The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe
In his early work, architect Christopher Alexander described buildings in terms of patterns, but soon found this approach to be too restricting. For 27 years, he collected, studied and analyzed information on architecture and natural processes, as well as 15 centuries of art history. The outcome of this is a four-part magnum opus of more than 2,100 pages, linking science to aesthetics and common sense in a highly unorthodox way. Alexander’s ambition is to bring the emotions back into the way we think about building and design. Ever since the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, reason has triumphed over emotion, and Alexander contends that this has resulted in impoverished, dead architecture. He argues for a holistic perspective to counter this. Using dozens of examples, he applies this perspective to all phases and levels of construction: from planning to actual, physical construction and from door handles to entire urban plans. The result is an alternative vision for the world centered around human nature, which becomes the driving force behind the design of space.
Christopher Alexander for Center for Environmental Structure