Patterns

Each pattern represents our current best guess as to what arrangement of the physical environment will work to solve the problem presented. The empirical questions center on the problem —does it occur and is it felt in the way we have described it?— and the solution—does the arrangement we propose in fact resolve the problem? And the asterisks represent our degree of faith in these hypotheses. But of course, no matter what the asterisks say, the patterns are still hypotheses, all 253 of them—and are therefore all tentative, all free to evolve under the impact of new experience and observation. (…)

In short, no pattern is an isolated entity. Each pattern can exist in the world, only to the extent that is supported by other patterns: the larger patterns in which it is embedded, the pattern of the same size that surrounds it, and the smaller patterns which are embedded in it.

This is a fundamental view of the world. It says that when you build, you cannot merely build that thing in isolation, but must also repair the world around it, and within it, so that the larger world at that one place becomes more coherent and more whole; and the thing which you make takes its place in the web of nature, as you make it.

Christopher Alexander et alt., A Pattern Language (1970)

 

 

Christopher Alexander et alt., Pattern examples

Published by

vty

vty is professor on Landscape Theory and Landscape design at the Catalonian Politecnical University in Barcelona and at the Politecnico di Milano

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