Book of the Moment

Christopher "A Pattern Language" Alexander has completed his four-volume omnibus culminating his exploration of architectural theory over thirty years. Nature of Order focuses on the topic of living structure. Each book can be read separately but are also interdependent and connected.

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NPR features an interview with Alexander, who talks all-too-briefly about the ideas behind the books in a laid-back and understandable manner.

From Alexander's web page:
In Book 1 [The Phenomenon of Life], Alexander defines life and living structure as the necessary criteria for quality in buildings; in Book 2 [The Process of Creating Life, he] examines the kinds of process that are capable of generating living structure; in Book 3 [A Vision of a Living World, he] presents hundreds of his own buildings and those of other contemporaries who have used similar methods consistent with the theory of living process; in Book 4 [The Luminous Ground], the culmination of the quartet, [he] addresses the cosmological implications of the theory he has constructed and presented.

Alexander's 2,000+ page tome is on par with something like William Vollmann's Rising Up and Rising Down, a 3,000+ page, 7-volume treatise on violence and terrorism.

Regardless if one agrees or disagrees with Alexander's ideas, the sheer ambition of his project, and his desire to improve the quality of life for everybody via his theories and writings is admirable, to say the least.

(via Archinect)


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