Plutselig, i løpet av påsken, fanget dette veggveveriet min oppmerksomhet, og jeg begynte å tenke på hvor enkelt det var, samtidig som det for meg synes å inneholde flere av Alexanders fundamentale verdier for helhet. Jeg vil nevne noen:
“In a surprisingly large number of cases, living structures contain some form of interlock: situations where centers are “hooked” into their surroundings. This has the effect of making it difficult to disentangle the center from its surroundings. It becomes more deeply unified with the world and with other centers near it.” - Christopher Alexander, p. 195, Book One, The Nature of Order
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?
“Things which have real life always have a certain ease, a morphological roughness. This is not an accidental property” - Christopher Alexander, Book One, The Nature of Order, p. 210
“It is certainly noticeable that all great buildings do have various small irregularities in them, even though they often conform to approximate overall symmetries and configurations. By contrast, buildings which are perfectly regular seem dead.” - Christopher Alexander, Book One, The Nature of Order, p. 214
“The seemingly rough arrangement is more precise because it comes from a much more careful guarding of the essential centers of the design.” - Christopher Alexander, Book One, The Nature of Order, p. 211
Not-separateness is the degree of connectedness an element has with all that is around it. A thing which has this quality feels completely at peace, because it is so deeply interconnected with its world. There is no abruptness, no sharpness, but often an incomplete edge which softens the hard boundary. The element is drawn into its setting, and the element draws its setting into itself.
Not-separateness is a profound connection occurring at many scales between a center and the other centers which surround it, so that they melt into one another and become inseparable.
Living things tend to have a special simplicity, an economy developed over time in which all things unnecessary, or not supporting the whole, are removed. This does not preclude ornament, as even in nature ornament has its very necessary place. What simplicity does is cut away the meaningless attachments to an element, the things which often distract and confuse its true nature. When this is done, an object is in a state of inner calm.