Synopses & Reviews
After a ten-year silence, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure are now publishing a statement in the form of three works 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."
At the core of these works 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.
This book is the master plan for the University of Oregon, and is now being implemented at that university; but it shows at the same time how any community the size of a university or small town might go about designing its own future environment with all members of the community participating personally. It is a concrete example of the Center's theories in practice, showing in simple detail, with numerous illustrations, how to implement six guiding principles: organic order, participation, piecemeal growth, patterns, diagnosis, and coordination.
"The Oregon Experiment is perhaps this decade's best candidate for a permanently important book."--Rory Campbell, The Boston Globe
About the Author
Christopher Alexander, winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, is a practicing architect and builder, Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Environmental Structure.