Christopher Alexander

Chrisopher Alexander is one of those weird synthesist people. Wrote a book on the design of Turkish rugs. His architecture and design books have influenced multiple cults of people (software, building architecture, society design). I love his A Pattern Language book. (see Alexander Patterns). Died Mar'2022.

I have his Nature Of Order series of books (but have only browsed them), which finally came out (after around 20 years)...

His website costs $5/month (for the good stuff).

Victor Lombardi saw a video interview with Alexander discussing the progression of his thinking, from Pattern Language through Nature Of Order.

I've always felt there's a similarity between Christopher Alexander and Frank Lloyd Wright, though also very different philosophies...

The Lost Prophet of Architecture : "Without the help of architects or planners, if you are working in the timeless way, the idea is that a town will grow under your hands, as naturally as the flowers in your garden."... For all its achievements, A Pattern Language did not, according to its principal author, go far enough. "It's a very illuminating book I think, but it doesn't really put Generative power in people's hands, not to the extent that I wanted to."... The Nature Of Order presents 15 basic "structures" that underlie the patterns and account, Alexander argues, for true beauty in every realm, from a person's face to a birthday party to a mountain stream. "Strong centers," "alternating repetitions," and "contrast" are a few of the properties that work together to produce the pleasurable sensation of beholding beauty... The Nature of Order is Alexander's resolution of his career-long struggle to eliminate any debate over style or personal taste... And what if our perceptions differ from his? Well, we're in the sway of misguided mechanical thinking. We're choosing death. Alexander's theory is based on one of his most problematic convictions - that "ninety percent of our feelings is stuff in which we are all the same and we feel the same things."... Alexander seldom acknowledges that many architects have been grappling with the same problems as he has, and for just as long... One of the most powerful ways architects have of influencing others is publishing their work. Yet for all the photographs Alexander has published in his books and on his website, rarely does one see more than a single snapshotlike view of the inside or outside of each building... With The Nature of Order, Alexander challenges us to reconsider what is "real." And yet, the rigid control he demands over how we apply his ideas makes testing them exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.

Refers at some period of time to QWAN, the Quality Without A Name

2003/08/22 11:34 GMT

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