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Daily Pattern Project

Flowers or stripes just wouldn't cut it for textile designer Annika Syrjämäki, whose latest project processes information streams.


By Cassandra Pizzey / 16-06-2011

The Daily Pattern Project by Swedish-born, Dutch-based designer Annika Syrjämäki is certainly not your usual aesthetics-based textile project.

Rather it is "a research project exploring the possibilities of content- based textile design in which the daily news is used as the inspiration and content for the patterns," as Syrjämäki explains.

A constant stream of information - whether that be on internet, television or newspapers - has made our world smaller, yet more complex. Wouldn't it be great if we could somehow visualize this mass of information, thought Syrjämäki as she re-appropriated traditional pattern making ideas in order to embed meaning.

"Too often textile design in approached from a purely esthetic perspective," says Syrjämäki. "This project explores approaches to textile design that serve not only a stylistic, but also a communicative function in which the resulting form of the content itself." With the Daily Pattern Project interior design can move away form purely stylistic conventions to reveal deeper layers of meaning.

But how do you turn information into a pattern? To start with, a database was created which collected news from six different international newspapers (The Guardian, The Australian, The Citizen, Shanghai Daily, The Washington Post and the New York Times), both from the printed newsletters as from online news, several times a day. "I worked together with a programmer to develop processing applications to analyze and generate patterns from this information."

Initially, the outcome was mainly print based but as the project continued "it became less about producing an image on textile, and more about working to embed content and information in the materiality of the pieces themselves." With subtlety being a characteristic of Syrjämäki's designs, this approach proved rather successful for the designer. Particularly in weaving techniques, the pattern woven into the material itself creates a wonderful effect which may not be visible at a glance.

"Currently the patterns are being made with streams of news information, but I could imagine processing any kind of data,” whether that be from political speeches or something more whimsical such as song lyrics.
Some of the recently processed info include weather forcasts, stock market indexes and election programmes, each completely different in colour, feel and of course, pattern.

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