Friday, September 19, 2008

What's in a Pattern?





Are patterns a lovely decoration or do they add distinction and definition to one's character?

Julie Chang addresses these questions within her work by intertwining traditional Chinese textile design, European wallpaper patterns, and contemporary graphic design to juxtapose elements of identity with visual icons from her experience of growing up in Orange County. She says, "I find myself sensitized to the ways in which patterns serve as powerful and ubiquitous markers of class - as symbols of arriving and belonging."

Obviously Chang's work is beautiful - the colors, the patterns, and those amazing plexiglass chandeliers. But, her work also takes a deeper look into the meaning of patterns. Textile patterns originated to represent an aspect of one's life like wearing a distinct pattern to inform others of your status or community. Today they are mainly used for decoration - so is there a way to go back to creating beautiful patterns with meaning?

What are your patterns saying about you?

21 comments:

Jan said...

I love the little girl amoungst the patterns. So cute. My patterns are saying boring right now. I have been looking around trying to figure out how to spice things up a bit around here.

That Girl Designs said...

What pretty designs, and interesting insight.

Jules said...

what beautiful work Julie creates! i never realized there was so much more to a pattern other than just looking decorative...interesting and something to think about.

FancyPants-design said...

Amazing!! I love that green one with the girl in the tutu! :)

Georgia (AKA g-bug) said...

very interesting post! i like your insight into pattern.

i find myself constantly drawn to circular patterns. it is one that is repeated over and over again in my clothing, my interior spaces, even my office.

hmmmm . . . now i have to wonder what that says about me. i'm not sure, but i do know i am constantly drawn to it.

(this is also why i love the movie "Signs"—where there are blatant and subtle uses of circular patterns)

...love Maegan said...

LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUV!

aimee said...

what makes them intriguing is that something unexpected pops up in each of her patterns. beautiful!

daisy janie : scoutie girl said...

Love these designs & the statements they make! I think there is soooooo much to be said about pattern as it relates to overall status to this day. Not as it was originally, purposefully intended by the wearer / user (to declare one's family lineage, social hierarchy, etc), but simply by default : what products you like and can afford and what patterns adorn them. Or the reverse. Big manufacturers / designers determine their target market before a product is ever made (social status is a HUGE demographic factor), and they pick / design patterns accordingly - there you go. I don't think there's one bit of randomness to that. There are outliers for sure, but it's a science and we, as indie designers, are somewhat influenced by this, too, just by common exposure.

please sir said...

Thanks for the insight daisy janie! I didn't think about it that way, but yeah you are right. Just like people like to wear the LV pattern or Chanel pattern as a symbol of being weathly. Maybe not the case for everyone, but I understand your point.

Sandra Ree said...

These are beautiful!

Victoria said...

I have never really thought of pattern and its role in class distinction before, very interesting. I do tend to view pattern though as a visual language, but in terms of communicating and evoking emotion, not hierarchy.

Thanks for another great post!

SimplyGrove said...

These are lovely Diana!!

Klara Eriksson said...

Pattern is everything!

ThePeachTree said...

I love the endlessness of the word, term, thought of a pattern. Pattern is everything. Pattern is our lives :)

fly tie said...

woooow. those are beautiful, and i like that she goes beyond the surface for a deeper meaning of it all.

that's something interesting to think about: what are my patterns saying about me???

Chris said...

They're all beautiful.

I've read about women in South America (can't think of what ethnicity, maybe Mayan?) who wear woven tunics that have patterns and shapes and pictures in them. Each one has information about the wearer's marital status, family, and other such things. I saw a picture of them and they're really colorful, and each one is different. Kind of along the same lines, making pattern meaningful.

jess gonacha said...

what an interesting way to think about pattern-- it makes me wonder when and how patterns came to be mostly for decoration. i love this post, diana. :)

Project Ecoart said...

Love these...great find.

Abbey Goes Design Scouting said...

I love these patterns and agree -- I think patterns can say a lot about you.... xoxo happy weekend, abbey

Bonbon Oiseau said...

This is great stuff--interesting juxtapositions for sure...
lokingaround my space my patterns are all very organic and I'm drawn to asymetry and precarious balance--need I say more what my patterns say about me?

shi(f)t said...

i'm a sucker for patterns...her;s are gorgeous!!

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