Christopher Alexander's 'Nature of Order'

Architect and author Christopher Alexander

hide captionArchitect and author Christopher Alexander

Center for Environmental Structure
'The Nature of Order' delves into the 'life' of structures and spaces. i i

hide captionIn his research, Alexander found that people are almost always in agreement about whether a space has life or not. At left, an office park that most people deemed as having less life than the walkway on the right.

Center for Environmental Structure
'The Nature of Order' delves into the 'life' of structures and spaces.

In his research, Alexander found that people are almost always in agreement about whether a space has life or not. At left, an office park that most people deemed as having less life than the walkway on the right.

Center for Environmental Structure

In the late 1970s, Christopher Alexander became an icon in the architecture world with his book, A Pattern Language. In it, he argued for injecting personal, emotional and spiritual qualities into manmade structures, streets and cities. Alexander's book challenged the architectural establishment and derided much that's been built over the past century as "deadly."

Now, Alexander has issued the final volume of his four-volume tome, The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe, which expands on his basic question: how do we build places and structures that are filled with life? Theorizing that order is inherent in both nature and manmade spaces, Alexander attempts to define and understand the essence of a "living" structure. He talks with NPR's Jennifer Ludden.

Books Featured In This Story

The Phenomenon of Life
The Phenomenon of Life

An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe

by Christopher Alexander

Paperback, 476 pages | purchase

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Purchase Featured Books

  • The Phenomenon of Life
  • An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe
  • Christopher Alexander

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