All patterns have very interesting science behind them.

If we notice the pattern, and particularly if we then also understand the science, the 'reason' for the pattern, then we can use it most effectively in our design (or it can give us useful ideas for our designs)

Here we will collect some interesting pattern-science ... 
or just interesting patterns for you to investigate the reasons behind.

And because we're interested in developing our pattern-spotting abilities, and patterns can be found in all quadrants of the integral model, we also offer some examples of historical, social or 'invisible structures' patterns that are particularly important for us to pay attention to in our time of history.

Fractal Patterns

FROM SEA SHELLS and spiral galaxies to the structure of human lungs, the patterns of chaos are all around us.

Fractals are patterns formed from chaotic equations and contain self-similar patterns of complexity increasing with magnification. If you divide a fractal pattern into parts you get a nearly identical reduced-size copy of the whole.

The mathematical beauty of fractals is that infinite complexity is formed with relatively simple equations. By iterating or repeating fractal-generating equations many times, random outputs create beautiful patterns that are unique, yet recognizable.

We have pulled together some of the most stunning natural examples we could find of fractals on our planet.

Patterns in History

First some reflexions on the bigger patterns that we live inside of - those of history.   
It is said that it is a sign of intelligence to be able to spot patterns 
(it's part of thinking systemically)

Derrick Jensen

"It's often said that the ability to recognize patterns is one of the signs of intelligence ... am going to list a pattern here and let's see if we can recognize it in less than 5 or 6 thousand years. ...
Derrick Jensen reflects on some mega-patterns and how we are (as civilized humans) apparently completely blind to them.

John Croft 

on Economy & Climate Change >> Part 1 & Part 2
Another set of very interesting patterns ...

Naomi Wolf on the End of America

The United States is on the road to becoming a fascist society, right under our very noses. That's the premise of a new book by feminist social critic Naomi Wolf. It's called "The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot" and is already on the New York Times bestseller list. 

Naomi Wolf outlines what she sees as the ten steps to shut down a democratic society and argues that the Bush administration has already implemented many of these steps.

Note: Be sure to check out Part 2 at

Patterns in Nature

Clip from Permaculture Design Certification workshop in Oberlin taught by Darren Doherty, permaculture designer from Australia

A visual exploration of the relationship of patterns in flowers and their relationship to other forms seen in the physical and natural world. Spirals, branches and symmetry beautifully play a role in plant structure as well as in many other natural and physical forms.

Nature by Numbers

•••••• MIRROR: ••••••

A beautiful movie inspired on numbers, geometry and nature, by Cristóbal Vila · 

The Fibonacci Series

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 24, ...

The Great Fibonacci Sequence is everywhere, just look and see!!!

A Tour through Reality

A short tour through the visible universe that we can see so far.

A short tour through the visible universe that we can see so far.

The SnowFlake Man

Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley Snowflakes in Motion "Trailer" for full length 1 hour video documentary with original soundtrack and music by The Samples.   DVD on sale at

The science of snowflakes

How, why, and under what conditions do snowflakes form? 
Watch to find out!

Fibonacci's Fractals

Arthur Clarke: Fractals,The Colors Of Infinity

Arthur C. Clarke presents this unusual documentary on the mathematical discovery of the Mandelbrot Set (M-Set) in the visually spectacular world of fractal geometry. This show relates the science of the M-Set to nature in a way that seems to identify the hand of God in the design of the universe itself. Dr. Mandelbrot in 1980 discovered the infinitely complex geometrical shape called the Mandelbrot Set using a very simple equation with computers and graphics.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

There's a dialogue related to this page in the Integral Permaculture FB group (click icon to go there)

There's a dialogue in our FB group about this subject (click icon to go there)

Ten Steps to Fascism

a historical pattern, see full article here, and how Naomi Wolf argues that these are already all happening in the West, today.   From her book "The End of America".

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

2. Create a gulag

3. Develop a thug caste

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

5. Harass citizens' groups

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

7. Target key individuals

8. Control the press

9. Dissent equals treason

10. Suspend the rule of law

There's a dialogue related to this page in the Integral Permaculture FB group (click icon to go there)

There's a dialogue in our FB group about this subject (click icon to go there)

For some other historical patterns about fascism, which are particularly chilling for permaculture designers, see the Fascist Ecology article