Of all the Building Blocks of of Design, perhaps my favorite is pattern. Pattern can be symmetrical and uniform, but it can be chaotic. It can be just as chaotic and as overwhelming as is the case in Frank Fellenberg’s untitled photo, shown here. Perhaps the term, pattern, is a bit misleading. It implies a uniform nature. Maybe a better term would be repetition. Repetition simply implies that something is repeating and does not suggest any specific structure. But what appeals to me most about pattern as a building block is that it is often so subtle yet so unique. It is, in my opinion, the most complex and demanding of all the building blocks. The results can be astounding.
Fellenberg’s photo provides a unique perspective of a residential building in Shanghai – one of the most densely populated cities on the planet. Shooting from a close proximity to the building, the viewer’s perspective is confused. At first glance, one might think they are looking at a series of wireframe huts in a desert. But what we thought was the ground is the sandy face of the building. The actual subject is perhaps a bit more daunting, especially to someone who is not a member of Shanghai culture. Are those balconies without floors? Or is it scaffolding? I’m not sure. But Fellenberg has brought me to a place I’ve never seen before, and I’m mesmerized.
For more of Frank Fellenberg’s works, be sure to browse through his photostream at Flickr. If you liked this untitled photo, you’ll love many of Fellenberg’s other photographs. He seems to be the master of pattern in his work.