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Other titles in the Nature of Order series:
Nature of Order Book 1: The Phenomenon of Lifeby Christopher Alexander
Synopses & Reviews
Christopher Alexander's series of groundbreaking books including A Pattern Language and The Timeless Way of Building have pointed to fundamental truths of the way we build, revealing what gives life and beauty and true functionality to our buildings and towns. Now, in The Nature of Order, Alexander explores the properties of life itself, highlighting a set of well-defined structures present in all order and in all life from microorganisms and mountain ranges to good houses and vibrant communities.
In Phenomenon of Life, the first volume in this four volume masterwork, Alexander proposes a scientific view of the world in which all space-matter has perceptible degrees of life and sets this understanding of order as an intellectual basis for a new architecture. With this view as a foundation, we can ask precise questions about what must be done to create more life in our world whether in a room, a humble doorknob, a nighborhood, or even in a vast region.
He introduces the concept of living structure, basing it upon his theories of centers and of wholeness, and defines the fifteen properties from which, according to his observations, all wholeness is built. Alexander argues that living structure is at once both personal and structural.
The pioneering scientist and author of "A Pattern Language" delivers his long-awaited four-volume magnum opus on the nature of life in the environment and how we must relate architecture to the life in the world.
In Book One of this four-volume work, Alexander describes a scientific view of the world in which all space-matter has perceptible degrees of life, and establishes this understanding of living structures as an intellectual basis for a new architecture.
He identifies fifteen geometric properties which tend to accompany the presence of life in nature, and also in the buildings and cities we make. These properties are seen over and over in nature and in the cities and streets of the past, but they have almost disappeared in the impersonal developments and buildings of the last hundred years.
This book shows that living structures depend on features which make a close connection with the human self, and that only living structure has the capacity to support human well-being.
Christopher Alexander's masterwork, the result of 27 years of research, considers three vital perspectives: a scientific perspective; a perspective based on beauty and grace; a commonsense perspective based on our intuitions and everyday life.
About the Author
Christopher Alexander, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, is an architect, scientist and builder who has built in many countries. After 38 years in the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, he is now Emeritus Professor at the University, Director of the Center for Environmental Structure, and Chairman of the Board at PatternLanguage.com.
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