Immerse yourself even briefly in the graphic goldmine that is the blog Patternity and you’ll soon start seeing reality through the finely-tuned eyes of founders Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham. From the mellifluous folds on a bin liner to the prisonlike rigidity of a New York fire escape, the pair catalogue and share the patterns they see in the everyday, the extraordinary and the absurd.
Touted as “a curated image archive of daily patterned finds to search, enjoy and inspire,” Patternity has evolved to become a valuable resource and creative consultancy for the likes of fashion houses (Céline’s Phoebe Philo is a fan), architecture firms and media companies. We talked to co-founder Anna Murray about the all-pervasive power of pattern.
When did you first discover your shared love of pattern?
Patternity was an idea that came about through a shared way of seeing the world, despite our seemingly different backgrounds. Upon meeting in 2009, we soon realised there were many parallels within our work and aspirations, which were united by a shared love of pattern.
How did your upbringings affect your creative path?
Our upbringings were divided between sprawling cities and the leafy countryside. Both of our sets of parents always encouraged an appreciation of our surroundings.
What did you study and where?
After studying a Foundation course at London’s Central Saint Martins, I went on to study Fine Art Photography at Brighton University where I cultivated a love of the image as a vehicle to explore concept and theory. Grace studied printed textiles at Edinburgh College of Art.
How did your blog begin?
Patternity began as an outlet for an abundance of previous research and a shared vision to push the diversity of pattern to a more worthwhile and engaging use. From day one we saw the blog as an open window to share our vision, encouraging a heightened perception and engagement with our surroundings.
When did you first realise your passion for pattern could become a full-time job?
The week we launched patternity.co.uk we unexpectedly had over twenty-thousand hits from all over the globe – our blog was everywhere from the NY Times to Vogue. At the heart of all of our projects has always been our belief that a shared appreciation of pattern helps us to positively engage, which ensures our work is not only full-time but also meaningful.
How has the Patternity brand branched out since the blog’s inception?
The resource is essentially an open window into the Patternity vision and offers an insight into the work we now do as a rapidly expanding creative consultancy. Sometimes we make things and sometimes we help others make their things better. With all of the projects or products we work on we aim to go beyond the surface, using the research, design and application of pattern to add substance and relevance to the aesthetic.
Where do you look to for pattern inspiration?
The Patternity approach is always a sort of inclusive exclusivity, with a focus on seeing pattern absolutely everywhere.
Why do you think Patternity is such a strong resource for the fashion world?
With a network of amazing contributors from around the world, our blog serves as an inclusive documentation of time and trends creating an almost eternal loop of inspiration and influence that constantly feeds itself for those within the industry and outside of it.
We heard Phoebe Philo likes to look to your site when designing her Céline collections. How did that come about?
We have been asked by the design house Céline for the last two seasons to contribute to their inspiration book– it was an honour to find out that Phoebe uses Patternity, but to have our imagery cited as part of the inspiration behind the collection was really rewarding.
How does Patternity stand out from the crowd in the blogosphere?
We want to be a place that is both a valuable and inspiring research tool for individuals and institutions alike. It has also been very important for people to feel like a part of Patternity and want to share it.
Any exciting developments on the horizon?
We’re currently working on several collaborations ranging from a large-scale interiors project in Dubai to a Mayfair based sustainable fashion collaboration. We’re also working towards curating our next large-scale exhibition.