Olivia Verdugo



A leaf falls and slowly decays, leaving only the pith. Ice crystals aggregate in delicate strands across a pane of glass. A neuron fires as you read these words, sending out tiny pulses of electricity which spread through your brain in an intricate web. While seemingly disparate in nature, each of these events shares a common systemic underpinning. There is a compositional grammar and an order underlying every aspect of the natural world, shaped by forces which act upon great and small alike.

I am fascinated by the patterns that emerge from this grammar, and by the living world which surrounds us. These inspiring visuals and structures serve to inform my work; my thesis is an attempt to merge my love of nature with my graphic design practice, yielding a hybridized personal methodology rooted in the use of nature as my primary source of inspiration.

My exploration takes place across a series of projects which derive inspiration from emergent formal, structural and behavioral patterns found in nature. Rich surface designs emerge from microscopic studies of a common pigeon’s feather; the behaviour of particles in fluid dictates the framework for a generative computer applet; the study of symbiosis spawns a new form of book. In my thesis work, I court the unexpected, using the seemingly wild yet highly ordered natural world as a lens through which to view my own design practice, and as a creative prompt to create new methodological and formal approaches to graphic design.