Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A new proposition.

I had an excellent conversation today about an educational trend to deconstruct the traditional role of a principal into two (or more) positions: education director and chief-operating-officer. I am paraphrasing the names; the move responds to the posture that an individual should handle both the monetary and academic curricular operations. Capable individuals do exist, but they comprise a minority. It struck me as an interesting contextual application of business administration principles. As a design methodology may improve health care, for example, so too may business strengthen education.

I am skeptical, mostly due to ignorance, but I am excited. A parallel topic with which I do have experience has offered a bit of market validation: concrete. I captured this image at Fort Crístobol in Puerto Rico. The idea that recipes for hundreds of years of mortar--even those predating Portland cement--were on display was thrilling. It was a tidy example of a developmental arc incorporating the past, exploding it, and building anew with the constituents. It is exciting to think that breaking a pattern is itself a pattern, particularly when principles can remain, in the midst of varied implementation. Probably too much for a single paragraph on an (un)prophetic California Tuesday.

Mortar recipes

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pressure to be patterned?

Pastel homes saddle up daringly close to one another on lines mirroring topographic contours. The three-inch gap between them makes you wonder what exists in the space in between.

Of course, this is San Francisco. Every great city has a distinct feel, but who sets that pattern? How does a pattern get initiated? Who decides to follow the tradition of those that came before?

How does a city develop its coherency? In some instances, the thread is subtle yet prominent. A recent visit to London allowed me to marvel in striping. On a street with direct view of Big Ben, a structure with an honorable place in history and in the hearts of tourists, I felt that the clock tower was only a nice background for the fantastic coherency of stripes. Through various ages and styles of masonry, construction, and metalwork, the stripes permeate and persevere. The boundary between lead actors and supporting players is blurred. I wonder what sets the pressure to be patterned.

London, April 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Language of patterns

I watched the new Star Trek movie. Loved it for initiating another arc of tradition; that is, it made think about tradition again. The theatre audience applauded the film. Two things: people applauded and I just described a movie theatre as a "theatre". Maybe three things: I also called the movie a "movie". Love it!

Germans applaud a landing. I see a movie on Christmas Day. Italians chase a meal with walk. I am not sure if my interest is a tradition or if it is the transferability of the tradition as a concept with pattern. It is also exciting to think how few instances might constitute a pattern, or by extension, expertise. World War II pilots were "Aces" after five kills. Is that true after five (respective) post-coital cigarettes?

I had a hard time not killing an ailing squirrel outside of work today. I had a hard time accepting that the squirrel will die, bloat--possibly explode from the weekend heat, and present itself for cleaning on Tuesday; it was harder to favor the kill versus the clean. That latter pattern is much easier to accept, but I am not sure if it is right or just weak.

Picture by ede.