When most people see a seashell, their thoughts don’t extend into how the universe is all connected. But most people aren’t Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham, the graphic artists behind Patternity. Murray, a photographer and art director, and Winteringham, a surface/product designer, met at a music night in Dalston where they realised they had similar aesthetics. “We both loved visual patterns and realised all of our research was from different areas, from things you'd find discarded on the street to beautiful fashion photography and art pieces to things in nature and science,” Murray said. “I think there was something beneath the surface of all this visual research to do with the way that we wanted to create a business —working with pattern would let us work across lots of different worlds.”
And they certainly have. After beginning Patternity’s image archive in 2009, the two went on to design a line of hand screen-printed tights as a part of Selfridges’ Bright Young Things in 2011, publish a book in 2015 (Patternity: A New Way of Seeing: The Inspirational Power of Pattern) and turn their archive into a consultancy and research department with collaborations with Fortnum & Mason and the Imperial War Museum.
Most recently, Patternity has designed a big, monochrome graphic installation at the heart of Selfridges’ new Designer Studio – a shopping experience that combines streetwear, luxury and ready-to-wear with a mix of new and established brands including Christopher Kane and Katie Jones. “We wanted to look at the contrast of light and dark – so looking at states of duality. The research aspect underpins everything that we do. I think what we really liked with this project was just take something that's quite complex, but then making it really simple, beautiful and balanced,” Murray explained. If you are in the Designer Studio this week, you won’t miss it.
As the first phase of the Designer Studio is unveiled today, the pair shares how they’ll unwind this week.
Monday: Forum for the Future
Anna Murray: I'm super interested in sustainability in design and the environment. There's an organisation called Forum for the Future and they do these reports about future culture, so I'm going to their launch of this one, which is called Living Change. We've done some think tanks with them so it'll be nice to reconnect. I think if you're in design and you're not at least intrigued by the sustainability conversation you're missing something.
Tuesday: Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones at the Saatchi Gallery (Duke Of York's HQ, King's Rd, SW3 4RY)
Rolling Stones Archive
Grace Winteringham: I'm going to see the Rolling Stones exhibition with my mum on Tuesday. I’m especially looking forward to it because when art and music come together it feels like you really experience the culture of that time.
Wednesday: Barbican (Silk St, EC2Y 8DS)
Courtesy of the Barbican Centre
Anna Murray: Whenever I can get an opportunity to go to the Barbican, I'll take it, so seeing Ragnar Kjartansson's show Wednesday should be great. We've actually run quite a few tours around the Barbican. We do inspiration trips where we'll take people around and tell them about the history of the building, explore the man-made, brutalism of it, and then go into the greenhouse and compare those patterns to the patterns in nature.
Thursday: Johnny’s Hairshop (75 Chatsworth Rd, E5 0LH)
Grace Winteringham: I love going to Johnny's in Clapton to get my hair done. They have a great policy of not using razors or heated styling tools (apart from a hair dryer) and they always cut my hair so well. The general feel of the place is lovely, including the owner’s two dogs always lying flat out on the floor right in the middle of the salon.
Friday: Southampton Arms (139 Highgate Rd, NW5 1LE)
Anna Murray: My favourite thing is to go to Hampstead Heath, look over the city and get an overview of London. And then I'd go down the hill for a swim in pond. The women's pond is amazing – with the ducklings it's like something out of a Disney movie. And then I'd go to the Southampton Arms where they often have an old guy playing live piano music. There are people standing and singing, they serve local ales and you can only pay in cash. It's a really special place to go.
Saturday: Marylebone Farmers’ Market (Cramer Street Car Park, Cramer St, W1U 4EW)
Anna Murray: I'm currently living in Marylebone and there's a really beautiful farmer's market there. I love to support farmers’ markets and to get fresh food grown ethically. I like how the vegetables are irregular because when you go to the supermarket, everything is perfect – and there's beauty in the irregularity, in meeting people and finding out how it's made. I think that's something we've become quite disconnected from.
Sunday: Billy Smokes (Queen's Yard, White Post Ln, Hackney Wick E9 5EN)
Grace Winteringham: Billy Smokes BBQ at Howling Hops brewery is where I’ll be going for a Sunday date. I'm based in Hackney Wick so anywhere along the canal in the sunshine is great. Being by the water after a busy day at work is the ultimate stress remedy. The food at Billy Smokes is amazing. They have over 10 ales to choose from in a relaxed, canteen style set up.