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Architecture Stories:

Down With the Pub
Better Public Building
Architecture & the Car
The Politics of Open Space Design
Housing the Soul
How Buildings Behave
Mary Colter
Public Architecture and Design-Creating Community
How Buildings Behave
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    Design, inside and outside, affects human moods and behavior. Shape, placement, texture, lighting, and space... building design can signal us: "Come in, be at home...", or "Do business," or "Come, eat quickly, then go away..." etc. There are film studies of behavior in public places and people who are "readers" of buildings. There's also a lab at UCLA Berkeley where architects have developed the well respected "pattern language" they follow when they begin to design.

    One of the most innovative architects who studied the relationship between buildings and behavior was the late William Whyte. He even observed the way we move chairs when we sit. Whyte's theories about how to create safe and friendly spaces, yet avoid the "undesirables" are still practiced today. Alex Van Oss will have the story.

    Links & Resources


    by Christopher Alexander, Oxford Press Publishers:
    A Timeless Way of Building - 1979

    A Pattern Language - 1977

    Architecture in an Age of Skepticism

    A Foreshadowing of 21rst Century Art - 1993

    The Nature of Form 4 Volumes - (forthcoming)

    Other Books::
    THE OLD WAY OF SEEING: How Architecture Lost its Magic (and how to get it back) - Jonathan Hale. Houghton Mifflin 1994.

    CITY: Rediscovering the Center - William H. Whyte, Doubleday 1988.

    Web sites:

    Project for Public Space Inc. (PPS):

    Christopher Alexander's Web site:

    American Institute of Architects: