Activity 3.2: Pattern Scavenger Hunt

The objective of this assignment is to recognize and describe observable patterns in both “natural” and human settings .

Nature-dominated landscape

  • Using your project site, find as many different patterns as you can but strive for a minumum of ten. Look for various types of branching, spirals, waves, lobes, and other patterns evidenced in natural objects. Think of large patterns of vegetation type, water, and the like as well as small details like leaves, seeds, and rocks. Even within the “branching” pattern you will begin to see there are many variations.

  • With each pattern analyze what you can infer from the observed pattern. Consider what ecological forces or prccesses shaped the patterns?”

  • Document your findings, either by sketching them or taking photographs.

  • Make a note of your observations and describe your analysis.

Human-dominated landscape

  • Make your way to a shopping center, restaurant, school, or place of work and find an opportunity to sit and observe the people around you while being able to blend into the scene yourself.
  • Make notes of movements, habits, and forms that you see. Consider how the design of the physical landscape you are observing is affecting the choices people are making as they move about, whether conscious or unconsciously.
  • Document your findings by describing patterns you saw as a “language” in list form – naming them and describing the pattern in a few sentences. Write three to five patterns in your “language.”


Pattern Language for the Bus Stop

Shelter vs. Storm: There are people who arrive at the stop and immediately head for shelter, and those who survey the scene slowly and pick out a spot in the open.

Busy, Busy: Many people appear to have clearly planned some activity to complete while waiting for the bus and heading to their destination. The activities require some forethought. Earphones, browsing phones, smoking cigarettes, and reading books are all common choices.

Another example:

Software engineers and organizational psychologists have sometimes used the idea of patterns to describe complex processes. The following links is an example of a pattern language for organizational decision making:

Complete your assignment by submitting on this page and sharing via this week's Forum:Pattern Scavenger Hunt.