The timeless way of thinking

The book The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher Alexander explores the concept of design patterns in architecture. It has apparently had a big influence on creative thinking, especially in the areas of architecture and software design. Do mental models offer such design patterns for thinking?

Initial thoughts:

  • Some mental models may be too brittle (context-dependent, worldview or experience-based) but many of these limitations are relevant to design patterns as well
  • Thought processes may be too complex and dynamic to link to fixed patterns
  • However, if design patterns can be used in architecture to solve problems inherent to complex and dynamic environments, there is a possibility they may be successfully applied to thought processes.