ProxPatterns (PPs)

For creativity, innovation and problem-solving.

Key Points

What are ProxPatterns?
The ProxPatterns are especially helpful for creativity, innovation and problem-solving. They are an integrated group of related patterns for relating to situations. A single ProxPattern describes ways elements can or do relate in the proximity. As a group of related patterns, ProxPatterns are valuable in relationship with each other. If one ProxPattern doesn’t apply in a situation, another one probably does. Further, they often work together and play off each other. So, as a group, ProxPatterns can help us relate to situations in more productive, effective, adaptive, creative, playful and enjoyable ways.

Why, Where and When?
The ProxPatterns can help us relate to a variety of situations, relationships and people, ranging from simple objects and daily concerns, to social situations, to business situations, to community situations, to creative situations in the arts and design, to theoretical situations, to physical situations in engineering and science. The ProxPatterns apply to static and to dynamic (changing) situations.

More About ProxPatterns
ProxPatterns can help us carry out the Core Idea. They can be used with ProxSets. ProxPatterns can suggest ways to change or adapt elements and relationships in a proximity or ProxSet. ProxPatterns can be used to evaluate or check relationships in a proximity or ProxSet. ProxPatterns provide clues about ways to start and how to progress, as well as provide options and help us deal with change. ProxPatterns allow for contradictions and complexity, yet can prevent situations from collapsing into chaos. ProxPatterns can help increase viable alternatives. ProxPatterns are simple enough for daily use, and powerful enough for some of our toughest situations.

Choose a ProxPattern Group
You can help carry out the Core Idea by using and relating three groups of PPs (which is short for ProxPatterns):
Combo PPs – If you want choices for action that work and play especially well together and help elements do the same, try the Combo PPs.
Limits PPs – If you want to consider some of the limits, scope or selection of elements in your proximity, as well as possibilities within them, try the Limits PPs.
Pure PPs – If you want to consider some purely relational aspects of your situation, try the Pure PPs.
Relate the PPs – Remember, at some point most situations can benefit from using and relating PPs from all three groups (Combo, Limits and Pure). ProxPatterns often complement each other, so keep some of them in mind as you use and relate them. For example, you might need to honor someone’s feelings or point of view, yet know that there are a variety of ways to react to the situation, and also allow for some uncertainty in how they might respond.

An infinite number of ProxPatterns are possible. However, this is a starter set of very general patterns. Many of our own more specific PPs we use in daily life can be described in terms of these general patterns.


• Are you wondering what to do next? Looking for choices for action? Searching for ways to improve a situation? Want to find ways to enjoy a situation or have more fun? The Combo PPs are a good place to start.
• Are you running up against limits? Trying to be realistic? Confused by competing alternatives, issues or viewpoints? Thinking about the scope or selection of elements? Looking for opportunities? Consider the Limits PPs.
• Could you be more aware of aspects or your situation? Are you considering changing something about a situation to see what happens? Are you stuck regarding what to do next? The Pure PPs may provide some ideas.


Click the headings to read the full example.

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