About

Patterns matter. Patterning matters. Especially now.

Part of what I’m doing on this website is to explore why that would be so.

Classic writings that have inspired me include: Gregory Bateson on “the pattern that connects,” Christopher Alexander on “pattern languages,” and of course  Wendell Berry on “solving for pattern,” for which I’ve named this site.

I’m particularly focused on the visual aspects of patterning, what Barbara Maria Stafford calls “the art of connecting” and “the cognitive work of images.” Through the creation of visual models, we can compare understandings and examinations of “how things work.”

There’s also the human tendency to fall into patterns, meaning habits or routines. Things get stuck. “The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways,” wrote James Baldwin in Ebony, back in 1965. (H/t to Greg Hill for the quote.)

I approach S4P as an appreciative-critical inquiry. That is, I write appreciatively about ideas, practices, and people that intrigue, inform, and inspire me. At the same time, I seek to maintain a critical stance — not critical for its own sake, but in service to better solving.

I publish a mix of opinion and curation, and I look for media, topics, and approaches that are both salient to contemporary solving and little discussed elsewhere.

I come to this writing as a generalist and a practitioner; I draw from across know-what, know-how, and know-why; and I seek opportunities for bridging and integration. Particularly integrative, to my mind, are the fields of systems and design thinking and practice.

More about me.

Bateson flexibility

 

  • Celina Adams 8 Jan 2018, 7:47 am

    I’m an RSF Fellow in Integrated Capital and stumbled upon your site after reading The Carbon Bubble piece included on our reading list. The work you’re writing about, the habit of thought you’re promoting- just fantastic. Thanks.

    • Howard Silverman 8 Jan 2018, 11:41 am

      Thanks, Celina — and thanks for the work you do.

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