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Pattern Theory Book Wiki
Christopher Alexander
 
The Pattern Theory Book is first and for all pointing to the important thinker Christopher Alexander and his work. A few sentences cited from the Introduction:

"Christopher Alexander is a great contemporary thinker, comparable to historical thinkers like René Descartes, Immanuel Kant, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin. This selection, it must be understood, is neither meant as a value judgement, nor is it complete. It simply exemplifies people who have fundamentally influenced and permanently changed human thinking. In my opinion this will also be the case with Christopher Alexander. While pattern theory originates in architecture, it is a general theory of development (of change, of transformation, of unfolding, of the creative process) and, as such, is relevant to almost every field of application, even for the very complex and for social systems. Pattern theory produces a new view of all phenomena and offers a method of dealing with the world in a creative and productive way. Pattern theory is deeply practical: its main theme is the development of human beings and their respective environments."

My book is a short summary of the ideas of Christopher Alexander, primarily based on his latest work, the 4-volume book The Nature of Ordner, especially colume 1 and 2, but I have tried to include all ideas from all his books and projects.

I invite you to read the original books and form your own picture and opinion. The asterisks show my personal reading priority:

... most important books
... necessary to fully understand Alexander
... project documentation of minor importance

Note that this priority is meant for readers which have a general interest in Alexander’s work. Architects might will have different reading priorities that I can only guess. Software engineers will also have quite different needs, and should read Alexander together with the pattern literature of their field.

Books

Alexander, C. (1964). Notes on the Synthesis of Form. Harvard University Press.

Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M. (1968). A Pattern Language which Generates Multi-Service Centers. Berkeley, California: Center for Environmental Structure.

Alexander, C., Hirshen, S., Ishikawa, S., Coffin, C. Angel, S. (1969). Houses generated by Patterns. Berkeley, California: Center for Environmental Structure. reprinted: (1971) Architect's Yearbook 13, London. reprinted: Lewis D. (ed.) (1971) The Growth of Cities. London.

Alexander, C., Silverstein, M., Angel, S., Ishikawa, S., Abrams, D. (1975). The Oregon Experiment (Center for Environmental Structure Series, Vol. 3). Oxford University Press.

Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M., Jacobson, M., Fiksdahl-King, I., Angel, S. (1977). A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series, Vol. 2). Oxford University Press.

Alexander, C. (1979). The Timeless Way of Building (Center for Environmental Structure Series, Vol. 1). Oxford University Press.

Alexander, C. (1981). The Linz Cafe (Center for Environmental Structure Series, Vol. 5). Oxford University Press.

Alexander, C., Davis, H., Martinez, J., Corner, D. (1985). The Production of Houses (Center for Environmental Structure Series, Vol. 4). Oxford University Press.

Alexander, C., Neis, H., Anninou, A., King, I. (1987). A New Theory of Urban Design (Center for Environmental Structure Series, Vol. 6). Oxford University Press.

Alexander, C. (1993). A Foreshadowing of 21st Century Art: The color and geometry of very early Turkish carpets (Center for Environmental Structure Series, Vol. 7). Oxford University Press.

Alexander, C., Black, G., Tsutsui, M. (1995). The Mary Rose Museum. (Center for Environmental Structure Series, Vol. 8). Oxford University Press.

Alexander, C. (2002). The Phenomenon of Life (The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe, Book One). Berkeley, CA: The Center For Environmental Structure.

Alexander, C. (2003). The Process of Creating Life (The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe, Book Two). Berkeley, CA: The Center For Environmental Structure.

Alexander, C. (2004). A Vision of a Living World (The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe, Book Three). Berkeley, CA: The Center For Environmental Structure.

Alexander, C. (2005). The Luminous Ground (The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe, Book Four). Berkeley, CA: Center for Environmental Structure.

Alexander, C., Neis, H., Alexander, M. M. (2012). The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth: A Struggle Between Two World-systems. Oxford University Press.

Selected Articles

  • Christopher, A. (1965, April). A city is not a tree. In Architectural forum (Vol. 122, No. 1, pp. 58-62). Also in Design, February, 1966, pp. 46–55; Cuadernos Summa-Nueva Vison, No. 9, September, 1968, pp.20-30; Hefti Birtingur 13, 1967, pp. 50–72; Architecture Mouvement Continuite 1, November, 1967, pp. 3–11; Stichting Werkgemeenschappen Bergeijk, 2; Approach, Spring, 1968; pp. 26–27
Other Starting Points



© Helmut Leitner changed: May 27, 2015