Friday, August 24, 2007

Emergent Meta-Language

I had an opportunity to talk with Nils from CTLT (Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology) today about this overlap between various pattern languages. I was looking at the Pattern Language website the other day and found the link listing a few of the various projects using the pattern language model. I was struck by all these different projects, but after reviewing them I began to see the inherent overlap of these projects. It was apparent from the outset that while each group was addressing a specific domain of knowledge and practice, almost all of them possessed relevance or interfaced in some way with one another. In a sense representing a conceptual model of how knowledge can be interconnected in a truly interdisciplinary context.

Here is a list:
Conservation Economy

Along with identifying this overlap I also saw a number of deficiencies that each pattern language possessed, not that they are incomplete, but rather each only addresses what is thought to be directly relevant to these specific domains. However, despite these minor deficiencies it appeared to me that these pieces were resolved in at least one of the other ongoing projects. This to me represents an important observation.

As someone focused upon sustainable development it is necessary to address a number of important elements that touch upon policy, environment, economic, education and communication as critical components to designing for sustainable community development.

With this macro conception of assessment, planning and implementation it seems apparent that each of the pattern languages possess relevant material for constructing and designing this so-called sustainable world. In this sense, what we are looking at are these meta-patterns. Meta-Patterns that can help people initiate a conversation and act as a starting point for refining the solutions to their defined problem space.

In a way it is as if each domain or project represents a particular pattern, which is itself necessary for engaging in meaningful development practice. In a way this highlights the emergence or presences of a meta-language that could be useful to others seeking to address similar problems.

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