Wiki as computational platform

Thinking forward on #federatedwiki, rather than backwards by @wardcunningham.

[Federated wiki] is a computational platform for the collaborative construction of things that work and will continue to work as platform technology evolves underneath it.

Too much thinking about wiki as a note-taking system will just hold it back.

This response was in reference to a discussion on front-end work (for pattern language), with a recent relabelling of “wiki pages” as “cards”, in a direction to make federated wiki more understandable to novices. [ on Jan. 12, 2019, around 13:02 ET]

Over the past week, the “things that work” for Ward included an ESP8266 Sensor Server, reporting real-time changes in temperature.

#federated-wiki, #wiki

2018/10/27 16:55 Panel, “The Future of Patterns”, PUARL Conference

Plenary panel with @HajoNeis #SusanIngham #YodanRode #RichardSickinger at @PUARLuo 2018 Conference.

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Commentary by the panel, expanded out to other conference attendees

PUARL 2018
Panel, PUARL 10th Anniversary Conference

[Moderator:  Wolfgang Stark]

Yesterday, started with World Cafe

  • Today, panel on the future of patterns, once we realize the potential of patterns not just in the book

Panel: Hajo Neis (chair)

  • Susan Ingham
  • Yodan Rode
  • Richard Sickinger

Youtube:  Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From | Riverhead Books | 2011 at

Developing hunches, some not-ready ideas

What do you take away from today?

Susan: Architect’s perspective, what is the actual physical environment?

  • In what environment do I have my best ideas, where am I most creative?
  • I spent most of time in a place where it’s not good for me to have my best ideas.
  • For best ideas, usually need a hot beverage, or a view of nature.
  • Challenge people to notice when they have a moment of creativity, track that.
  • We’re disconnected from where we are, in the moment.

Yodan:  Pattern language group is small core, around Purplsoc and PUARL

  • On one hand, it’s a problem, a little bit of inbreeding
  • Important, level of discussion could be higher, not just of pattern language
  • Perhaps we could change venues, we pick up more people while maintaining the strong core
  • Doubts about travelling a long way, already know some of the people, but conversations raised good questions, lighting up the bulb
  • Can do in 5 minutes of conversations, what would take days online, so annual conferences are important
  • Need to develop more institutions within the pattern language movement, maybe a journal, maybe an exhibition, that will increase the number of practitioners

Richard:  Importance of reaching the end users of the pattern languages, that are effected, that helps them

  • Finding a pattern ideal that fascinates, inspires

Hajo:  This year is the 10-year anniversary conference

  • Wouldn’t have started a conference at CES, because clients wouldn’t talk about the work
  • As academics, something can come out
  • The future is pattern language, but then there’s the advanced pattern language that takes in the Nature of Order
  • Interdisciplinary work, connects
  • Huge range of possibilities
  • Could be relevant in regenerative process and design:  world has a lot of problems that we can’t comprehend
  • Some hope, maybe we can come together and solve a huge problem, tackled through pattern languages

The way we use the pattern languages in architecture

  • Can appreciate how important they are
  • We have developed enough projects, and tried to create with participation of users
  • Beyond these, pattern languages relate with centers and create space
  • Many next steps, book was written and developed in the 1970s, patterns may not be implemented
  • How to future develop, put in new contexts

Yodan:  Origins of patterns has strong connections with social change, people’s republic of Berkeley

  • Houses generated by patterns was in the context of U.N. Competition on Social Housing in South America
  • Process of coming up with patterns, some work with clients, is social-changing
  • It’s a different way of doing social science, on the other hand
  • Tying social science to planning and building
  • Sometimes ourselves, we’re not so aware of how we should do this work carefully.
  • Not careful about the statements, they’re not good patterns
  • It’s hard to create a good pattern, as hard as creating an experiment

Did political change, came up with solutions, the big challenge

  • It may not work

[Wolfgang] Reading Alexandrian writings, would like to see a good social science

[Hajo] Adventures into other disciplines, dealing with tsunami problems and energy problems, not used to doing that

  • Fascinating, doing something that is expanding horizon
  • Feel sometimes loosing the base, doing what we should do
  • Not doing projects in architecture that I used to
  • Two faces, Janus head
  • Asian project language was a fantastic experience, with 100 people, successful
  • Missing that

Richard:  Need patterns that serve people, that moves people, or want to live this pattern

  • Patterns in human action
  • We should start living patterns

Pattern depends on context

  • Problem is generated with context, what’s around
  • How to live with one pattern, don’t understand that

Richard:  One topic, moving the world

  • For immigrants, could be open to different people
  • Have selected that context as the most relevant

Wolfgang:  Not just one pattern, for a language, take a few patterns

  • Not whole language, it’s too big

[Gary]: Diversity that of individuals that have embraced patterns, with wicked problems in their fields

  • Life takes place, as Alexander’s genius, talking about the unity of life and place
  • Used to urban design, then urban planning, has little to do with the physical world, dealing with abstractions
  • If held to the notion that we have to ask about how places would be shaped
  • Pattern language for NASA site, sustainable agriculture, halfway-house to real world
  • Developed a pattern language, interviewed staff there, developing meta-patterns (place as community, integrative places)
  • They were stated much more as social patterns, then could say physical changes, would have to go back to see how a pattern would support a meta-pattern as a vision
  • More grounded
  • Weren’t talking about architecture and meta-patterns
  • Vision of education, etc., went further
  • Tried to rejoin social patterns to the physical
  • Challenge groups, those from social and entrepreneurial:  what does this have to do with place?
  • Could have meta-patterns for places.
  • One step more:  could architect planners, physical designers, how does it support more egalitarian society?
  • If we follow the genius of Alexander’s work, then what kind of places does this create?  Particular places that manifest the whole
  • Keep the multidisciplinary

[Wolfgang]:  Need to educate, train each other, in different disciplines

  • If take a serious pattern approach, would need some help, or information, some more ideas
  • How to make sure the tradition maintains, and goes to the next step
  • Besides place, there is time

[Gary] That’s in David Seamon’s work, place as process

[Eric] Video that mentioned story

  • Poem, the Speed of Darkness:  the universe is made of stories, not atoms
  • We’re good at talking to each other
  • We need to become better at telling our stories
  • Where is our Leonard Bernstein, or Richard Feinman — the engaging storyteller who has a deep wealth of knowledge, but can communicate the profoundness and love of the pattern

[Gary]: Maybe it’s not just one person

  • Need to be able to communicate, in better ways with audience who aren’t in-house
  • Need to listen to clients, then can find the patterns
  • Can frame those stories to physical design and placemaking
  • Place makes a difference, if you hire the right architects

[Takashi] Often participate in pattern-related conferences

  • Many people struggle in professional towards social change
  • People who engage in pattern language are in some change
  • This conference is wider:  pattern language for behaviour change is microscopic
  • Talked with Richard Gabriel about regional A Pattern Language
  • Jenny said originally with U.S. government, well-being of society

[Gary Black] First PUARL conference

  • In the architecture department at Berkeley, Chris Alexander isn’t mentioned
  • Studios:  whatever the student comes up with is okay, teacher is supposed to comment on a tweak
  • No rigour
  • At PUARL, patting self on back, in future, collaboration is awesome, but somethings need need someone to come into office with dissention
  • Like preparing a brief, someone feels free to question if a pattern language is even applicable
  • Would be good to include in new conferences
  • Getting people who distrust can advance the cause

[Wolfgang] What is the next step for the future of pattern language, in one sentence?

[Yodan] Trying to find a communal project — we’re not that many people

  • Proposed a project to rewrite the A Pattern Language for the 21st century

[Hajo] Need to look to next generation, teach them a way to continuing in a better way than we did.

  • Our generation screwed up the world
  • Have the chance to make it over again

[Gary Coates] Whatever exists is possible

  • Need more projects rooted in a pattern-language based approach, that also integrates the encompassing wisdom in the Nature of Order, then communicate
  • Have to create better and more beautiful places

Richard:  Need a pattern language story

  • Challenge, response
  • Old patterns are losing validity

[Gary Black] Group should find projects where you can bring the theory to bear, see it to the end, and show that it’s better

[Susan] Embedding patterns, archives is one way, making connections with the larger body of research

  • Brain research

[Eric] Future of patterns is in the youngest people in the room

  • If there is to be a future, youngest students should have a voice in determining the conference

The future is the young people, and the future is the buildings

  • Need patterns adopted and used by the younger people

[Takashi] Want to incorporate pattern language thinking in education, in elementary and middle school levels

  • Includes listening to others, and then writing down for others
  • Common language
  • Dialogue
  • Building better futures
  • Need more teachers in the school

Pick a voice for someone under 30

From this conference, felt that we need to not confine ourselves to the established definitions and formats

  • Clinging onto the definitions doesn’t allow us to explore more possibilities
  • Looking at newer contexts

#pattern-language, #puarl2018

2018/10/27 10:50 Helene Finidori, “Configuring patterns and pattern languages for systemic design”, PUARL Conference

Parallel breakout by @helenefinidori@PUARLuo 2018 Conference.

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the Coevolving Innovations web site by David Ing.

Helene Finidori is a Ph.D Candidate, University of Hull Centre for Systems Studies

PUARL 2018

More questions

  • What do I mean by systemic?

At Purplsoc 2017, had questions at various scales

For PUARL scale, we’re at a great scale with Migrants and Refugees

What does systemic design look like, for wicked problems?

  • Different in nature:  social, environmental, psychological, technological
  • No right solutions
  • As soon as action is taken, context changes

Trying to take a systemic approach to pattern languages, focuses on forces

Beyond pattern catalog, could we create a pattern catalog?

  • Learning to see things
  • Awareness
  • Working with systems literacy at International Society for the Systems Sciences
  • We have a patterning instinct, how can we enhance these competences for recognizing, assembling patters

In 2015, proposed the notion of a 4th generation pattern language at Purplsoc, building on Takashi Iba’s 3-generation model

  • More objects of design, systemic forms, structure, behaviours
  • Active design
  • Want to connect agency, directionality
  • We haven’t gone far, had a workshop at PLoP

At the of 2017, created a systems sciences and pattern literacy group with the Bertalanffy Centre, conducted a survey

A synthesized pattern definition

  • An arrangement
  • of elements
  • repeated or repeatable
  • cognized or recognized
  • as manifestation of reality (whatever philosophy) of a system of work
  • inquiring, meaning-making and design
  • crossing boundaries
  • key in understanding and orientation of systems behavior and outcomes


Connecting inquiry, meaning-making and design

Patterns exist in the world, in our minds, as material forms, similtaneously (as captured by Christopher Alexander)

  • Michael Mehaffy:  partial symmetric relaitons and isomorphic correspondences
  • Christian Kohl

How does this work?

  • Work on Harvard on core human languages, pre-linguistic:  Cary and Spelke — forms, quantity, objects, agents, places

How do we retain what we perceive?

How effective is the problem-solution associaton?

Things and generative processes

Ways forward:

  • Acknowledge the semiotic nature of pattern

Can we use patterns as systemic research / boundary objects

#pattern-language, #puarl2018

2018/10/27 10:15 Greg Bryant, “The Biology and Pedagogy of Judgment”, PUARL

Parallel breakout by @greg_bryant at @PUARLuo 2018 Conference.

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Greg Bryant is editor of Rain Magazine.

PUARL 2018
Greg Bryant, PUARL 10th Anniversary Conference

Metaphysical contrast:  Trying to move towards natural science, Christopher Alexander was headed that way

  • Natural science, rather than performative or philosophical

Alexander’s research focus over time, came and went, over time

  • What is good?  This is a question with natural science
  • How do we make more good happen?

Pattern was an English translation of Gestalt, which was a precursor to cognitive science

Contrast to a rhetorical approach

  • Try to inspire people with words?
  • Will natural science help them with better work?
  • Alexander tried rhetoric, and tried natural science
  • Natural science difficult to pick up:  The Nature of Order, people aren’t getting it
  • If want to propogate further, can we give people feedback?  Can we do this with a computer?

The judgement of life as natural structure

  • Life, harmony, we ARE a meter
  • Involves brain and lower senses, but we don’t really know that much about ourselves
  • It is within us
  • What is out there that is making an impression on us?
  • Questions being formed in the brain
  • Distinguish between something natural, and something cognitive

If we’re the meter, and it’s biology, Alexander in Nature of Order volume 4, calls it Life Perception Faculty

  • Have to examine ourselves
  • This doesn’t mean the universe isn’t involved


  • Climbing is innate
  • Screwdriver is a technical term, composed, we’re able to correlate (Marcel Just and Tom Mitchell at Carnegie Mellon) across every language
  • Aristotle:  how can we understand each other in different languages, if we didn’t have the same brain
  • Neuro-correlate studies
  • When we recognize geometry, there are things being used
  • Teaching natural structure, there are other things that are interesting, we have busy mental lives
  • Life Perception Faculty makes this for us

Things that interfere have properties:

  • Descartes, why don’t we see the triangle?
  • There’s a cognitive mapping, in classical geometry
  • Plato played to Meno, classical geometry was innate

We don’t understand nature from a natural science perspective

  • Working scientists are narrow, they don’t think they know a lot in their fields
  • An abandoned idea to understand nature, we have theories
  • We don’t understand the world, we don’t understand ourselves

If there’s a meter, what stimulates us?

  • Impression:  say, I am experiencing a visual artifact, e.g. an optical illusion; we all experience that, we don’t examine the eye
  • Can’t see the light in the eye as a physical effect, but we’ve accepted this in natural science that people say they see the after-impression

Asking which has more life?

  • Then can tune

Covarying, e.g. pushing down the pedal on gas means we go faster

  • Alexander used this process to find 15 properties
  • Can be done with experiments
  • Can find out which part of brains are in use; does it happen when we’re asleep and eyes are closed
  • Have to have good experimental questions

Finding properties with covariance

  • Need to do more to legitimize
  • The meter in the brain
  • In natural science, it’s not explored in the way the pattern language group does this
  • Asking geometric questions:  how do you know it’s a dead animal?  How to you recognize that?  An unanswer question.

Three factors in judging natural structure

  • Innate
  • Simulating (which can atrophy, so that don’t have access)
  • Have natural laws of what it happens within it:  It’s not because we have a gene, biophysics

To prepare someone to understand natural structure, have to get rid of a lot of stuff

  • Cognitive structure
  • Spectacle
  • Symbols
  • Language
  • … Natural world doesn’t have all of these things

In trying to create the idea of centers, then how do you put all of these things aside?

Forest to timber exercise

  • Enjoy the forest
  • Then ask, how many trees in the forest, you use cognition, and then you look at the forest differently
  • Asking more questions, people moving farther and farther away from the natural structure

Process was Alexander’s first pedagogical technique

  • Unfolding sequences:  imagine it’s like a flower growing, tree unfolding, so that you can do like natural structure

Gatemaker:  17 steps for a specific thing, to make a gate in any location

  • Position –> opening –> …
  • Ordered morphological and goal-specific steps until they get to the gate
  • Doesn’t tell them what to do
  • It’s on

Can use Gatemaker for construction

#pattern-language, #puarl2018

2018/10/27 08:55 Susan Ingham, “Building Beauty: An Innovative Program in Architectural Education”, PUARL Conference

Plenary by #SusanIngham, on behalf of co-presenters in audience at @PUARLuo 2018 Conference.

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Copresenters:  Maggie Moore Alexander, Sergio Porta, Yodan Rofe, Susan Ingham, Christopher Andrews, and Duo Dickinson

[Susan Ingham]

PUARL 2018
Susan Ingham, at PUARL 10th Anniversary Conference

1 year post-graduate certificate, focused on design and building

  • In Sorrento, founded on Christopher Alexander’s theories
  • This happened in Berkeley, but that ended in the late 1990s

Second year starts in a few weeks

Founded on 13 principles

3 areas of study:

  • 1. Construction and Cultivation
  • 2. Self, Community and Space
  • 3. Seminars, including a year-long study on the Nature of Order

The Home Program:  Constant in human race, is making homes that give us joy and make beauty, not just survival

  • U. Hartford, U San Fran self-selected students did a house, juried

Christopher Andrews:  Carpets, Vessels and Tiles

Yodan:  The Sant’Anna Garden Project

#pattern-language, #puarl2018

2018/08/26 17:40 David Seamon, “Ways of Understanding Wholeness: Place, Christopher Alexander and Synergistic Relationality”, PUARL Conference

Plenary Christopher Alexander Lecture by #DavidSeamon of Kansas State University at @PUARLuo 2018 Conference.

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Introduction by Howard Davis:

  • Gary Coates:  Experience comes first.
  • Learned from Chris Alexander, human experience has to come first, then relationships to places we make.
  • David Seamon has this idea central to his work

David Seamon, Department of Architecture, Kansas State University, since 1983

PUARL 2018
David Seamon, PUARL 10th Anniversary Conference

[David Seamon]

Honoured to be the first Christopher Alexander lecture

  • Hope people won’t leave because of word “phenomenology”

First found Alexander work in 1981, teaching class

  • Tom Fellon brought the pattern language book
  • Immediately understood what Alexander was trying to do:  which is something that Seamon was trying to do in doctoral work
  • Since then, have kept track of Alexander’s career
  • EDRA Environmental Design Research Association

Offer a different point of view

  • Artemis, earlier today, said how Alexander’s perspective has shifted
  • However, there is a commonality in work

Will start talking about wholeness, where the whole remains whole.

  • Have been writing about this as synergistic relationality
  • Alexander could be called a phenomenologist

Alexander, Nature of Order, vol. 1, p. 98:

  • Reproduces 4 self-drawings by Henri Matisse had generated over time, with photographs of Matisse
  • Even though we see differences, there is something in common
  • Wholeness is the overall vector, the overall qualitative structure …  Wholeness is a global thing, easy to feel, hard to define.

Phrasing of wholeness, over time

  • Quality without a name
  • Wholeness extending transformations
  • Relates with density, comfort, robustness … life
  • Life of the material, through good design, that enables place, robustness, healing

Phenomenology for Alexander

  • Description of phenomena
  • Careful description and interpretation of human experience
  • Phenomology of homeness, homelessness, …

Phenonemological attitude

  • Lifeworld

Last 2 decades, movement in looking at environmental and architectural phenomenology

Defining wholeness

  • A system of parts and connections
  • An ensemble of relatedness
  • A gathering grouped in belong
  • The gathering together of what already belongs together even apart
  • (The last three move towards phenomenology)

Different understandings

  • Analytic relationality:  whole as interconnected parts and relationships
  • Synergistic relationship:  whole is an integrated, generative field sustaining and sustained by collective belonging

Analytic relationality:  in General Systems Theory, from von Bertalanffy, reductive and piecemeal

Henri Bortoft is leading in trying to understand wholeness

  • The key weakness of analytical relational is that it loses sight of how parts already belong together

Synergistic relationality:  Whole is self-organizing in that each part enters into the constitution of every other part

  • Integral mutuality between part and whole
  • J. Malpas 2012, p. 239:  The relation is itself dependent on what it relates, but also in the relation…

How do we do this?

  • e.g. reading a poem, don’t understand it, and then there’s a single word where the meaning of the poem lights up

Place as synergistic relationality

  • Place:  any environmental locus in and through which individual or group actions, experiences, intentions and meaning are drawn together spatially and temporally.

Some important works on phenomenology of place that resonate with Alexander

  • Relph, Place and Placelessness, 1976, most approachable
  • Robert Mugerauer, Interpretations on Behalf of Place 1994
  • Edward Casey, Getting Back into Place 1993/2009
  • Jeff Malpas, Place and Experience 1999/2018

Lived emplacement, from Ed Casey

Can place be described generatively?

  • Places do change over time
  • Question:  are there a set of integrated, underlying processes that might help us see?

Six place patterns, a different view of Christopher Alexander

  • Place interaction
  • Place identity
  • Place release (place serendipity, unexpected encounters)
  • Place realization
  • Place intensification:  by 1985, Alexander moved beyond pattern language towards geometric, less towards human world, with centers
  • Place creation
  • All of the six feed or weaken the others

Eishen School:  students and teachers could see what is possible

Seamon has trouble with this:  generalizes from Turkish carpet patterns to place patterns

  • Place may be unremarkable geometrically
  • Still, trying to balance human world with physical world, in intimacy of relationships

Centers are strong in scale, a criticism of postmodernism

The place processes can also undermine

Processes link through temporal and spatial limits (place tubes) David Bohm


  • Belonging together as analytic relationality
  • Belonging together as synergistic relationality

Alexander’s “real kindness”


Speculate on implications for practice in architectural and urban?

  • Don’t start with practice
  • How do we facilitate the whole?
  • Goethe way of science, student of the natural world, theory of colours (phenomenology of light and colours)
  • Need to find educational ways to find other ways of looking and seeing
  • Our current system emphasizes the analytic, so much
  • Ian McGilchrist, The Master and the Emissary — right brain and left brain

#pattern-language, #puarl2018

2018/08/26 14:00 Michael Mehaffy, Ward Cunningham, “A Pattern Language for Rapid Urbanization: Launching a Digital Pattern Language Repository”, PUARL Conference

Plenary by @MichaelWMehaffy and @WardCunningham with #YodanRofe at @PUARLuo 2018 Conference.

PUARL 2018
Ward Cunningham, Yodan Rofe and Michael Mehaffy at PUARL 10th Anniversary Conference

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Michael Mehaffy is executive director of the Sustasis Foundation.

Ward Cunningham is inventor of the wiki technology, and the first program chair of the Pattern Languages of Programs conference.

Yodan Rofe`is a senior lecturer at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and a member of the Building Beauty Master Council and Program Commission.

[Michael Mehaffy, Deputy Director ]

Started with Ward in New Orleans, developing peer-to-peer tools

  • Started a non-profit for the State

Yodan Rofe taught with Christopher Alexander

Rapid urbanization going up, a lot of destructive

  • Problems with sanitation, health, opportunities for life
  • Need a city-wide public space frameworks — some of which are in pattern language

Have put some patterns from Mehaffy dissertation into federated wiki

  • Includes the ability to calculate, metrics, using a pattern language approach

Want to create a universal grammar

  • Notes on the Synthesis of Form, semi-lattice
  • Patterns have strong forces between patterns, weak forces between other clusters

Example:  two hinges, handle — have to be in the right place

  • Need a configuration in the pattern
  • Not just functional
  • Strong patterns at one scale, with weak patterns at another scale

Going back to the image and text in the original pattern language book

  • Supported in the wiki

But what haven’t pattern languages been more popular in the built environment?

  • Used more in software

Need the web way of doing this

  • Have to get beyond the “bible problem”, want them to be improved over time

Sample:  Polycentric Regions

For architects, need to speed up feedback cycles, get better adaptive quality

Ward:  How do you generate, rather than specify?

[Ward Cunningham]

Presentation is at

Want to put some effort in writing patterns, that led to discussions about how programming would change (towards agile)

After Xerox PARC, Internet and PLoP conferences came along, the same time

Set up with a goal of a new literature of computer programming

  • Should be more human, not formalistic mathematical

From this experience, emerged agile

But Internet isn’t like it was, 20 years ago

  • Wanted to try to create an environment where I could create my own pages, and come back a month later
  • Also, I like your stuff, but I want to change a little bit

Prefabricated experience:  why Facebook and Google have taken over

  • Bucking this experience

Ownership is complicated:  doesn’t mean you need a server, but maybe you do

[Demo through graphs]

[Yodan Rode:  Examples of urban planning and transportation patterns]

Boulevard Patterns (2002)

  • Final chapter is called Guidelines for building boulevards (which are really patterns)
  • Created as case study designs

Other examples of pattern language use

  • Duany, Speck, Lydon:  The Smart Growth Book — they used the pattern language format, without justifying
  • NJDOT and PennDOT:  Smart Transportation Guidebook, A Pattern Language for Major Road Design

A few years ago, tried to start a group with a programmer in Israel

  • On the Internet, the medium isn’t so important, it’s the community
  • We have to start collaborating in this group
  • It starts with politics, economics, ecological
  • Problems are social

[Michael]There are institutions (e.g. UN Habitat) that don’t want the original patterns (e.g. ring roads)


Hard to get people working on a project, if there isn’t something in it for them

  • Could publish a book, but could still have some content online … and publish small books.


New forms of publication

  • Need better ways to use the printed word


Marvin Minsky, Society of Minds, as beginnings of AI, going up and down hierarchies.  Then gaps in urban design and analysis, problems with geometry.  How to make bridge to complex geometry?

  • [Michael] e.g. process patterns, we don’t really have them in the architecture world

Alexander project, would like to focus on topological.  Alexander has used geometry, but it’s really topology.

  • [Michael] It’s about language.  Not to get wrapped up in clutter.
  • [Ward] Took a year to write the wiki, and have been working for 6 years.  Now have been working on new data types, e.g. graphs.  Should be something that works with other people.
  • [Michael] Maps about what’s important to people in a neighbourhood.  Are we going to learn the technology, as opposed to have technology driving us.

Management and labour divide.  If we want to change the built world, we need to pay more attention to people who will change that world.

Need to form a community.  There’s a pattern science Facebook group, which is a small start.

Boulevard book has had influence, and see other books.  But then, we’ve failed?  Maybe they know what they’re doing, and we don’t?

  • [Yodan] Success of something is not only up to you. Sometimes you say things, and it becomes unheard.  Other times, people are ready to hear.  Boulevard book came out at CMU around the right time, on major arterials.  Solution was there, abandoned 50 years ago. 
  • There’s a lot of political work that has to be done, to move from theory to reality.
  • Pattern language had a lack of social movement
  • [Michael] Don’t have to come up with new knowledge, just have to come up with a form that people can see, like Wikipedia.

Ownership.  Working with urban communities and individual clients, it’s one thing to get a client to commit to pattern language, but hard to get them to address patterns about you that you don’t own, and downstream from people who can’t tell you what to do.  Wholeness has to look above you, and downstream.

  • [Ward] On the original C2 wiki, maybe 1000 patterns.  But only a few books made it there.  We want to encourage people to write careless patterns, we don’t have to read them.  The 2 or 3 that are gems might find a way to the volume.  Have to make it easy to write something that doesn’t disappear on your hard drive.
  • [Yodan] Mass mind doesn’t necessarily show the best.  Don’t know process of curating.  When we have 5,000 patterns, we can work these things out.

#pattern-language, #puarl2018