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Other titles in the Center for Environmental Structure series:

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

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A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction Cover

ISBN13: 9780195019193
ISBN10: 0195019199
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

Although I am not an architect, I keep this book on my bedside table at all times, so that I can pick it up and read about how the world should be, according to Christopher Alexander. The world is made of "patterns" that work organically. These patterns exist everywhere: in towns, buildings, pubs, offices, schools, houses, traffic patterns, gardens, living rooms — and even computer languages. Mr. Alexander writes about how to live a happier life. I want to marry him. Or, at the very least, live in his sun-filled, cozy house.
Recommended by Carole R., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

You can use this book to design a house for yourself with your family; you can use it to work with your neighbors to improve your town and neighborhood; you can use it to design an office, or a workshop, or a public building. And you can use it to guide you in the actual process of construction.

After a ten-year silence, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure are now publishing a major statement in the form of three books which will, in their words, "lay the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will we hope replace existing ideas and practices entirely." The three books are The Timeless Way of Building, The Oregon Experiment, and this book, A Pattern Language.

At the core of these books is the idea that people should design for themselves their own houses, streets, and communities. This idea may be radical (it implies a radical transformation of the architectural profession) but it comes simply from the observation that most of the wonderful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people.

At the core of the books, too, is the point that in designing their environments people always rely on certain "languages," which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a forma system which gives them coherence. This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable a person to make a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment.

"Patterns," the units of this language, are answers to design problems (How high should a window sill be? How many stories should a building have? How much space in a neighborhood should be devoted to grass and trees?). More than 250 of the patterns in this pattern language are given: each consists of a problem statement, a discussion of the problem with an illustration, and a solution. As the authors say in their introduction, many of the patterns are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seemly likely that they will be a part of human nature, and human action, as much in five hundred years as they are today.

Table of Contents

USING THIS BOOK

A pattern language

Summary of the language

Choosing a language for your project

The poetry of the language

TOWNS

Using the language

Patterns

BUILDINGS

Using the language

Patterns

CONSTRUCTION

Using the language

Patterns

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

michael shanser, September 20, 2011 (view all comments by michael shanser)
This book offers a unique approach to architecture and the effect that it has one your habits. I would highly recommend this book to anti wu teetered in designing their own home or just curious about why certain areas lead to feeling more productive.
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michael shanser, September 20, 2011 (view all comments by michael shanser)
This book offers a unique approach to architecture and the effect that it has one your habits. I would highly recommend this book to anti wu teetered in designing their own home or just curious about why certain areas lead to feeling more productive.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Kathy Fraser, February 26, 2007 (view all comments by Kathy Fraser)
This is the BIBLE of conscientious design; an invaluable reference for architects, whether city planners or builders of garden sheds. The authors combine classic aesthetic themes from around the world with functional common sense and viable building materials to organize abundant points for consideration when designing spaces for human use. It is beautiful enough to read even if you are not currently planning any construction: inspiring, accessible and timeless.
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(19 of 31 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780195019193
Subtitle:
Towns, Buildings, Construction
Author:
Christopher Alexander and Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein
Author:
Alexander, Christopher
Author:
Null, Christopher
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Planning
Subject:
Art
Subject:
Criticism
Subject:
Design & Drafting
Subject:
Semiotics
Subject:
Symbolism in architecture
Subject:
Architecture | Theory
Subject:
Criticism; Aesthetics
Subject:
Art and Architecture | Theory and Criticism; Aesthetics
Subject:
Art & Architecture | Theory & Criticism; Aesthetics
Subject:
Architecture-Urban Planning
Copyright:
Edition Number:
3
Publication Date:
19770825
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Plates
Pages:
1216
Dimensions:
7.9 x 5.7 x 2 in 2.15 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Drafting
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Drawing and Design
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » General
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Reference
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Theory
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Urban Planning

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction Used Hardcover
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Product details 1216 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195019193 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Although I am not an architect, I keep this book on my bedside table at all times, so that I can pick it up and read about how the world should be, according to Christopher Alexander. The world is made of "patterns" that work organically. These patterns exist everywhere: in towns, buildings, pubs, offices, schools, houses, traffic patterns, gardens, living rooms — and even computer languages. Mr. Alexander writes about how to live a happier life. I want to marry him. Or, at the very least, live in his sun-filled, cozy house.

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