The perception of a visual shape often involves
an implicit conjecture about the process that generated it. A plausible
theory of perception may thus crucially involve an account of shape-generation
and shape-transformation processes. (Michael
Leyton articulates this perspective in his book "Symmetry,
Causality, Mind"; he discusses Euclidean transformations (translation,
rotation), as well abstractions of physical processes (dent, stretch,
squeeze). Cf. also: Benjamin
Kimia: Shapes as "shock-graphs".)
Applying this approach to the description of organic forms, we try
characterize them in terms of the growth processes that produced
them. Art generation and Gestalt perception thus meet biological
called this book a study of Growth and Form, because in the
most familiar illustrations of organic form (. . .) these two factors
are inseparably associated, and because we are here justified in
thinking of form as the direct resultant and consequence of growth
(. . .) whose varying rate in one direction or another has produced
(. . .) the final configuration of the whole material structure."
D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson (1917)
Ernst Haeckel: Monograph of the Challenger Radiolaria. (1887)
Ernst Haeckel: Art Forms in Nature. (1904)
Wassily Kandinsky: "Assimilation of Art" (1937). Complete Writings (Vol. 2, p. 803).
Susanne Langer: Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling,
Vol. I. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1967.
D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson(1917): On Growth and Form, 1917. Second
edition: Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1942 (Vol.
1, p. 57).