The Infectious Messages | PATTERNITY X Wellcome


Patternity x Wellcome Installation. Photo by David C Bishop

Occasionally, well, actually on a daily basis, the design geek inside of me comes out full force and anything from signage to packaging can get the EJP excitement going. When news from PATTERNITY landed in my inbox on their latest collaboration, I literally squealed with excitement that someone in the world shared the same thought process as me, combining a love of knowledge and visual demonstration.

In a fusion of science and pattern, London-based studio PATTERNITY has joined forces with London’s global charitable foundation Wellcome, to bring to light the patterns underpinning the structure, spread and societal impact of infectious disease. With drug-resistant pathogens estimated to kill 10 million people a year by 2050, it’s a pretty important topic and one that’s not exactly easy to show off in a striking manner. There is lots of information on this subject matter that we don’t consume on a daily basis and instead, assume is linked to developing countries. PATTERNITY wants to make this consumption easy and with 5,000 people walking past the Wellcome Collection’s windows each week, the project aims to be both accessible and meaningful to all.


Patternity x Wellcome Installation. Photo by David C Bishop

The Wellcome has spent close to £300m on work to eliminate drug-resistant infections. PATTERNITY’s bold, graphical installation gives the charitable foundation a means to shout about its work, as well as raise public awareness of one of humanity’s biggest threats. The multi-platform campaign comprises bold window displays, rich in 3D shapes, graphic optical effects and storytelling typography; a film, interweaving fact, playful pattern animation and case study as well as a series of accompanying hands-on workshops.

Everything we do at PATTERNITY is focused on how we can use pattern purposefully to tell worthwhile and unifying stories about life. The subject of infectious disease is fascinating because it’s something that affects all of us in some way. One of our core mission statements is “how can visualising the unseen drive innovation?” By working with patterns, in this case bold window graphics and moving image, we can visualise the unseen patterns of infectious diseases – how they spread both within the body and within society at large. It’s been such an honour to work on this project and work with pattern to draw awareness to such an important cause.

~ Grace Winteringham and Anna Murray

Patternity x Wellcome Installation. Photo by David C Bishop

The windows unite large-scale graphic shapes with bold typography and textures of microscopic repetitive patterns, showing the spread of infectious disease. With four 12-metre long windows in total, each one tells a different part of the story: the spread of disease, the disruption caused to social and internal systems, the positive power of research, and the mission of the Wellcome. A film also plays alongside the graphics, further grabbing attention and reiterating the message with case studies and the work carried out by Wellcome so far. You can give that video a watch below, isn’t it great?

As humans, we are naturally pattern seeking creatures. Detecting patterns is how we make sense of the world and find safe ways to navigate our environment. Whether looking through a microscope or zooming out to look at the earth from above, patterns are everywhere. They shape our lives whether we notice them or not.

~ Grace Winteringham and Anna Murray

Patternity x Wellcome Installation. Photo by David C Bishop

The dynamic duo will be running a series of workshops alongside the graphic installations and while the first one is already sold out, keep your eyes peeled on their Instagram for further developments. In the meantime, why not make a day of it and visit Wellcome Collection’s ‘Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?‘ exhibition for another moment of when facts meet design, exploring the relationship between health and graphics.

TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS. Does beautiful design make you stop in your tracks and read into the message? Have you stopped by Wellcome’s new windows yet?

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