Permaculture Patterning, a design framework for systemic transformation

I recently had the honour and the pleasure to be invited by Helene Finidori to write for a special issue of Spanda Journal on the topic of Systemic Change. The Spanda Journal is published by the Spanda Foundation who’s mission is to stimulate and disseminate new insights on current issues and to serve as catalyst for sustainable long term systemic change.

The brief given by Helene to all authors was the following: How and where does systemic change manifest? How does it unfold? What are the leverage points, the forces and dynamics at play? What are the conditions for its empowerment and enablement? How do agency and structure come into the picture? We would like to look at the subject from various angles and disciplines, in research and praxis, exploring the visible and the invisible, space and time, unity and diversity, level and scale, movement and rhythm.

I used this as an opportunity to further explore the concept of patterning, a topic that interests me the most at the moment and I believe will revolutionize the way we look at the world and build things together.

Here’s a copy of the article I wrote. A PDF version is also available on Permaculture Patterning, a design framework for systemic transformation Continue reading “Permaculture Patterning, a design framework for systemic transformation”

Build the architecture of cooperation

How can we design spaces in the city which encourage strangers to cooperate? In this lecture, sociologist Richard Sennett explores how physical structures influence social structures, and more specifically how they influence our ability to cooperate.

In Sennett’s view, cooperation grow from informal interactions between people and requires willingness and trust. In our current world based on materialistic value, these informal interactions and the trust capital that they enable are usually forgotten because they can’t be quantified easily. Worse our values and architecture actively encourage the loss of the skills of cooperation. Continue reading “Build the architecture of cooperation”

Understand the patterns and qualities of generative design processes

This thoughtful article explore traditional design methods (usually rigid frameworks) and why people usually don’t follow them. The author’s analysis, inspired by Christopher Alexander Patterns and Bill Mollison’s permaculture ideas, lead them to a new framework that describes a dynamic process of immergence, crisis and emergence: Continue reading “Understand the patterns and qualities of generative design processes”

Design with patterns: the work of Christopher Alexander

The work of the architect Christopher Alexander  has spawned a remarkable revolution in technology, producing a set of innovations ranging from Wikipedia to The Sims. Notably he influenced people like Ward Cunningham, inventor of the wiki concept or some people behind the innovative webdesign company that produced Basecamp: 37signals.

Alexander didn’t only influence the world of software but many other fields, including biology, ecology, organization theory, business management, and manufacturing.

Here are some notes and links on his remarkable work. Continue reading “Design with patterns: the work of Christopher Alexander”