issue #9



The Architect

INTJ-A is the Myers-Briggs (MBTI™) personality classification that comes up consistently for me, as a result of online questionnaires. The Introvert/INtuitive/Thinking/Judgement – Assertive classification resonates the most with my self understanding and identification, but I find myself in the Prospecting characteristic of INTP too. Here is a description from 16 Personalities of The Architect.


It’s lonely at the top, and being one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types, Architects know this all too well. Architects form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population – it is often a challenge for them to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like maneuvering. People with the Architect personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.

  • Quick, Imaginative and Strategic Mind – Architects pride themselves on their minds, taking every opportunity to improve their knowledge, and this shows in the strength and flexibility of their strategic thinking. Insatiably curious and always up for an intellectual challenge, Architects can see things from many perspectives. Architects use their creativity and imagination not so much for artistry, but for planning contingencies and courses of action for all possible scenarios.
  • High Self-Confidence – Architects trust their rationalism above all else, so when they come to a conclusion, they have no reason to doubt their findings. This creates an honest, direct style of communication that isn’t held back by perceived social roles or expectations. When Architects are right, they’re right, and no amount of politicking or hand-holding is going to change that fact – whether it’s correcting a person, a process, or themselves, they’d have it no other way.
  • Independent and Decisive – This creativity, logic and confidence come together to form individuals who stand on their own and take responsibility for their own actions. Authority figures do not impress Architects, nor do social conventions or tradition, and no matter how popular something is, if they have a better idea, Architects will stand against anyone they have to in a bid to have it changed. Either an idea is the most rational or it’s wrong, and Architects will apply this to their arguments as well as their own behavior, staying calm and detached from these sometimes emotionally charged conflicts. Architects will only be swayed by those who follow suit.
  • Hard-working and determined – If something piques their interest, Architects can be astonishingly dedicated to their work, putting in long hours and intense effort to see an idea through. Architects are incredibly efficient, and if tasks meet the criteria of furthering a goal, they will find a way to consolidate and accomplish those tasks. However, this drive for efficiency can also lead to a sort of elaborate laziness, wherein Architects find ways to bypass seeming redundancies which don’t seem to require a great deal of thought – this can be risky, as sometimes double-checking one’s work is the standard for a reason.
  • Open-minded – All this rationalism leads to a very intellectually receptive personality type, as Architects stay open to new ideas, supported by logic, even if (and sometimes especially if) they prove Architects’ previous conceptions wrong. When presented with unfamiliar territory, such as alternate lifestyles, Architects tend to apply their receptiveness and independence, and aversion to rules and traditions, to these new ideas as well, resulting in fairly liberal social senses.
  • Jacks-of-all-Trades – Architects’ open-mindedness, determination, independence, confidence and strategic abilities create individuals who are capable of doing anything they set their minds to. Excelling at analyzing anything life throws their way, Architects are able to reverse-engineer the underlying methodology of almost any system and apply the concepts that are exposed wherever needed. Architects tend to have their pick of professions, from IT system designers to political masterminds.

INTP aspects that are on target too:

  • Great Analysts and Abstract Thinkers – People with the Logician personality type view the world as a big, complex machine, and recognize that as with any machine, all parts are interrelated. Logicians excel in analyzing these connections, seeing how seemingly unrelated factors tie in with each other in ways that bewilder most other personality types.
  • Imaginative and Original – These connections are the product of an unrelenting imagination – Logicians’ ideas may seem counter-intuitive at a glance, and may never even see the light of day, but they will always prove remarkable innovations.
  • Open-Minded – Logicians couldn’t make these connections if they thought they knew it all – they are highly receptive to alternate theories, so long as they’re supported by logic and facts. In more subjective matters like social norms and traditions, Logicians are usually fairly liberal, with a “none of my business” sort of attitude – peoples’ ideas are what matter.
  • Enthusiastic – When a new idea piques their interest, Logicians can be very enthusiastic – they are a reserved personality type, but if another person shares an interest, they can be downright excited about discussing it. More likely though, the only outward evidence of this enthusiasm will be Logicians’ silent pacing or their staring into the distance.
  • Objective – Logicians’ analysis, creativity and open-mindedness aren’t the tools of some quest for ideology or emotional validation. Rather, it’s as though people with the Logician personality type are a conduit for the truths around them, so far as they can be expressed, and they are proud of this role as theoretical mediator.
  • Honest and Straightforward – To know one thing and say another would be terribly disingenuous – Logicians don’t often go around intentionally hurting feelings, but they believe that the truth is the most important factor, and they expect that to be appreciated and reciprocated.


I find this summary surprisingly accurate, especially when I reflect on my lifelong interests, and the varieties of work I have been most happy doing. All involve imagining, puzzle-solving, pattern recognition and pattern making, system thinking, and thinking at large scales.
And I am most certainly an introvert, especially in consideration of the criterion “In group situations extroverts are energized, whereas introverts expend energy.” Even so, I like to work as part of a team on big projects, when territories are clearly defined yet allow for considerable interaction and cross-pollination. Design charettes are exactly this environment; I call it “hobnobbing with my fellow wizards.”

Enough about me! Find your type at 16 Personalities.

For another take I’ve included Kathleen Butler’s learning styles identification chart as a separate post. You can find yourself there, too.

All of the other selections for this issue of MUSE showcase products that demonstrate my turn(s) of mind.


How to Riff When Cooking

How to Riff When Cooking

I like to cook. I have favorite recipes that we make again and again. But I also like to make up new ones, especially when I discover other cuisines. Here’s how I mix and match.

  • Pick two or three countries.
  • Identify ingredients their cuisines share, and also ingredients that appear only in each.

Looking at India, Spain, and Mexico you might get this:

For a new dish,

  • Use a recipe from one country that is based on ingredients common to all, but includes uncommon ones.
  • Add one or more not-in-common ingredients from one or more of the other cuisines.
  • Use a cooking technique of the other cuisines.

Some dishes to invent:

Mango Gazpacho   –    Cauliflower Enchiladas    –   Lemon Pickle Salsa
Curried Plantains   –    Chickpea paella    –   North Indian Curtido
Cardamom Flan    –   Figs in Mole Sauce


Dishes invented with this technique usually go well together, too … Make a feast for friends!

~~~~ MENU ~~~~

Mango gazpacho

Cauliflower Enchiladas
with corn-radish bread, lemon-pickle salsa, sour cream raita

Curried plantains with coconut
Gujarati paella
with chickpeas, green peas and cinnamon
Cabbage slaw
with hot pepper, coriander chutney dressing

Cardamom flan
Figs in mole sauce




To The Strangers I Have Drawn On A Train

Perhaps you will find my portraiture an encroachment, a violation of privacy, and perhaps you even think it unflattering in its realism. To the first I say yes, because portrayal of any sort is an intimate act, and drawing the most so: my best teacher once told me, “ Drawing is touching.” So in no small way I have touched you, without permission, while you slept or were taken by a view or lost in your own thoughts.
I apologize if I have hurt you thus. Know though, that it was a loving act, to draw you. It is an appreciation of the life you are living, have lived to form such a face. Every line is a caress, a prayer, a tribute to the beautifully enduring, varied, expressive visage of the human race.
It is a record of the wonder of us.






Parterre de Temps

Parterre de Temps

This proposal is for a staging of Kurt Jooss’ 1932 dramatic dance The Green Table, as a partitioning not of the surface of the Earth, but rather of space through time. This is a modern interpretation of the 17th century French parterre, incorporating time as an element, and reinventing parterre as a dynamic rather than static form. Elements still inscribe elaborate patterns, meant to be viewed from above as well as straight on, but they are no longer discrete, fixed, or permanent. The change in emphasis from stasis to movement parallels advances in mathematics – the development of the calculus to describe continuously changing curves in 16 – and physical science in the modern era, where time is understood as a fourth dimension, and position (place) represented by space-time coordinates. There are similar modern concerns in the Arts; photography becomes film with the added dimension of time, as Cubism wrestles with representing three dimensions in two.

Other parterres in this genre are marching band half-time shows, synchronized swimming, musicals (stage and film), parades, and traffic.

Ballet (a form originating in the court of Louis XIV) evolved into modern dance, and The Green Table is noted for its revival of the story ballet, and importantly here for the introduction of extremely stylized movements and gestures, especially intended to emphatically define space, and so communicate meaning.

This dance can be presented wherever a 10’ by 10’ stage fits, but best follows the French tradition of theater in the garden if staged out-of-doors.

Elements in a traditional parterre are plantings, pavings, and objects fixed in space and time. Elements in a parterre de temps are capable of autonomous (prescribed) movement in time scaled to human perception. This can include objects carried by moving agents. The Green Table uses human dancers in costume, a green table, and pistols. The set is usually draped in black cloth. Out-of-doors choices for this production are a grass or moss covered table, and pendulous, darkly colored moss or lichen for the drape.

Music is also an element in this parterre, and can claim its own partitioning of time.

The boards reconstruct the first scene, titled “The Gentlemen in Black”, showing the musical score, and diagrams of directed movement, in plan. These diagrams are similar to animation cells, in that they represent discrete events intended as a successive, continuous, seamlessly connected presentation. The photographs are from productions that cover sixty years.



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