||Modeling Language Glyphs
April 17, 1997
The complete modeling language consists of 30 main models and
two supplemental sets of models covering concepts in cybernetics and complexity.
In addition there are 14 DesignShop® Axioms and 54 terms in the current
Pattern Language. The current offerings are listed in the table
of models and glyphs. Click on the word "model" to see the entire
model and on the word "glyphs" to see an explanation of each of the
glyphs for the model. To see a catalog of the glyphs currently on the website,
Purpose of the Glyphs
Many cultures have used hieroglyphs and pictograms to convey ideas
and sounds and usually both at once. Even the Mayan glyphs, some of the most
pictorial in history, are phonetically based. [for a delightful, thoughtful
exposition on language and characters, read Andrew Robinson's The Story
Signs, or symbols are drawn objects that possess a shared meaning
among a group of people, but probably do not figure into the grammar of their
written language, nor have a phonetic component for use translation from speech
to writing and back again. Our society is surrounded by a whirlwind of signs
and symbols that meet this definition. Think of road signs, particularly those
found in Europe. It's noteworthy that the meaning of many of these signs is
not intuitively obvious, but must be learned.
Many professions have built up their own systems of symbols or
signs. Mapmakers use small circles to represent towns, stars for capitals. Chemists
have a whole shorthand notation for representing the structure of chemical compounds.
The same goes for engineers and religions.
Most of us have chosen our evening meal by peering down a busy
street and looking for familiar neon logos of our favorite restaurants. Logos
are so important to businesses that their use is protected by law. Signs, seals,
symbols and logos can represent families, clans, tribes, teams, nations, military
units and corporations. Members of these organizations often invest considerable
emotion in their signs. Try defacing a Miami Dolphins logo in Miami some time
and see what happens!
The use of glyphs in the MG Taylor modeling language has several
To convey some additional, deeper sense of
each component of a model. This is done by researching the etymology of
the word and searching for symbols that support certain meanings that we
wish to emphasize. For example, the 5th E of Education is EXPLORE. The root
of the word means "to search out; cry out aloud." The symbol chosen
to represent EXPLORE is an open fan. The fan represents imagination, air
and wind. You can envision the fan as a sail of the mind with the human
spirit filling it with wind, and the imagination crying aloud for new vistas.
To add a measure of play, fun and interest
to the modeling language. There is a creative problem solving game based
on the models called The Glass Bead Game. Future versions of the game will
incorporate the glyphs as pieces.
To allow components of the models to be expressed
in pictures as well as in text. This enables a much richer and complex experience
of the modeling language.
To provide DesignShop scribes (Sketch Hogs)
with a basic vocabulary of terms and visual ideas from which to draw in
To allow components of the models to flow into
one another. For example, you could play the glyph for Producer from the Business
of Enterprise model on the Entrepreneurial Button
from the Stages of an Enterprise model, along with the Strategy glyph from the Vantage
Points model. This conjunction might symbolize
your desire to develop a strategy to create a new venture that you've had
rolling around in your head for some time now, and that you want to be tied
closely into the production aspect of the idea.
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