Christopher Alexander 1977

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Title: A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

Author: Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa & Murray Silverstein with Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King & Shlomo Angel

Year: 1977

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Note: Book Two of Three, Christopher Alexander's Theory of Architecture


Quote About The Text

People liked our book very much. We were surprised though, when we found out computer programmers liked it, because it was about building not programming. But the programmers said, "this is great, it helps think about patterns in programming and how to write reusable code that we can call upon when we need it." - Christopher Alexander's Pattern Website


This text describes 253 different patterns that are necessary, in the view of the authors, for sustainable and positive living on our planet. Each pattern is described in terms of the conflict that exists in society and a proposed solution. The patterns describe a multitude of facets of human life, including:

  • Patterns for political regions and managing bureaucracy
  • Patterns on urban and country planning
  • Patterns on the necessary state for human interaction and developing culture
  • Patterns on societal groupings, learning and working
  • Patterns on social interaction
  • Patterns on mobility, roading networks and transportation
  • Patterns on green areas, central urban areas
  • Patterns on household groupings, house design & placement
  • Patterns on the layout of a household and garden design

Other interesting points

Additional Resources

  • A Pattern Language - This page summarises all of the patterns in the text.
    • For those involved in the Taxi-Bus project, I draw your attention to pattern number 20.
    • Number 57 is cute. I approve of 63. 94 provides a refreshing change from modern society.
  • Wikipedia Article

See also

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