An extremely large body of theoretical work exists on pattern formation, but very few experimental results have confirmed the relevance of theoretical models. It is argued in this article that the notion of agent-based pattern formation, which is introduced and exemplified, can serve as a basis to study pattern formation in nature, especially because pattern-forming systems based on agents are (relatively) more easily amenable to experimental observations. Moreover, understanding agent-based pattern formation is a necessary step if one wishes to design distributed artificial pattern-forming systems. But, to achieve this goal, a theory of agent-based pattern formation is needed. This article suggests that it can certainly be derived from existing theories of pattern formation.