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The Man Behind the Pattern Language

Witold Rybczynski profiles Christopher Alexander, author of A Pattern Language, one of the most influential books in urban planning. Alexander recently won the Vincent Scully prize from the National Building Museum.

Alexander's own architecture has garnered much less attention than his books have.

Rybczynski writes, "Alexander argued that the standardized, mass-produced way in which buildings are designed and built today is wrongheaded, and to demonstrate an alternative he started to build himself-houses in Mexico, institutional buildings in Northern California, eventually an entire university campus in Japan-to date more than 200 projects. Alexander often uses decorative patterns derived from his intimate familiarity with Oriental carpets, which gives his buildings a handmade quality."

Full Story: Do You See a Pattern?

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