Generative Patterns

Why Patterns

A pattern is a type of regularity/rule that can be seen in the natural phenomenon or human-made objects with repeated/similar parts/motifs. In nature, pattern is the result of “self-organization” of (in)organic entities/parts/elements which emerge into a structure through the flow of force/material/energy. It could be observed in the formation of the shell of a Radiolarian, seeds of a Sunflower, or dunes of sands. In human-made objects on the other hand, a pattern is a result of “design“. It could be a geometrical pattern with easily recognisable motifs on a fabric or more complex organisation of elements like computer programming of agents. Either being captured from some natural phenomenon or observed in designed products, patterns are great subjects for studies, sources for creativity and can be traced easily in the art, architecture, decoration, craft and more.


Why Generative

Although computational platforms are powerful tools to model and visualise patterns for design purposes, their main power is inherent in their potential to program the logic of patterns and let the machine generate the outputs. Computational/Algorithmic approach utilises mathematical/physical/chemical/geometric rules to generate patterns in a way that a designer could not do it in the same way with manual tools. Generative approach means to discover the computational logic of a pattern to re-produce it without direct manual tools. This reproduction could go beyond the existing state of that phenomenon and could even push the boundaries towards the unknowns.


Why Generative Patterns

The vision of this project is to observe, study, program and generate patterns from different natural and cultural resources, as a way of interpreting word around us, and further use it for creative productions. This state of the project would focus on the 2D pattern generation, mainly black and white lines, to keep everything simple. Generative Patterns would shift back and force between design and self-organization, between nano and mega, between organic and inorganic, … , and tries to share the fun!


Started through a collaborative project in 2014, this is a project about patterns. The vision is to develop an online repository of patterns, which are generated by computational processes and tools. These patterns are studied in “nature” or human “culture“; They range from Fractals to Carpets; From Cell division to Kaleidoscope; From Reaction-Diffusion to Calligraphy. Regeneration of these patterns happens through careful studies of the topic and then design and implementation through computational tools. This would benefit designers, architects, artists or even scholars to get some inspirations for creative productions. So far, a huge collection has been created which will be published through different media.



This is an open-source project, aiming social media publication for the first step (and printed media later), and is going to be published through Instagram and Pinterest pages. Colleagues, designers, artists and architects who collaborated with this project are being credited under related posts in the social media. This is a collaborative project, which is happening in different time/geographical zones of the world, yet with the same aim of generating and sharing.


GENERATIVE PATTERNS : Repository of Computationally Generated Patterns, Embedded in Nature and Culture

Curated by Zubin Khabazi and Esmaeil Mottaghi