Photo of step designed by Christopher Alexander from the picture gallery of patternlanguage.com - click image to visit.

This page contains a growing collection of links to resonant websites.

First, those which Christopher Alexander and his colleagues themselves maintain.

Below these, others which, as the list grows, may be arranged into helpful categories.

For each site I post an introductory clipping from the site itself.

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Links to Alexander’s websites:

Pattern Language.com

We seek to help people design things, create things, to make them useful and beautiful, in whatever we are doing, so that we may all take part in the daily work of building a living earth.

This website has been created to allow all people: homeowners, architects, builders, planners, and others, to design their own houses, to design large buildings, streets, neighborhoods, and gardens, in a way that will enhance the earth.

Building Living Neighborhoods

Our goal is to help everyone make our neighborhoods places of belonging, places of health and well-being, and places where people will want to live and work. This has become possible through the use of Generative Codes, Christopher Alexander’s latest work in the effort to make possible conception and construction of living, beautiful communities that have real guts — not the sugary sweetness of pseudo-traditional architecture.

The tools offered are intended for the use of ordinary people, families, communities, developers, planners, architects, designers and builders; public officials, local representatives, and neighbors; business owners and people who have commercial interests. The processes here are expressed in the belief that the common-sense, plain truth about laying out a neighborhood, or repairing one, is equally valid for all comers, amateurs and professionals. They help people build or rebuild neighborhoods in ways that contribute something to their lives. Many of the tools have their origin in 30 years of work published in Alexander’s The Nature of Order.

The Nature of Order

The four books of The Nature of Order redefine architecture for the 21st century as a field, as a profession, as practice and as social philosophy. Each of the books deals with one facet of the discipline. This worldview provides architecture with a new underpinning, describing procedures of planning, design, and building, as well as attitudes to style, to the shapes of buildings, and to the forms of urbanization and construction. Here is an entirely new way of thinking about the world.

The four books, each one an essay on the topic of living structure, are connected and interdependent. Each sheds light on one facet of living structure: first, the definition; second, the process of generating living structure; third, the practical vision of an architecture guided by the concept of living structure; and fourth, the cosmological underpinnings and implications brought into being by the idea of living structure.

Taken as a whole the four books create a sweeping new conception of the nature of things which is both objective and structural (hence part of science) – and also personal (in that it shows how and why things have the power to touch the human heart).

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Other Links

A Pattern Language

Summary of a book by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, with Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King and Shlomo Angel. Published by Oxford University Press.

The original book contains much essential detail behind each of the following patterns and is recommended reading.

[Note by Mike: This website is in fact a comprehensive summary of Alexander’s A Pattern Language. In it, each of the 253 patterns is given its own page, linking to those patterns which may contain, or which may be contained by, the particular pattern, and describing the conflict and resolution which each pattern addresses.]

Yestermorrow Design/Build School

Yestermorrow Design/Build School inspires people to create a better, more sustainable world by providing hands-on education that integrates design and craft as a creative, interactive process.

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