Nature Of Order

series of books by Christopher Alexander: he has come to believe that Patterns themselves are not enough, and that one needs a "MorphoGenetic" understanding of the formation of the built environment

Notes by Nikos Salingaros. My own modest contribution has been to help Professor Alexander edit the manuscript during the past ten years. In this monumental book, Alexander develops a comprehensive theory of how matter comes together to form coherent structures.

framing this as a more Generative process.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe

Book One: The Phenomenon of Life

  • Degrees of life (aliveness)
  • How life comes from Whole Ness
  • Fifteen fundamental properties: Everything, then, in the process of giving life to a neighborhood, may be seen through the introduction of one or another of these fifteen properties. When building on the wholeness that already exists, each of these 15 properties introduces more life to the neighborhood. Each property also brings with it additional centers that embellish those that exist. But this only works if they build on. and extend, the existing wholeness. This is the process through which life is brought into the environment.
  • The awakening of space
  • The mirror of the self
  • Beyond Descartes: A new form of scientific observation
  • The personal nature of order

Book Two: The Process of Creating Life

  • The principle of unfolding wholeness
  • Structure-preserving transformations
  • Examples in traditional towns and buildings
  • Perversity and arbitrariness of early modern design
  • 20th century cases where unfolding has occurred
  • Is a hyper-modern process of unfolding possible?
  • The fundamental process
  • The sequence of forming centers
  • Deep feeling
  • A new architecture

Book Three: A Vision of a Living World

  • The fundamental process repeated ten million times
  • A new profession of architecture
  • Forming a collective vision
  • The hulls of public space
  • Big buildings
  • Housing, pedestrians, and cars
  • Transformation of an urban neighborhood
  • Volume, site, and space
  • Structure of small buildings
  • Uniqueness of each individual place
  • The character of gardens
  • Continuous invention of building details
  • Ornament and color
  • Hints of necessary changes in society
  • Simplicity

Book Four: The Luminous Ground

  • Towards the nature of matter
  • Existence of the "I"
  • Origins of living structure
  • Ten-thousand pictures of the "I"
  • The ground
  • Color and inner light
  • Pure unity: the goal of tears
  • Pleasing your self: escaping the thought-police
  • The face of God
  • The nature of the universe

Epilogue: The Art of Building

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