Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Nice Introduction to Alexander's Books and Theories

A very nice introduction to Alexander's books and theories from Project for Public Spaces (PPS):

Christopher Alexander

(follow the link)

Photo: Rob Hopkins

From the introduction:

Through these books and the PatternLanguage.com website, Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure have built a movement which, in their words, “lays the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will replace existing ideas and practices entirely.”

At the core of this movement is the idea that people should design houses, streets, and communities for themselves. This idea may imply a radical transformation of the architectural profession, but it emerges quite simply from the observation that most of the beautiful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people. In 2002-2003 Alexander has pursued his interest in the community development through two projects in particular: the revitalization (redevelopment) of downtown Duncanville, Texas, and the creation of a new community in the hills near Brookings, Oregon.

“[Alexander is] one of the most influential people who has ever been in the design world. His influence on us, operationally, has been enormous.”
– Andres Duany, Founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism
“Alexander’s approach presents a fundamental challenge to us and our style-obsessed age. It suggests that a beautiful form can come about only through a process that is meaningful to people. It also implies that certain types of processes, regardless of when they occur or who does them, can lead to certain types of forms.”
– Thomas Fisher, Progressive Architecture
“In these postmodern times of distortional post-structural theories and cynical deconstructivist designs, Alexander’s work is a beacon illuminating a way to make the world more robust, beautiful, and kind… this vision and work may well inspire a new generation of practitioners and thinkers, and so a virtuous circle may proceed.”
– David Seamon, Professor in the Department of Architecture, Kansas State University
“Five hundred years is a long time, and I don’t expect many of the people I interview will be known in the year 2500. Christopher Alexander may be an exception.”
– David Creelman, Editor of HR Magazine

“[Alexander] is single-handedly trying to destroy the trillion dollar construction industry.”
– Joel Garreau, Author of Edge City: Life on the New Frontier

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