Patterns in the Everyday

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Patterns in the Everyday
Patterns in the Everyday

Next up in Present & Correct's celebration of good things, we consider the patterns and details in everyday life

Stripes, grids, spots & swirls are everywhere you look. Some are just happy accidents, whilst others are there to perform a function. But once recognised, they can elevate the mundane to a higher status. Here are three examples of patterns in the everyday, although there are too many to mention.

Japanese Manhole Covers
Back in the 80s, when smaller Japanese towns received more modern sewage systems and therefore drain covers, each town was given the chance to adorn theirs with something that reflected their local culture. Many saw the plain covers as ugly and so by decorating them they became special as well as unique to each area. Today nearly 95 percent of the 1,780 municipalities in Japan have their own special manhole covers. Some are very illustrative whereas others display geometric repeat patterns. You can see a few here.

Concrete Screens
Simple cut outs in concrete blocks make for fantastic patterns en masse. Tessellating and overlapping shapes make an otherwise solid material quite delicate; indeed, Frank Lloyd Wright called them 'Textile Blocks'. Redolent of 50s Americana and modernist blocks, their appeal has not waned. There are some great examples here.

Envelope Security Patterns
Anything slightly dull, which needs protecting, will travel with a graphic party inside. Designed to obscure, envelope security patterns are actually quite amazing. Why not just have one uniform design? Perhaps it would negate their function with fraudsters being able to see past the hatching and blocks. The more the merrier. They have inspired books, stationery, fabric & even buildings. Thought to have begun in Germany around 1910, you can see hundreds more here.