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Pattern: Connectedness in isolation

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Part of a 5-fold Pattern Language.
Subsequently published in Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (1986)

Pattern template

When subdividing a relatively small space, boundaries can be usefully under-emphasized by limiting the number of modes by which contact is maintained across the boundaries. This ensures connectedness throughout the whole space whilst maintaining an adequate degree of isolation for each part of it.

Physical In a small building with small rooms, doors with glazing give a sense of visual connection together with the possibility of acoustic isolation. People then feel less isolated.

Social In a small organization made up of small working units, each unit should receive sufficient general information on the activities of the others without needing to expose the others to the full details of its internal operations. The units then feel connected but appropriately isolated in dealing with their particular responsibilities.

Conceptual Within a small conceptual framework with narrow domains of specialization, each specialized framework should be exposed to only some kinds of information from the others in order to maintain the sense of coherence within the larger framework. Other kinds of information, corresponding to the internal preoccupations characterizing each domain, should not need to be exchanged.

Psychic When further articulating a particular mode of awareness, there should be sufficient interaction between the sub-modes to avoid total fragmentation of the more general mode.

Broader Distortion resistant boundaries; #P1225; Internal connectedness between domains; Eccentric access to perspective contexts; Emphasizing transitions across boundaries; Limiting length of communication pathways; Protected low-density communication pathways; Enhancing insight by varying levels of exposure to it; Internal transition spaces enhancing structural entry points.

Narrower Multi-faceted frameworks.

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