Patterns in Nature
A good deal of the patterns you'll see here at Studio MOTIF Co. take inspiration from nature. Organic references have traditionally been a large part of the textile, wallpaper and interior design industry. We live and work indoors, but we play outdoors. In fact, countless studies show our well being is connected with our exposure to nature and sunlight. Living in Detroit, I can say with first hand experience that it is not always possible to spend a great deal of time outside (Dec-March). We tend to hibernate inside during these months. Which is why bringing organic elements from plants, trees, flowers, and more into the interior is so appealing.
The appeal of designing with natural forms, aside from their inherent beauty, is the underlying order they represent. I recently read a great article from Smithsonian Magazine about the science behind nature's patterns. It highlights the order found in nature is distinctly different from the kind of repeating pattern found in textiles and wallpaper. "Many patterns that we see in nature aren't quite like that [repeating]. We sense that there is something regular or at least not random about them, but that doesn't mean that all the elements are identical. I think a very familiar example of that would be the zebra's stripes. Everyone can recognize that as a pattern, but no stripe is like any other stripe." In other words, the patterns in nature are a form a disorderly order. Irregularity but repetition. I was intrigued. But what about snowflakes? They seem to offer great symmetry, and they come in an infinite variety. There is absolutely an underlying order to them that comes from nature, but we can't yet fully explain it: "Yet even now it is a bit of a mystery why every arm of the snowflake can be pretty much identical. It is almost as though one arm can communicate with the others to make sure they grow in a special way."
To be sure, there are mathematical formulas that can explain many of the patterns in nature, but not all. Our effort to use patterns in nature in our designs is merely a referential nod to the awe of nature. We are comforted by the order in pattern, by natural elements, and by natural colors which can range from the grey blue of the ocean on a stormy day to the hot pink of a tropical flower. We all respond to these elements on some level. But the mystery of natural patterns, we hope, will stay a part of the natural world and continue to inspire us.