While patterns have a spotty history in architecture, their definitions and uses in other fields offer new possibilities for design. This paper examines those definitions and uses “ including theories put forward by architectural theorist, Christopher Alexander, art educator, Gyorgy Kepes, chemist, Ilya Prigogine, and anthropologist, Gregory Bateson. Of particular interest is the shift from eternal, essential, universal, and fundamental patterns to fleeting, superficial, specific, and incidental versions. While endemic to many contemporary architectural practices, this multifaceted view of patterns was anticipated by Bateson, who saw them as agents of evolution and learning. His desire to combine redundancy and noise offers architects new ways to understand patterns and use them to link form and information, matter and thought.