An Interview With PATTERNITY Co-founder, Grace Winteringham

At our London Design Festival celebrations, cult pattern pioneers, PATTERNITY, will be providing the tunes. We sat down with co-founder, Grace Winteringham, to find out the story behind PATTERNITY, her top tips on bringings patterns into your home and how she got into DJing.

How did PATTERNITY come about?

PATTERNITY came about (officially) 8 years ago, but both Anna (my business partner) and I had been collecting patterns for many years. We had a really similar view on the world, where fashion, architecture, art, nature and science could be visually connected through pattern. Our mission in the early days was about inspiration and showing connectivity. We offered an online resource which today has over 6000 images archived, all credited and tagged, so you can search by a pattern keyword.

patternity pink trend

If you search ‘stripe’, you might find a stripe rug, next to a zebra, next to a barcode, next to shadows cast from railings next to fashion collections…. We are fascinated and dedicated to showing how interconnected the world is. More recently, although we still want to inspire and show interconnectivity, we are working with pattern to inspire positive living, through research, design and events. To us positive living is about bringing more wonder, awareness and happiness into people’s lives, this is our purpose.


What kind of things do you design and where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Over the last 8 years we have designed many things, from tights, tea sets and tables, to giant kaleidoscopes in Trafalgar Square, to talks and creative workshops for brands, institutions and museums alike. More recently we have been digging a little deeper into the term ‘design’ and are excited to explore how we can design our lives and our experiences. This could be designing routines or practices to nourish the self, to selecting the fragrances and the soundtracks we offer our senses whilst in the studio – we are looking at design of the Whole, not just the individual objects.

We have created Immersion Days, where we explore a theme like gratitude, through workshops, meditation, talks and experiences for individuals or companies to offer guidance and inspiration to live more positively. We have just launched our second book called Be Great, Be Grateful, which is a gratitude journal for positive living.

In terms of finding our own inspirations, we try not to be too trend focussed. We both spend time following our own interests, attending talks, events and workshops that spark curiosity, and then we’ll come back together in the studio and talk about it. This then naturally sparks news ideas and is a lovely way to keep inspired.

For me I find spending time with nature, walking, or visiting places that allow the mind to rest, is usually where I feel most inspired. New ideas seem to come when I’m not concentrating on them. Essentially this is about flow, and when one is in a state of flow, creativity can really flourish.

pattenity leaf

What are your top tips for introducing pattern into the home?

  1. When choosing a patterned item for your home, make sure that it brings you joy (whenever you look at it, it needs to spark happiness!)
  2. Mix natural with machine made. Bold pattern rugs, cushions and blankets look great, but I think they look even better when you add plants with striking leaf patterns or shapes to help bring balance. Designing with pattern is all about balance.
  3. Keep it simple – lots of pattern can look great, but if it feels too much, try limiting the colour palette. Either opt for black and white patterns, or those of the same colours. Colour is a wonderful thing, but too much pattern and colour all at once can look confused and feel overwhelming.

How did you get into DJing? 

It was my brother, George, who first got me on the decks. We used to have big parties at our parents house, (much to their disappointment), and we’d set the decks up on the kitchen island, playing loads of 80s vinyl and whatever cheap records we could get our hands on.

I spent my first student loan on buying vinyl decks, and then hosted a monthly party called Ampbox, with a good friend for a year or so in Edinburgh. I used to play in bars and at house parties back then and more recently I play UK festivals and events like the Habitat London Design Festival party.

patternity dj

I stopped collecting vinyl for a while and found that sourcing digital music was a little more flexible for introducing pattern into the work we do. We’ve curated festivals, and Immersive Days and creative workshops where music and sound play a key part. We recently did a Jazz Marbling workshop, where we explored the effects of jazz music on creative flow. Music and sound can take you to a place of productivity, positivity, emotion or memory – I listen to music all the time, it’s a key part in helping me get into flow.

Fancy a taster? Check out PATTERNITY’s Spotify playlist.

All images sourced from Instagram @patternity

Find out more about our London Design Festival Party >

Grace chooses her favourite Habitat patterned products below…

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