The Story Behind The Cryptology Collection 

The Cryptology Collection, a series of over thirty original patterns, was designed by Kristen Dettoni for Design Pool. This collection won a HiP Award from Interior Design Magazine at its NeoCon debut and was also named a #MetropolisLikes by Metropolis Magazine. We love this collection not only because they are beautiful and versatile patterns, but also because they tell such an interesting story. We are thrilled to be able to offer these patterns to our Inspire 360 customers to print on any of our products. But first, let’s take a closer look at the collection.  

The Inspiration 

Kristen’s inspiration for this collection came from the book The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies by Jason Fagon. This book highlights the life and work of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, the first female codebreaker and cryptanalyst in the United States. Elizebeth and her husband, fellow code breaker William Friedman, were recruited by the US government during World War I to decrypt messages intercepted over the wireless telegraph, a new technology. The pair continued working for the government for the duration of the war, through Prohibition, and throughout World War II. During this time, they decrypted thousands of messages, developed new tools for codebreaking, and trained a generation of cryptanalysts. Many of those students were women, inspired by Elizabeth’s groundbreaking work in cryptology and science. 

What Kristen found so fascinating about Elizebeth’s work is that she figured out people don’t need to understand a language to break a code. They needed to look for patterns. “When I first learned about the women codebreakers from this era, I felt an immediate kinship,” Kristen said. “Like them, I have worked with patterns my whole career and know their power to communicate in our lives.” 

What else could pattern communicate? Could the wallpaper in a hospital waiting room have a message of healing? Could the upholstery in the library be more than just a stripe, but a message about knowledge?

The Process

Inspired by these codebreakers, Kristen started designing. She started her design process by writing a message in code. She used common codes such as Morse code and binary code and also more complex ones such as the Greek Square Cipher and the Rosicrucian cipher. She even developed some of her own. Most of these messages paid homage to these women codebreakers, many of whom never got credit for their highly classified accomplishments during their lifetimes. 

After developing these messages, she put those messages into shapes and motifs. Look closely, it’s not just a dotted outline but an outline with Morse code. Finally, these shapes came together to create an overall pattern.

Bring The Cryptology Collection to Life

The patterns in The Cryptology Collection are perfect for a wide range of uses in both commercial and residential interiors. Get started today using them in your next project by searching our pattern library. And if you’re inspired to learn more about codebreaking, Kristen has rounded up her favorite books about code. She’s sure you’ll enjoy learning more about these inspiring women. You can also give codebreaking a shot yourself or see how Kristen created patterns from coded messages in these videos created by Design Pool

However you decide to use these patterns, we’re sure you’ll love knowing the patterns all have a bit of a secret behind them. 

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