Designed by generative design studio Nervous System, these psychedelic jigsaw puzzles are a perfect combination of the artistry of traditional hand-crafted wooden puzzles and new technology. Each generative puzzle is a one of a kind creation with unique art and pieces.

“We both love jigsaw puzzles. Maybe it’s because we have fond memories of assembling them in our childhood, or maybe it’s because we have an unhealthy obsession with patterns; but we find them irresistible.” – explains designers Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg.


The puzzles are manufactured using a custom software that simulates crystal growth to create an organic interlocking pattern which is later transformed into unique sets of plywood pieces with high tech laser cutting techniques. The designers collaborated with generative artist Jonathan McCabe who created some mind blowing artworks for the puzzles.

“We are huge fans of Jonathan McCabe, a generative artist whose work we first came across on Flickr. We thought the colorful landscapes of his reaction-diffusion works would be perfect for jigsaw puzzles and luckily, he thought so too!”



Jonathan McCAbe describes his designs for the radial puzzle series, “These images are generated by three processes acting in concert. One process is derived from Alan Turing’s proposal of a mechanism that would spontaneously produce patterns of spots or stripes in living creatures, due to the diffusion and reaction of various substances which activate or inhibit each other and move at different rates through the tissue. The process used here has been modified so that it acts at multiple scales as a kind of ‘fractal’ reaction diffusion process. Another process is a simplified simulation of a 2D compressible fluid flow, which mixes the coloured dots and stripes together and forms sharp edges which are a little like shock waves. The reaction diffusion process produces patterns of movement as well as colours in the ‘fluid’. The third process is the explicit imposition of the cyclic symmetry which is achieved by tying together (via averaging) the values of colour and movement around the circle at each time step. An image of the slowly changing field of colour is recorded at each time step, and the ones judged most attractive (about one in a thousand) are selected.”


To create the organic shape of the pieces, the designers created a system based on the simulation of dendritic solidification, a crystal growth process similar to the formation of snowflakes that occurs in super-cooled solutions of certain metallic alloys. By varying the parameter space, it can produce a variety of cut styles.


Jigsaw puzzles for the 21st century! Super Trippy!

Watch the video of the ‘Generative Jigsaw Puzzle’ below:

+ Generative Jigsaws Project

+ Nervous System


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