At the end of 2013 I did some style explorations for a Sci Fi game. The specifications were pretty loose, basically to provide ideas for detailing alien rooms and corridors, referencing games like XCOM: EU, Halo and Mass Effect. I came up with a design language for the alien aesthetic using a simple process of shape combinations. I wanted to imply a high degree of complexity and technological sophistication while maintaining a structural base clear enough to enforce the idea of solid materials. These design chunks have the quality of being versatile, once you have a handful of them you can create a lot of variations that have the same visual style but are different. I usually develop them in black&white, but for presentation sakes I put a color overlay.
Of course, this is just a starting point. I also use this process in correlation with solid shapes (silhouettes) for props or sometimes even characters & creatures; I found out that this usually works well enough with anything that jumps from the “reality sphere” into imaginary, regardless the setting and subject matter.