Side Hustle #2 – Pattern: Research, Nature & Coral Reefs


After researching patterns in the context of fashion, I wanted to move into its opposite, patterns found in nature. These are what could be called the original patterns as anything man made like textiles would have been modelled off seeing the design in nature. Patterns can be found in a multitude of organic things e.g. zebras, wood, beehives, flowers etc. I am particularly interested in patterns in ocean wildlife and coral reefs.

Patterns in nature follow the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical sequence generated by adding 2 previous numbers together: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 etc. Equasions can be put together using this idea to work out the pattern of a sunflowers seeds, for example. Natural patterns include symmetries, trees, spirals, meanders, waves, foams, tessellations, cracks and stripes.


Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems, housing one quarter of all marine animals for food and shelter yet making up just 1% of the ocean. At this point in time, one of the biggest struggles for the reefs environmentally is the destruction of them through the actions of humans. Over fishing, pollution and global warming are all contributing to the decline of coral reefs and marine life. Coral polyps are the building blocks of the reefs that depend on sunlight and clear, warm seas to grow. They can become stressed by change such as warmer/colder water or pollution, and then will begin a process of ‘bleaching’ and turning white. Eventually they can die, which is what is happening to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia where 95% of the corals have been damaged. Noise pollution from boats, planes and wind turbines can also interfere with the sounds made by marine life trying to find a reef to settle on, disrupting their process.

Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 14.48.33

I want to focus this project on the patterns found in the coral reefs, and the impact pollution has on these beautiful structures.

Botwinik, S. (1979) Clown Fish. Available at: (Accessed: 16th February 2018).
Cocek, A. (2011) Nautilus. Available at: (Accessed: 16th February 2018).
Honeyborne, J. and Brownlow, M. (2017) Blue Planet II. United Kingdom: Ebury Publishing.
Keats, D. (2010) Basket Star – Astrocladus Euryale – and a Red Gorgonian. Available at: (Accessed: 16th February 2018).
Keiron. (2017) The Fibonacci Sequence in Nature. Available at: (Accessed: 16th February 2018).
Knowlton, N. (2012) Corals and Coral Reefs. Available at: (Accessed: 17th February 2018).
Starfish. (ca. 20C) Artstor. Available at: (Accessed: 16th February 2018).
Stevens, P. (1974) Patterns in Nature. United States: Little, Brown & Company.




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