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Showing posts from November, 2012

Wholeness and Human Feeling Must be Regained

We hope by now the reader will understand that the battle between system -A and system -B is not merely a clash between two competing theories of architecture. More profoundly, it is a clash between two competing systems of thought, human organization, and social activity. The two worldviews differ about the ways human society should be organized, about questions of ultimate value, and about the ways in which our social and emotional life may typically be arranged.

When this distinction is understood, it will indeed be seen that there must be conflict between the two world-systems. We need this confrontation in order to heal ourselves, and our communities.

The connection between human feeling and the wholeness of the world is profound. The activity of using this connection in service to the world is something that can be regained and must be regained. And in our search for wholeness, the presence of profound feeling in the hearts of human observers is the most sensitive, most reliable …

Dytting rundt vindu

Self-Organized Middle Earth Towns

See more pictures here: Middle Earth

Related reading:
The Natural Patterns of Cities

Skjendingen av innlandets dronning

Med fjording på Gjøvik Gård


Persimon til søndagsfrokosten


Michael W. Mehaffy and Nikos A. Salingaros
First published in Metropolis (, 29 November 2011.
CC BY-SA Michael W. Mehaffy & Nikos A. Salingaros, 2012. Creative Commons  License Attribution–ShareAlike.
In 1984, the environmental psychologist Roger Ulrich made a startling discovery. In studying hospital patients recovering from surgery, he found that one factor alone accounted for significant differences in post-operative complications, recovery times, and need for painkillers. It was the view from their windows!

Half the patients had views out to beautiful nature scenes. The other half saw a blank wall. This was an astonishing result — the mere quality of aesthetic experience had a measurable impact on the patients’ health and wellbeing. Moreover — and this certainly caught the attention of hard-nosed economists — because the patients stayed less time, used fewer drugs, and had fewer complications, their stay in the hospital actually cost less.

Ulrich’s study began a …


The Corona of a Sunflower

Thick boundary zones are old fashioned! Or so it would seem based on their utter scarcity in contemporary architecture where thin skins abound. So why would Christopher Alexander name ‘Boundaries’ as one of the 15 Fundamental Properties key to spatial coherence? Well, it seems that the natural world couldn’t really exist without them. Could the sun exist in the near vacuum of space without the massive boundary zone we call the corona? Could a cell nucleus exist without a substantial cell wall to both protect it from the outer environment and connect it to its source of life? Tom Kubala

Svada fra Sørbø

Min kommentartråd på Aftenposten angående Tommy Sørbøs artikkel: Pent, stygt eller sant? Hvis du misliker Lambda har det ikke noe med bygget å gjøre, men deg selv.

19682010 Hva som er vakkert er heldigvis ikke subjektivt, slik artikkelforfatteren gir inntrykk av. Skjønnhet er objektivt, og kan i større og større grad defineres av kriterier utenfor oss selv. Dette kalles biofilisk design. Den viktigste størrelsen internasjonalt innen tematikken biofilisk design, er Christopher Alexander. Jeg har skrevet en introduksjon hos det amerikanske nettstedet for en forelesning Alexander holdt på Berkeley i 2011, denne, med video fra forelesningen, kan lastes ned her: At Lambda er en stygg bygning er dessverre en objektiv sannhet. RedigerSvar13 timer siden8 Liker alexander377 Lambda er som den kunsten bygget skal huse; spennende og utfordrende, men ikke nødvenigvis pen eller vakker.
Lambda passer perfekt til Munch...
Begge vil utfordre og provosere, …

Tiles of Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque

Review from Creelman Research Library on Alexander's “The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth”

Read the original review here.
If you specialize in human resources it may not be immediately obvious that a book on the construction of a high school in Japan would be relevant to your work. However, Christopher Alexander’s The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth touches on profound matters and any thinking person will find ties to their own ambitions.

Christopher Alexander is an architect and builder. He taught at Berkeley for many years and his work goes beyond the domain of architecture, he studies the nature of aesthetics and one might even say the metaphysics of how beautiful places can connect us to the divine. If all that sounds too ethereal for the practical man remember that Alexander is not an ivory tower architect, he’s also a builder who trudges through muddy fields, mixes cements, and applies his hand to painting details. The ‘Battle’ in his book took place when he built the Eishen campus near Tokyo: a high school campus of more than a dozen buildings a…

Sunday Trip in November

A Farm in the November Sun

My Comment at P2P-Foundation about Self-Understanding

Personally I believe that our self-understanding will go astray without awareness of God.
The builders of Florence, especially those building from about the year 1000 A.D. to 1500 A.D., lived and worked with an unshakable belief in God. As one looks at the works that came from their hands, God is everywhere: in the paintings now hanging in the Uffizi, in the Baptistery, in San Miniato, in the life and death of Beato Angelico living in his cell in the monastery of San Marco. For them, every stone was a gift to that unshakable belief in God they shared. It is the belief, the unshakable nature of the belief, its authenticity, and above all its solidity, which made it work effectively for them. We, in our time, need an authentic belief, a certainty, connected with the ultimate reaches of space and time — which does the same for us. – Christopher Alexander, The Luminous Ground, page 42 The self-understanding of modern man has made itself manifest in modern architecture. All that it say is:…

A Movement Against Yourself

Green groups [...] have spent a lot of time trying to change individual lifestyles: the iconic twisty light bulb has been installed by the millions, but so have a new generation of energy-sucking flatscreen TVs. Most of us are fundamentally ambivalent about going green: We like cheap flights to warm places, and we’re certainly not going to give them up if everyone else is still taking them. Since all of us are in some way the beneficiaries of cheap fossil fuel, tackling climate change has been like trying to build a movement against yourself—it’s as if the gay-rights movement had to be constructed entirely from evangelical preachers, or the abolition movement from slaveholders. - Bill McKibben

Agriocnemis Pygmaea Male, Burdwan, West Bengal, India

My Comment Regarding the Close Relationship Between Alexander's "A Pattern Language" and Bongard's "The Biological Human"

I really look forward to that! Personally I find it immensely promising to combine the good forces of the handicap principle discovered by Amotz Zahavi, with the pattern technology developed by Christopher Alexander. To mix these two are in my eyes dynamite, and can be a major contribution for a more human society.

Unfortunately I know of no others that share my enthusiasm for this idea, I don't think neither Alexander or Bongard has seen its full potential.

As I see it there is a close relationship between Alexander's A Pattern Language and Bongard's The Biological Human. It's like Alexander's pattern-technology is made for utilizing the good forces of the handicap principle. I really don't understand why I've not yet met any others that share my enthusiasm for these possibilities? -

What do We Have to Lose, Other than Illusions?

Yes, the most effective way to slow climate change is to shrink the economy. That statement is inconvenient as hell, but it’s true. Sure, efficiency and renewable energy can nibble around the edges of our carbon emissions, but just three or four percent economic growth per year would be sufficient to cancel out any gains we’d be likely to achieve with solar panels and electric cars. Understandably, this makes the post-carbon transition a tough sell. So the real trade-off, the real choice we face, is not between climate protection on one hand and economic growth on the other. It’s between planned economic contraction (with government managing the post-carbon transition through infrastructure investment and useful make-work programs) as a possible but unlikely strategy, and unplanned, unmanaged economic and environmental collapse as our default scenario.

Mainstream environmental organizations don’t want to mention any of this because they don’t want to be pilloried as “anti-growth” or …

Message to the Debt Taliban in the U.S. Congress: Sovereign States Can’t go Bankrupt

David Graeber in conversation with Max Keiser, on the insights from his book on the history of debt:

The World's Best Collection of Bed Alcoves

Lene, the author of the well worth visiting blog The Essence of the Good Life, has made what is probably the world's best collection of bed alcoves. Go directly to her excellent photo-graphic alcove show here:


Really refreshing to see this in these continental-bed-times, awful and anxiety-generating as they are.

Hope you know about the two stars alexandrine pattern BED ALCOVE, which is pattern 188 in A Pattern Language. Here Christopher Alexander states that bedrooms make no sense. His conclusion is as follows:
Don't put single beds in empty rooms called bedrooms, but instead put individual bed alcoves off rooms with other non-sleeping functions, so the bed itself becomes a tiny private haven. - Christopher Alexander For all of you who have A Pattern Language in your book shelves (I guess some of you have, as this book is a major classic), I advice to look up pattern 188 to read it in full.

Thanks also to Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder i…

The Architect as God and Tyrant

Architects design the physical setting in which social life goes forward. If the material world is what there is, and there are no higher goods, then architects, who create the order of that world, take the place of God. In the modern world the creative visionary architect is therefore a natural totalitarian. Prominent pioneers of architectural modernism included Italian fascists, Bauhaus commies, and the American Nazi Philip Johnson. Others have been freelance tyrants, on a grand scale like Le Corbusier or a petty one like Peter Eisenman. Still others have been opportunistic tools of money and power who build buildings that glorify the rich, powerful, and well-connected and make ordinary people feel out of place. - James Kalb

Hvor stor andel av fotosyntesen kan menneskeheten rettmessig gjøre krav på?

Etter et innlegg nylig av Terje Bongard hos Kulturverk, begynte jeg å reflektere over hvor stor andel av fotosyntesen vi mennesker rettmessig kan utnytte til å dekke egne behov.

Sitat fra artikkelen:
Menneskets forbruk av den totale fotosyntesen på jorda er beregnet til mellom 30 og 50 % [1]. Det fører til at de fleste arter utenom mais, hvete, ris og en håndfull andre lever på lånt tid. Det ser ut til at forbruket av global planteproduksjon vil nå 100 % på 40 år. Det er imidlertid umulig. Da er det ikke noe mat igjen til andre arter enn oss, og vi vil dø ut fordi omsetningen i naturen vil bryte sammen. - Terje Bongard Jeg vil anbefale å lese hele innlegget av Terje Bongard hos Kulturverk:

- På parti med den nære framtida?

Det har vært mye fokusert på hvor stor andel av ressursgrunnlaget den rikeste tiendeparten av verdens befolkning disponerer, og hvor urettferdig denne fordelingen er. Noe jeg sjelden ser diskutert er hvor stor andel av fotosyntesen menneskeheten disponerer på bekostn…

Slagsvold Farm at Kraby

Ignorance by Consensus

Consensus offers status and reward for those who can navigate its waters. Further, status salutes status. We warm to those who confirm our attachment to our understanding of the world and all that we have invested in it. A respectable institute conscious of its status will desire to work with someone of equal or higher status; or a government will deem it appropriate to only work with high status advisors (usually the most expensive). So consensus is re-enforced….and Ireland gets Merrill Lynch. - David Korowicz

An exchange with Øyvind Holmstad on the subject of "civilization"

I have not posted this thread with Ross Wolf before as he called me "Swedish", which is a rather serious insult to a Norwegian. So I was lucky to find his post re-posted elsewhere, but with this error corrected. I don't know for sure why Wolf re-posted our conversation either? Was it to make fun of me as a rather naive (in his super-intellectual eyes) half peasant and nature-conservative? Or was it because he found our conversation interesting and informative? Read the conversation and judge yourselves:

- An exchange with Øyvind Holmstad on the subject of "civilization"

Inkludering, eller hvordan å underkue gjennom hersketeknikkenes "vinnerstrategi"

Den mest sofistikerte form for undertrykkelse går gjennom inkludering, i vår kultur særlig gjeldende for den såkalte multikulturalismen, som i virkeligheten er den rasjonelle modernismens avvising av tradisjoner som samfunnsnorm. 

Paul-Otto Brunstad, professor ved NLA i religionspedagogikk, gir en treffende karakteristikk av inkluderingens sanne vesen i artikkelen "Nussifisering av troens mysterium", side 4-5 i Vårt Land fredag 9. november 2012.

Inkludering: Det finnes en måte å kvitte seg med brysomme fremmede på, og som er mer effektivt enn å forfølge dem, det er å inkludere dem. Ved gradvis å omforme den fremmede, ved gradvis å fjerne alt som er fremmedartet og provoserende, temmes og omskapes den fremmede i vårt eget bilde.

Omformingen skjer ikke gjennom utestenging, utrensking eller forfølgelse, men tvert om gjennom en respektfull inkludering. Til slutt har den fremmede mistet all sin identitet og betydning.

Det kritiske og konstruktive bidraget, som i sin tid rommet e…

Beyond Philosophy

Beyond Philosophy
What is philosophy? If it is anything it is the domain that aims to answer the most substantial questions in a foundational way. It attempts, for example, to provide an account of Truth or Knowledge in a manner that answers these questions in a way that can be understood as ‘scientific’. The attempt, therefore, is to make ‘objective’ or ‘universal’ certain domains of inquiry.

There is more to philosophy than this, however. In virtue of the inquiry into the problems that are most fundamental, philosophers, privilege their domain of inquiry. Philosopher have a sense that their inquiry is in some way special… that it stands distinct from other inquiries. How justified is this? What is the current status of the inquiry?

Rorty is famous for saying ‘Philosophy is Dead!’ What did he mean by this?

The pursuit of foundationalism has followed two different paths that find their basis in two differing perspectives on the foundations for knowledge. The most central philosophic…

My Comment to Ross Wolf's Essay "Max Ajl vs. Alex Gourevitch in Jacobin on society, nature, and the Left: An intervention"

Read the article here. Personally I come from the small minority on the right that is positive to environmentalism, as I'm a nature conservative.

I'm sorry to inform you that you have misunderstood completely. It's not small that is beautiful, it's scale that is beautiful. Yes, I understand that you are obligated to your hero Le Corbusier to hate scale, and especially the small scales, as he was a mega-maniac. But scale is, in spite of modernist ideology, a natural law that is fundamental for the universe. This is why Christopher Alexander has set "Levels of Scale" as the first and most fundamental property of wholeness:

In fact, levels of scale is fractal and is ≈ 2,7:

I find your misunderstanding so serious that I'm determined to write an article called "The Beauty of Scale".Related:
Book of th…