To crowd-source ideas for his next session at Forrester’s Enterprise Architecture Forum, Principal Analyst and blogger Jeff Scott indulged in the age-old ‘What is Enterprise Architecture?’ debate. Definition debates have been aired in online forums so many times it’s a wonder anyone bothers to post, but each time a new crop of wannabes pop up to trot out the same semantic debates. Not so this time. To Jeff’s credit, his post pulled 3 recommendations and 14 comments, significant not so much numerically but for who responded and the thoughtfulness of the respondents.
We are all enculturated in the mythology of the master architect, the grand designer, the silver-haired visionary. Stories from design history depict larger-than-life figures, towering over grand designs, by virtue of their superior designerly powers, like design deity. Some historical figures were indeed geniuses. It is said that Frank Lloyd Wright’s reticence in revealing his concept for Fallingwater was making Kauffman (his client) increasingly nervous. With just hours before Kauffman was due to walk through the studio door, Wright apparently gathered his apprentices around the drafting table and sketched the concept in all its cantilevered glory before their eyes, narrating his thoughts as he drew. What this story says about Wright’s power of mental conceptualisation is inspiring. Myths are built on the exceptional, not the mundane.