Exploring Patterns

Patterns have two elements. Objects and their relationship to each other.

In architecture, objects are physical elements such as windows or doors. These objects relate to each other, relationships that can be thought of as patterns.

Everything is Connected

Describing the dynamics of these patterns create a language that we can use to express and share meaning, of one sort or another.

Ward Cunningham and Kent Beck took Alexander's concept of Pattern Languages and applied it to Alan Kay's concept of Object Oriented Programming that Kay utilized in his groundbreaking software language, Smalltalk.

Almost all modern software languages are Object Oriented. Or, to put in another way, they are, in various degrees, Pattern Languages.

This is the software that underpins the entire innovation economy.

But Pattern Languages have a much broader implication for understanding the human experience. We can think of each of our consciousnesses as a personal pattern language.

Experiences have meaning, meaning that is remembered. The depth of meaning directly relates to the nature of the experience. Experiences can be thought of as "objects" that relate to each other and form our understanding of how the world works. These patterns are our consciousness, our individual pattern language.

They form our "schema", a concept first coined by Hegel. These schemas are malleable - the continually evolve as we learn. Jean Piaget, in his theory of Constructivism, talked about learning experiences that morph our schemas as being that of "accommodation", as we incorporate new understanding.

In essence, this accommodation is a process of expanding the pattern language of our consciousness - at the heart of the nature of learning.