2018/10/26 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

Borloft

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

Alexander’s “real kindness”

[Questions]

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
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#pattern-language, #puarl2018

2018/10/26 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 http://puarl.ward.wiki.org

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)

[Ward]

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.

[Michael]

New forms of publication

  • Need better ways to use the printed word

[Question]

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

2018/10/16 11:50 Jeremy Swartz and Hajo Neis, “Pattern Recognition as Bridge Building across Disciplinary Boundaries”, PUARL Conference

Plenary by #JeremySwartz and @HajoNeis at @PUARLuo 2018 Conference.

PLoP-PUARL 2018
Jeremy Swartz and Hajo Neis, 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.

Jeremy Swartz is NSF/HHMI Scientific Teaching Fellow and Courtesy Research Associate in the School of Journalism and Communications at the University of Oregon.

Hajo Neis is Associate Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture and Environment at the University of Oregon.


5 weeks of conversation between Jeremy and Hajo

  • An experiment

John Schiff:  surrealism conference, 1942

Meta:

  • Originally means WITH
  • … or in the midst of

Pattern (Bateson, rewritten by Rollo May)

  • my old friends
  • Being those pattern who I have met WITH before
  • And shall meet ago
  • … morphogenesis of forests

Pattern (Bar-Yam, 2011)

Pattern (Alexander, Neis)

  • Recurring or recursive problem to find a general solution that can be applied in many different ways

Found relationships with modes of inquiry, in 2016 dissertation Jeremy Swartz, Communication and Curation: Embodied Meaning and Praxis

  • Bob Craig, U. Colorado Boulder, Communication (Grounded Practical Theory): Mapping; Engaged Reflection; Transformative Practice
  • Political Economy:  History, Social Totality, Moral Philosophy and Praxis
  • Curation (Legacy Notion):  Provence, Scientific and empirical; Connoisseurship
  • Philosophical Pragmatism (with Mark Johnson, of Lakoff & Johnson)  Experience, Methodological Pluralism, Meliorism

Add …Architecture and Design:  Problem Statement, Discussion-Analysis; Solution, Suggested Action

From communications, dictum of Pattern as Message (McLuhan)

  • Medium is the message … personal and social consequences of any medium … result from the new scale
  • On page 1:  For the message of any medium or technical is the change of scale, or path ..

Luciano Floridi 2010, Information:  Pattern as Performative

  • Gene do not contain information like envelopes or emails …

Neil Postman:  A medium is a technology within which a culture grows

Swartz dissertation rethought idea of medium as curation (as care and repair)

Oregon Experiment is built on diagnosis, moves to treatment

Ronald Arnett and Annette Holba:  Pattern permits practices to become meaningfully apparent

McLuhan:  Pattern recognition

Patterns as possible future recovery or repair

  • Recovery as regenerative design (Neis, 2014), can’t use Alexander generative (in a world before bombs) to regenerative (now improving
  • Repair as curation, and meliorism, making things better (Swartz, 2016)
  • Steven Jackson, Media Technologies 2014:  repair

Dewey 1925:  Not mere ends, but ends-in-view

  • Regenerative design
  • Health and wholeness
  • Federated wiki

Mark Johnson, The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetics

  • We need a philosophy [of communication, architecture asthetics as not just about art, beauty and taste, but rather as about how human beings experience

#pattern-language, #puarl2018

2018/10/26 11:20 Bin Jiang, “Alexander’s Wholeness as the Scientific Foundation for Urban Design and Planning”, PUARL Conference

Plenary by @binjiangxp at @PUARLuo 2018 Conference.

PLoP-PUARL 2018
Bin Jiang, PUARL 10th Anniversay 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.

Bin Jiang is a professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Division of Geoinformatics and Computational Geography at Högskolan i Gävle 


Has been hooked by Christopher Alexander, and Nature of Order in particular

Wholeness

  • Two fundamental laws:  scaling law and Tobler’s law
  • Two design principles:  Differentiation and adaptation
  • Wholeness accounting by other theories included

Motivation:

  • City rebuilding based on a foundation of nonsense — Jacobs 1961
  • Urban design accused of being pseudoscientific
  • Alexander realized this back to the 1950s, so devoted his career to develop a scientific foundation of wholeness

Wholeness is pervasive, but hard to see

  • No mathematics is powerful enough to capture the definition of wholeness, so he used pictures
  • 15 properties are hard to understand

What is wholeness, life and beauty?

  • Wholeness is a recursive structure
  • Alexander says it’s real structure, not just appreciation
  • Wholeness is made of many centers
  • Life or beauty is a quality of space

Alexander’s view of space and 15 properties

  • Spaces is living structure
  • 15 properties

Physical character of living structure:  A piece of paper with a tiny dot (that induces centers)

Scaling law (also called spatial heterogeneity)

  • More small things than large things

Tobler’s law on spatial dependence: everything is related to everything else, by near things are more related than distant things

#pattern-language, #puarl2018

2018/10/26 10:45 Douglas Schuler, “Pattern Languages are Particularly Well Suited for Addressing Wicked Problems”, PUARL Conference

Plenary by @doug_schuler at @PUARLuo 2018 Conference.

PLoP-PUARL 2018
Doug Schuler, 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.

Doug Schuler is a board member of The Public Sphere Project, and emeritus faculty from Evergreen State College


Had pitched Liberating Voices to Christopher Alexander, some years back

  • He liked it

Wicked problems

  • Taking problems in nature, and adding human being make them more complex

Wicked problems won’t be solved by:

  • government
  • free market
  • AI
  • lucky breaks
  • divine intervention

What’s needed?

  • A lot of people who are interested in addressing the problems, working together
  • Won’t be communicating
  • Won’t be top-down
  • People with purpose, motivation, creativity
  • All levels
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Can improve coordination

Why pattern languages?

  • General, but localizable (slightly different in each location)
  • We see in patterns
  • Possibilities to cross boundaries
  • Patterns are semi-structured

Why are patterns not so useful?

  • They’re hard to locate, all over the place
  • They’re only useful at one point time
  • Sometimes hard to understand
  • Hard to apply, to incorporate in plans
  • Could be better for group use

Developing paper in a book:  requirements for addressing wicked problems

  • What patterns offer, and where they’re limited

Looking for collective impact:  common approach for getting communities together to work on a problem, to focus energies

  • Common agenda
  • Shared measurement
  • Plant of action
  • Open and continuous communications
  • Backbone organization

Enabling characteristics, worked on this over some years on Civic Intelligence (groups working together fairly and equitably)

  • Social change doesn’t focus on just one thing
  • A superset
  • e.g. having attitude and aspirations:  if don’t have stake, even if have money and responsibility, won’t
  • Working on wicked problems relies on social learning:  the group you have now isn’t the group you’ll have in a few years

Have recommendations

1. Three types of patterns

  • Domain (add purpose and ontology)
  • Enabling patterns
  • Usage patterns (patterns about patterns)

2. Supporting systems

  • Pattern catalog
  • Tools to help people find patterns
  • Direct and indirect coordination

3. As a community

  • Use a wicked problem focus:  e.g. migration issue
  • Should work on them collaboratively
  • Marketing (to let the world know)
  • Would like to make engagement and social responsibility cool again.

PPLs:  Patterns of Pattern Languages

  • Not domain specific

Developed an app, Activist Mirror

  • A way to pick patterns out of a hat, to help people
  • It takes all sorts of people to make social change

Some usage patterns

#pattern-language, #puarl2018

2018/10/26 09:00 “Welcome”, PUARL Conference

Welcome to joint opening of 2018 @PUARLuo @PLoPcon #PURPLSOC day by @HajoNeis @kgb1001001 #WolfgangStark #RichardSickinger in Portland, Oregon

PLoP-PUARL 2018
Kyle Brown, Hajo Neis, Richard Sickinger, at the 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.

Introduction to World Cafe by #WolfgangStark to PUARL 10th Anniversary Conference, with some history on the PUARL-Purplsoc planning.

  • Wolfgang Stark is a visiting researcher at the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship in Germany, and a member of the Program Committee for PUARL and PURPLSOC.
PLoP-PUARL 2018
Wolfgang Stark, PUARL 10th Anniversay Conference

How can we expand the idea of pattern language?

  • Scattered

Small group met after Purplsoc Krems 2017

  • Met in Amsterdam
  • Proposed a large group open format
  • World Cafe for 1.5 hours

At Purplsoc, had 25 domains

  • Idea of social change, starting from pattern language
  • Encourage to expand

In a way, it’s the iceberg model

  • How to develop linkages to social sciences, social change, other area
  • Link the rational world with the implicit knowing and tacit knowing
  • Also transcendent knowledge, not yet here, in the future
  • What does the art tell us about the future of pattern language

Beginning theoretical frameworks

  • A Pattern Language, and Nature of Order
  • Actor Network Theory
  • General Systems Theory
  • Theories of Art
  • Grounded Theory
  • Theory U

Today: what is important about the pattern language approach?

  • What does it matter?
  • How can we incorporate into collaborative efforts

Will have a World Cafe, materials on table

World Cafe is rotating small group discussions

PLoP-PUARL 2018
Tree Bressen organizing World Cafe, PUARL 10th Anniversary Conference

#pattern-language, #plop, #puarl2018, #purplsoc

Federated wiki for pattern language

Restarted #federatedwiki for sharing #patternlanguage. Welcome Visitors at wiki.coevolving.com names cards nostalgic of #hypercard, fuller than @wardcunningham ward.fed.wiki.org name as wiki page. Aiming for easier entry by novices.

Hints for installing node.js implementation on cPanel at coevolving.com/blogs/index.php/archive/a-federated-wiki-site-on-cpanel/

Ward hosts weekly video chat Wednesdays 10am Pacific ward.fed.wiki.org/view/welcome-visitors/view/video-chat , location at twitter.com/wardcunningham 15 minutes in advance.

wiki.coevolving.com

#federated-wiki, #fedwiki