Example: Rearranging the Furniture

You want to rearrange the furniture in your place. How should you start? Should you just start moving things? Should you make a drawing? Should you cut out pieces to move around on the drawing? Should you ask other people?

The sometimes frustrating thing about projects like this is none of these approaches alone really quite does it all (limits of one). There’s always something that comes along during the process which changes things. We can’t just install the best things in life. We have to grow them. We have to get actively involved in the process. That’s where keeping ProxPatterns in mind can help.

Often the best thing to do, is make some choices, see what happens, and go from there. For your first try, you may move two pieces of furniture closer (more proximate). You may create a group of furniture, or break a group up (group/ungroup). Or, you might make a passage between two elements that didn’t exist before (create links). Then, you’ll pause and soak in the results (ProxAwareness).

As you consider the new furniture setup, you might consider some things. You might decide how well it honors the things you like to do, or want to do, in that space. You might think about how well it relates to a variety of activities, since you want the space to be flexible. You might also consider whether you can transition smoothly between the spaces you have created. Or you might decide some new element is needed, and go shopping for it (introduce related).

Throughout the process of rearranging your furniture, it will help to allow some uncertainty and disorder. That will help you see patterns or ideas emerging, and let you change your mind as well. You may also need to follow your intuition and not force things.

As you progress, different things may seem more important to you at different times. Or different people may have different opinions based on their experiences and assumptions. Both show how the rank, or importance of things, depends on proximities or ProxSets.