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13 January 2014 | Draft

Gallery of Polyhedral Flower Arrangements

Engendering sustainable psycho-social systems through metaphor

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Annex to Flowering of Civilization -- Deflowering of Culture: flow as a necessarily complex experiential dynamic (2014)


The following images are presented here in support of the argument in the main document (of which this is an annex). The question addressed there is the need to consider how the distinctive "flowers" of civilization and culture (metaphorically understood) might be appropriately configured to enable and sustain a fruitful ecosystem -- in a psycho-social sense. This question is related to the challenges of governance, whether of global civilization, a group or a person. These challenges are partly represented by the contrasting spiral figures which appear on many faces of the polyhedra below. As noted in the main paper, these derive from images and animations in a separate document (Convergence of 30 Disabling Global Trends, 2012).

The images have been generated using the remarkable (and readily available) software developed by Robert Webb (Stella: Polyhedron Navigator). The images have been selected arbitrarily on the basis of their visual interest. Each derives from very precise geometrical considerations. Their three-dimensionality necessarily emerges inadequately in the two-dimensional representation here. The software offers the capacity to interact with three-dimensional and stereo representations -- rotating them to gain a fuller understanding (as indicated in the main paper). The software also permits experimentation with four-dimensional projections. Many other aesthetic choices could have been made in the presentation of the images, most notably with respect to the choice of colours and background offered by the software.

The images have not been labelled, especially since they are a selection generated from a very extensive library of models available in the software. Many have necessarily complex names, both to distinguish them and relate them to each other. Some indication is however available from the properties of the image.

Some of the images derive from one or more of the geometrical techniques of morphing the basic forms. As stessed in the main paper, the primary purpose of this gallery is to stimulate imaginative reflection on the relevance of such forms to new approaches to organization of groups and knowledge, as discussed separately (In Quest of Mnemonic Catalysts -- for comprehension of complex psychosocial dynamics, 2007). Interactive software is clearly valuable in support of such imaginative exploration, as indicated separately (Towards Polyhedral Global Governance: complexifying oversimplistic strategic metaphors, 2008; Polyhedral Pattern Language: software facilitation of emergence, representation and transformation of psycho-social organization, 2008; Configuring Global Governance Groups: experimental visualization of possible integrative relationships, 2008; and Polyhedral Empowerment of Networks through Symmetry: psycho-social implications for organization and global governance, 2008).

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