Thirst created a custom pattern to prevent bird strikes on the University of Chicago's Kersten Bridge. The final pattern is a grid of dots visually modified according to rules inspired by John Horton Conway's Game of Life, a mathematical cellular automaton from 1970. The grid breaks up the reflective surface while still letting the maximized amount of light in.
Numerous studies explored the best aesthetic ways to achieve the specified 4in x 2in max opening dimension. Many different mathematical models were considered as inspiration, from magnetic waves to even string theory.