Friday, October 14, 2011

A Farmer in a Traditional Culture “Knew” How to Make a Beautiful House for Himself

Traditional farmhouse from Løten, Norway. Full resolution available here.
A farmer in a traditional culture “knew” how to make a beautiful house for himself. We envy him, and think that only he was able to do this because his culture made it possible. But this power the primitive farmer had lay in his pattern language.
And if the people of the town now have a pattern language which is whole, they have the same power, exactly. Whatever act of building or repair is contemplated – building a bench, a flower bed, a room, a terrace, a small cottage, a whole house, a group of houses, a remaking of a street shop, a café trellis, a complex of public buildings, even the replanning of a neighborhood – they have the power to do it for themselves. The Timeless Way of Building, by Christopher Alexander, page 353
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