Day 56: How Patterns Relax Us


We may walk happily on this pattern without taking notice of it.

When we see patterns around us, we feel comforted.  It’s a disturbance in the patterns that get us off track.  I love working on math puzzles, but if I leave one unsolved, I can’t seem to rest until I figure out the pattern.

There’s just something about a pattern that our brains love and find relaxing.  So maybe you should be aware of some of the patterns in our world that you might not generally notice, since they relax rather than disturb.

Artists use tessellations. M.C. Escher is best known for his tessellations, which are figures put together with no spaces or gaps.  We often see tessellations on fabric prints, bathroom tiles, and wallpaper patterns.

Subway sandwich shop uses tessellations with their cheese. In order to cover the sandwich better, Subway changed to a tessellated pattern of cheese, making the triangles fit together in a pattern in order to cover the whole sandwich.  It seems that people must be serious about their cheese coverage on sandwiches!

Nature forms patterns. According to a recent Science Daily article, Newellstresses that patterns are formed based on physics and that stress causes the patterns to form.  The natural patterns form, and students study them with interest.

As a creative activity, choose a shape and make a tessellation.  Follow these steps and have fun!

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”  Edward de Bono


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