McLeod, Natalie. Biohazard [digital media design for projection]. Love Lace, The Powerhouse Museum International Lace Award Exhibition, Sydney, 2011-2012.


Biohazard is a dynamic repeat pattern for projection as an animated wallpaper that explores and promotes traditional textile pattern through digital media. It is constructed of a recurring stylised thistle motif, the national flower of Scotland, developed in response to a call for entries for the Powerhouse Museum’s Lovelace exhibition in Sydney, Australia for lace designs representing the maker’s origins or sense of place. While the imagery represents my Scottish roots, the repeat pattern indicates my background in screen-printed textile design, and its immateriality relates to the initial feelings of alienation and homesickness that I experienced living in New Zealand.

As in traditional areas of decoration, the planning of the repeat layout was fundamental to the design, and essential before beginning the painstaking virtual modelling process in Autodesk 3d Studio Max (3ds Max) modelling and animation software. The single thistle motif is arranged in an ogival repeat layout, with the stylised leaves of the thistle serving as a stationary lattice supporting the crowned thistle heads, which revolve slowly on the Y-axis to display their three-dimensional form. The design subtly introduces virtual form and motion to the traditional ogival pattern framework, promoting aspects of traditional repeat pattern through the informed use of digital tools and media.