The shapes of conversations

The shape of a meeting reflects the purpose of the meeting: telling or listening. Both are appropriate depending on the intentional purpose of the meeting, and often telling and listening purposes are simultaneous. Here are questions I ask to figure out what shape I will use in preparing for a meeting:

  • What is the purpose of the gathering?
  • What needs to be told and who needs to tell it?
  • Who will be listening and to whom are they listening?
  • What are we listening for?
  • What is the shape that serves the purpose?

We are most familiar with two shapes of conversation: the board table and the theatre. These shapes, and our behaviour in these shapes, is about expertise and power; at the front of the room, or at the head of the table, is the one from whom we expect will tell us what to do, the boss or the expert. One person has the answers and the rest expect the answers. One person knows what to do and the others will make it happen.

board and theatre
Shapes of telling and following: the board table and the theatre

These are shapes for telling and following, for providing direction.

We all participate in these shapes: the boss/expert expects others to follow and the subordinates have steep expectations of the boss/expert. The boss will say how things will unfold. Subordinates expect clear directions.

The shapes of telling and following are the right choice in the right circumstances. A doctor friend has extensive expertise is infectious diseases and she has a role in the health care system to serve as a resource for front-line doctors. She has knowledge they need in their work; when something strange happens in their practice she tells them what they need to know as a speaker at a conference, at meetings around board tables or by teleconference, or a one-on-one consult. While there is room for questions from front-line doctors to understand what she is telling them, they trust the information she conveys, take it and use it directly. My doctor friend is in the telling role. The front-liners listen and follow.

Listening is a crucial part of telling and following. The subordinates, or the audience, are there to listen and are expected but the boss/expert to listen. This is listening as an individual: I hear what the boss/expert has to say, I take some notes, and I will adjust my actions as dictated.

The shape of a conversation shifts dramatically if the gathering has a purpose different from telling and listening. The intentional purpose of a conversation may be to explore and digest, and figure out a way forward together. In this case, the shape shifts to circle, where the expertise and contributions of everyone–rather than one or select few–are welcomed. The listening is done by individuals and the group because the purpose of the conversation is about collective discernment: we have something to figure out together.

circles
Shapes for collective listening and discernment: the circle of many sizes

These are shapes for listening–as individuals and as a group–that lead to wise action.

Shapes of listening and discernment are the right choice in the right circumstances. A city planner colleague of mine is working to create a new set of rules to guide infill development in his city and he recognizes that there are people with different perspectives on this that need to be taken into account: other people in city hall, builders and developers, and citizens and community organizations. He recognizes that they all have pieces to the city-puzzle we are making. He needs to listen to them all and he recognizes that as these different perspectives listen to each other, better solutions come forward. He offers, around little tables and within the whole group, ways for people to listen to each other and find ways forward that look after a wide range of interests. This tangibly helps him in his work and it enables everyone else make a city that serves them well.

All of these shapes are right in the right time and place. It all depends on the purpose: telling or listening, direction or conversation.

As you design and prepare for your next gathering, ponder these questions:

  • What is the purpose of the gathering?
  • What needs to be told and who needs to tell it?
  • Who will be listening and to whom are they listening?
  • What are we listening for?
  • What is the shape that serves the purpose?

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Interested in learning more about circle? You might be interested in The Circle Way Practicum and/or exploring The Circle Way.

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Learning journey contracts

NestCity-BlogPostWe signed a 30-page contract with a client last week, full of legal details and formalities. It took about 10 minutes to sign it all. As I was getting the corporate seal and my fancy blue pen all ready to do their work, I realized that this formal contract is not as important as the contracts behind the contract. Continue reading Learning journey contracts

What is the meta for?

 

To get where we want to go, a clear purpose – our sense of direction – is everything. If we don’t know where we are going, and why were are going there, anywhere will do.

Let’s use the metaphor of a city bike tour. The organizers have come together because they know they want to offer something. Their overall purpose is to offer an experience that allows citizens to see their city in a new way, to feel more connected to the city. They imagine that after the bike tour, the impact on citizens is inspiration to find new ways to participate in their city, to simply enjoy it and work to improve it. To pull off a good event, the organizers then need to dig deeper, more specifically, into the purposes of the bike tour, and the purposes of the events that will happen along the way. They have a few options.

They could explore the bike trails along the river the city:

River2

They could visit the best three diners in the city:

Diners2

They could visit the top four parks:

Parks2

They could simply head out, unsure of what they would do:

Exploring2

There is nothing wrong with any of the above options; they all meet the overall, ‘intrinsic’ purpose of going on a bike tour to see the city in new ways. There is another layer of purposes that needs to be held: the instrumental purposes of each stop along the way. Once they are known, they will start a dance with the overall purpose and they inform each other. For Steve McIntosh, intrinsic and instrumental purposes are the nature of evolutionary progress. This dynamic takes place even when designing a bike tour of the city.

Knowing what the purpose of each stop along the way is instrumental. If unknown, we lose the overall purpose.

Intrinsic and instrumental purposes.003

Designing a process without purpose in mind – whether the overall or instrumental purposes of the stops along the way – is not design. It is exploration. Both of these are valuable activities – when aligned with purpose. Sometimes exploration is the purpose…

 

A clear invitation needs clear purposes. 

When the organizers of the bike tour have a clear purposes, they will be able to craft a clear invitation to put out into the world; people to have a clear choice of what kind of bike tour to sign up for. The next layer of purposes are needed – the overall purpose is not enough. For example, for the river valley trail tour, there could be radically different offerings that meet the overall purpose:

  1. Ride the trails of your city river with friends and family. You will have all the support you need along the way, from washrooms, snacks and technical support. Ride the whole thing, or part. The choice is up to you. See the city from a new angle!
  2. Learn about the wild in our city. On our bikes, we will take a day to ride the length of city trails with stops along the way to learn about geologic and natural features of our land from local experts. Lunch and bikes provided.
  3. Explore the wilderness in our city. Bring your journal and your geocaching skills to explore, and navigate, your self and your city. Bring your own lunch and be prepared to look after your own technological troubles. Washrooms will be provided.

The instrumental purposes of each of these invitations are very different. The first is about providing an opportunity for families to explore the river trail system in a relaxed and supportive way. The  second event is about offering a traditional learning environment in the natural habitat, learning specific things about nature in the city from experts. The third is a way for individuals to spend time alone in the valley, learning both about themselves and nature. The instrumental purposes shape the overall purpose.

Each of these invitations has a different vibe to which people respond. Knowing the purposes mean we know what we are inviting.

 

Why the metaphor?

While designing social social habitats, I find it useful to try metaphors on for size, to tease out purposes. I used the metaphor of a city bike tour to figure out what I had to say about purposes here. (I had an email this morning about organizing a bike tour this am!) It helped me reach for the ‘meta’, high level information I was looking for to inform a discussion in a hosting team I am part of, about the need for purpose to be articulated sooner than later.

Metaphor is a great way to explore and define purpose. And once purpose is known, metaphor is an effective way to test if the design is aligned with purpose, a good way to look sideways at our work. Is the purpose of the bike tour more like a fun run, a traditional classroom, or a personal wilderness learning journey?

 

A note on designing with purpose vs exploring for purpose.

If we start organizing a bike tour by laying out the routes and sites and people we want to use out before us, and start putting them together in ways that make sense to us, we are exploring. We are figuring out what needs to be figured out and in this journey we may find the purpose of the design, but the purpose comes at the end. What have designed only if what we craft reflects the purpose that came at the end.

There is a big trap in designing social processes: while exploring we may think we are designing and miss knowing purpose, or neglect to test our work against the purpose. If we gather a series of tools and methodologies that feel good together and assemble them into a process, we miss the mark because we have not connected to the purpose of the gathering, and the purposes of each part of the gathering. We can even fall into the trap of naming outcomes that will come from the process and feel good about those. It may look good, and feel good – and be false.

Design takes place when purpose is in mind; activities are chosen because they meet the purpose.

 

WARNING: Purpose can be hard to find. 

It is tough slogging to find purpose, as though ‘purpose’ is purposely making itself hard to find. That’s because it’s important.

One of the reasons we fall into the trap of thinking we are designing when we are not is because it is easy and familiar. It is easy to pull out the familiar ideas, or the things we are dying to try, lay out all the ideas and put them to work in ways that feel good. And if after our time exploring we nail down the overall purpose of the event, the smaller purposes are then hard to pin down. It seems to never end, but the pursuit of purpose is necessary for the ultimate design to serve well.

I offer this meta view of purpose as a window into intentional design.

 

 

 

Land and stair

 

Yesterday I went for a walk on the shrinking shores of Whidbey Island, north of Seattle, Washington. With my friends Ann, Christina and dog Gracie, we descended rickety stairs to a  dodgy bulkhead to explore the ocean shore near their home, on Puget Sound.

As we walked we noticed the sandy bluffs above us, and their constant sloughing. We noticed homes on the edge. We noticed grey water drainage pipes that drain onto the bluff, accelerating erosion, accelerating the risk to their homes.

Perhaps they have a great view of the ocean and do not have a relationship with the ocean.

Perhaps they have not noticed this:

Land and the stair

Nature erodes the shores of land. This is unavoidable and undeniable. Where we choose to settle and how we choose to settle is best done when in relationship with Nature.

Moreover, when we realize that we have a structure that is no longer useful, we have to figure out how to ensure that structure causes no harm. If this stair falls toward land, it will accelerate erosion. It will accelerate the shrinking shore, hastening peril to the homes above.

Ann and Christina’s community has to figure out how to build new stairs – I know what they won’t do.

Any structures like this in your life? 

 

 

 

The core of Nordic public transportation

 

Does density bring better public transportation, or does better public transportation bring density? This is the question I’m grappling with after beginning a series of posts reflecting on my family’s winter holiday – a tour of the capital cities of the Nordic nations at the heart of winter.

I first noticed how our modes of transportation were so different from our life in Edmonton, a city on the Canadian Prairies. The city planner in me needs to explore what is structurally, there and here. When I explored the population density of the cities we explored, I found that most Nordic cities were far more dense than the large cities on the Canadian Prairies (Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg). For example, Copenhagen is six times more dense than Edmonton.

density by mun boundary

In my last post, Nordic density, I noted the physical differences of these densities. In this post, I take a look at public transportation, but before I do, let’s take a quick look at the population density of the urban area for each of these city-regions. (I’m using Thomas Brinkoff”s calculations based on the agglomeration of an urban area – a central city and the neighbouring communities linked to it by continuous built up areas or commuters.) This is an vital way to look at density without the inaccuracies of vast tracts of land that are undeveloped in some municipalities, and not others.

The numbers below reflect the density of the actual built-up area, regardless of the location of the municipal boundary. This is the number that most reveals what’s happening on the ground.

density by agglomeration

On the ground, Reykjavik, Oslo and Stockholm are the most dense cities. Edmonton and Winnipeg are the least dense. The reason why they are less dense is the large area of developed land, with low population. The bar charts below are using numbers relating to the built area – not the municipal boundaries.

population by agglomeration

Area by mun boundary

 

Some Public Transportation Numbers

Not all of these cities provide LRT or Metro/Subway transportation to residents (Winnipeg and Reykjavik do not). The first to start was Oslo in 1898. Stockholm was next in 1950 (with “pre-metro) service in 1930. Edmonton, Calgary and Helsinki completed LRT / Metro service between 1978 and 1982. Copenhagen added its Metro line in 2002.

Stockholm has the most kilometres of track at 105.7km, followed by Oslo at 86km.

lrt-metro km of track
Does not include commuter trains

Stockholm also moves the most passengers per day, at 898,630 by rail.

lrt-metro # passengers daily
Does not include commuter trains

To compliment LRT/Metro service, Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki also provide tram/trolley options for movement in the city. Oslo and Helsinki accommodate an additional 132,000 and 200,000 riders daily. (I am unable to locate ridership for Stockholm.)

Edmonton had 90 km of tram service from 1908 to 1951, and 127km of trolleybus service from 1938 to 2009. Calgary had trolleybus service from 1947-1975 and is looking at its streetcar history for future transit. Winnipeg had 193km of streetcar service from 1918 to 1955. These services have been replaced by bus.

Stockholm moves a great number of people by bus, as do Edmonton and Helsinki. I am unable to find bus ridership numbers for Reykjavik and Copenhagen, but it is clear that ridership for Stockholm is again high, at 814,000 passengers, in addition to high numbers of passengers my Metro, and tram/streetcar.  Edmonton and Helsinki have higher numbers of passengers moving by bus than LRT/Metro.

bus incomplete
Missing – numbers for Reykjavik and Copenhagen

 

The Mesh and the Linear Patterns

Stockholm is both the most densely populated city and the city with the largest investment in track and the largest ridership. Oslo also has a significant investment in the T-bane.

Stockholm T-Bana map
Stockholm’s T-bana
Oslo T-Bane
Oslo’s T-Bane

Copenhagen has the most the recent rail system, first complete in 2002, and they are now constructing The City Circle line (not shown), which will add an additional 15.5km of track to the 20.4km system. The current system below, is 20.4 km.

Copenhagen metro districts
Copenhagen’s Metro (M1 and M2 shown). The Circle Line (M3 and M4 under construction).

In contrast, Edmonton’s 21 km of track, barely more than Copenhagen’s track, serves the city in a radically different way. Instead of serving the population at the core (remember there are many more people in the core of Copenhagen), the Edmonton system serves the population along a length of track.

Edmonotn existing lrt
Edmonton’s LRT (4lrt.com)

Even with the planned construction out to 2040, Edmonton continues to serve a sparse population with a sparse LRT.

Edmonton LRT built out
Edmonton’s LRT build out 2040 (4lrt.com)

Helsinki has 21.1 km of track. It, too, stretches in linear fashion through the city.

Helsinki Metro line
Orange – Helsinki Metro (urbanrail.net)

Calgary’s CTrain, at 60 km, is still fairly linear in nature.

Calgary CTrain map

There are two patterns at work here, and they are connected to density. The mesh of Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm appear with higher population density. The linear pattern of Edmonton appears with low, sparse population.

Does density bring better public transportation, or does better public transportation bring density? 

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If you are interested in exploring the ground I’ve covered in reflecting on our visit to these winter cities in winter, here’s the thread of these Nordic posts:

  1. We chose to stay in nifty Nordic neighbourhoods
  2. Our Nordic modes of transportation were different than in Edmonton
  3. Nordic density is different from density in cities on the Canadian Prairies

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Sources:

Population, area and density:

  • Thomas Brinkhoff: City Population, http://www.citypopulation.de 

Transportation:

  • http://www.edmonton.ca/transportation/ets/about_ets/ets-statistics.aspx
  • http://www.edmonton.ca/transportation/2013_LRT_Passenger_Count_Report.pdf
  • https://www.calgarytransit.com/about-us/facts-and-figures/statistics
  • http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Documents/Ridership/2014-q1-ridership-APTA.pdf
  • http://www.lta.gov.sg/ltaacademy/doc/13Sep105-Pan_KeyTransportStatistics.pdf
  • https://www.hsl.fi/sites/default/files/uploads/hsl_moves_us_all_1.pdf
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Nordic density

 

On Monday, I started a series of posts as part of my reflection on my family’s tour of the capital cities of the Nordic Nations with a post on our Nordic modes of transportation.

It seems there are two city pattern at work: one aimed at serving the movement of cars, and another aimed to serve the movement of people. The city planner in me needs to dig into what is different about cities there (Reykjavik, Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki) and here.

Density by the numbers

I have chosen to compare the five Nordic cities with the three largest cities on the Canadian Prairies, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg. With the exception of Reykjavik, the cities’ population ranges from just over 600,000 people to just over 1 million. (Note – the population of Copenhagen includes the municipality of Frederiksberg, which is surrounded by Copenhagen.)

population by mun boundary

Area by mun boundary

The Prairie cities and Oslo have cover the largest area of land, with Reykjavik and Copenhagen covering the least area of land to house their inhabitants.

The resulting density of inhabitants per square kilometre is remarkable. Copenhagen and Stockholm are the most densely populated, at 6792 and 4782 people per square kilometre. Edmonton is the least densely populated at 1122 people per square kilometre. Winnipeg and Calgary come in at 1492 and 1555 people per square kilometre.

density by mun boundary

These are very different cities.

 

A feel for the density

In each city, we chose to stay in neighbourhoods to get a feel for the city. In Copenhagen, we stayed in an apartment in Frederiksberg. Thanks to Google Maps, I can show you the primary city pattern that accommodates high density without high-rise buildings. The overwhelming pattern is 6-storey buildings around the edges of the block with a courtyard in the center.

Frederiksberg Flat in Copenhagen. Image: Google Maps

Every apartment has access to daylight. Every apartment has access to outdoor yard space that is semi-private. All services are stitched into the fabric of the neighbourhood. Businesses, schools and shopping centres are all at hand. So, too, are transportation systems to move people in various ways – by car, by bike, on foot, or bus. Nearby is a Metro station.

A Frederiksberg street
A Frederiksberg street

In contrast, my neighbourhood in Edmonton is mostly single family dwellings. When I moved in 7 years ago the neighbourhood was fighting a second tall building. Now there is spurts of uproar, though not always, about new rules that are allowing duplexes and secondary suites as a strategy to increase density in the city. There’s one tall building (look for it’s shadow) that raises the overall density, but the pattern is simple: 10 homes per block.

My neighbourhood, Glenora, in Edmonton

It’s not ugly. But it is different.

This low density pattern means that I have a 20 minute walk, one-way for groceries and some services. Adequate bus service is nearby. The streets are lined with wonderful trees. In short daylight hours of winter, the sun shines in to our homes. The low density means the use of cars is inevitable (though we are active and fit enough to walk or ride our bikes most often, or take the bus).

Copenhagen is 6 times more densely populated than Edmonton. Copenhagen and Edmonton exemplify two different cultural patterns of city building. One compels us to live physically closer to each other. The other compels to live physically apart from each other, creating space for us to be alone, both on our properties and in our cars. Both patterns have merits.

In my next post I will explore how public transportation infrastructure shows up in these cities and tease out how density relates to transportation infrastructure in practice.

In the meantime, which habitat feels more comfortable to you? The density of Copenhagen, or the expansiveness of Edmonton?  

Your choice shapes your city.

 

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Source:

Population, area and density: Thomas Brinkhoff: City Population, http://www.citypopulation.de 

 

 

 

Our Nordic modes of transportation

 

Our modes of transportation.png.001
Caveat – we did not travel by bicycle due to a broken arm in the family.

Last week I returned from my winter tour of the capital cities of the Nordic nations: Reykjavic, Iceland; Oslo, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; and Helsinki, Finland. Over the next few weeks,  will be sorting and sifting through my thoughts about the trips, searching for better understanding of cities, both Nordic and those on the Canadian Prairies.

The first thing I noticed is that these Nordic Cities are not the same as my home city, Edmonton. The way we moved around was totally different.

We chose to stay in apartments in neighbourhoods in close proximity to the city center in each city. We were able to get groceries and all services within a couple minutes walk from each location. We were able to access public transportation in most cases right outside the building, or at most a 3 minute walk. We noticed each city had schools everywhere. We noticed streets that were alive with people and business. We noticed an explicit infrastructure for bicycles (and the bicycles!) on busy streets, along with cars and buses and trams and trolleys.

Copenhagen - multiple modes of transportation
Copenhagen, December 28, 2014

These city amenities are found in tiny pockets in Edmonton. They are are everywhere in these Nordic cities.

In contrast, our arrival was significant time in a car, stuck on a highway, then a freeway.

Back in Edmonton
Traffic no longer moving on the Anthony Henday, Edmonton, January 7, 2015

Over the next few posts, I will dig into two city patterns at work here: one that aims to serve the movement of cars, an other that aims to serve the movement of people. The cities were designed for different purposes.

The city planner in me needs to dig into what is different about there and here.

Civic practice for the city

Everything a city does – or does not do – is a result of our actions as citizens, community organizations, the business community and our public institutions. How each of us show up in the city affects how the city serves us, individually and collectively. (Remember the difference between the corporate ‘City’ government and the ‘city‘ habitat we build for ourselves.)

Back in September, in village in the city, I connected the work of Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea on the purpose of a village to the purpose of the city. The result was another a twist on what a city does for its citizens (a reminder of city purposes).

To show up well, in any of the roles we play in the city, we need to be conscious of our civic practice. After our basic survival needs are met, we engage in story and this feeds everything in the city, at every scale. Imagine the village again, where we share stories to ensure our collective survival. Our stories are also full of passion and they feed pride and identity. We will even battle and fight when our stories are threatened. In a village, we are called to be clear about our agreements with each other, and hold ourselves accountable to each other, to be fair and just. As a village develops, we are also compelled to take action on what needs to be done, and be creative and entrepreneurial, allowing our drive to thrive to fuel us.  Eventually, we are able to see and learn and benefit from everyone’s contributions and gifts. The village becomes a place where we learn to live with conflicting truths and uncertainties, allowing us to live the ‘village’ everywhere. It is a place where we can integrate feeling and knowing, and simply be in awe of how the world works.

The Spiral reveals that there are layers of civic practice:

  1. Once our survival needs are met, we …
  2. Connect with each other through our stories. We belong to each other.
  3. Allow our stories to fuel our passion, feed our identity and pride as individuals and as a group.
  4. Seek clarity in our agreements with each other, and hold ourselves accountable, to be fair and just.
  5. Take action on what needs action, allowing our drive to be creative to serve us as opportunities arise.
  6. Look after each other, our diverse needs, and chase our diverse desires.
  7. Explore what’s necessary, natural and next, learning anywhere, everywhere with anyone.
  8. Integrate feeling and knowing, with radical optimism.

For the graphically inclined, here’s how they the layers of civic practice show up on the Spiral:

Civic practice spiral

 

How do you nurture your civic practice? How do you ensure you show up well for your city? 

 

 

Village in the city

 

The purpose of a village is also the purpose of a city. For Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea, a village does many things at once: protects and looks after its inhabitants; feeds them and ensures the goods and services needed are on hand; supports the varied work of villagers so they can participate in community commerce; educates and initiates; governs with a social structure of shared mores; builds webs of identity and relationships; and grows the spirit of the place with traditions of meaning.

Baldwin, Linnea, what is a village and what does it do
Source – Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea, What is a village and what does it do?

A village is doing many things at once, each of which connects to the story, the heart, of a place. The story is what connects and binds us to each other and is a foundation on which we build our cities.

In any human system, there is a progression of values, and our intelligence, that we experience that form our stories as individuals and any scale of collective (family, organization, village, city). I took at look at how these levels of values show up in the city. We begin with our full attention on our survival, and once that is looked after, our attention expands to focus on: collective survival; economic and military power; authority and moral codes; prosperity and entrepreneurship; diversity of knowledge; then systemic flow and global life force. (For more details on these levels of values, please explore my primer on Spiral Dynamics integral. For their application to the city, start with Is the unplanned city unplanned – part 4.)

As I look at Baldwin and Linnea’s model, I can see several layers of the Spiral. The village looks after the basic survival needs of villagers. It will step in and protect if need be. It has rules and protocols. It recognizes that it is a place where learning takes place. It recognizes that at the heart of the village is story, the glue that binds us. Here’s what happens if I look at the purpose of the city with “villageness” in mind:

What does a city do? 

  1. Meet basic needs of citizens
  2. Nurture shared sense of belonging, for collective survival 
  3. Cultivate pride and identity / protect city from danger
  4. Provide necessary structure to meet citizens’ needs (physical, economic, social)
  5. Create the conditions for property, development and growth
  6. Create the conditions for expanding knowledge, receiving and giving knowledge
  7. Learn to flex and flow with uncertainty and conflicting truths
  8. Serve as Gaia’s reflective organ

A city, just as a village, does many things at once. Not every citizen is doing each of these things all at the same time, but collectively, as our attention shifts to meet the demands of each moment, the city shifts too. The graphic at the top of this post is purposely purple, for the notion of village is firmly rooted in the early stages of human evolution, when we are grappling for collective survival, and where myths, mystery and story were our tools to understand the world.

Cultivating the village in the city is not about going back in time, but rather a way to cultivate a new story to tell ourselves about our cities and our roles in them as citizens. When we do, it will reshape all the layers we have created above the story.

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purpose of village-city on spiral

 

 

The art of Seattle

 

[They] sought to create art that consciously responded to the world events surrounding them. All saw art as a form of spiritual quest.

I found these words in the Seattle Art Museum’s (SAM) pamphlet on their summer exhibition: Modernism in the Pacific Northwest: The Myths & the Mystical, describing the work of Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, and Guy Anderson.  As I explored their work, and the text provided by SAM, here are some juicy bits:

visualizations of the world in flux, of the human spirit transcendent, or of the cosmos. 
 
If there was any hope that the world could survive the threat of annihilation, . . .  it was found  . . .  from the closely observed cycle of life.
 
. . . symbols . . .  through close observation of the world around them – in the energy of the wartime city or in the fight for survival that defines the natural world. . .
 
. . . the visual language of Northwest Coast people as a . . .  lexicon of symbols for conveying universal brotherhood, a common spirituality  and a belief in the primacy of the laws of nature. . .

And I was compelled to see how the titles of their artwork could fit together:

The mythic and the mystical form
follows man, a rummage of
moving moments 
riding on the mountain
in the white night
searching for the morning
dove of the inner eye
to find on the seventh day
the seed was in itself

And Seattle? She was beautiful too. She is her own artwork.