Pattern completeness Sketchy
PATTERN Category
summary Use a light but formal structure to describe patterns.
Argumentation To ensure knowledge of various topics and scale is well described, use a formal pattern structure.

Alexander initial pattern format use problem-context-solution format. This was useful, but in the case of wicked problem, where there is a web of intricated interactions, even defining what the problem is, can already be difficult.

Empirically we found using Alexander's original structure can sometimes be too tight and does not suit every context.

Jenny Quillien quotes Jane Jacobs and the need to identify interacting variables and to separate these variables in ‘smaller segments’ because they “do not exhibit one problem which if understood explains all. They can be analyzed into many such problems or segments which are also related with one another.” And, “when the segments are separated out the behaviors of a variable when in the presence of other variables can be discerned.” (cited by Finidori, 2014)

Alexander himself later recognized that in their orginal form pattern and pattern language "do not actually allow a person to generate a good design, step by step." He tried to developp GENERATIVE SEQUENCE with mitigated results :

So as a pragmatic approach the structure we used is PATTERN NAME, pattern completeness, PATTERN CATEGORY, optionnal image, pattern summary, argumentation, reference, linked patterns.

Linking to other pattern was seen as essential to keep the original idea of pattern languages, ie a network of interacting design elements.
References - Finidori , H. (2014) . “A pattern language for systemic Transformation (pl AsT ) – (re)generative of commons”, <>
- Finidori , H. (2014) . “An Ecology of Transformative Action Awaiting To Be Discovered”, (Spanda Journal, V,1 ).
- Finidori, H. 2016 - Patterns that connect : Exploring the potential of patterns and pattern languages in systemic interventions towards realizing sustainable futures.
- Finidori, H. (2018) Pattern Literacy in Support of Systems Literacy -An approach from a Pattern Language perspective.
Linked patterns (Larger or smaller patterns)