Can a Designer Work With Trypophobia?
I recently watched the film The Scent of Green Papaya and when the scene went to the shot of the image above I felt a bit queasy. It reminded me of my bouts with trypophobia. Trypophobia is a phobia of patterns created by clusters and depth of space in the shapes of holes, spores or seeds. The most common image linked to trypophobia is the honeycomb.
For me, I am most disturbed by spores, seeds and scattered leaves. This is why fall is quite torturous to me. The scattered leaves on the ground and bare, dried seedlings exposed by the wind fill my walks daily. It also explains my aversion to watching some of the characters in Star Trek.
Trypophobia is not classified as a medical disease. Psychologist Anthony Marin proposes it is “a fear of asymmetry (another form of things looking not quite right) in some people with obsessive-compulsive disorder is not associated with disgust. Perhaps holes, particularly in organic objects, subconsciously remind us of the symptoms of contagious illnesses that affect the skin, such as the rash or blisters associated with measles and chicken pox, respectively.”
Here are some examples of images that make my skin crawl.
The reactions that are a result of trypophobia vary from anxiety and nervousness, itchiness, to physical feelings of being sick. But as a designer, does it carry over into how you work? I am inspired by culture and nature for a lot of my design work but I tend to stay away from creating designs that show pockets of depth. For instance, you will never see me design a mirror like the this or create a print like the one of this pumpkin below it.
But I can still manage to work with circles in patterns in my designs. Design is about making visually wise choices. Mine just has an added layer.