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WHO IS CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER?
WHAT IS A “PATTERN LANGUAGE”?
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction is a 1977 book on architecture, urban design, and community livability. It was authored by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein of the Center for Environmental Structure of Berkeley, California, with writing credits also to Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King and Shlomo Angel. Decades after its publication, it is still one of the best-selling books on architecture.
The book creates a new language, what the authors call a pattern language derived from timeless entities called patterns. As they write on page xxxv of the introduction, “All 253 patterns together form a language.” Patterns describe a problem and then offer a solution. In doing so the authors intend to give ordinary people, not only professionals, a way to work with their neighbors to improve a town or neighborhood, design a house for themselves or work with colleagues to design an office, workshop or public building such as a school. (Wikipedia)
SUMMARY OF THE PATTERN LANGUAGE:
EXAMPLE OF ONE OF THE PATTERNS:
CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER ON BUILDING FOR LOVE AND LIFE
WHAT IS PERMACULTURE?
Permaculture (permanent agriculture/culture) is the use of Ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production, housing, technology, & community development. The objective is to produce an efficient, low-maintenance, productive integration of plants, structures & people, to obtain on-site stability & food self-sufficiency in the smallest practical area.
WHO IS BILL MOLLISON?
Bruce Charles ‘Bill’ Mollison (born 1928 in Tasmania, Australia) is a researcher, author, scientist, teacher and naturalist. He is considered to be the ‘father of permaculture‘, an integrated system of design, co-developed with David Holmgren, that encompasses not only agriculture, horticulture, architecture and ecology, but also economic systems, land access strategies and legal systems for businesses and communities.
Bill Mollison, father of Permaculture, gives insight into the techniques, practices and benefits of the most important interdisciplinary earth science of our age. Watch the following videos to learn about his concepts:
THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 1
THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 2
THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 3
THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 4
THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 5
THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 6
DRYLAND PERMACULTURE STRATEGIES – Part 1
DRYLAND PERMACULTURE STRATEGIES – Part 2
DRYLAND PERMACULTURE STRATEGIES – Part 3
BILL MOLLISON BIBLIOGRAPHY:
- Permaculture One: A Perennial Agriculture for Human Settlements (with David Holmgren, Trasworld Publishers, 1978) ISBN 978-0938240006
- Permaculture Two: Practical Design for Town and Country in Permanent Agriculture (Tagari Publications, 1979)
- Permaculture – A Designer’s Manual (1988) ISBN 978-0908228010
- Introduction to Permaculture (1991, Revised 1997) ISBN 978-0908228089
- The Permaculture Book of Ferment and Human Nutrition (1993, Revised 1997) ISBN 978-0908228065
- Travels in Dreams: An Autobiography (1996) ISBN 978-0908228119
- The Permaculture Way: Practical Steps To Create A Self-Sustaining World, with Graham Bell (2005) ISBN 978-1856230285
- Smart Permaculture Design, with Jenny Allen (2006) ISBN 978-1877069178
The following set of videos are based on Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, Guns, Germs and Steel which traces humanity’s journey over the last 13,000 years – from the dawn of farming at the end of the last Ice Age to the realities of life in the twenty-first century. Inspired by a question put to him on the island of Papua New Guinea more than thirty years ago, Diamond embarks on a world-wide quest to understand the roots of global inequality.
When you set out to write Guns, Germs and Steel what was it you actually wanted to prove?
JD: When I set out to write Guns, Germs and Steel I wasn’t trying to prove anything, but I was trying to answer a question; the biggest question of history – why history unfolded differently on the different continents over the last 13 thousand years and the usual answer to this question is the answer that racists come up with; they say its because some people are superior to other people. What we found is that the answer doesn’t have anything to do with people and it has everything to do with people’s environments.
Jared Diamond is one of America’s most celebrated scholars. A professor of Geography and Physiology at the University of California, he is equally renowned for his work in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, and for his ground-breaking studies of the birds of Papua New Guinea.
Author of eight books and numerous academic monographs, Diamond’s best-selling The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee won two science prizes in 1992. It was the 1997 publication of Guns, Germs and Steel, which sealed Diamond’s global reputation. The book has since won the Pulitzer Prize, been translated into 25 languages and sold millions of copies around the world. Here is a video based on the findings in his book, Guns, Germs and Steel.
Jared Diamond was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to a Bessarabian Jewish family. His father was the physician Louis K. Diamond, and his mother the teacher, musician, and linguist Flora Kaplan. He attended the Roxbury Latin School, earning his A.B. from Harvard College in 1958, and his Ph.D. in physiology and membrane biophysics from the University of Cambridge in 1961.
After graduating from Cambridge, he returned to Harvard as a Junior Fellow until 1965, and, in 1968, became Professor of Physiology at UCLA Medical School. While in his twenties, he also developed a second, parallel, career in the ornithology of New Guinea, and has since undertaken numerous research projects in New Guinea and nearby islands. In his fifties, Diamond gradually developed a third career in environmental history, and became Professor of Geography at UCLA, his current position. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Westfield State University in 2009.
As well as scholarly books and articles in the fields of ecology and ornithology, Diamond is the author of a number of popular science books, which are known for combining sources from a variety of fields other than those he has formally studied.
The first of these, The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (1991), examined human evolution and its relevance to the modern world, incorporating insights from anthropology, evolutionary biology, genetics, ecology, and linguistics. It was well-received by critics, and won the 1992 Rhône-Poulenc Prize for Science Books and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In 1997, he followed this up with Why is Sex Fun?, which focused in on the evolution of human sexuality, again borrowing from anthropology, ecology, and evolutionary biology.
His third and best known popular science book, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, was published in 1997. In it, Diamond seeks to explain Eurasian hegemony throughout history. Using evidence from ecology, archaeology, genetics, linguistics, and various historical case studies, he argues that the gaps in power and technology between human societies do not reflect cultural or racial differences, but rather originate in environmental differences powerfully amplified by various positive feedback loops.
As a result, the geography of the Eurasian landmass gave its human inhabitants an inherent advantage over the societies on other continents, which they were able to dominate or conquer. Although certain examples in the book, and its alleged environmental determinism, have been criticized, it became a best-seller, and received numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize, an Aventis Prize for Science Books (Diamond’s second), and the 1997 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science. A television documentary based on the book was produced by the National Geographic Society in 2005.
Diamond’s next book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005), examined a range of past civilizations in an attempt to identify why they either collapsed or succeeded, and considers what contemporary societies can learn from these historical examples. As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, he argues against traditional historical explanations for the failure of past societies, and instead focuses on ecological factors. Among the societies he considers are the Norse and Inuit of Greenland, the Maya, the Anasazi, the indigenous people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Japan, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and modern Montana.
While not as successful as Guns, Germs and Steel, Collapse was again both critically acclaimed and subject to accusations of environmental determinism and specific inaccuracies. “Collapse” was the third book written by Diamond that was nominated for Royal Society Prize for Science Books (previously known as the Rhône-Poulenc and Aventis Prize) but this time he did not win the prize, losing out to David Bodanis’s Electric Universe.
Most recently Diamond co-edited Natural Experiments of History, a collection of essays illustrating the multidisciplinary and comparative approach to the study of history that he advocates.
The Future is getting ready for you as you will see in this video made by Corning. Even though it is essentially an ad for Corning Glass, it is very informative about work and home technology of the near future. One of the ways to get ready for radical change in the future is by learning about these pending changes ahead of time so you won’t be overwhelmed by so many new things coming at you simultaneously. To that end, take a few minutes to watch this video and imagine the implications for you personally and/or professionally.
In John Petersen’s book, “A Vision for 2012, Planning for Extraordinary Change”, John discusses many pressing issues and on page 90 he summarizes the most pressing issues and their impacts. Check these out below and buy his book to learn more:
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And a few of the many recommendations for preparing for the future:
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Peter Schwartz is a cofounder and chairman of Global Business Network, a Monitor Group Company. GBN is the world’s foremost consultancy in scenario thinking, strategic conversation, and futures research. Peter is an internationally renowned futurist, business strategist and Founder of GBN. He is one of the world’s leading practitioners of scenario planning, working with corporations, governments and institutions to create alternative perspectives of the future and develop robust strategies for a changing and uncertain world.
Before founding GBN in 1987, Peter headed scenario planning for the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies in London and directed the Strategic Environment Center at SRI International.
Schwartz has written several books, on a variety of future-oriented topics. His first book, The Art of the Long View (Doubleday, 1991) is considered by many to be the seminal publication on scenario planning, and is used as a textbook by many business schools. Inevitable Surprises (Gotham, 2003) is a look at the forces at play in today’s world, and how they will continue to affect the world. He also wrote The Long Boom (Perseus, 1999) with co-authors Peter Leyden and Joel Hyatt, which is a book about the future of the global economy. His book When Good Companies Do Bad Things (Wiley, 1999), is an argument for corporate responsibility in an age of corruption. China’s Futures (Jossey-Bass, 2001), is a vision of several different potential futures for China. He also co-authored the Pentagon‘s An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security. He publishes and lectures widely and served as a script consultant on the films “Minority Report,” “Deep Impact,” “Sneakers,” and “War Games.”
The 10 megatrends that are republished in a shortened, edited form, were developed by Kaare Stamer Andresen, Martin Kruse, Henrik Persson, Klaus Æ. Mogensen and Troels Theill Eriksen, all from Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies. The Institute also works with other megatrends, such as climate change, the knowledge society, and immaterialization. In this summary article, information technology, communication technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and energy have been grouped under “technological development.”
■#3 Technological development
■#7 Health and environment
■#9 Network organizing
The Foundation conducts a broad range of programs and activities to promote an understanding of the factors in the social, genetic, biological, medical, psychological, physiological, cultural, technological, and ecological fields that may have an impact on human life during coming millennia.
To fulfill its mandate, Foundation For the Future:
Promotes public awareness of and education about futures issues through an ongoing lecture series and speaking engagements at schools and other organizations.
Convenes seminars, workshops, and symposia that focus on issues associated with the long-term future of humanity.
Publishes scholarly works that address issues concerning the factors that will affect human life in the future.
Awards the annual Kistler Prize (cash and gold medallion), the Walter P. Kistler Book Award (cash and certificate), the Walter P. Kistler Science Teacher Award (cash and certificate), and the Walter P. Kistler Science Documentary Film Award (cash and certificate).
Provides financial support to scholars’ research through Research Grant Awards.
Facilitates a Student Education Program that encourages young scholars to think about the future.
The Foundation’s benefactor and founding President is Walter Kistler. A Board of Trustees oversees all Foundation activities and is supported by a Director of Programs, a Director of Administration, and a small staff.
The Foundation has assembled teams of prominent scholars and humanists to serve on the Foundation’s Board of Advisors and on the Kistler Prize Advisory Panel.
The Foundation is sustained in perpetuity by a permanent endowment.
The objective of the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies (CIFS) is to research the future for clients in the private and public sectors. It is an organization whose mission is to strengthen the basis for decision-making in public and private organisations by creating awareness of the future and highlighting its importance to the present.
CIFS is an independent, non-profit research institution earning its income exclusively from sponsored research and dissemination of knowledge.
This image shows the changing rate of mass in mountain glaciers on the Gulf of Alaska.