- Hardcover: 356 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (November 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0972652949
- ISBN-13: 978-0972652940
- Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 7.9 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #935,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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) 1st Edition
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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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Top customer reviews
a must for any designer worth their pay
if you can not think outside of the box that architecture school traps you in then this in not for you
only creative people must read
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. For example, tacit assumption 1 is: What is true is only the body of those facts which can be represented as lifeless mechanisms. He adds that this assumption has the offshoot assumption that value is subjective. He closes the book with eleven new cosmological assumptions, one of which is: Everything matters. Another: Whenever we undertake an act of construction we have the ability to make the world more alive or less alive, more harmonious or less harmonious. He says, "The idea, then, is that every part of our physical world is shadowed by this parallel domain of I-stuff, and that each part of our ordinary world, if it is given the right structure, will lift the flap or open the door, and give us a glimpse into that domain." (By "I-stuff" Alexander is hypothesizing that there is underlying all matter a "Ground" - single and personal.) He adds, "All the efforts I have made have, at their heart, just this one intention: to bring back our awe . . and to allow us to begin again to make things in the world which can intensify this awe."
Christopher Alexander's tireless work, his brilliance, his humility, his humanity give me deep hope in a time when it is so easy to lose heart. These are books to be read slowly, savored. One reviewer suggested that this is one of the few works to be remembered 500 years hence. I suggest that it is one of the works to be read and absorbed now in order for there to be a 500 years hence for us.
I have reviewed Books One, Two, and Three at their respective sites.