Pattern language(ing) is a disciplined and skilful mode of generating and holding practical understandings, of a kind that can be fluently re-played - or woven or ‘sung’ - back into everyday life and work. *It is as much a form of practice as it is a form of language*.
The particular discipline means that the pattern-language frame is capable of informing the performing of both *visioning and design and construction*, in a real world of practice, and of satisfactory *inhabiting* of arrangements that have been made in this way.
The skills of pattern language-ing are relatively complex, involving both carefull conceptualising and a degree of poetry. This literacy is not commonplace, and the production of literacy calls for some organising. *Production of the literacy is as much part of this 'college' initiative as the production of the language*.
Slack interpretations of pattern language are easy to come by, so I’ll give examples of contents and contexts of some pattern languages. See Some pattern languages for an indication of scope and variety.
I’ll also sketch what a pattern language practice can do, as the generative core of a college of activist capability for the living economy. See Pattern language features for reasons why pattern language is especially relevant to developing capability in activist pratice.