A rate dependent strain gradient crystal plasticity framework is presented where the displacement and the plastic slip fields are considered as primary variables. These coupled fields are determined on a global level by solving simultaneously the linear momentum balance and the slip evolution equation, which is derived in a thermodynamically consistent manner. The formulation is based on the 1D theory presented in Yalcinkaya et al. (2011), where the patterning of plastic slip is obtained in a system with non-convex energetic hardening through a phenomenological double-well plastic potential. In the current multi-dimensional multi-slip analysis the non-convexity enters the framework through a latent hardening potential presented in Ortiz and Repettto (1999) where the microstructure evolution is obtained explicitly via a lamination procedure. The current study aims the implicit evolution of deformation patterns due to the incorporated physically based non-convex potential. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.