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A Pattern Language

In short, no pattern is an isolated entity. Each pattern can exist in the world, only to the extent that is supported by other patterns: the larger pattern in which it is embedded, the patterns of the same size that surround it, and the smaller patterns which are embedded in it it.
This is a fundamental view of the world. It says that when you build a thing you cannot merely build a thing in isolation, but must also repair the world around it, and within it, so that the larger world at that one place becomes more coherent, and more whole; and that the thing which you make takes its place in the web of nature, as you make it.

via A Pattern Language