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Christopher Alexander: The Search for a New Paradigm in Architecture Hardcover – December 1, 1983


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge Kegan & Paul; First Edition edition (December 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0853621993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0853621997
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By D. Gonzalez on December 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is something of an academic biography of Christopher Alexander. Good analysis of his theories as they developed. While the bulk of the text is by Grabow, written in academic style, there is quite a bit of what appears to be direct transcription or text of Alexander himself. If you're an Alexander fan, this is the meat of the book. That said, it's helpful to see Alexander's theories illuminated by a third party, and Grabow does a good job. Still, it's Alexander's wonderful writing style - simple but profound - that got me through the whole book. I read it as I finished architecture school, and it was revelatory, especially Alexander's discussion of his own experiences in school and his critique of architectural education. There is also an extensive bibliography and 60 pages of pictures at the end, a sort of collage of his work and life (There are also pictures throughout each chapter, illustrating the points therein)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Tarnas on December 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am a major fan of Christopher Alexander's work, and this text was very illuminating. The book is made up of Grabow's own commentary interspersed between lengthy transcriptions of Alexander's own words. In many ways this book is a study of Christopher Alexander via Thomas Kuhn and the history of science.

As a biography, it lacks an adequate timeline or details about Alexander's personal life, but includes many events that appear directly relevant to his architecture and aesthetics work. No serious attempt is made to show where Alexander is flawed in his thinking -- nothing suggests that Grabow has any special insight into critically extending Alexander's work, beyond the useful connections to Kuhn. For those interested in isolating the scientific insights that CA is pursuing, this book is essential reading, allowing one to separate CA's personality from his objective discoveries better than any other available work I know of.

Good photographs, some recycled from Alexander's books, are scattered through the main body of the text, and there are several dozen photos collected at the end. A good bibliography is given. The direct transcription of CA's words is especially delightful. There are some annoying spelling errors sprinkled throughout the whole thing.
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