Wikipedia: A fractal is generally "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole," a property called self-similarity. The term was coined by Benoît Mandelbrot in 1975 and was derived from the Latin fractus meaning "broken" or "fractured."
images above are part of Bikram Mittra's work. click on the link above to check out his website. Bikram studied Exhibition Design at the National Institute of Design, India. he then went on to do an MA in Design Products at the Royal College of Art, London.
Fractals are a fantastic resource to grow patterns and cover a wide surface area. the popular snowflake patterns that we have all seen at some time are wonderful examples of the fractals in nature.
me thinks its time i used all the info at hand and got down to some serious surface generation what say?