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The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe, Book 4 - The Luminous Ground (Center for Environmental Structure, Vol. 12) Hardcover – November 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0972652940 ISBN-10: 0972652949

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The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe, Book 4 - The Luminous Ground (Center for Environmental Structure, Vol. 12) + The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe, Book 3 - A Vision of a Living World (Center for Environmental Structure, Vol. 11) + The Process of Creating Life: Nature of Order, Book 2: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe (The Nature of Order)(Flexible)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (November 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972652949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972652940
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christopher Alexander is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, architecture, builder and author of many books and technical papers. He is the winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, and after 40 years of teaching is professor Emeritus and the University of California, Berkeley.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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They are truly remarkable!
Andrew Ilachinski
I fell in love with him then, and these books simply increased my profound admiration for him and joy in his work.
Joyce
It brings a sense of union with humanity.
Jerry Katz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Ilachinski on May 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
*** Original review: May 20, 2004 ***

Those who know me know that I am not prone to making either quick judgements or vacuous statements, so my friends (at least) will know that both the title of this mini-review and the few words that follow are far from whimsical: Alexander's Nature of Order, and in particular this fourth volume which I have recently received and simply cannot put down, are in my humble opinion, destined to rank as one of this *world's* great literary/philosophical achievements. What Alexander has produced is nothing short of a brilliant vision for the transcendent reality that lies beneath and beyond conventional categories. I write this as a Ph.D. physicist, with two graduate-level mathematical physics texts under my belt (both on complex systems), and semi-pro photographer with 30 years of experience of trying to capture "beauty" in nature. Alexander's work has provided a tentative -- but oh so deep -- glimpse of an answer to my own philosophical struggles as scientist and artist: physics and art are but two sides of a vastly richer coin, and are merely pointers to an infinitely rich *life* that pervades this universe; indeed, the life that *is* this universe. Every human being who has ever sincerely pondered the question "Why?" when looking up at the sky, while admiring a pretty flower, or looking into a mirror, can do no better than to curl up by a fireplace with a hot cup of tea, open up volume four of this incredible set of books and start using the musings lovingly offered here to look within for answers. Truly a remarkable achievement. I have never met Christopher Alexander, but can honestly say that I have been deeply touched by this preternaturally wise soul.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By R. J MOSS on July 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm not an architect, though I do paint a bit and presume to teach. A friend from Ohio undertook one of Alexander's architectural courses, 20 years ago, and posted me notes on Alexander's colour theory. I've used them ever since. But the articulation of this guru's understanding of the experience world & how we process it & make art in and for it, has become keener, more subtle & concise over the years. This is a very, very profound teaching without any messianic overdrive. Indeed, its the patience and humility of Alexander's process of discovering essential rules & roles for making art, that are most profound and the enduring feature of his presentation. And the book's own look exemplifies his quest for the beautiful.I'm not so taken with the reproductions of his own painting, however. I can't quibble with the twentieth century masters he reproduces as evidence for enduring beauty. A fabulous book! For more on art visit>rodmoss.com
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joyce on September 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I discovered Christopher Alexander around 1986 when I read A Pattern Language and The Timeless Way of Building. A Pattern Language was our guide in designing our strawbale house, built in 1997. I fell in love with him then, and these books simply increased my profound admiration for him and joy in his work.

Christopher Alexander is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an architect, a builder, and the author of many books and technical papers. He is the winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, and after 40 years of teaching is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He trained in Physics and Mathematics at Cambridge and was part of the group of scientists who developed systems theory along with Herbert Simon. He has been investigating the interaction between science and architecture all of his life, and this beautiful four-volume work contains the results of his research.

Although many of Alexander's ideas are subtle and require thoughtful reflection, the basic thesis of these four volumes might be stated: everything that exists contains "life," and the degree to which "life" is manifest in any particular can be "objectively" determined by probing one's "subjective" world.

Book Four describes a new cosmology uniting matter and consciousness. In order for us to make the changes that will preserve and extend the beauty of the world (in the midst of trucks and prefab), we must change our world-view. As one reviewer said, Alexander gives us "an effective theoretical basis with which to combat the billboard." First he discusses the weakness of the present world-picture, listing its ten tacit assumptions.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Katz on December 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a free, original expression of nonduality, or non-separation, which is to say nothing is separate from existence. If you love art, architecture, color, light, inner light, incorporation of the tears and sadness of "the cares of the world," living a natural and open life, this book will show you how that love meets up with the truth of your existence.

How can you "feel" non-separation or nonduality? By knowing that you exist. This is your sense of "I" that Alexander speaks of throughout this book. Or call it "I Am." Since everyone can know that they exist, their most fundamental nature is this "I" or "I Am." Valuing that you exist, valuing this "I" brings a sense of unity with all people, their creations, their appreciations, their failures, sadness and tears. It brings a sense of union with humanity.

This feeling of existence is the crux of this book. It's not just feeling existence, but valuing existence. It almost sounds silly: "valuing existence." Such valuing leads to wonder that never ends and all works being done as a gift of existence to existence, or to God. It makes you focus on existence so that you create something that communicates multiple layers of meaning, the totality of existence, in a building or an artwork.

Religion, art, physics, quantum theory, and mostly the "I," the true you, come together in this unusual, delightful, beautiful to hold and read, art book full of vibrant color photographs, pictures, and illustrations.

If there is another edition or another volume, perhaps some of the more direct teachings of nonduality can be included.
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