Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘design of experiments

Evolution of Paternity: Pattern Power and Superstripe Festival

Every now and then, a few of my nieces and nephews post a link related to the general discipline of Graphic Design. This field has expanded into many branches nibbling and even swallowing established professions such as psychology, sociology, social development, scientific research…

Worse, they are happy using the term Design, left and right, and never deigning to take any courses in Design of Experiments, how to conducted experiments, and how to statistically analyze the data and how to interpret the results…

I am not that enthused or hot on graphic design, but others are, and that is a good enough reason to repost links in these topics.

In any case, how would I learn of this new coined word “Patternity”, and discovering that the term evolution was attached to it?

Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham comprise Patternity, the two-person powerhouse consulting on pattern-inspired projects of various scale all around the world.

After meeting through mutual friends they quickly realized that despite their seemingly disparate specialties—Murray’s in photography and art direction and Winteringham’s as a textile and product designer—they shared a strong aesthetic viewpoint.

In 2009 they launched a website as a public-facing, highly-curated archive of patterned wonders, helping them become the go-to pattern specialists they are today.

Sabine Zetteler contributed, along with CH Contributor in Style, this April 8, 2013:

Stripes can mean so many different things; they signal, divide, align, mark the beginning and the end and so many things in-between.

“The duo aren’t simply concerned with the visual appeal of pattern.

Last year, they held a day-long event with a group of autistic teenagers, which challenged them to create t-shirt designs inspired by images of different patterns found throughout the borough of Hackney. Their latest project, a festival called Pattern Power: Super Stripe, is organized in conjunction with the World Health Day talks that kicked off in London last weekend.

Running through 21 April, the packed schedule of events aims to reflect Patternity’s elements of research, design and education. “By choosing just one pattern—in this case, stripes—we have been able to structure our own pattern research and delve even further with our exploration of the positive power of pattern to connect and inspire,” says Murray.

“Stripes can mean so many different things; they signal, divide, align, mark the beginning and the end and so many things in-between. We’ve covered most stripes at the show whether that’s in the subject of a talk, a workshop, something showcased at the Superstripe exhibition or even something to buy in our pop up shop and café!”

Their hands-on workshops with future legends like Bompas & Parr, Robert Storey, David David, Fred Butler, Margot Bowman and The Flower Appreciation Society will collectively transform the Londonnewcastle Project Space on Redchurch Street into a kind of modern day community center with a celebration of pattern as the unifying force.


Murray says: “Patterns are something you come across every day. You wear them, you walk over them, you even eat, drink and think them and we believe that patterns are something that bind us together at a very fundamental level.”

It’s through the practice of paying attention and noticing more of what’s around us that perhaps the Patternity way of seeing can start to emerge. “Being more aware of life’s pattern, we believe can become more mindful of the bigger picture and feel more connected to the greater whole.”

The festival lineup is divided into an extremely diverse array of “Patternitalks” with scientists, musicians and journalists; interactive workshops wherein visitors can make their own patterns, as well as jelly or headdresses.

Sunday Sessions” demos highlighting pattern in the world; short film and documentary screenings in “Stripes on Screen; as well as a late-night live performance by Reallife on 18 April.


Murray tells us the festival highlights the incredible variety in their work: “One day I might pick up the phone and speak to a neuroscientist about the patterns in the brain, on another listen to a musician demonstrate patterns in sound. Everyone has been very receptive to this project, as pattern really does seem to be a universal language. We explore all these subjects in greater depth at our range of Patternitalks that we’re hosting at Pattern Power where we have asked specialists across many fields to share their experiences about “patterns in practice” and how pattern unifies and shapes their individual specialties—from art and design through to health and mathematics.”

Asked if they’d been obsessed by pattern since infancy, and Murray says, “I can clearly remember being encouraged to pay close attention to all the tiny details of plants and flowers as a child. My mum was a keen gardener and we had so much beautiful fauna around but we also lived in Hong Kong, wedged between towering skyscrapers, so there were so many contrasts within my immediate surroundings. I’ve always been obsessed with opposites—the micro and the macro, the mundane and the magnificent, the natural and the manmade. This has been a fundamental part of our Patternity working practice.”


Patternity emphasizes the importance of not only simply seeing patterns around us but understanding how they’re disseminated in the world to inspire us by creating these in-depth, analytical events like the Superstripe festival. “The more I’ve learned about patterns the more fascinated by life I am, our research has gone far deeper, looking to formations in nature and science that delve far beneath the surface of life,” says Murray. “The most incredible patterns exist when you examine things up close or very far away to see how and why forms actually function the way they do. Nature is really the ultimate engineer.”


Pattern Power: Superstripe runs through 21 April 2013 and tickets are available from Eventbrite.

Article #20 in the series of “What’s that concept of Human Factors in design?”

“How would you like to fit Human Factors in the engineering curriculum?” (April 13, 2005)

I would like that the Human Factors in engineering be a required course to all the engineering disciplines and architects, and any field requiring designing systems and objects, such as graphic designers…

Human Factors in design need to be taught in the first two years in order for design processes to have the human objective nailed down.

The engineering students were awe-struck that there is a whole body of knowledge, specifically targeted to improving their designs, that there are new important set of criteria, which they agree with, but were never exposed to in their design training.

Human Factors in design course was an eye opener to the various problems that engineers will have to deal with, once they leave the university setting and move on to the working environment. Engineering students were following a one-dimensional view of the world through equations, number crunching and manipulation of formulas that permitted them to solve simple engineering problems, and may be a few design problems that never included the end users in the equation.

Students were exposed to problems of shift work, discrimination based on age and gender, occupational mental stress, occupational physical pains and aches, potential risks and injuries, human errors and their consequences, and the urgency to target the end users whom will use their designs.

Next, I would like that all engineering disciplines be required to take the “design of experiments” course. It is a pre-requisite for industrial engineers in their last two years curriculum. This course of experimental design is highly important for several reasons:

First, the course material in Human Factors is pregnant with statistical results drawn from experiments which use human as subjects in the experiments. Unfortunately, the design of experiment is not required for the other engineering disciplines and not even offered or encouraged as an optional alternative. I have a real hard time explaining through examples the difference among the independent variables, the dependent variables and control variables and may be a couple of students finally end up comprehending how experiments are designed.

Second, how could an engineering graduate update his education and continue to keep pace with the practice if he cannot read research papers?  The process of designing and conducting experiments is tedious, time-consuming and requires skills. Students have no idea how experiments are done and their final projects are very inefficient.

Their experiments are basically of the type one independent variable and one dependent variable, like scientists used to perform in the 18th century.  Students have to perform several sets of these inefficient experiments for their final project while one well designed experiment would do. Nowadays, inference experiments or cause and effects experiments can easily be designed with three factors or independent variables and two dependent variables and permit good interpretation of the statistical results which provide a wealth of information on the interactions of the factors in a single experiment.

Thirdly, I would like that industrial engineers be offered an optional course on the cognitive aspects of Human Factors since computer information processing and communication is the sin qua of this age of technological advancement and mass accessibility to information. More importantly, this follow-up course will allow students to design, conduct and run a complete experiment using human subjects, learn the process and procedures of comprehending research papers and the validity of the explained experiments and have a hand on designing a simple interface.

I am leaning toward starting with the design of an interface from the beginning and whenever common sense dictates certain sections in the design to actually design an experiment to validate the common sense assumption.




June 2023

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