The Pattern Workshop

This is a journal of letters dispatched from a quiet studio on the edge of town.

What’s happening in the pattern workshop? There may be paintings. There may be websites. There may be freshly planted gardens soon growing wild, furniture and toys halfway between building and repairing, and a kitchen brought to life with convivial meals. Whatever emerges in the studio, this is where we'll share it, and encourage each other as we enchant our works, days, and camaraderie with the Quality Without a Name.

In the journal, you might find:

  • Thinking-in-sketch on practicing the timeless way of building—pattern languages, pattern shaping, living centers, wholeness. Sharing clues, and secrets if we can.

  • Newsy updates and jaunty tales about a myriad of projects by your host.

  • Unexpected treasures of canvas and qwerty yet to be seen.

In other words, this is a newsletter about practicing creativity.

Make of yourself a sensitive recording plate
–Paul Cézanne

I want to be whole.
-bell hooks

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About your host

Ahoy! I’m Kevin McGillivray. I’m a web developer, painter, writer, and convivial coffeehouse chess player. For me, this is the year of the diver.

One of the mysterious question constellations I care about is: What is creativity? What stories do we tell about creativity? How might we practice it in its full nuance and complexity?

This newsletter is a studio—a place where I experiment to find new, deeper questions to ask about creativity. I’m especially interested in the work of Christopher Alexander, and in how his observations on the Timeless Way of Building and the Quality Without a Name play out in writing, programming, music, painting, games, cooking, improvisation, and so on.

Posts may take on many shapes as I’m experimenting, but generally will include reflective essays on creativity and Quality, and updates on how I’m practicing creativity in various ways.

I hope you’ll join me in the studio.