The four of us came together, drawn like magnets to the work of Christopher Alexander. We wished to explore in a mindful and intentional way, whatever might come up regarding powerful places and our own wisdom regarding sites and sight, the physical and the virtual. To go beyond the surface to a deeper place.
Prompted by Sheryl Erickson’s involvement with the Collective Wisdom Initiative and Fetzer’s sponsorship of “The Powers of Place” project regarding our transformational collective experience, we joined our hearts to forge this on-going inquiry. Our conversations became a strong container in which to hold our own pattern language—a deep language with which to speak about place—a language that goes beyond the bounds of commonly used expressions about place: innovative, hospitable, sacred, safe, transformative, living.
Alexander described pattern language as a fluid code, discovered through observation, which makes spaces and people come alive; repetition, points of view, complex information commonly shared are created through use. Together, we asked ourselves, where and what makes us come alive? Our fluid code regarding powerful places continues to flow, to be refined and redefined.
It was our love of Christopher Alexander’s The Nature of Order: Luminous Ground as well as his earlier books, that initially brought us together. We viewed this book as our primary source of inquiry and recognized that his writing has profoundly affected many of us, often at levels were are only beginning to access. We believe that the new and deeper ways we view place and our role within the many places we gather and live, will profoundly affect our culture going forward.
We dreamed of creating an on-line sanctuary for anyone sharing our love of place to come and thread their voices into ours. One based on beauty and grace. This, then, is the beginning of that open sanctuary designed to deepen our collective experiences and ground our individual understandings. Your voice (and any ideas about the “pattern language” for a space such as this) will be welcomed.