Pattern Play #3: Loop-Di-Loop


In closing out the summer, we spent the day at Cedar Point with the kids. Growing up in Cleveland we take this amusement park of some of the world’s fastest, tallest, and inverted roller coasters for granted. Not having been there for over 10 years, it was a real treat to share the thrills and chills with a 10-yr old daredevil, and the 48” 7-year old adrenaline junkie  – I call my children.

Throughout the day, Sophie was willing to try the Gemini, Magnum, etc… but had issues with going upside down. With all the new crazy rides like the “Top Thrill Dragster” and the “Power Tower”, we must have walked by the iconic “Corkscrew” a hundred times. This coaster is my memory of what Cedar Point is all about, those first few times of being inverted and spun around in a spiral pattern back in the day. Built in 1976 (would this classify as Mid-Century design?) the loading station still sports a seventies design, and the corkscrew name is still emblazed in red, white, and blue typography (Spirit of 76’ , I believe). While waiting in line, I began to ponder the spiral in design.

Knob and wallpaper


A few years ago, I took a continuing education class on Biomimicry – “this is the imitation of models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems”  – Wikipedia. Simply said: why recreate the wheel, nature has a lot of our engineering and design problems worked out, so let’s learn and imitate nature.

It was a fascinating lecture, and one of their prime examples was a nautilus shell and the spirals and swirls that follow a complex algorithm. Hence, the success of  the corkscrew pattern.

Marbles and marker


Think about the rooms we live in: squares and rectangles, with rectilinear rugs, windows, and sofas. As a Designer, it always feels better to introduce some curve. It breaks up the room, softens the space. Introduces an organic quality. I love throwing in a spiral chandelier, or swirly wallpaper. Or amazing circular rug or cocktail table. It allows the space to breath….and feel well…more natural.

Everyone always thinks of a spiral as a staircase. Well, see above – a solution to a tricky stair problem, solved by the Nautilus shell. But spirals and swirls are everpresent in our homes: knobs in the kitchen, carpet patterns, fabric on bedding. Take a chance and add a little curve to your life.

mirror and stair


So in the end…she did it, road the Corkscrew, and said “That was Epic!” Yep, it is Soph, and that is what you will be saying about your design, when you utilize this classic pattern from nature!

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