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The Patterns: Converging Worlds and Cultural Innovator. Convergence when cultures meet.
Converging Worlds and Cultural Innovators
Building Architecture
Multinational corporations and the internet are cultural innovators just as cities were during in the urban revolution - accelerating the convergence of natural beliefs and natural science. Cultures and beliefs in organisational theory, design and construction are just as relevant today as it has been since early civilisation.  
Architecture Intensive Disciplines
Because of global connectivity through the Internet, Extranets and Intranets, there is a greater likelihood that practices will have to change. By considering values, principles and practices it is possible for converging cultures to adhere to common values and principles even where practices may differ.  
Case Study A: Large Corporate IT
The various cultural views can be seen in the contrast between the South African Intranet portal and their overseas counterparts. The South African portal adhered more closely with western symmetry and a simplification of colours. The corporate intranet based in Asia conveyed a more colourful and (to members of the web team) a seemingly cluttered look and feel. The sense of aesthetics between western and non-western cultures were very evident. The internet, extranet and intranet across the corporation conveyed a sense of a global multi-cultural community. There was a strategic drive to align corporate cultures and to develop common values. This was an obvious challenge considering that cultures and practices were visibly different. The fact that one could readily communicate to other members of staff in other parts of the world does change one's view of the world. Email as a cultural tool has been well documented but most of us have experienced the use or misuse first-hand.  
Case Study B: Small Commercial Team
Although this commercial team was small and was housed in a separate company, it was a wholly owned subsidiary of one of the top five Information Technology companies in South Africa with offices in other parts of the world. Interaction with other teams at a technical level was limited as products were developed and marketed in vertical streams.

It was ironic that in a large corporate, some people made an effort to speak to others face to face rather than send emails whereas in this environment people sometimes sent emails (that could be simply communicated by speech) to a person sitting right next to them. There are times when you need to convey an abstract idea or design best composed in an email or document than through speech. Hence, even in a small team environment our sense of being "inter-connected" provides various vehicles for collaboration. In each case, we need to balance which "vehicle" is more effective versus the ones that are convenient.  
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