We humans are quick to see and understand patterns. A broken pattern alarms our safety conscious minds.
Susan says, “Repair is needed on this brick sidewalk. Do you instantly see the five or six bricks that are askew in this circling pattern? I am confident that most of you did. And brain science will back me up. Our primitive brains were given the task of keeping us safe in the dangerous world we used to live in (well, in truth, has anything really changed?). A broken pattern in a bush or a landscape needed to be cautiously explored to see if anything or anyone was hiding there. We were quick to see an anomaly in our everyday world because it could be a danger. Today our brains are still disturbed by or immediately aware of a broken pattern. Designers are very careful to create patterns that are consistent throughout – unless they want to use a broken pattern to alarm us.”
Lucia says, “It was the broken pattern that caught my attention. I liked the nonconformity. So, my first reaction wasn’t alarm, but pleasure. Yet, I have to admit that along with my delight, I felt uneasy. I wondered, what caused the break in the pattern. The bricks were loose, uneven and wobbly. Then I thought about the danger of tripping over the loose bricks, and I didn’t like them so much. Susan is right, there is a sense of dependability and trustworthiness in a consistent design.”
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