How do we perceive patterns in the shapes and colors around us, and why is it human nature to crave order—with a healthy dose of disorder—in our surroundings? Science writer Philip Ball has penned numerous books on the symbiotic relationship between the mind, the eye and the patterns in our built and natural world. Here, he explains how our minds recognize patterns and why we seek order amid chaos. How many times does a motif have to repeat for the eye to recognize it as a pattern? This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Two Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 40 In Season Potable water meets palatable design. Arts & Culture Issue 38 Square Spaces On internet aesthetics. Arts & Culture Issue 36 Correction There’s no such thing as being “right-brained.” Arts & Culture Issue 36 Known Unknowns How to make no news good news. Arts & Culture Fashion Partnerships Issue 34 HaaT: Makiko Minagawa In partnership with HaaT, creative director Makiko Minagawa talks tradition, textiles and a half-century of collaborating with Issey Miyake. Arts & Culture Issue 29 Making Money Snøhetta’s managing director Martin Gran explains the design value of a banknote.