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Nonexistent Plants

| 1 Comment | Published on September 12, 2012
plant3 The content that follows was originally published on the Don Havey website at http://donhavey.com/projects/nonexistent-plants/

This ongoing series of plant-like forms is generated using a recursive 3-dimensional L-system algorithm. Inspired by pressed flowers and the monochromatic engravings of 19th-century naturalists, each form is flattened into a one-lineweight composition. Each illustration includes a key identifying the species’ genetic code: all the parameters necessary for anyone to replicate the plant for their own use.

This began as a quick sketch–there are so many uses of L-systems out there I was not expecting to create something compelling–but evolved into something that became interesting to me by virtue of its accessibility. There is something about imitated natural forms that seems to intrigue people. For that reason, the “plants” generated for this series are purposefully left abstract: single lineweight, monochromatic, straight lines.

I also enjoy the ease with which these forms can be completely and unpredictably reconfigured with a single character change in the code–although that is simply an attribute of L-systems–wh ich leads to massive quantities of varied species to choose from. Nice work, Mr. Lindenmayer.


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1 Comment

Stephanie says:

Hello Don,
These nonexistent plants are wonderful. I really enjoy looking at them, thank you!
I’m also a designer, and I’m working on a very small project for a sociology teacher, we’re creating a small website of some of her writings on the subject. I’m wondering if you’d allow use of some of these images along with her website. I think the man-made sense combined with the natural patterns is a very striking visual concept for sociology.
Please let me know what you think, and again, thank you for your art!


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