Teaching methods in a master’s class is different from lecturing on theory. There’s more emphasis on how, with why subsequently provided as the need for that arises. Since I had given a dense 20-minute theoretical talk in the month earlier, the invitation from Satu Teerikangas to the program in International Service Business Management was an opportunity to stretch out at a more leisurely pace with students, as they’re preparing for thesis work.
The 3 hours class was conducted in parts:
The classroom interaction was recorded in audio, and is complemented by slides that had been posted on the Coevolving Commons.
For people who prefer the real-time experience of being in a classroom, video and audio are provided, below.
daviding January 13th, 2017
At the PUARL Conference 2016, a proposal was made on adapting pattern language for service systems thinking. In 1967, Christopher Alexander published Pattern Manual at the founding of the Center for Environmental Structure, describing a pattern format for physical built environments. While we can learn a lot from the nearly 50 years work originating at the CES, service systems have features beyond physicality that suggest reconsidering some of the foundations of pattern language.
An article for discussion was accepted into the proceedings for the PUARL conference. The 20-minute presentation quickly covered the following topics:
Slides have been added over the audio recording to produce a video presentation.
(volume boosted 3db, 20MB, 20m19s)
(volume boosted 6db, 20MB, 20m19s)
|H.264 MP4||[1280×720 384Kbps m4v]
|[1280×720 5000Kbps m4v]
|WebM||[1280×720 110Kbps webm]
|[1280×720 826Kbps webm]
daviding November 17th, 2016
Video and audio recordings of my lecture for the Urban Systems course at Aalto University in February have now been produced. While I was in Finland teaching in another department, I was asked to lecture on Smarter Cities.
Here’s the abstract that was sent in advance:
The popularization of the Smarter Cities movement coincided with IBM’s campaign originating from 2009. The Smarter Cities ideas was an outgrowth from the Smarter Planet initiatives, which had emerged from the IBM Global Innovation Outlooks beginning in 2004.
This speaker was a consultant at IBM involved in Smarter Cities engagements, while simultanously conducing research into Service Systems Science.
The evolution of ideas both outside and inside IBM are reviewed, through a history of (i) systems sciences; (ii) service science, management, engineering and design (SSMED), (iii) service systems science; and (iv) smarter planet and smarter cities. Looking forward, the prospects for the (v) cognitive era and a (vi) service systems thinking is outlined.
(volume boosted 3db, 79MB, 1h22m24s)
|H.264 MP4||[1280×720 417Kbps m4v]
|[1280×720 3779Kbps m4v]
|WebM||[1280×720 316Kbps webm]
|[1280×720 3604Kbps m4v]
As a quicker reference, the slides may be useful if fast-forwarding to a specific section is desired.
daviding May 29th, 2016
Christopher Alexander’s work described the architecting of built physical environments. The 1977 book A Pattern Language bears the subtitle “Towns, Buildings, Construction”. This approach was developed in the context of architectural programming and problem seeking originating the late 1960s. It was complemented by methods described in The Oregon Experiment, and theory in The Timeless Way of Building. Appreciating the philosophy embraced in the practice of building environment structure leads to a lot of reading. The challenge has been made harder by Alexander continually evolving his vocabulary and definitions throughout his career to 2012, with his last publication of The Battle for Life and Beauty of the Earth.
Service Systems Science inquires into a world that is not necessarily physical. Is it possible to remain relatively true to the pattern language approach developed by Christopher Alexander, and extend that into a new domain labelled Service Systems Thinking?
The 21st Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs — known as PLoP, organized by the Hillside Group at Allerton Park, Illinois for September 2014 — was an opportunity to test out the idea of Service Systems Thinking amongst practitioners who have grappled with applying pattern languages to software development for over 20 years. My contribution of writing to the Narrow Road to the Deep North (奥の細道) writer’s workshop led by Richard P. Gabriel and Jenny Quillien turned out to stretch the normal process of critical review. The accepted paper was incomplete, overwhelming in length (since workshops usually review submissions of just a few pages), cross-disciplinary in nature, and written at level beyond an undergraduate audience. Since preceding presentations at other conferences had been workshop presentations of 3 to 5 hours in length, a written work turned out to be an ambitious effort for both the audience and the author.
PLoP conferences produce proceedings, where authors take the comments from the reviewers to revise the writings. The timeline for completion was by January 2015. In months between the Allerton meeting and the deadline, I managed to complete a coherent manuscript which was scheduled to be formally published by the ACM. Self-publishing on the Internet is now easy, so it’s easy to distribute the author’s version of the work.
So, the manuscript for “From Environmental Structure to Service Systems Thinking: Wholeness with Centers Described with a Generative Pattern Language” has been available for some months. At 32 pages (including a long list of references), this work comes with an apology. If you would prefer the precision of reading, this article should be seen as a beginning, not an end. If you’re not a fan of reading, perhaps watching some of videos might be less painful.
daviding June 29th, 2015
Evolving the Proposal to Collaborate on a Pattern Language for Service Systems from January, the initiative has now taken on a label of Service Systems Thinking. The presentation at the 58th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences in Washington DC was recorded, so that interested parties have the option of watching or listening ideas that have developed over the past six months, and reading the slides at their leisure. Here’s the abstract:
“Service systems thinking” is proffered as a label for an emerging body of work that: (i) builds on social systems thinking (i.e. socio-psychological, socio-technical and socio-ecological systems perspectives) to advance a transdisciplinary appreciation of service systems science, management, engineering and design; (ii) explores opportunities to enrich Alexanderian patterns and categorized pattern catalogs into a generative pattern language; and (iii) collaborates on new platforms, moving from inductive-consensual wiki pages to a multiple-perspectives (federated) wiki.
The session was conducted in two parts, each of about 90 minutes. The first part had a soft start playing some videos on the Smallest Federated Wiki by Ward Cunningham, since participants were coming back from lunch in another building. The presentation alternated between projected slides, and live content on the federated wiki at http://fed.coevolving.com/view/welcome-visitors/view/service-systems-thinking. The agenda covered:
|Part 1 Audio||[20140730_1453_ISSS_Ing_ServiceSystemsThinking_128Kbps.mp3]
|Part 1 Video (1h32m26s)||nHD||qHD||
238Kbps m4v] (243MB)
716Kbps m4v] (846MB)
2028Kbps m4v] (1.4GB)
3341Kbps m4v] (2.4GB)
135Kbps webm] (176MB)
289Kbps webm] (282MB)
0688Kbps webm] (557MB)
In the second part after the break, the agenda covered:
daviding August 26th, 2014
A meeting of systems scientists and systems engineers together as the Systems Science Working Group at the INCOSE International Workshop 2014 provided a forum for “a proposal for collaboration on a pattern language for service systems (science, management, engineering and design)”. The title is deliberately long, and required some hours to unpack the content in the slide deck.
The initiative has been presented as ambitious. Writing a (good) pattern language is non-trivial. The originator of the pattern language, Christopher Alexander, published his first work in 1968, and then spent 9 years in collaboration until the 1977 release of the landmark A Pattern Language: Towns, Building, Construction. In a 2010 interview, Alexander was asked about his perception on similar efforts.
[Rob Hoskins]: What’s been your opinion of subsequent peoples’ attempts at doing Pattern Languages – I’ve seen a couple of different ones, have you seen many?
[Christopher Alexander]: Some. They’re not that good. The reason I say that is that the people who’ve attempted to work with Pattern Languages, think about them, but are not conscious of the role of morphological elegance in the unfolding. In a biological case, they always are elegant and the unfolding morphology is a sort of magic. But it’s very simple. It’s not as if it’s magic because it’s complicated, it’s just … like that.
[Rob Hoskins]: I guess when we were talking before about how a Pattern Language goes from the large down to the small, maybe when we were talking about it as going outwards maybe it is more like an unfolding process?
[Christopher Alexander]: I think it is yes. The business of going from the large to the small was more for convenience….you could make sense of the book most easily like that but it isn’t necessarily the way to actually do it.
While contributors to this project can learn from prior art in pattern languages, there’s some basic contexts to be understood and appreciated.
Service systems are described in the context of the 2008 report on “Succeeding through service innovation” by the Cambridge IfM and IBM. The science, management, engineering and design perspectives are from the 2009 Spohrer and Kwan article on”Service Science, Management, Engineering, and Design (SSMED): An Emerging Discipline — Outline & References”, with ten basic concepts underlying a service systems worldview.
The working of a pattern language is described with extract of the 1977 book A Pattern Language, with 127 INITIMACY GRADIENT. The history of the Hillside Group, with a software (design) pattern (definition) illustrates application in a domain other than the built environment. The variety of forms of writing patterns has been described by Martin Fowler. Ties between pattern language and systems thinking are drawn by James O. Coplien and Neil Harrison 2004 and by Werner Ulrich 2006. Christopher Alexander’s “Quality without a Name” is described in Richard P. Gabriel 1996. Addition domains with ongoing work with pattern languages are evident in Scrum, in group facilitation processes, and in communications in the public sphere.
daviding February 15th, 2014