Leaves on a forest floor create aesthetically seamless surfaces by exhibiting organized chaos.

The way a forest floor functions in terms of aesthetic design has changed the way carpet tiles are designed and manufactured, greatly reducing carpet waste and labor. While standardization has been the operating principle of interchangeability of parts in human-made manufacturing since the Industrial Revolution, the interchangeability of aesthetic elements in the natural world operates by an alternative method, “ordered chaos.” Standardization in carpet tile design and color made matching of replacement tiles with pre-existing carpet extremely difficult, resulting in greater waste as even tiles in good condition had to be replaced for aesthetic reasons. On the other hand, no matter how you rearrange the elements of a forest floor – the leaves, twigs, etc. – the forest floor still looks seamless and natural. A line of carpet tiles from Interface Inc. are now manufactured so that no two are identical, and can be retrofitted with much greater success and ease than tiles that are aesthetically standardized.


The Private Life of PlantsAugust 21, 1995
David Attenborough

Living System/s