Peter Baumgartner|Tina Gruber-Muecke|Richard Sickinger (Editors)


Designing Lively Scenarios in Various Fields

Editors: Peter Baumgartner, Tina Gruber-Muecke, Richard Sickinger

Book Design, Page Layout and Editorial Staff: Ingrid Muthsam, Wolfgang Rauter


Creative Commons Licence CC-BY-ND

Edition Donau-Universität Krems

ISBN Paperback: 978-3-903150-14-0

ISBN eBook: 978-3-903150-15-7

Krems, August 2017, 2nd Edition

Every effort has been made to make this book as complete and as accurate as possible, but no warranty or fitness is implied. The information provided ist on an „as is“ basis. The authors and the editors/publishers shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages arising from the information contained in this book. Responsibility for the information, licencing and views set out in their articles lies entirely with the authors.


by Peter Baumgartner, Tina Gruber-Muecke, Richard Sickinger

Introduction: Pattern Languages for Societal Change

This book focuses on the pattern approach established by the Austrian-born Christopher Alexander, architect, mathematician, and philosopher, and collects selected papers on work presented at, or related to the PURPLSOC World Conference held at Danube University Krems, July 3 – 5, 2015. PURPLSOC is the acronym for “In Pursuit of Pattern Languages for Societal Change”, a series of (roughly) biennial conferences on patterns in and with disparate fields such as architecture, design, media, arts, IT, management, pedagogy, social activism, social innovation and diverse grassroots movements. PURPLSOC has its origins in the PUARL Conferences held at the University of Oregon in Portland in 2009, 2011, and 2013 (in cooperation with ARUS), and is organized as the ‘World Conference on Pattern Languages’ at Danube University Krems in Austria in the summer of 2015. Both PUARL and PURPLSOC are organized in a biennial structure, therefore the whole Conference Series has reached a new level of interdisciplinary involvement and a new international format and organization. PURPLSOC is run by a Steering Committee with the help of a larger Advisory Board, which appraises and evaluates the submitted contributions for oral presentation at the Conference and for the inclusion of papers in this book ( Its aim is to substantiate the broad applicability and richness of pattern related work in all fields, and, by sharing best practice examples from outside the scientific community, to further raise awareness of Christopher Alexander`s approach within the wider public. Both conferences contribute to strengthening the pattern movement at Danube University Krems where we hope to establish a university wide interdisciplinary center for Pattern Research in the near future.

The remainder of this foreword is structured as follows. In the following section, we provide a brief review of prior research on pattern languages (PL) in a global context. This review provides a starting point for PURPLSOC readers interested in the topic and wishing to study it in greater depth. We then introduce the papers included in the conference proceedings and summarize briefly how each relates to and extends the existing literature; we also offer broad conclusions based on the collection of papers as a whole. Next, we provide suggestions for future research in this area. Finally, we reflect on the process of the conference proceedings with an outlook toward encouraging and guiding potential future authors of papers on patterns and pattern languages.

Review on Prior Research on Pattern Languages

This section aims to provide the reader with a review of selected prior research on pattern and pattern languages in a global context, with a particular emphasis on the historical development.

Christopher Alexander’s interest in patterns and pattern languages originates in his book “Notes on the synthesis of form” (1964) which aims at developing an analytical design process based on mathematics and deductive logic. In the preface of the paperback edition (1971) Alexander distances himself from this idea but remains fascinated by the power of the diagram, or pattern, which he defines as “an abstract pattern of physical relationships which resolves a small system of interacting and conflicting forces, and is independent of all other forces, and of all other possible diagrams”. Developing this central idea leads to his renowned book „A Pattern Language” (Alexander, 1977) in which Alexander subsequently defines 253 invariant spatial patterns associated with the stability of human-environmental systems in both towns and buildings. Each pattern sits at the center of a network of associated patterns forming a unique pattern language. For Alexander this creates “a fundamental view of the world. It says that when you build a thing you cannot merely build that thing in isolation, but must also repair the world around it, and within it, so that the larger world at that one place becomes more coherent, and more whole; and the thing which you make takes its place in the web of nature, as you make it.” (Alexander, 1977) In “The Timeless Way of Building” (Alexander, 1979), a philosophical introduction and examination of the pattern language concept, Alexander introduces the concept of the „quality without a name” or “being alive” as the central quality of built environment. Ten years after the book was published, Alexander’s idea of pattern language for architecture (Pattern Language 1.0) was adopted in the field of software design (Beck & Cunningham, 1987; Gamma, et al., 1995) (Pattern Language 2.0). Since the 1990s, an increasing number of fields pertaining to human action have adopted the methods of pattern language (Pattern Language 3.0) (Coplien & Harrison, 2004; Manns & Rising, 2005; Manns & Rising, 2015; Hoover & Oshineye, 2009). Pattern Writing Techniques have emerged as a research field (e.g. elements of pattern writing for software design, social relationships, and other fields) (Iba, 2014). For Alexander developing and implementing patterns and pattern languages does not only relate to conveying information and solutions but goes further: “However, that is not all that pattern languages are supposed to do: The pattern language that we began creating in the 1970s had other essential features. First, it has a moral component. Second, it has the aim of creating coherence, morphological coherence in the things which are made with it. And third, it is generative: it allows people to create coherence, morally sound objects, and encourages and enables this process because of its emphasis on the coherence of the created whole.” (Alexander, 1999). Building on his work on patterns and pattern language Alexander went on to develop a morphogenetic understanding of the formation of the built environment in his four-volume work “The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe“ (Alexander, 2003).

Papers in the Conference Proceedings

We turn now to the 13 papers accepted for the Conference Proceedings. In each case, we provide a brief synopsis of the paper, together with comments on the linkage and contribution of the paper to the literature discussed above. Concerning the contents of this book, we are proud to remark that the selected papers cover a broad range of topics, including

1.the study of the work of Noam Chomsky, Christopher Alexander and Heinrich Lausberg in the context of framing educational patterns, as in the paper by Aspalter and Bauer. approach to easing the labor-intensive application of abstract patterns to concrete use cases, as in the paper by Falkenthal et al.

3.pattern language generations and the proposal for a 4th generation pattern language, as in the paper by Finidori et al.

4.the use of pattern language for learning from recurrent design patterns of nature derived from diverse living examples found in great repositories of natural design patterns, as in the paper by Henshaw.

5.a pattern language for dementia which consists of 40 patterns, categorized into three different groups: words for those living with dementia, words for caring families, and words for everyone., as in the paper by Iba et al.

6.a set of 24 behavioral properties that capture “wholeness” in a lively human activity, found through the investigation of pattern languages of human action, as in the paper by Iba et al. overview of the frontiers of pattern languages, based on the studies of Takashi Iba over the past 10 years, as in the paper by Iba.

8.a cooking language, a new approach to cooking, derived from the idea of pattern languages, as in the paper by Isaku et al.

9.the study of patterns and societal change, developing the theoretical relation between potential attributes of changemakers and Alexander’s concept of liveliness with pedagogical approaches, as in the paper by Nakamura and Iba.

10.a pattern language for coastal communities for surviving an earthquake with an accompanying tsunami, as in the paper by Neis and Wright.

11.the possibility of implementing Alexander’s System A, of generating beauty and life in the world, at the large scale of a city, as in the paper by Porta et al.

12.the contention that the relationship between Alexander’s System A and System B can be understood as complementary, and not as a contradiction, demonstrated through the case of Unrecognized Bedouin Villages that are located in the Negev drylands of Israel, as in the paper by Rosner-Manor and Rofè.

13.the utilization of a key attribute of patterns, combined with storytelling, to ensure emotional engagement and therefore a high rate of implementation of patterns, as in the paper by Sickinger.

Some broad conclusions can be proposed based on the research contributions of the papers in this book and the prior literature.

»Each paper in the conference proceedings shows that consequences emerge from a complex set of processes over a significant period of time, involving a wide range of actors and institutions.

»Pattern languages do not have a simple deterministic impact on development. Like other instances of pattern languages being applied to complex social issues, outcomes are not only determined by technology. Social influences are crucially important to the trajectory of any technology-based project.

»The mutual influence between pattern languages and social processes can result in solutions that work relatively well.

»Applying Pattern languages to social change requires an understanding of local meanings, existing work practices, and institutional contexts, as well as a willingness to engage with the dynamics of socio-technical change over time.

Future Research Directions

We hope that the papers included in this book will help to point the way forward to future research efforts on pattern languages that will be both rigorous and relevant to the most pressing concerns related to societal change. Our foremost interest in the area of future research is the rapid expansion of research on pattern languages and societal change. In this section, we provide some additional dimensions for expanding future work, discuss theoretical and methodological issues and identify qualified literature for research in developing countries.

Dimensions for Expansion

We want to outline some dimensions for the possible expansion of the research provided in this book.

First, future research is needed to provide a wider geographical spread. As a second dimension it would also be good to see more research on the institutional context. An example for this could be educational institutions or nongovernmental institutions as they both are challenged with searches for educational problems for our society. A third dimension of expansion concerns the study of pattern culture and language development. Fourthly work in the area of pattern communication is needed to ensure the use and implementation of pattern languages. Fifthly the developments of pattern renewal processes are important to ensure that patterns are being improved and are up to date.

Topics for Future Work

It is impossible in this short introductory paper to provide a detailed preview of potential future research topics, since the scope of such work is very wide indeed. Instead, we will mention a few important areas for future work which have been somewhat neglected to date. Further research is needed in this domain to better understand notions of culture, and to investigate the role of patterns in society in a wider variety of regional and national contexts.

Within the educational context, on topic could be learning patterns, but also patterns of identifying non-formal and informal learning. Within the artistic context, topics could be a pattern language for films based on costumes, settings and music in films. Within the organizational context, topics could be collaboration patterns, presentation patterns and change making patterns. An interesting question could also be to analyse organisations with regard to growth and identify underlying patterns of growth.

Theoretical and Methodological Issues

We welcome the theoretical diversity which reflects the enormous variety of the topics being studied in terms of research issue, level of analysis, sectoral context, and cultural location. We would suggest, however, that there is a need for more studies to be explicitly critical, in the academic sense of that term, and to draw on appropriate critical theories to support research objectives.

With respect to methodology, much of the current literature on pattern languages uses case studies and broadly interpretive research methods. We would also like to see more action research studies and works on the methodology of pattern mining. There are surprisingly few reported in the literature on pattern languages for societal change. Action research would appear to be particularly relevant in contexts where resources are scarce, when it can be argued that outside researchers should not only go away with data for their academic papers, but should also aim to make a contribution in the research setting itself.

Connection to Other Literature

The field of pattern languages has always drawn on literature from other related fields, for example economics and organization studies. We would like to see synergies between patterns, pattern languages, and other research fields better developed in the future.


We end this introductory paper with some reflections on the process of editing the book. We believe that the selected papers are immensely important for the corresponding areas of interests and that they will be frequently quoted and consulted in the years to come. The editors would like to thank all the authors who have submitted their precious manuscripts to this conference and to ask for their understanding for our possible mistakes. Moreover, we would like to thank George Platts as the game master of the PURPLSOC 2015 conference as well as the whole audience for their active participation, great enthusiasm and spirit.

Our thanks also go to the many anonymous reviewers, who have worked so devotedly under our severe constraints. We would also like to thank all the reviewers, too many to mention by name, who responded to our requests for reviews in a professional and timely way. This book bears the name of the editors, but hidden referees would merit, in many cases, to be credited as well for so many freely given suggestions, generous improvements and detailed corrections.

We would like to thank the Department of Interactive Media and Educational Technologies at Danube University Krems for the administrative support, and in particular Ingrid Muthsam and Wolfgang Rauter who handled the high volumes of work associated with the conference proceedings.

Dear reader, we hope you enjoy this book.

Peter Baumgartner

Tina Gruber-Muecke

Richard Sickinger


Alexander, C. (1964). Notes on the synthesis of form. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., & Silverstein, M. (1977). A pattern language: towns, buildings, construction. New York: Oxford University Press.

Alexander, C. (1979) The Timeless Way of Building, Oxford University Press.

Alexander, C. (1999). The Origins of Pattern Theory: The Future of the Theory, and the Generation of a Living World. IEEE Software, 16(5), 71–82. doi:10.1109/52.795104. Lecture at the 1996 ACM Conference on Object-Oriented Programs, Systems, Languages and Applications (OOPSLA)

Alexander, C. (2003). The nature of order: an essay on the art of building and the nature of the universe (Vols. 1–4). Berkeley, California: Center for Environmental Structure.

Beck, K. and Cunningham, W. (1987) ‘Using Pattern Languages for Object-oriented Programs’, OOPSLA-87 Workshop on the Specification and Design for Object-Oriented Programming.

Coplien, J. (1999) “A Pattern Language for Writers’ Workshops,” in Harrison, N., Foote, B., Rohnert, H. (eds), Pattern Languages of Program Design 4, Addison-Welsey Professional.

Coplien, J.O., Harrison, N.B. (2004) Organizational Patterns of Agile Software Development, Prentice Hall.

DeLano, D.E. (1998) ‘Patterns mining,’ in Rising, L. (Ed.): The Patterns Handbook: Techniques, Strategies, and Applications, Cambridge University Press.

Gamma, E., Helm, R., Johnson, R. and Vlissides, J. (1994) Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software, Addison-Wesley.

Hoover, D. and Oshineye, A. (2009) Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman, O’Reilly Media.

Iba, T., (2014) A Journey on the Way to Pattern Writing: Designing the Pattern Writing Sheet. PLoP 2014 proceedings.

Manns, M.L. and Rising, L. (2005), Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas, Addison-Wesley.

Manns, M.L. and Rising, L. (2015) More Fearless Change: Strategies for Making Your Ideas Happen, Addison-Wesley Professional.


From Noam Chomsky and Christopher Alexander to Heinrich Lausberg: Rhetorical Framing for Pattern Analysis

Aspalter, Christian | Bauer, Reinhard

Leveraging Pattern Applications via Pattern Refinement

Falkenthal, Michael | Barzen, Johanna | Breitenbücher, Uwe | Fehling, Christoph | Leymann, Frank | Hadjakos, Aristotelis | Hentschel, Frank | Schulze, Heizo

Towards a Fourth Generation Pattern Language: Patterns as Epistemic Threads for Systemic Orientation

Finidori, Helene | Borghini, Sayfan G. | Henfrey, Thomas

Guiding Patterns of Naturally Occurring Design: Elements

Henshaw, Jessie Lydia

Words for a Journey: A Pattern Language for Living Well with Dementia

Iba, Takashi | Kaneko, Tomoki | Kamada, Arisa | Tamaki, Nao | Okada, Makoto

The Fundamental Behavioral Properties

Iba, Takashi | Kimura, Norihiko | Akado, Yuma | Honda, Takuya

Pattern Language 3.0 and Fundamental Behavioral Properties

Iba, Takashi

The Cooking Language: Applying the Theory of Patterns into Cooking

Isaku, Taichi | Kubonaga, Emi | Iba, Takashi

Fostering Changemakers with Change Making Patterns: A Conceptual Framework for Social Change and Its Educational Applications

Nakamura, Sumire | Iba, Takashi

Survival Pattern Language: A Wayfinding Escape Pattern Language for Surviving an Earthquake with an Accompanying Tsunami

Neis, Hajo | Wright, Perrin

The Production of Cities: Christopher Alexander and the problem of “System A” at large scale

Porta, Sergio | Rofè, Yodan | Vidoli, Mariapia

Combining systems A and B: Creating a Pattern Language for the Unrecognized Bedouin Villages in the Negev, Israel

Rosner-Manor, Yaara | Rofè, Yodan

Patterns that Emotionally Engage - The Application of Storytelling for the Implementation of Pattern Languages

Sickinger, Richard



We would like to thank all authors, contributors and participants of the PURPLSOC Conference 2015


Image: Jeremy Piehler | | CC Licence

About the Authors

Yuma Akado is a student who belongs to the Faculty of Policy Management in Keio University. While she studies under professor Takashi Iba on Pattern Languages of human activities, she has been creating patterns, and organizing workshops. She is one of the members from Generative Beauty Project, which conducted pattern-mining workshops in Japan, Korea, and the US, aiming to open up, and involve more people into the process of creating pattern languages. She has also created Cooking Patterns, a pattern language on cooking.

Christian ASPALTER is professor at the University College of Teacher Education in Vienna (PHW) and lecturer in teaching methodology at the University of Vienna, Austria. He is Head of the ‘Centre for Didactics of Text- and Information Literacies’ and project leader of the national reading plan ÖRLP (‘Austrian Reading Framework’). His current work focuses on topics related to reading and writing in a digital context, information literacy, general didactics and rhetoric pattern analysis.

Johanna BARZEN studied media science, musicology and phonetics at the University of Cologne and gained first practical experience while working for some major television channels like WDR and RTL. Next to this she studied costume design at the ifs (international film school Cologne) and worked in several film productions in the costume department in different roles. Currently she is Ph.D. student at the University of Cologne and research staff member at the Institute of Architecture of Application Systems (IAAS) at the University of Stuttgart doing research on vestimentary communication in films.

Reinhard BAUER graduated in Romance Studies and German. After a one-year period as a foreign language assistant in Spain, he worked as a language teacher in secondary vocational education, contributed to various Spanish textbooks and lectured on the Didactics of Spanish as a Foreign Language at the University of Vienna. He completed a postgraduate Master’s degree in eEducation at Danube University Krems, where he worked as a staff member researching e portfolios and educational patterns. He received his PhD from Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt in 2014. Currently he is professor and researcher at the University College of Teacher Education Vienna.

Peter BAUMGARTNER is a full Professor for Technology Enhanced Learning and Multimedia at Danube University Krems. He graduated in sociology and did his habilitation thesis on “Background Knowledge – Groundwork for a Critique of Computational Reason”. His recent research focuses on Higher Education didactics, theories of teaching and learning, e-Education and distance education, e-Learning implementation strategies and the evaluation of learning environments. He has been key speaker at various TEL conferences and has published 8 books and over 120 articles.

Sayfan G. BORGHINI is currently a Lecturer at the Master in Integrated Design, and Responsible for Business and Collaboration Dev. of AIH – Academic Innovation Center – at the Holon Institute of Technology, Israel. Graduated as a doctor in Physics at the University of Rome, she leverages her background to maintain an up to date dialogue among science, technology and design. Her interest focuses on the application of complexity theories at the intersection of social and technological forces, among her projects: stigmergy applied to social environments, mapping of generative systems, biomimicry for social innovation.

Uwe BREITENBÜCHER is a research associate and Ph.D. student at the Institute of Architecture of Application Systems (IAAS) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. His research vision is to ease the provisioning and management of cloud applications by automating management patterns. Uwe received a diploma in software engineering from the University of Stuttgart.

Michael FALKENTHAL is a research associate and Ph.D. student at the Institute of Architecture of Application Systems (IAAS) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. He studied business information technology at the Universities of Applied Sciences in Esslingen and Reutlingen focusing on business process management, services computing and enterprise architecture management. Michael gained experience in several IT transformation and migration projects at small- to big-sized companies. His current research interests are fundamentals on pattern language theory as well as cloud computing.

Christoph FEHLING is a research associate and Ph.D. student at the Institute of Architecture of Application Systems (IAAS) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. His research interests include IT architecture patterns focused especially on cloud computing. Christoph received a Dipl.-Inf. in computer science from the University of Stuttgart. He is a member of the Hillside Group and author of the book „Cloud Computing Patterns” (Springer, 2014).

Helene FINIDORI has a background in business strategy, branding and organizational development. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Schumacher Institute, a PhD student at the Centre for Systems Studies - Business School, at the University of Hull and until recently she taught Management and Leadership of Change in the International Program of Staffordshire University. She is mainly interested in social change and systemic perspectives. Her focus is on the development of tools and approaches for transformative action, and in particular those connecting dots and building bridges between people, organizations, cultures, disciplines, types of knowledges and languages.

Tina GRUBER-MUECKE is the head of the Educational Technology Research Center at Danube University Krems. Before she was full professor for Organisational Learning at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (School of Informatics, Communication and Media). She finished her PhD in Social and Economic Sciences with a focus on learning during Internationalization processes. Her recent research focuses on Entrepreneurship Education and Work Based learning as well as collaborative team learning processes. She has published articles in leading business management journals, such as the Journal of Business Economics, the International Journal of Emerging Markets and teaches Corporate Learning as well as Innovation and Change Management at several Universities of Applied Sciences.

Aristotelis HADJAKOS is Professor for Music Informatics at the University of Music Detmold, Germany. He is the head of the Center of Music and Film Informatics, a joint institution of the University of Music Detmold and the University of Applied Sciences OWL, Lemgo. He is conducting research on Human-Computer-Interaction in the area of music and media. His research interests include Digital Humanities in music and film, sensor-based music interfaces and interactivity in music scores.

Thomas HENFREY is Senior Researcher at the Schumacher Institute and a Research Fellow on the EU-funded BASE Project (Bottom-up Climate Adaptation) at Lisbon University. A transdisciplinary scholar and active sustainability practitioner, he has degrees in the natural and social sciences and professional training in solar power installation, permaculture design and shamanic healing. He coordinated development of the Pattern Language for Transition Research, a collaboration between researchers from several UK universities and practitioners from the Transition and Permaculture movements.

Jessie HENSHAW began her study of new ways to combine systems principles of physics (laws of control) with architecture (design of services) some 40 years ago, with recognizing both as views of the same world natural systems. Her research on innate patterns found in individual natural whole systems, led to many important findings about their system designs and transformations for fields of science and policy. Her methods also provide much better ways of discussing and accounting for their origins, growth and change as organizational development and adaptive learning.

Frank HENTSCHEL is a full Professor of Musicology at the University of Cologne. He studied musicology, philosophy and German literature in Cologne and London. He received his Ph.D. in musicology in 1999 in Cologne and his habilitation in 2006 in Berlin (Free University). He spent one year at Harvard University Cambridge with a Feodor Lynen fellowship in 2004/2005 and was Professor at the Universities of Jena and Giessen. His recent work focuses on film music and the history of emotions.

Takuya HONDA is a graduate from the Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University, Japan. He researches a methodology for the creation of pattern languages for enhancing organizational creativity. He made some pattern languages on human actions, including collaboration, and education. He is currently working on the practice of creating pattern languages with employees from Japanese companies.

Takashi IBA is an associate professor in the Faculty of Policy Management and the Graduate School of Media and Governance at Keio University. He received a Ph.D. in Media and Governance from Keio University. He is a board member of The Hillside Group, which promotes pattern languages. Collaborating with his students, he authored Learning Patterns (2014), Presentation Patterns (2014), Collaboration Patterns (2014), Words for a Journey (2015), and also many books in Japanese such as the bestselling Introduction to Complex Systems (1998), Social Systems Theory (2011), and Pattern Language (2013).

Taichi ISAKU is a student at Keio University, Japan. His studies are centered around the creative process in people, and uses Patten Languages as a tool to scribe out the practical knowledge involved in people’s creative acts. He is especially working on ways to enhance people’s creativity through cooking, and is applying the theory of patterns into the new area. His past works with patterns include the Collaboration Patterns (2012), Global Life Patterns (2013), Generative Cooking Patterns (2014), CoCooking Patterns (2014), The Cooking Language(2015), and the Parenting Patterns (2015).

Tomoki KANEKO is an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies at Keio University. He is researching a methodology for the creation of pattern language for enhancing creativity. He is a member of the Dementia-Friendly Japan Initiative, a cross-sector network that reassesses issues related to dementia as issues of social design, and is one of co-authors of Words for a Journey (2015).

Arisa KAMADA is a graduate student in the Graduate School of Media and Governance at Keio University and model for a fashion magazine. She graduated from Keio University with a Bachelor of Arts in Policy Management. She created Personal Culture Patterns, a pattern language for supporting youth in creating active, engaged lives, and facilitated many workshops such as the Self-Travel Cafe. Ms. Kamada is one of co-authors of Collaboration Patterns (2014) and Words for a Journey (2015).

Norihiko KIMURA is a student who belongs to the Faculty of Policy Management in Keio University. He is a member of professor Takashi Iba’s laboratory. He researches on pattern applications and developed „The 4th Place,” a web service using a pattern language. Papers on this system have been published in Asian PLoP 2014 and PLoP 2014. He is currently working on Student Build Campus Project, which is a new campus-planning project of Keio University, making pattern languages for this project.

Emi KUBONAGA is a BA graduate of Keio University who has a strong passion for fashion and technology. She is also an experienced fashion photographer, a start-up CEO, and a radio show anchor. Her academic work includes the Cooking Language (2015) and the Parenting Patterns (2015).

Frank LEYMANN is a full professor of computer science and director of the Institute of Architecture of Application Systems (IAAS) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. His research interests include service-oriented architectures and associated middleware, workflow- and business process management, cloud computing and associated systems management aspects, and patterns. Frank is co-author of more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, more than 40 patents, and several industry standards. He is on the Palsberg list of Computer Scientists with highest h-index.

Sumire NAKAMURA is a researcher at Keio Research Institute at SFC. She graduated Keio University with a Bachelor of Arts in Policy Management, receiving the SFC Graduation Project Award. As one of the founders of Change Making Project, she has facilitated social entrepreneurship among youth through educational programs in Japan and in the Philippines. Sumire has also been engaged in international development projects in Israel, India, and Cambodia for spreading awareness on social issues in Japan. She is one of co-authors of Change Making Patterns (2015) and Collaboration Patterns (2014).

Hajo NEIS is director of Portland Architecture Programs University of Oregon, and of Research Labs PUARL and CIU. Professor Neis teaches architecture design and urban theory. He previously taught at the University of California, FH Frankfurt, Prince of Wales UDTF, Dresden TU, Duisburg-Essen, and Meiji University Tokyo. His main interest in research and design include the question of quality and value in architecture and urban structure and the question of process and sequence. He works together with Chris Alexander (CES) and also heads his own architecture office (HNA), with projects in the US, Japan, and Germany. Dr. Neis has published in English, German, Japanese, Spanish and Greek Journals, and he is also a co-author of several books.

Makoto OKADA is a senior manager in charge of management of technology (MOT) in the R&D Strategy and Planning Office, Fujitsu Laboratories, Ltd.; a visiting research fellow in the Center for Global Communications, International University of Japan; and a Senior Researchers in Keio Research Institute at SFC. He is also a founder member and the current co-director of the Dementia-Friendly Japan Initiative and an advisory board member for the Dementia Friendship Club. He is a co-editor of Words for a Journey (2015).

Sergio PORTA is full Professor of Urban Design and Director of UDSU (Urban Design Studies Unit) at the Department of Architecture of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK. His recent research is on various aspects of Sustainable Urban Design, including: spatial networks analysis, urban morphology and evolution, masterplanning for change, community design, construction and therapy. He has published over forty papers on international peerreviewed journals and sits on the editorial boards of three leading journals in urbanism and science.

Yodan ROFÈ is a senior lecturer of Urban Planning and Design at the Switzerland Institute for Dryland Environmental and Energy Research, and the Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His recent research is on understanding the pattern language of informal settlements of the Negev Bedouin, in order to improve planning for their formalization and development; modeling accessibility and equity in metropolitan areas; and modeling pedestrian movement and safety in urban areas. He published The Boulevard Book with Allan Jacobs and Elizabeth Macdonald.

Ya’ara ROSNER-MANOR is a PHD student at the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Ya’ara is also an architect and an urban planner working as part of a planning staff, who is dealing in the possibility of regulating the Unrecognized Bedouin Villages by the state of Israel. The work presented here is based, partly, on data and analysis that were made in the office of Arch. Ari Cohen, in the framework of checking possibility of regulating the Unrecognized settlements.

Heizo SCHULZE is full Professor for Audiovisual Design at the faculty Media Production at the University of Applied Sciences, Lemgo, Germany. He graduated in Design for Electronic Media. His recent work and research focuses to combine traditional linear media (e.g. film) with the latest interactive and mobile options. He published various essays, papers, linear and nonlinear works, such as films, videos, installations and apps. He is a member of the internal research group Perception Lab and of the Center of Music and Film Informatics, a joint institution with the University of Music Detmold.

Richard SICKINGER is head of the Special Field for Conceptual Architecture at the Department for Building and Environment at Danube University. He graduated in architecture and is currently working on his thesis “The Concept of Coherence in the work of Christopher Alexander”. His recent research focuses on sustainable building design and pattern language.

Nao TAMAKI is a student in the Faculty of Policy Management at Keio University in Japan. She is researching a methodology for the creation of pattern language for enhancing creativity. She has created many pattern languages concerning human actions, including Global Life Patterns. She is one of the co-authors of Words for a Journey (2015).

Mariapia VIDOLI is PhD student at the University of Strathclyde of Glasgow. She graduated in Philosofy with a thesis on “The man in Ernest Cassirer. An active metahaphysics”. Her research sits in the area of movement and therapy as applied to cases of live-build construction in education and profession. Her work aims at building on Christopher Alexander’s legacy in a “Costruction & Therapy” perspective. She is co-author of “Construction and Therapy: an integrated approach to design build”, a paper presented at the ACSA Conference in Halifax, NS, Dalhousie University, in October 2014.

Perrin WRIGHT holds a Professional degree in Architecture with a minor in business administration from the University of Oregon. He had the opportunity to diversify his education, gaining a wide range of skills and experience. Some of his alternate focuses included construction techniques & management, regenerative design, and sustainable design. He is currently working as a project assistant for a developer in Portland on a series of multi-unit residential projects. Perrin is interested in systems thinking and discovering ways to initiate changes to complex socio-ecological systems through resiliency and adaptive processes.

From Noam Chomsky and Christopher Alexander to Heinrich Lausberg: Rhetorical Framing for Pattern Analysis


Aspalter, Christian

University College of Teacher Education Vienna, Austria

Bauer, Reinhard

University College of Teacher Education Vienna, Austria

Describing living languages from a universalistic point of view is rather challenging. Building a system of pattern is one possible way to work out a consistent theory for diverse disciplines and various fields similar to a universalistic approach for languages. Because of that, this paper looks at the work of Noam Chomsky, Christopher Alexander and Heinrich Lausberg in the context of framing educational patterns. It focuses especially on mutual parallels and dissimilarities of their search for systematization, for universals or generalized postulates, in order to provide a first draft of the model of Rhetorical Pattern Analysis (RPA). Finally, this article works out the difference between traditional pattern analysis and the RPA by giving an example of appliance in the field of education (First Encounter). It can be said that the RPA-model has the advantage of being a smart tool for analysing educational situations and for planning them.

Education; Educational Patterns; Pattern Analysis; Pattern Language; Rhetoric; Theory of Universal Grammar


Within the educational context, pattern analysis searches for universal patterns that provide solutions for educational problems as well as universal assistance with learning and teaching in general. So this approach can be compared well with the efforts in linguistics that, according to Chomsky, aim at making language accessible by linguistic universals (cf. Bauer, 2013). This universalistic focus on pattern analysis also forms the basis of Christopher Alexander’s approach that attempts to derive linguistic universals in architecture from a highly stable basis (one may even be tempted to think of a pattern ontology) of natural phenomena (cf. Alexander, 1984, particularly pp. 14-16). The universalistic approach of pattern analysis against the background of Chomsky and Lausberg is still overstrained with the variability of its application (pragmatics). To solve this theoretical problem we have to focus on the pragmatic aspect of pattern analysis itself. But where can a solid theoretical background for systematisation of pragmatic aspects of language be found? The anticipated answer is within the tradition of rhetoric.

Therefore this article provides an introduction and a brief overview of a possible way to frame educational patterns by relying on rhetorical scholarship. We focus on the following research questions by using rhetoric, the ancient art of argumentation and discourse as an analytic lens:

1.What can be derived from the works of Noam Chomsky, Christopher Alexander, and Heinrich Lausberg for understanding and framing a concept of educational patterns?

2.What are the main issues concerning a model of Rhetorical Pattern Analysis (= RPA) in the field of education?

In what follows we are going to present Chomsky, Alexander and Lausberg’s core ideas with regard to (educational) patterns. Based on this, we are going to point out our first steps towards a rhetoric of educational patterns, describe the nature and extent of our RPA model and give an example of appliance.

2.Theoretical Fundamentals

2.1Noam Chomsky and the Theory of Universal Grammar

“What do natural languages have in common?” - is the first question that arises when we are thinking about linguistic universals. Despite the fact that languages are different from each other - pronunciation, word order, case forms, etc. - they still have much in common. For instance, almost all languages have sentences that consist of words. Figure 1 illustrates the structure of such a common language starting from the morpheme level. In the present case, our main focus lies on the sentence level, even though the text level is the highest one.


Figure 1. Simple structure of a common language, starting from the morpheme level (cf. Bauer, 2013, p. 131)

“Why do languages have so many things in common?” - is the second question to be addressed. For non-linguists, grammar is merely a set of structural rules that enable people to make a sentence with a couple of words and finally, to generate a coherent text out of different sentences. They assume that people acquire this ability by simply imitating, listening to and repeating others. For linguists like Noam Chomsky, however, grammar is a theory that (ideal) speakers-hearers of a certain language possess implicitly, intuitively, and automatically. Using this theory of an innate “universal grammar”, speakers-hearers are able to distinguish between correct and erroneous sentences and they are able to form any number of new and correct sentences from a limited repertoire of linguistic means, i. e. words. With this in mind, it is quite easy to understand the meaning of “generative grammar”: It is because of generative grammar that we say “Sincerity may frighten the boy” rather than “Sincerity frighten may boy the” (cf. Chomsky, 1964, p. 76).

As for utterance production, it is important to note that a sentence is much more than the sum of its words. A sentence only gains its meaning according to the relationship between the words forming it. In general, three types of relationships can be distinguished: syntagmatic (concerning positioning), paradigmatic (concerning substitution), and semantic (concerning the meanings of words). The same applies to educational patterns. The pattern language “SEMINARS” (Fricke & Völter, 2000), for instance, might be an appropriate example for it.

“SEMINARS” has the same structure as a common natural language (cf. Figure 2):


Figure 2. Structure of pattern language SEMINARS (cf. Bauer, 2013, p. 143)

At sentence level, the text level (= “Seminars”) splits up into so-called checkpoints such as “Seminar Preparation”, “Seminar Begins”, and, at the word level, into educational patterns like “Check Prerequisites”, “Adapt Participants’ Background” which comprise the basic pattern structure “Context”, “Problem”, “Forces”, and “Solution”. The individual patterns are syntagmatically, paradigmatically and semantically interrelated.

2.2Christopher Alexander and the Nature of Order

Seamon (2007) provides a very concise overview of the basic principles of Christopher Alexander’s four-volume work “The Nature of Order”:

[It] can be understood as his effort to incorporate life-evoking geometry and step-by-step construction into a process of making that sustains environmental and place well being. To deal with the matter of geometry, he identifies a set of fifteen geometric properties [...] that he claims recur in all things, buildings, places, and situations sustaining wholeness and life. To deal with the matter of step-by-step design and construction, he develops a method of making whereby each step in the process becomes a pointer for what is to come next through the recognition, guided in part by the fifteen principles, of creating more and more centeredness, density, order, and life. His means toward this end is ten structure-enhancing actions that he claims potentially intensify the life and wholeness of the thing made [...]. (Seamon, 2007, [pp. 4 et seq.])


Figure 3. Basic principles of Alexander’s “The Nature of Order” (cf. Seamon, 2007, [p. 6])

Against this background, more or less successful attempts have been made to transfer Alexander’s pattern approach into pedagogy and education in the past few years (cf. Bauer, 2014, 2013; Bauer & Baumgartner 2012, 2010; Bergin, 2012; Iba, 2014; Kohls & Wedekind, 2011, to name but a few). However, an overall framework and general principles for educational pattern analysis are still missing.

Bauer and Baumgartner (2010), for instance, investigated the potential of Christopher Alexander’s fifteen properties of living centers (cf. Alexander, 2004, pp. 143-242) as a foundation and starting point for the analysis and classification of different stocks of educational scenarios, the “phrases” in a system of pedagogical patterns. In their perception, the lack of an agreed educational taxonomy and a common educational language related thereto are based on some misunderstandings: while defining educational scenarios different didactical levels (i.e. micro, meso and macro level) are usually confounded and, with regard to taxonomies, the importance of a holistic approach is usually forgotten. They underline that in the field of education there are very divergent views:

This is all the more important when working with (very abstract) didactic models. The more general you get, the less specific (and arbitrary) it becomes [...] The classical abstraction tries to find the “unity in multiplicity”, with the result that multiplicity gets lost. Traditional educational models reduce and thus lose the real multiplicity of teaching processes. (Bauer & Baumgartner 2010, pp. 1 et seq.)

In his doctoral thesis on educational patterns, Bauer (2014) dealt with the same issue. He identified the need for exploring a unified educational model that enables and facilitates the embedding of and the work with educational patterns.

According to these findings and Gesche Joost’s (2007) attempt to apply Alexander’s pattern approach in combination with rhetorical scholarship for the analysis of film, we assume that it is possible to do the same in the field of education. We argue that our model of Rhetorical Pattern Analysis (= RPA) could be very helpful for both the description of potential educational patterns and the analysis of already existing and defined educational patterns.

2.3Heinrich Lausberg and his Ars Rhetorica