Modeling Language Glyphs
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, click here.

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 of Writing.]

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 intents:

  • 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 their work.

  • 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.

copyright 1996, MG Taylor Corporation. All rights reserved
copyrights, terms and conditions


© MG Taylor Corporation, 1995 - 2002

iteration 3.5