Archive for category Communities

7 Lessons For Natural Design

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By Mark Lundegren

DSC_0661-Edit~2The personal development writer Stephen Covey once recommended the habit of beginning with our ends in mind.

So often, in life and in the designs we create, we begin with the beginning only in mind, or only a few first steps – and not the end or full context and impacts of our actions.

To some degree, this is natural. It is genuinely difficult to predict our final ends or see our total impacts with high accuracy. But this fact does not counter the idea that we should clarify and pursue ends, rather than focus on beginnings and first steps. As we can validate for ourselves, there is real power in having our ends in mind before and as we act, even if they prove simplistic in hindsight and shifting over time.

Three Creative Attributes

Three Essential Qualities For The Mastery Of Creative Change        full size

As a practical matter, to begin with our ends or outcomes in relatively full view, we require a few things. One is of course vision, a natural and practiced ability to imagine change and see how actions might unfold to produce change. This capacity to envision depends in part on comfort with expression and creativity, and in part on patience and a willingness to pursue the details of imagined change.

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Examining Our Natural Curves

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By Mark Lundegren

DSC_0661-Edit~2This post is a re-print of an article I published on my Mark Lundegren blog, but thought it might be interesting to people who enjoy thinking about shapes and forms, and their power to alter our quality of life.

My title may have led you to think I was going to argue for or against Rubenesque body types, or discuss a fitness insight from my work for HumanaNatura. But I actually want to share a strategy insight and talk about the curves of our lives and groups, rather than those of our limbs and torsos.

Though few of us have considered the idea that our lives and social settings can have a distinct underlying curve or shape, these natural patterns do indeed exist and are discoverable by us. What we might call our life-curves are real and tangible reflections of the way we live and, in particular, how we pattern our actions against our progressive potential. In theory and practice, life-curves prove quite powerful, in the results they create for us,  and as a tool of personal and group strategy and aid to higher quality of life and functioning.

The Core Idea

The core idea of natural curves is that elemental patterns can be shown to underlie all of our lives, even as these patterns remain hidden to us. In essence, our personal life-curve is the overall direction that our life or life trajectory takes over time – again, against our progressive or developmental potential. In practice, understanding and seeing our life-curves is a lot like learning about climate. Like the larger conditions that span and influence the weather we encounter each day. life-curves are subtle but ever-present shapes behind the scenes, but ones that are equally accessible and even equally obvious once grasped.

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No Building Is An Island

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By Mark Lundegren

DSC_0661-Edit~2The idea that no building is an island may strike you as obvious.

And yet, our modern design and construction practices often treat each building as if it were an island unto itself…with designers, builders, developers, and building owners indifferent to and sometimes even contemptuous of each new projects’ surroundings and history.

It’s not hard to understand why this is the case. In this time of relatively unbridled and unexamined egoism and status-seeking, our norms and incentives encourage the creation of buildings that are different and even contrary to those around them – buildings designed first to produce esteem for their creators, rather than to enhance our naturally interdependent life together.

If Only Life – And Building – Were This Easy!

At the same time, the advance of construction, materials, and design technologies now allows many new building techniques and practices to be pursued. And whether for self-serving or more principled motivations, some of us are driven to use and test these new outer limits of design. But often this is done opportunistically or idealistically, and with little regard for the practical impact of our building experiments.

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Anyone Out There?

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We’re just getting this new site going, but have the initial layout, support pages, and widgets in…feel free to have a look around.

Watch for refinement of the pages and our first posts beginning in October. In the meantime and as our post stream develops  your comments & suggestions are always welcome!

Health & best wishes,

– AN

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