Monday, June 18, 2012

Design Monday: Patterns Abound in City of Trees

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Patterns on the former Macys building in downtown Boise.
  • Annie Henderson
  • Patterns on the former Macy's building in downtown Boise.

Nothing decorates a piece of jewelry, a wall or a tiled walkway quite like a well-laid pattern. In the Islamic tradition, patterns are used in place of imagery because the founders of the faith believed it wrong to try to draw images of the divine. Instead, mosques and other holy places are often adorned with patterns, which are a representation of the infinite.

Lately, patterns can be seen across the fashion industry in delicate lace skirts and blouses. More robust and colorful Southwestern or Peruvian geometrics adorn rugs, curtains and homewares in the catalogs that flood mailboxes each month. Pattern is the cornerstone of hand-me-down quilts and a knitter’s technique. And nothing is more pleasing than a good mix of patterns, florals with stripes or delicate iron gates in front of heavy stone houses.

On a recent walk through our fair City of Trees, pattern abounded. When you start looking, it's everywhere. It's in the carved moldings that top many a downtown building, in the somewhat lackluster teal iron work at City Hall, even underfoot in the brickwork on sidewalks.

One pattern is found on the now-vacant Macy’s building on the corner of 10th and Main streets. Looking up from the Main Street side, you'll see gold iron grates installed on the building. They add an elegant aspect to an otherwise unremarkable facade.

Nearby, patterns also beckon from Anthropologie's artful downtown window display. Front and center, a Moroccan-style pattern hangs down from the ceiling and adorns an adjacent wall. It is reminiscent of sculptor Erwin Hauer's work, some of the most eye-opening, inventive patterns throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

Patterns on display at Anthropologie in downtown Boise.

Patterns on display at Anthropologie in downtown Boise.

Patterns on display at Anthropologie in downtown Boise.

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