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Where Is Matt This Week?

The Banyan Tree @ Useppa Island
taken by Gail when she arrived

August 29, to September 20, 1999

Where: Boulder, Useppa Island, Hampton Roads, Palo Alto.

At: AI Tech Center, CAMELOT, NASA Langley, Foresight Conference, Palo Alto KnOwhere Store.

I returned to Boulder to spend a week of planning and design with the AI KreW working through the rationalization of the Foundation Series and the final design and scope definition of the Foundation 2 System.

I did not realize until I got there that this was the week, 20 years ago, when Gail, Jeff and I moved to Boulder. It was here that we launched what is now MG Taylor Corporation, AI, the KnOwhere Stores and our ValueWeb. It was a week of good design work and deep memories.

The AI KreW hosted an excellent session. Participating were Bill Blackburn, myself, Paul Lyons, Brian Ross, Lisa Piazza. AI is now at a $3,000,000 a year run rate; the shop is employing 15 craftsmen at 50 hours a week and production is almost fully scheduled through the end of the year.

After, Boulder a 10 day period on CAMELOT to renew, plan and write. Gail arrived at CAMELOT a few days before I did and left a few days before me.

I made good progress on the next 120 day “End Game” MG Taylor Strategy. Many pieces coming together after many months of getting into position.

Mike Bednarek came down for a day and a half and we worked on the Patents and other IP issues.

After CAMELOT, I had a great day at NASA Langley giving a seminar on ValueWebs at their NavCenter. A good time was had by all.

Then, dodging the Hurricane, I headed West for meetings at KnOwhere and the Foresight Conference.


CAMELOT safely back at the dock
picture by Captain Armour Rice

Mission: Several related themes dominated this period. Going to closure with our End Game Strategy and developing a 120 day action plan designed to take our Enterprise to the next level. Work on the theory and practive of building ValueWebs - both as a product/service of our Enterprise and as an organizing principle of it. Futher definition of Agent-based Systems and their application to our Method.

In all, finishing a long period of discovery and development and “shipping” the artifacts of implementation.

The next period will be about Project Management and building the organizations and systems for our next phase of development.

Syntopical Books: James Gosling, Bill Joy, Guy Steele “The Java™ Language Specification;” Marvin Minski “The Society of Mind;” Robert Zubrin “Entering Space - Creating a Spacefaring Civilization;” Robert Porter Lynch “Business Alliances Guide - The Hidden Competitive Weapon;” Thomas Petzinger “The New Pioneers.”


Images of Boulder
Memories from our past


Row 1 (left to right): The restored/remodeled bank build by Chris Evert - one of the first Mall projects; Restored/remodeled old school building which Sina Sinabot turned into and office building - Sina started the restoration of the Boulder River which now has many miles of paths and parks; Music on the Mall - one of several entertainment happenings that go on every day of the year.

Row 2 (left to right): “Into the Wind” - a kite store started by two young architects just out of school about 1982, greatly expanded now; A famous corner space (the second story) where Storage technology started; The harvest restaurant (now being remodeled) our favorite hangout.

Row 3 (left to right): One of many street vendors - this is where the first hats that now populate NavCenters came from; The outside of the building that housed our startup “ Anticipatory Management Center;” Stairway up to our front window.

Row 4 (left to right): A typical restored/updated store front on the Mall done around 1982; Inside of the Boulderaldo Hotel which still today has a drinking fountain supplied from a Glazier 10 miles away on the Continental Divide; the hallway leading to our AMC entrance (with Lisa looking in the window).

Row 5(left to right): Alfalfa's Food Store - the first client we facilitated through startup; The Boulder City Hall off the Mall; The outside of the Boulderaldo Hotel - the restoration was start “bootstrap” while we were there, now, the hotel is expanded and very successful.

A magic place that sets a very strong Armature for the whole city.

Boulder holds up well from me. When we moved there the Mall had just been built. It is, without doubt, one the most successful outdoor pedestrian Malls ever accomplished. A wonderful social space.Chris Evert was the architect for the Mall. His office was on the top floor of the building in which we built our first Management center (the AMC). He designed this building, also, and CO-owned it with a Law firm.

When the Mall was first built, most of the buildings facing it were old 1980s works that had been covered over - modernized - with aluminum,in the 50s. Evert redid the Bank building (left) and established a Patter Language of new/old blend that is still going strong today.

Over the 25 year history of the Mall, the trees have grown, most of the buildings have been restored and remolded and many new structures have been built that express a regional idiom - the “Boulder” look.

The Mall now attracts word-class merchants, as well as, continues to house several small, independently owned, businesses that were just starting up when we were there.

We always looked foreword to this space when driving down from Instead. It was, and is, an outdoor living room for the people of Boulder and the place where a diverse population could come together and interact in harmony.



Opportunity @ the Design Yard

August 7, to August 28, 1999

Where: Chicago, Detroit, Holland, Kalamazoo, Palo Alto.

At: Palo Alto KnOwhere Store with trips to Detroit Edison, Borgess Navigation Center, the Design Yard and back to Palo Alto.

In (belated) celebration of Gail’s birthday, Gail Jeff, Todd and I took a 12 mile hike in xx xxx a fabulous redwood forest not far from Palo Alto.

Two meetings exploring the possibility of teaching architecture and design at two very different Institutions.

Meetings with Internet startup companies - how can we support their process and how can they employ our IP in their sites.

Mission: Creation of the market value of MG Taylor and the AI, KnOwhere Business Units by establishing “fitness” within a greatly expanded ValueWeb.

This period will see put in place a series of moves (password protected) that, together, will “end” the startup phase of of this Enterprise.

Involved is a corporate restructuring, several foundation-level client and partner agreements, and the extension of the ValueWeb beyond its present (relatively narrow) scope. This work will not be completed in this period, however, the basis of how the next phase of the game will be played out will be established.

Syntopical Books: Joseph Conrad “Heart of Darkness;” T.G. Lewis “The Friction Free Economy;” August Sarnitz “R.M. Schindler, Architect;” Malcom Wells “The Earth Sheltered-House - An Architect’s Sketchbook”



Design Yard space

Gathering in the Radiant Room
for a report


August 3, to August 7 1999

Where: Palo Alto.

At: Palo Alto KnOwhere Store

Mission: 2 day ZoomTrax process for a Materials Company in association with GBN who did the Scenario Building part of the project.

The clients and WAWD Team members played and worked hard and got it all done in fine form - a great group to work with.

In background, ongoing development of a new NavCenter and documenting Palo Alto KnOwhere Store processes.

Syntopical Books: Joseph Conrad “Heart of Darkness”






View from our Sea Loft deck
at a hot, hazy summer estuary


July 31, to August 3, 1999

Where: Hilton Head.

At: Our Sea Loft

Mission: Design work and project documentation

Completing a phase of work started several weeks ago and passing it on for the next iteration of development. It is hot. Index over 107 degrees. Deer are sleeping under the Palmettos directly below my work station. Even the birds are taking it easy at the feeders.

I am home alone, avoiding the KnOwhere Store action - time to think, draw and build a web-documentation. A walk to CQs (our local Pub) for diner then back to it until energy and time run out.

Syntopical Books: Mark Twain “Letters From the Earth;” Robert Heinlein “The Past Through Tomorrow;” Jane Jacobs “Systems of Survival”



Hilton Head Airport
Sunshine supervising the work
Woodpecker @ the feeder

EY Atlanta ASE
View past a breakout and sitting area to the KnowledgeWorker Room
The CubeOffice System was recently installed by AI.


July 24, to July 30, 1999

Where: Hilton Head to Waynesville (NC), to Atlanta, to Holland (Mich) to Atlanta to Hilton Head.

At: Bob and Joan Taylor’s Mountain Home, Office and Studio, a Mediation in Atlanta, design review in Holland and a visit to the EY Atlanta ASE.

Mission: Closing open items, reestablishing relationships, moving a project forward.

This was an intense week and a somewhat stressful one. A tight schedule, driving and flying, meals on the go, very hot weather. I did not accomplish a “sit down” meal between noon Tuesday and 8:00 pm Friday night - just three bag lunches and snacks in-between. The logistics of successive travel-meet-travel-meet can be daunting. However, it was a week, in every regard, were work was advanced, old issues put to rest and some neglected relationships brought back to life.

In the meantime, out in Palo Alto, the KnOwhere Store was featured in section 2 front page of “In Business.” Go to: for the words without the photos.

Syntopical Books: “RM Schindler, Architect” by August Sarnity. DVDs: “Amadeus;” “My Fair Lady.”



EY Atlanta ASE
Bob and Joan Taylor’s home, office and studio

Our Sea Loft
Picture taken by Gail upon her return from Palo Alto last Monday


July 16, to 24, 1999

Where: Hilton Head.

At: At Hilton Head KnOwhere Store

Mission: Develop new web technology; develop new go-to-market strategies and materials; Develop IP implementation strategies and related contractual forms. Develop Partner relationships.

Midweek - last week - while I was in Holland, was Gail’s birthday - once a year she gets to catch up with me in age for a few months. The Hilton Head MG Taylor and KnOwhere KreW took her to diner. The 16th, Saturday, was our Anniversary (our 22nd) and we celebrated at the new Hilton Head Barnes and Nobel Book Store and spent a quiet weekend of talk, reading, DVD viewing and web work in our Sea Loft.

Syntopical Reading: Stungo: “The New Wood Architecture;” Grehan/Riley: “Visions of Wright;” Woodward: “Shadow;” Petzinger “The New Pioneers;” Greene: “Building To Last”



Gail and Matt’s Sea Loft workstations


Our new Windsurfer Saildog - workwall docable
Delivered to DTE this week
Concept by Jim Luckey, architect - SHG


July 11, to 16, 1999

Where: Kalamazoo to Holland to Detroit to Hilton Head.

At: At Herman Miller, Detroit Edison, home to the Sea Loft.

Mission: A week of working with designers and architects from various firms developing new environments. Practicing collaboration skills and learning each other’s language and culture. Good designs got better as the week progressed - which is the most that can be asked for.

The week re-alerted me to how time pressures and UpSideDown Economics closes in on the design process and stresses those working to deliver the product. Non-Dynamic project Management and budgeting methods cannot keep up with the rate of change in the business environment and the development process necessary to match it.

Faced with increasing ambiguity, the corporate response is to try and control more rather then adapt better. The teams worked well in resolving this tension between present and future value and the need to bring economics and art together.

Syntopical Reading: None.


My work station at Marigold Inn, Holland
The new Windsurfer SailDog being put to work

Circumstances drove invention this week. In order to make the “impossible” maybe possible, I had to invent a new elevator and work-loft system that can be built and delivered as “furniture” rather than as built architecture. This is consistent with our long standing IP development and ArmatureSystem. It is interesting how constraints drive innovation which solves one set of problems and then, immediately, creates another set of issues.

“Creating” the problem is the primary creative act. The rest follows.

How you look at it defines the problem you will solve. How you solve the problem you can created determines the craft of the outcome. One addresses significance, the other usability. Good problem solving is at once intentional and heuristic.

20 years ago, this week, we were in Washingtion DC with Barbara Hubbard planning a retreat center for change agents. We had intention. We did know at the time that by September we would be in Boulder, Colorado starting what is now MG Taylor Corporation.


Ronald Regan International Airport


July 7, to 10, 1999

Where: Palo Alto to New York to Washington DC to Detroit to Kalamazoo.

At: At Continuum Health Partners, AMA, Kilpartic Stockton/Crowell & Moring, Detroit Edison, Kalamazoo apartment.

Mission: Visiting an existing NavCenter for contract closure, meeting new prospective clients and associates, developing IP implementation, designing a new NavCenter and a quite working weekend of design.

A great week and a horrid travel experience that makes you wonder how anyone can link the words “transportation” and “system.”

Syntopical Reading: None.



A weekend of designing - exploring workspace potential

A busy week of travel full of meetings was capped off with a quite weekend, alone, designing. It is rare that I get quality time and the chance to start with the “open potential of blank paper and a fistful of colored pencils” as Mr. Wright described it.

The contrast between design and business transaction modes is very great. This is often difficult to make. In this case, a change of cities, an apartment that looks into the woods and the silence of being totally alone facilitated the shift. Also, I had Friday night through early Monday morning to do the work - enough time to settle in, think it through and then draw.

posted July, 1999

revised October 5, 1999

Copyright© 1999 Matt Taylor

DesignShop, PatchWorks, NavCenter, ValueWeb, are Trademarks of iterations and Licensed to MG Taylor Corporation. KnOwhere and ZoomTrax are Trade Marks of KnOwhere Inc. CubeOffice is a Trade Mark of AI.


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