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.

Read Time: 1 minute

December 3, 2009, 1:00 PM PST

By Tim Halbur


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."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 in Slate

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