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A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Jon Krakauer's portrait of the iconoclastic architect Christopher Alexander, whose revolutionary human-centered approach has shaken the foundations of modern architecture. Krakauer delves into Alexanders life and career, from his theories on a timeless pattern language that could be used to create buildings and towns that were simultaneously more livable and more ...more
Published January 23rd 2018 by Vintage, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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Wayne McCoy
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
'A Clean, Well-Lighted Place' by Jon Krakauer is a short essay from 1985 republished in the Vintage Shorts series.

In this short essay, the work of architect Christopher Alexander is discussed. Mr. Alexander is not fond of the modern school of architecture. His approach to design has influenced other fields from sociology to software design.

It's of interest to read an older work from a now famous author. I can see the same concise and compelling writing here that I see in his more popular works.

May 28, 2019 rated it liked it
* Christopher Alexander prefers to design on site rather than at the drafting table.
* Architecture should sooth the psyche. "Architects have been screwing up the world for 50 years," says Alexander.
* "Patterns" are solutions to design problems not necessarily created by an architect but by masons etc. long ago. They are practically part of the psyche. They are pre-industrial architecture.
* Architect must also be the general contractor demanding a good deal of trust by the client. The benefits of
AJ Dreadfulwater
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
This is an 35 minute long essay that Krakauer published over 25 years ago on a simple thought of transforming modern day architecture. He interviews this architect who published his thesis on the inspiration behind what makes a building a beautiful. He designs at least half of the buildings he draws on site with feeling and mood and a story in mind. Its a cool idea- I could definitely see the beginnings of Krakauers research here if he ever wanted to develop this further.

I think a great writer
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
So this was obviously a magazine article Krakauer published at some point that was made into a Kindle short so Krakauer fans would buy it. To be fair, I fell for this. I'm not sorry I read it, just not that interesting to me, which is strange as generally his writing is compelling no matter the subject.
Jordan Evans
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An old magazine article republished as a short. Fascinating and well worth your dollar and a half hour of your time. Krakauer's voice was well developed even in 1985 and I will be reading more about Christopher Alexander, the architect at the center of the article.
Libby w
Quick simple read, a little dry for my taste. It was interesting to see Alexander's theory about how space will be used in the future (a perspective from the '80s) with the current high style of architecture is the god awful McMansion.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting read. The architect in question believes there is a single right way to design and build buildings. I thought it and interesting point. Not sure that I agree but interesting nonetheless. I am intrigued to read some of the other books by the architect.
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Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, well-known for outdoor and mountain-climbing writing.

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