Welcome to Metapatterns: The Pattern Underground Wiki
A Site by Jeff Bloom & Tyler Volk


This is the home site for The Pattern Underground — a working group dedicated to exploring the science (and art) of patterns. We are particularly interested in metapatterns (a term coined by Gregory Bateson). More information on metapatterns is available from the "Theoretical Background" page, which is linked to in the Navigation panel on the left.

We are interested in disciplinary and transdisciplinary explorations, theoretical development, and research into metapatterns and other ubiquitous patterns. Works in progress are welcomed in the general project sections. More formal and complete pieces can be submitted to our journal, which is now in the planning stages. This journal will be a peer-reviewed, online, and free journal. People interested in being on the editorial board and/or in reviewing submitted articles, please send an email to either of the editors (Tyler Volk or Jeff Bloom).

In order to participate on this site, you must be a member. Membership is free. Click on the "How to join this site?" link in Navigation panel.

As a member, you can post materials, participate in forums, create your own member's page, and be involved in an exciting new group. We hope to organize a periodic meeting, as well.

Please join us in this transdisciplinary effort.

Please go to the Participating and Submitting Work for more information about how you can engage on this site.

A List of Metapatterns

by Tyler Volk:
Spheres Tubes Sheets Borders—Pores Centers
Layers: • Hierarchy • Holarchy • Holons • Clonons
Binaries Arrows Breaks Cycles Calendars—Clocks

SEE: Tyler Volk's work and references at http://metapatterns.wikidot.com/bkgd:backgroundindex

Other Possibilities
Clusters Rigidity—Flexibility Emergence Webs Triggers
Turbulence Spirals (Volk's Time + Cycles) Meanders Space/Void Bursts

SEE: Kappraff (1991), Stevens (1974), Bejan & Zane (2012), Barabási (2010)

What are some other metapatterns?
Metapatterns are overarching or fundamental patterns of patterns. Typically, we may think of something like a chess board is made up of a checkered pattern. Certainly this checkered design is a pattern, but not necessarily a "meta"-pattern. Metapatterns appear in two or more other contexts or disciplines of study and have similar functions. Such a sharing of functionality across contexts is a characteristic of metapatterns, even though specific context-related functions may vary. For instance, a cycle is a process that maintain some system. This general definition applies across contexts. However, the Kreb's Citric Acid Cycle (which produces energy as ATP molecules fits with this general function, and also has context-specific functions of using oxygen and nutrients to produce ATP from ADP molecules.


Tyler Volk's New Book: Quarks to Culture: How We Came to Be — a further exploration of metapatterns

Available from Columbia University Press.
When ordering from the publisher (Columbia University Press), use QUARK to receive a 30% discount (until December, 2018).
Also available for a substantial savings from Amazon.

An Ecology of Mind: A Daughter's Portrait of Gregory BatesonNOW Available on Vimeo!



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The Pattern Underground © 2009 Tyler Volk & Jeffrey W. Bloom

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