The goal of this project is to address fundamental questions about spontaneous patterns that emerge as a consequence of instabilities in multi-scale systems. Examples of such patterns include cloud streets and waves on films in coated-wall reactors. Some questions of interest are: How does the pattered state get triggered? How is a specific pattern selected from noisy disturbances? How do multiple instability modes interact across scales? These questions will be investigated in the context of concrete physical systems, but with a focus on understanding general principles.