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  •  Is one viewpoint more compete than another?

  • Only if you are comfortable with your head in the sand!
  • Is it possible to completely understand a system from only one viewpoint, or two, or three?

  • Not really but if you are interested in more than basic survival then the more [viewpoints] you encourage, the better your chances at understanding and success are.

  • If something IS does it always objectively look the same?

  • The same thing can look entirely different from a different point of view, and to make it potentially even more difficult consider this:
    A viewpoint is not just a point of reference it is also a WAY of considering something [a viewpoint within a viewpoint!]
  • Is compete knowledge possible?

  • Not really!
  • Is compete knowledge desirable?

  • Well, it is more a question of whether it is even attainable, but to address the question; the pursuit of it can be a cop out on managing the process... focusing on finding out everything about something [or everything!] begs the question of what the purpose of knowledge really is.  Lots of knowledge does not presuppose good judgment.  Certainly the more knowledge you have the better your potential understanding of a subject is ...but it is also very easy to loose sight of the forest for all the trees [to get lost in facts without a purpose].
  • If complete knowledge doesn't provide all the answers then why bother trying to attain it?

  • Actually knowledge is really good stuff, but it is more important to look for the ESSENTIAL characteristics of a system and to have a sense of, or an understanding of, where a system is and where it is likely to go... to find a balance between knowledge and understanding.
    The really important thing is to develop a sense of direction about where a system is likely to "want" to go and to find ways to encourage convergence between where you think a system should be and where the system is likely to be.... and to do it with limited resources.
  • Occam's Razor offers a comfortable alternative.

  • The obvious solution to a problem has about the same chance of being the best solution as a GUESS [maybe 50%].  So if you are satisfied with a 50% success rate then you can save yourself a whole lot of effort trying to understand the nature of things.  What's more, broadening your viewpoint and increasing your vision does not proportionally improve your chances of understanding, you have to work harder and harder for increasingly smaller returns.
  • Sound like a lot of work?

  • Well it usually is, but the results are ALWAYS more satisfying than the alternative [the 50% solution].  True some of the "magic" of a spontaneously and accidentally conceived solution may be missing but in its place there is the sort of peace that comes from harvesting the fruits of an intellectually honest effort.


    Planning today for tomorrow's use.  Tough to do especially since tomorrow as a moving target.  It is equally "tough" to put practical constraints on the visioning process.  As the distance from a goal increases the probability of the end point being what you expect it to be decreases.

    Clearly the "future" is subject to all kinds of influences.  Two of the most common attitudes towards it cause much of the "dissonance" found in the built or created environment: thinking that it can be completely controlled and that it is a fixed point, and thinking that it is impossible to plan for.  The reality is neither.


    Crisis: A crucial or decisive point or situation, a turning point, a crossroad.

    A crisis is precipitated by a decisive action or a decided lack of action.  In some contexts crisis is "bad" and others it is "good".  It can be argued that a crisis is only a degree of change; and further that life without crisis is something less than life...or to put it another way; a definition of death is "the absence of change".  Since crisis is defined as "a crucial or decisive point or situation, a turning point, a crossroad" and since change is implicit in the definition, it does not take a rocket scientist to realize that a life without crisis could be construed to be death.

    Managing crisis then can be done in two very different ways: Trying to keep things the same, and learning to live with and/or create change.


    The word “Art” is actually two words depending on its use, and this is where the confusion begins.  One is a Noun and the other a verb, the noun is a “thing”, an object, and the verb is when the practice of a discipline is described as an “art”.  For clarity; when referring to something created simply for expression I use “fine art [noun]”, and when referring to the performance of a discipline I use “art [verb]".  For example: the “Art” of cooking in contrast to a work of “Fine Art”, Brahms Second Piano Concerto. One is a “process” and the other a “thing”.

    Fine Art is created to be: 
    1. A Dramatic [degree is optional] and/or Sensory Experience without specific representation or philosophical content.
    2. Something that alludes to profound [degree is optional] meaning or philosophical content and is intended to be understood.
    3. Or Somewhere in-between.


    Even if the primary purpose of a built environment is for the celebration of an aesthetic experience the environment must still perform effectively in most of the same ways that the environment of a manufacturing facility, or an office, or a residence does: keeping the wind and rain out, modifying the interior climate,  accommodating the necessary utilities and infrastructure, etc., etc.  For a built environment to be successful it must be successful on all levels not just a select [or arbitrary] few. 

    Architecture begins and ends with the client and his needs, not the personal feelings of the Architect.   This is a fundamental and essential imperative for the practice of “good” Architecture so that can most effectively serve the program of the client.  The only exception might be when the Architect is his own “client” and then he alone will suffer or celebrate the consequences.

    So where does this leave the aesthetic, the feelings, the non strategic parts of life?   Right where they should be; just a part of the big picture!  While it might be an important part, it is really just one part of a built environment.


    The whole "ball of wax"... Strategic design is a methodology that begins with the reasons and lets the form be dictated by the purpose.  The point here is that design is more or less strategic by its very nature, because when it is all over the successful operations depend on an appropriate and supportive physical organization.  In other words, successful design is also successful strategy.
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