The Patterns: Mastery of Space
Mastery of Space
Building Architecture
"Space" can express physical space or the abstract conceptualisation of design. Gropius referred to the pursuit of mastering space as an "aesthetic satisfaction of the soul" and not just of material construction.  
Architecture Intensive Disciplines
What elevates architecture from material construction is the presence of design and theory. Design should be centered on human and natural living spaces. Hence, mastering space involves enhancing the human experience or harmonising with nature. We can only pursue a more meaningful objective if we seek to build systems that interact with human living. We can only define our activities as architectural when they resolve design problems that impact on the quality of life.  
Case Study A: Large Corporate IT
While there were some successes in the application development, there were also issues that were not addressed. Usability was a problem. Towards the latter half of the 2 year period, we were beginning to acknowledge this failing and tried to address it. However, while some users felt that their experiences were enhanced by web applications, others wanted to return to the "simplicity" of the mainframe interfaces. For some people, the paper was all the system they wanted. There were those who dismissed these expressions of frustration as simply legacies of the past.

Towards the end of this project, I felt that our modernist approach was not sufficiently addressing the issue of quality in human life. This was something I had debated with my colleagues and others. On more than one occassion, alternative approaches were suggested such as Extreme Programming and architecture as advocated by Christopher Alexander.  
Case Study B: Small Commercial Team
While this environment allowed me to explore the use of XP and other alternative approaches to the ones I was accustomed to, the project came to an unscheduled end before we could fully explore this pattern. The absence of an on-site customer was regarded by the team as a whole to be a critical short-coming. One of the most cumbersome aspects of the system was the take-on process. We had just found a possible solution but were unable to release this in a future version.