a work in progress
An Armature for Integrative Work
Developing the Program and Schematic Design


Circle of Blue Environment • Traverse City, Michigan • 2010
page one of four
In April of this year (2010), I was a participant in a DesignShop® conducted by the ValueWeb and TomorrowMakers for the Circle of Blue enterprise. The purpose of the exercise was to create a narrative with a graphical story board which tells the story of Circle of Blue’s unusual and important mission and model of operation. Circle of Blue, as the name may imply, is concerned with water issues as are scores of other organizations. What is unusual about Circle of Blue is the systemic and integrated approach they bring to the subject. Their basic operational model is to bring together three functions which rarely meet: science, reporting and convening. Not only in our society are these functions separated, the first two are under economic pressure, and thus often compromised, while the art of the collaborative convening is absent from most institutions of high social influence. This condition greatly hampers informed, intelligent, long range, effective policy and decision making about water. As a consequence we, as a global society, are selling our future down the drain - if you will forgive this accurate yet misuse of mixed metaphors.
My charge coming out of the DesignShop was to build a dynamic graphic model of the Circle of Blue operational process and design an environment which will express this model and facilitate it’s functioning. It turned out that the two assignments were in reality one.
Of all the navCenters built and under development, this design is closest to, although more modest in size, the Xanadu vision. It may become the first full expression of the Taylor Method applied to a truly global transformational effort.
This documentation is organized in four Pages (URL's): Page One, Developing the Program and Schematic Design; Page Two, Implications for Social Transformation; Page Three, Implications for Authentic Architecture; Page Four, Implications for Green Building Practices. This is a working site. The content of all four pages is being developed in relation to one another as well as other content on my sites and those of other designers, researchers, builders and writers. This then is the literal documentation of my creative process. Over the next couple of months there will be many iterations of work until the program and schematic levels of the design are achieved. Revisions, updates and new links will continue for years.
This design work is in support of Circle of Blues’s program and activities. The ValueWeb and TomorrowMakers as well as MG Taylor are partners in the growing Circle of Blue ValueWeb. However, I do not speak for Circle of Blue nor for any of the many partners who are supporting this effort. This work is my response to the Circle of Blue program and my contribution to it. This a small piece of a much larger dialog which already is global in scope.
MG Taylor was dreamed in the mid 70s and started operations in 1980. Our mission from the beginning to now is the support of social transformation. The majority of our work to date has been to help existing organizations maintain and not fail before viable alternatives are ready. Some of these will transform to a new organizational architecture - most, I expect, will not. Circle of Blue was conceived from the beginning as a 21st Century enterprise.
project examples:
These examples illustrate several factors of the Circle of Blue Program. Click on the pictures for details.
The first is a video animation by the American Society of Landscape Architects showing how a brown field site can be restored ecologically, economically and architecturally.
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posted: July 13, 2010 • revised November 27, 2010 • 9:18 AM @ Elsewhere
copyright© Matt Taylor 2010