Alphabets

Emergence springs from alphabets. An alphabet is a kit of parts, together with rules for combining them.

Christopher Alexander. "Systems Generating Systems" Architectural Design 38, no. December 1968 (1968): 605-610.

If you want to provoke emergence, design an alphabet.


Examples:

Most designers today think of themselves as the designers of objects. If we follow the argument presented here, we reach a very different conclusion. To make objects with complex holistic properties, it is necessary to invent generating systems which will generate objects with the required holistic properties. The designer becomes a designer of generating systems — each capable of generating many objects — rather than a designer of individual objects. — Christopher Alexander, Systems Generating Systems, 1968