When architect Christopher Alexander released his 1977 manifesto A Pattern Language, he argued that good architecture is simply a matter of applying core principles. The book garnered a small but fanatical following and inspired a movement in software: Programmers, tired of reinventing the wheel, began compiling libraries of solutions for common coding problems. In recent years, the pattern method has influenced interface designers, usability engineers, and game developers like Will Wright. Now Alexander, 67, has a new treatise. Written over the course of three decades, The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe (Center for Environmental Structure) is polemical, ambitious, and contrarian. “I didn’t set out to write a book about the universe,” he says. “I just wanted to heal architecture.” The four-volume set outlines the properties that Alexander believes underlie beauty in art, nature, and great buildings. Because his ideas fill 2,150 pages, here’s the abridged version.
Date added: 07/23/2008architecture Patternthinking