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The Random Pattern


By jstookey - Posted on 14 March 2014

As anyone who has ever been asked to create a random pattern will tell you, there is no such thing. It's an oxymoron. Given a pile of bricks with two different colors, it is often desirable to build a wall in such a way as to avoid creating a distinct pattern. Building such a wall can be a frustrating endeavor. As you lay down bricks randomly, order appears before you. Lines, squares, circles, all of which make the pattern seem "not random enough". But it's like flipping a coin: sometimes you will flip a coin 5 times in a row. Patterns and shapes occur naturally. And when they do, you might decide to tear down the wall and try again. At which point order has been created, not randomness. At first your goal is to create the perfect random pattern so that when you step back and stare, nothing stands out as ordered. But over time as you create more of these walls, you can't help but look for ways to leave your mark. A mentor once explained, "you want to leave something behind that an inquisitive child would notice". Make a circle. Make a Mario. Over time an individual develops all sorts of clever ways to leave a personal touch. The flaws in the random pattern become magic.

At Albany International Airport random patterns of two-colored brick abound.
If you look closely with the eye of an inquisitive child, there may be magic hiding in those bricks.

Was this an uninhibited random pattern that by coincidence seems to spell out RGS? Or are those the initials of an unscrupulous Albany bricklayer?