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Mode-Numbers and Mode-Words

I.O.U. — The section below is in light gray "box" because it has been semi-revised but not fully-revised.  But the main ideas are there.



Mode-Numbers and Mode-Words

When you're learning-and-using the modes, you can either use only mode-words (Choose Project, Project Choice,...) or, as I recommend, supplement mode-words (Choose Project, Project Choice,...) with mode-numbers (1A,...) as in this table:


   using VERBS  using VERBS  using NOUNS  
 1A  Choose Project  Choosing a Project  Project Choice
 1B  Define Goals  Defining Goals  Goal Definitions  
 2A  Find (Prepare)  Preparing (Finding)  Preparation
 2B  Invent  Inventing  Invention
 2C  Predict  Predicting  Prediction
 2D   Observe  Observing  Observation
 3A  Check Quality  Checking Quality  Quality Checks
 3B  Check Theory(s)    Checking Theory(s)    Reality Checks  
 4A  Coordinate  Coordinating  Coordination


When you teach students, it may be useful to use only mode-words (as explained in the lower section) instead of mode-numbers.


For your own learning, one option is to use a “memory scaffold” by opening this page in a new window by clicking this link and then looking at the table whenever I refer to a mode-number.*  Or you can just ignore the mode-numbers — which will be in aqua font in the page (on left side) about the 10 Modes of Thinking & Action` — and focus on the words that are used to describe the mode.

* Or instead of using this numbers-and-words table, you can use the combination of “mode-words and mode-numbers” because these serve as automatic memory-prompts while you're reading.   /   For me, thinking about modes by using either label (words or numbers) has become second nature, and probably this also will happen for you, when you practice “thinking with Design Process” and your understanding of design develops.



Mode-Words (Choose Project,...) and Mode-Numbers (1A,...)

As described above, for your own learning you can use Mode-Words and also Mode-Numbers, but for teaching you may want to use only Mode-Words.

When you're teaching Design Process, if you use only mode-words your students won't have to memorize mode-numbers (... 2A, 2B,...) and translate these numbers into concepts (... Preparing, Inventing,...).  This simplicity — with the mode-word describing the mode-concept, which is what the mode is — will make it easier to include design-modes in your discussions of design-process.

But mode-numbers do offer some advantages.  The most important benefit is providing a structure that makes it easier to think about groups of different-yet-related actions (defining in 1A-1B, generating in 2A-2B-2C-2D, evaluating in 3A-3B, coordinating in 4A) and the many kinds of relationships within groups and between groups. 

Even if you don't regularly use mode-numbers for teaching, you can explain these groupings (1, 2, 3, 4) to your students, and give them links to this page in case they get excited about design and they want to explore it more deeply.

And here is another benefit:  mode-numbers allow representations that are more compact verbally and visually, as in the Detailed Diagram and summaries of relationships.