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The Patterns: Wholes versus Parts. How we deal with complexity.
Wholes versus Parts
Building Architecture
Peter Senge notes that from early childhood we are taught to attack complexity by breaking things into parts. This helps to make complex tasks more manageable. But we pay a heavy price, we are no longer able to see the consequences of our actions because we lose a connection to the larger whole. Charles Jencks described this trend in postmodern architecture where he described how our academic faculties are divided with few having a purview of the whole of knowledge.  
Architecture Intensive Disciplines
It is an acknowledged method in software engineering that we attack complexity by abstracting or breaking things into parts. Architecture differs from engineering in that it should seek to integrate pieces and see wholes. Architecture is not about one piece or element of a system but of the whole system. It raises the layer of abstraction and thinking. In architecture, we cannot simply attack complexity through abstraction, we must also seek a wider understanding, the vision, the essence and the values.  
Case Study A: Large Corporate IT
This was one of the ethos of the separation of Architecture and Engineering. Engineering involved the work of coding and building the physical software application. Architecture involved setting up the frameworks in which the parts exist, integrating all things into one and ensuring that there is a comprehensive set of views from various perspectives.  
Case Study B: Small Commercial Team
The wholes were contained in the essence of stories and each layer represented the detail. We talked about a concept, grasped it (architectured) and coded (engineered). We had agreed up front that it did not matter how often we talked about something, we would focus on gaining the understanding rather than argue about things and say "but I told you that two weeks ago". It was like "Outcomes Based Education" - focus on the outcome of learning rather than the method of teaching.  
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