Pattern language features

Since Alexander there has been a reorientation, away from the built form of material structures, towards the form and steering of *practices*.

In the cases noted in Some pattern languages, practices of urban development, commoning and group facilitation, are engaged with. A pattern language of making the living economy - the foundation of the college- is of this kind too.

# Hypertext and the mutuality of patterns All these pattern languages have been implemented as **hypertexts**, which is a thoroughly appropriate form. The post-Alexander languages above have all been rendered as federated wikis.

A repertoire of network representation tools is available as page plugins, which can display and highlight the local relationship between associated patterns.

These features are important, since it’s **the mutuality of patterns**, and the ’singing’ of them together in ‘a chorus of voices’, that is at the heart of pattern languages’ power in envisioning complex forms of organisation and weaves of practice.

The characteristic ‘page lineup’ in fedwiki is especially good for generating a gestalt of numerous patterns.

# Mutual awereness and the free association of makers Fedwiki has an architecture oriented to **mutual awareness**, across a ‘federation’ of wiki pages, of activity by others in the federation.

It also is oriented to the adoption and ‘forking’ by authors of work made available by others - it’s a manifestation of associationist, free software culture. Fedwiki is intrinsically and intentionally **a ‘commons’ form of digital media**.

This is exploited in a practice of forming **’pods’** (study circles) for specific projects of mutual learning and inquiry.

>‘Podding’ though fedwiki is a core element of the form of practice projected for language-ing in the college proposed here, and for collaboration between the college’s schools and their partner ventures in the real economy.

# Time, labour and skill All the languages mentioned in Some pattern languages took a lot of **time, attention and discipline, over years**, and contributions from many perspectives and locations.

>Pattern languages are not something to be hacked over a weekend hackathon or an agile sprint.

They all have roots not only in hands-on experience in numerous contexts, but also in long traditions: they are both wide and deep.

Finding the forms of pattern, and the forms of words in which to articulate that pattern, is an aesthetic process calling for **poetic sensibility**; likewise the process of singing or dancing the patterns back again, into the flow of real-world practice.

At the same time, each pattern is an instance of **explicit and disciplined conceptualisation**, both in the selection of terms used in a description, and also in the ‘rationale’ section of a description, which can be quite extended and make many references to research and precedents.

>Appropriate pattern descriptions are great exercises in aesthetics.

This intersectional dance of **poetics, scholarship and analytical discipline** puts pattern language in an extremely important place . . - between (often loose and undisciplined, meme-infested, emotionally pumped-up, in-a-bubble) commonplace practices of **storytelling** on one hand, and, on the other . . - commonplace, casual-but-forceful substitutions of **ultra-formalised language** (highly abstract software encoding, which drives real-world machinery of fiat, provision and access) in the place of human-speakable language and human-enacted vision and valuation.

In this middle place, the literacy of pattern language-ing has an important contribution to make, to **systemic capability in activist practices**, in the face of hugely extended material force on one hand and button-pushing viral memes on the other.

>Pattern language is exactly the form of language to take, as the basis of literacy in making a living economy, and of informing the building of dual power through commons transition.