2018/10/27 Representing Generative Wholeness with Pattern Language

Submitted by daviding on Fri, 07/13/2018 - 18:24


David Ing


Two complementary workshops are proposed for PLoP and PUARL, by David Ing. This abstract describes the PUARL workshop.

Does a pattern language generate into (a) whole(s)? This workshop will discuss the meaning of architecting a system, complemented with recent research from the systems sciences.

In 1967, at the formation for Center for Environmental Structure, Pattern Manual specified that (sub)systems are fewer in number (and implicitly larger) than patterns:

Does (and/or should) the pattern language community therefore be architecting and/or designing systems? To be clear, a subsystem is a system, with the additional property that it is contained within a larger whole.

The environmental pattern language will contain hundreds of subsystems and tens of thousands of individual patterns. Every conceivable kind of building, every part of every kind of building, and every piece of the larger environment will be specified by one or more subsystems of the environmental pattern language.

In summary: An environmental pattern language is a coordinated body of design solutions capable of generating the complete physical structure of a city. The language is designed to grow and improve continuously as a result of criticism and feedback from the field (Alexander, Ishikawa, & Silverstein, 1967, p. foreword 3).

The workshop will be conducted as a participatory session, with an intent to summarize findings for the proceedings. The workshop is organized as three steps:

  • • 1. Communicative Framing
  • • 2. Dialectical Sensemaking
  • • 3. Narrative Synthesizing

The extended abstract (below) outlines the workshop. Subsequent publications (i.e. a blog post) may be released after the event, to summarize some of the discussions and findings.

Keywords: pattern language; wholeness; generative system; systems theory.


David Ing, "Representing Generative Wholeness with Pattern Language", 201i International PUARL Conference.