chaos + perspective [neil]

The comtemplating chaos article was an interesting presentation of chaos theory utilized in a range of functions and media. When seemingly chaotic/random events are found to have natural underlying order, it forces a change in perspective.

Changing perspective also changes what we might consider chaotic. A market filled with people in an urban landscape can seem very chaotic when you are immersed in the hustle. The same scene, viewed from the top of a skyscraper – may be seen as having strong patterns and order.

This change in scale and its affect on perception can be seen in very minute and seemingly simple systems – to very large and complex. Looking at a cell under a microscope – you can see order, structure, and patterns of “behavior”. These patterns are easily recognizable under greater magnification. Molecular structures, and the behavior and interactions of molecules are scientifically predictable and ordered.

Increasing magnification to the atomic subatomic levels, however, changes everything. The protons, neutrons, and electrons that make up everything we know, can only be expressed in terms of probability, and the atoms they form are almost 100% empty space. Magnifying even farther, the subatomic particles that make up these miniscule particles are actually created from, and disappear into – nothingness.

Depending on our perspective – the human body can be seen as an ordered structure of organs, systems, and tissues intertwined in a complex system evolved for survival – or as a conglomeration of infinite physical probabilities.

As a designer, this introduces intriguing ideas about what constitutes chaos, and what constitutes order, when imply changing our perspective can turn one into the other.


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