Biologists to test the Non Flowers in both real and virtual environments to study pollinators like hoverflies and help us understand them better. The visuals here show the 3D first printed prototypes as well as the virtual Non Flowers models in the VR world. More variations of the Non Flowers series are planned in 2019-2020.

What did you create?

Thomas Pausz Studio collaborated with Biologists to imagine a series of prototypes and virtual ´Non Flowers´ (flowers which are not for humans) based on fractal geometry. The non Flowers are made according to how biologists and ecologists know insects pollinators see the world, and the factors which attracts them when they look for pollen. We made both virtual models and material prototypes of the fractal series.

Why did you make it?

My design practice is about de-centering the human, and see the world through the eyes of other life forms (animals, plants, or others). I believe this can help us rethink our aesthetics and also our ethics. I met biologist Dr. Shannon Ollson while doing a residency at the biology research centre NCBS in Bangalore, and we decided to collaborate. The project also has also a possible application and Non Flowers could be used in greenhouses or biospeheres to attract pollinators and improve food production in the future.

How did you make it?

I organised a workshop at the studio with biologists and designers and 3D VR artists and we made a lot of different prototypes to deconstruct what is a flower for us and for insects: forms, colours, edges, scale etc... This led to a series of experiments and design proposals. We decided to realise the fractal version first. For this we looked at UV patterns on flowers and we used 3D softwares to model and render these in 3D forms. TO 3D print the models with relevant colour schemes I worked with the Addlab at Aalto University in Finland.

Your entry’s specification

Video and 3D printed Artefacts, 2019. The Video is 2 minutes long, with a soundtrack by collaborator Bioni Samp. The 3D Artefacts are 6 cm diameter in coloured plaster with a cellulose coating. (non environmentally harmful material, fit for exhibition purposes).