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Knowledge is Power, an Upholstery Collection

This fall at NeoCon 2021, Design Pool is introducing The Cryptology Collection, a collection of twenty original pattern designs. This collection is inspired by code, the hidden messages they communicate, and the women codebreakers of World War II. Designed by Kristen Dettoni, The Cryptology Collection is part of Design Pool’s digital library, the only pattern library created exclusively for interior designers and home to over 600 designs. The Cryptology Collection includes four smaller groupings designed for specific markets, including upholstery, wallcovering, flooring, and acoustic panels. Knowledge is Power is our upholstery collection.

The Cryptology Collection invites people to take a deeper look at code.

Codebreaking pioneer, Elizebeth Smith Friedman broke thousands of codes during World War I, Prohibition, and World War II. She was the spark of inspiration for this collection. When researching Elizebeth, we learned code makers and codebreakers don’t need to speak the same language to communicate a message. They just need to see the same patterns.

Elizebeth’s work with the US government prevented enemy bombings, brought down organized crime, and helped defeat the Nazis. She and her contemporaries paved the way for women in the sciences, intelligence agencies, and the military. Most impressively, they did this all with only paper and pencil, all for less pay than the men they supervised, and all by looking for patterns. Elizebeth and her fellow codebreakers lived by the adage, “Knowledge is power.” In fact, Elizebeth had this phrase etched onto her tombstone.

Kristen can’t wait to debut this collection at NeoCon this fall. “When I first learned about the women codebreakers from this era, I felt an immediate kinship. Like them, I have worked with patterns my whole career and know their power to communicate in our lives. Through this collection, I hope to spark a conversation about what interior designers communicate in a built environment through their choices of materials and patterns.”

Knowledge is Power: an upholstery collection printed by LDI Interiors.

When designing these patterns, Kristen started her process by writing a secret message in code. She then used that code to create shapes and finally created a pattern from those shapes. In the case of Knowledge is Power, that secret message is Elizebeth’s full name.

Riverbank, P1903

The collection begins with pattern Riverbank. This modern pattern uses a bar code to spell Elizebeth’s name and then uses that pattern to create a smart, tossed floral. This pattern is named for the Riverbank Laboratories in Geneva, Illinois where Elizebeth got her first job deciphering code believed (falsely) to be hidden in Shakespeare’s manuscripts. It was at Riverbank where she met her husband and fellow codebreaker, William Friedman.

Frequency, P1901

Next, pattern Frequency uses a circle cipher developed by Kristen exclusively for this collection. The colorful geometric pattern arranges shapes on a textured ground.

In Depth, P1902

Pattern In Depth uses the circle cipher again, this time in a clean circle pattern full of color and texture.

Folio, P1900

Folio uses Morse code to create a sophisticated, allover texture. The name references the work Elizebeth did deciphering Shakespeare’s manuscripts before the war.

Pen to Paper, reminiscent of the way Elizebeth wrote code, uses the Rosicrucian cipher to create a smart, geometric pattern with a pleasing balance of lines and shapes.

We partnered with New Hampshire-based LDI Interiors to digitally print these designs on EnviroLeather PRINTS.

This luxurious, leather-like line of coated fabrics prints beautifully. EnviroLeather PRINTS hold up to repeated cleanings, resist permanent staining, and retain their original beauty for many years. As a result, these patterns work well for seating applications in healthcare, senior living, and other tough environments. One of the qualities we love about this product is the print process allows for a wipeable coated fabric to mirror the visual interest and appeal of a woven textile. Yet, without the dimensional texture, they can’t harbor bacteria and viruses after cleaning. This innovative technology in performance coatings and formulations and is leading the movement toward sustainable, high-performance, less toxic fabrics.

Our printing partnerships make on-demand printing accessible.

Through our partnerships with digital, on-demand printers we hope to revolutionize the way patterns find their way into interiors. Many interior designers are eager to integrate sustainable, on-demand printing into their material selection. Yet, they are concerned about high minimums and added costs. With Design Pool, they have easy access to this technology. We connect designers directly to our printing partners. Most importantly, we vet all our partners for quality and service. All printing partners have low-to-no minimum requirements, quick turnaround, and high-quality products.

“While I was intrigued by the work these women did with pattern to crack codes, I was also inspired by their enthusiasm for science and the cutting-edge technology of their time,” reflects Dettoni. “I know they would be as excited as I am about the technological advances in digital printing and its ability to change the way products are manufactured in the US and around the world.”

NeoCon is the world’s leading platform for the commercial interiors industry. The event takes place on October 4 – 6, 2021 at theMART in Chicago, IL. This will be an in-person event. Find Design Pool on the 7th floor of theMART in Booth 7-4049.

Photo credit: Kristen Julianna Photography

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Kristin Crane

Kristin Crane has designed jacquard designs for the home furnishing and residential jobber market for many years, with mills in the US and in China. Today, she writes about pattern and design trends for Design Pool from her home in Providence, Rhode Island. When not writing about fabric, she can be found weaving in her home studio or hiking along the Rhode Island coast.


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