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The Building Blocks of Repeated Patterns

In 2014, Richard and I visited the palace of Alhambra in Granada, Spain. There, I was captivated by the intricate geometric designs and symmetrical patterns created by the Moors. Some years later, a trip to Morocco renewed that interest. Here in Portugal, symmetric tile designs are everywhere, confirming my fascination with the repeated pattern. Finally, I’m going for a deeper dive.

Symmetry is pleasing to our sense of satisfaction and order. It is everywhere – fabric design, wrapping paper, tiles, decoration. The beauty of the repeated pattern is that it originates from a singular form. It is simple, at its core, but through duplication, placement, and rythmn, complex patterns emerge that can expand forever.  It makes me think of how all things are made from the atom.


The core of the repeated pattern is what is known as the ELEMENT – The ‘atom’ of the design.

From it comes a MOTIF, which is composed of two or more elements.

Two or more motifs can be combined to create a META-MOTIF.

From here, repetition in different symmetrical operations are used to create larger patterns.

More to come on Repeated Patterns.

Jamuna Burry

Exploring ideas on creativity through digital art.