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Contributed by Roberly Bell, Rochester Institute of Technology

Pattern Tile as a Modular Unit

Modular Unit: A unit of measurement or an element of building that interrelates to the other elements within the structure and/or design.

Student Presentation Board: Pattern Research Using The AMICO Library

1. The modular unit must have the capacity to visually and physically relate to its multiple. Think of the module as a cell for growth.

2. Design the modular unit to lose its identity when placed in proximity to its multiple. A successful design can be achieved by controlling the alignments of the elements that are placed on or into the sides of the module or structure. Visual and physical compatibility of surfaces increases the dynamic of the module and the resulting composition.

3. Keep all modules and drawings. The preliminary studies will serve as a record of your intuitions and calculated judgments. You will be required to submit your models on critique day.

Step 1. Research pattern
Research both 2d and 3d patterns: wallpaper, decorative arts, tiles in architecture, fabrics

* Using The AMICO Library database, research patterns. Investigate pattern and how it operates as a unit within a structure. Select five examples of images from the database. Use pattern, textile, tile, fabric as keyword searches. You will also find pattern in painting. Save as a notebook (remember your password). Then download into Photoshop and analyze the pattern. Be sure to use the footnote procedure (explained on the opening page of The AMICO Library) with the original. In analyzing the pattern, select out from the original that which is being repeated. Test your selection. Can you reconstruct the original? Can the selected area be used in any other combination, north/ south/ east/ west?
* Create a visual presentation board of your pattern search.

Step 2
Develop a number of possible patterns. Make rough clay studies and drawings. Use computer, copier to experiment with the flexibility of the pattern to connect and act as a modular unit.
Avoid symmetry, as we have learned it is an easier method for achieving a design goal, and you want to challenge yourself. We know that symmetry will be balanced and that it will work north/ south/east/ west. Do not copy from your research but expand on the ideas and references. Develop your own unique pattern/module from a synthesis of your AMICO Library research.

Step 3. After developing a successful pattern and modeling it in clay, create a vacuum form mold.

Step 4
Create 5 identical cast tiles 5” x 5”
Each side of the tile must visually and/or physically relate to all possible combinations with other sides of the tile. Expert craftsmanship: care in construction is a must.

Some things to consider:
Continuation: from one module to the next
Positional variations for the unit form
Repetition, rhythm, emphasis, punctuation
Positive and negative space
Dominance of form and pattern
Flexibility & limitations

View All Model Assignments


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