A Pattern Language : Towns, Buildings, Construction
About the book
You can use this book to design a house for yourself with your family; you can use it to work with your neighbors to improve your town and neighborhood; you can use it to design an office, or a workshop, or a public building. And you can use it to guide you in the actual process of construction. After a ten-year silence, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure are now publishing a major statement in the form of three books which will, in their words, "lay the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will we hope replace existing ideas and practices entirely." The three books are The Timeless Way of Building, The Oregon Experiment, and this book, A Pattern Language. At the core of these books is the idea that people should design for themselves their own houses, streets, and communities. This idea may be radical (it implies a radical transformation of the architectural profession) but it comes simply from the observation that most of the wonderful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people. At the core of the books, too, is the point that in designing their environments people always rely on certain "languages," which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a forma system which gives them coherence. This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable a person to make a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment. "Patterns," the units of this language, are answers to design problems (How high should a window sill be? How many stories should a building have? How much space in a neighborhood should be devoted to grass and trees?). More than 250 of the patterns in this pattern language are given: each consists of a problem statement, a discussion of the problem with an illustration, and a solution. As the authors say in their introduction, many of the patterns are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seemly likely that they will be a part of human nature, and human action, as much in five hundred years as they are today.
A Pattern Language by Chris Alexander changed the way I think about the way space is organised in a room, a house, a street and a town ... I keep giving it away to people who feel their homes don't quite work in the way they want them to. Every architect, estage agent and MP should read it. James Runcie, Daily Mail
A Pattern Language by Chris Alexander changed the way I think about the way space is organised in a room, a house, a street and a town ... I keep giving it away to people who feel their homes don't quite work in the way they want them to. Every architect, estage agent and MP should read it. * James Runcie, Daily Mail *
Christopher Alexander Biography
Christopher Wolfgang John Alexander (4 October 1936 – 17 March 2022) was an Austrian-born British-American architect and design theorist. He was an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His theories about the nature of human-centered design have affected fields beyond architecture, including urban design, software, and sociology. Alexander designed and personally built over 100 buildings, both as an architect and a general contractor.In software, Alexander is regarded as the father of the pattern language movement. The first wiki—the technology behind Wikipedia—led directly from Alexander's work, according to its creator, Ward Cunningham. Alexander's work has also influenced the development of agile software development.In architecture, Alexander's work is used by a number of different contemporary architectural communities of practice, including the New Urbanist movement, to help people to reclaim control over their own built environment. However, Alexander was controversial among some mainstream architects and critics, in part because his work was often harshly critical of much of contemporary architectural theory and practice.Alexander is known for many books on the design and building process, including Notes on the Synthesis of Form, A City is Not a Tree (first published as a paper and re-published in book form in 2015), The Timeless Way of Building, A New Theory of Urban Design, and The Oregon Experiment. More recently he published the four-volume The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe, about his newer theories of "morphogenetic" processes, and The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth, about the implementation of his theories in a large building project in Japan. All his works are developed or accumulated from his previous works, so his works should be read as a whole rather than fragmented pieces. His life's work or the best of his works is The Nature of Order on which he spent about 30 years, and the very first version of The Nature of Order was done in 1981, one year before a famous debate with Peter Eisenman at Harvard. Alexander is perhaps best known for his 1977 book A Pattern Language, a perennial seller some four decades after publication. Reasoning that users are more sensitive to their needs than any architect could be, he produced and validated (in collaboration with his students Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, Ingrid King, and Shlomo Angel) a "pattern language" to empower anyone to design and build at any scale.
Personal lifeAlexander was born in Vienna, Austria. His father, Ferdinand Johann Alfred Alexander, was Catholic and his mother, Lilly Edith Elizabeth (Deutsch) Alexander was Jewish. As a young child Alexander emigrated in fall 1938 with his parents from Austria to England, when his parents were forced to flee the Nazi regime. (They worked as German language teachers.) He spent much of his childhood in Chichester and O ... Read full biography
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press Inc|
|Languages:||| English ||
|Illustrations:||photographs and drawings throughout|
|Publication date:||March 7, 2006|
|First Publication Date:||None|
|Publication City/Country:||New York, United States|