Temple Pattern


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Original linocut used in Weave pattern

The woven pattern of the original lino cut for Temple fabric is reminiscent of intricately carved wooden Chinese screens.

It is, however, actually inspired by an old engraving of the ceiling structure of the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford University, England, which was designed by Christopher Wren.

It is said that when Wren embarked on the implementation of his ideas for the new theatre, he was faced with a difficult engineering problem.

A closed structure, without Gothic vaulting or columns and a 70 foot span of the ceiling meant that he needed a novel solution.

For this he turned to John Wallis, Savilian Professor of Geometry.

sheldonian ceiling
The Wallis matrix of overlapping and interconnecting timber beams.

Wallis had been experimenting and lecturing on the subject of “geometrical flat floors” for some years.

In this, a matrix of overlapping and interlocking timbers he was able to provide a load bearing structure over spans of many times the length of the individual trusses.

He demonstrated the concept with a small-scale model in this college in the 1650s. The idea was still being promulgated when Wren identified his needs in 1663. Wren adapted his ideas to produce this intriguing structure”

The pattern was also a gift in honour of the late Diana Temple an associate Professor of Pharmacology and Sydney University who pioneered the establishment of wisenet, to support and encourage women in science. She was a dear friend and an inspirational woman.

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