The Power of Pattern

Panel and discussion about pattern in partnership with Dezeen

Designer Adam Nathaniel Furman, interior designer Sue Timney and Royal Academy curator, Gonzalo Herrero Delicado, were among a panel of experts that discussed ‘The Power of Pattern’ in an event organised jointly by Dezeen and DKI at the Turkish Trade Center in London.

Chaired by Dezeen's architecture reporter, India Block, the panel discussed the use of pattern in architecture and design, the relationship between historical and contemporary uses and how patterns can be used to express feeling and ideas.

Patterns in history

“One of the first things we do in all cultures across the globe is to create patterns,” Adam said. “Those patterns can be on the body as tattoos or on the walls of caves. There’s a kind of a natural intuitive instinct to create visual markers that represent themselves. The constant is that there’s something visual that ties in with the ideas about themselves. You do the same thing now when you move into a new flat and start to create things that you recognise, that talk about your past and your friends – you create patterns on the wall.”

“We live pattern,” added Sue. “We learn it from an early age. It’s like talking and walking, looking and observing. Part of that is reading colour and understanding colour and developing colour. You do notice that certain cultures have quite an instinctive sense of colour within the lives they lead that is very different to other cultures.”

Gonzalo was interested in how globalisation is affecting the use of pattern. “We’re living in a globalised world, ruled by new technologies and political conditions,” he said. “It’s very easy to fall into a system where pattern becomes homogenized, but we have to read those patterns in a way that is creative and localised.”

A hub for design and architecture

The talk coincided with the opening of Clerkenwell’s new Turkish Trade Center, a hub for Turkish design and architecture that showcases a variety of products and brands from the country. An audience of 150 people from key industry contacts attended the event, including architects, designers and developers. Dezeen live-streamed the event on their Facebook page, and the video remains available to see on their web page.

London-based architectural designer Adam Nathaniel Furman often uses bold colours and pattern in his work. Recent projects include a pair of colourful cabinets inspired by Japanese cartoons and a sequence of archways covered in patterned tiles from Turkishceramics. Sue Timney, a London-based interior and textile designer, and former president of the British Institute of Interior Design, is known for her use of geometric, often monochrome patterns. Gonzalo Herrero Delicado is curator of the architecture programme at the Royal Academy of Arts.