Pattern is everywhere. We find it in nature, and we reproduce it in art and in our every day living. Supermarket shelves are neatly stacked with milk cartons and vegetables arranged in an organized manner to attract our attention and give us a sense of order and control. Disorder is unsettling and can make us uncomfortable and indecisive.
Neatly aligned containers of milk make supermarket purchases simpler. The complication lies in selecting among the number of varieties offered.
The peppers that break out of pattern become the focus of attention.
In nature, the symmetry of pattern in every snowflake is calming at the same time as we are awestruck by its beauty.
Engineers often follow nature's initiative as we see in this hubcap patterned like a snowflake.
This eye-catching metal grate at the base of a tree has a pattern designed to center our focus on its functional value — allowing rain to water the tree's roots while holding the soil in place.
Nature uses pattern in a myriad of ways. Each zebra has a unique, identifiable pattern, yet when the animals run in a herd, the blending of the patterns confuses predators so no single zebra can be isolated for attack.
Artists draw on this idea. The background pattern in this painting by David Silverstein soothes the eye, while the dramatic contrast of the surface pattern lifts your attention from it.
Pattern is everywhere. Cut through the center of an onion, apple, or orange. Examine the skin of a pineapple, the bricks of a walkway, the straw of a woven basket, the petals of a flower, the panes of a window — everywhere we look we see pattern with function and appeal — beauty we need only notice.