Pattern objects: Making patterns visible in daily life

Takashi Iba, Ayaka Yoshikawa, Tomoki Kaneko, Norihiko Kimura, Tetsuro Kubota

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper proposes the concept of “pattern objects” to make patterns of pattern languages visible in daily life, and demonstrates examples using several pattern languages. Pattern languages are collections of patterns that describe practical knowledge in a certain domain, and many have been created for creative human actions. For the past 40 years, pattern languages have been shared as reading materials, most commonly as printed books and papers, and recently as cards to be used in interactive workshops. Although these forms of presentation are suitable for studying and talking about the patterns, they are not effective in making the patterns visible in the environment and in stimulating people to put them into practice. With this background, we here propose the idea of expressing patterns through objects that can be placed around our living environments to help us recall the desired pattern for a certain situation. In this paper, we discuss the concept of the pattern object and present five prototypes: a cutting board for creating uniform texture in a dish; paper clips for reminding the important patterns when finishing up a writing process; a snack box that encourages creative thinking during collaborative work; a refrigerator magnet for people with dementia to remind themselves of their daily chores; and a survival basket for maintaining emergency food supplies in case of natural disasters. These are only a few of the many possible forms of pattern objects, and we believe that this study will call future discussion and prototypes on ways to share pattern languages and enhance creativity in daily life.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Proceedings in Complexity
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Complexity
ISSN (Print)2213-8684
ISSN (Electronic)2213-8692


  • Collaboration pattern
  • Learn pattern
  • Pattern language
  • Sharing pattern
  • Writing process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Pattern objects: Making patterns visible in daily life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this