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A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction
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A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  3,401 Ratings  ·  277 Reviews
At the core of A Pattern Language is the philosophy that in designing their environments people always rely on certain ‘languages,’ which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a formal system which gives them coherence.

This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable making a design for almost
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Hardcover, 1216 pages
Published August 25th 1977 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1977)
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Chip Young In the Nature of Order, a 3-book series published in 2003-2004, he takes patterns one step further with what he calls sequences, which describe how to…moreIn the Nature of Order, a 3-book series published in 2003-2004, he takes patterns one step further with what he calls sequences, which describe how to work toward patterns. The idea of patterns has also been very influential in software engineering, to the point where it is a commonly accepted way of thinking about and describing software designs and components.(less)

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Matt
Mar 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
I really don't know what I was expecting when I reserved this from the library, but it wasn't this. In my defense, it sounded interesting. I thought it might be a discussion of sociology and history meant to inspire or empower people to build what they wanted. In fact, what I got is....

Let me back up. Just recently, Irrational Games released the latest in their series of dystopian first person shooters - 'Bioshock Infinite'. In this series visionary philosophers seek to found utopian communities
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Carol Jones
Aug 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that sparked my interest in architecture and home design, many years ago. Skip the town and urban planning if you are more interested in how to design a comfortable home. Christopher Alexander is passionate and persuasive about what he believes we need in our homes: natural light from two sides of a room, window seats one can actually read in, quiet separate dressing areas for every person in a house (because bedrooms should be rooms to relax and be intimate in, not a messy clot ...more
Deirdre Keating
Oct 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Deirdre by: Gretchen Rubin's website
I have to give it 5 stars because there is no other way to describe it but as amazing. Forgive me the long review, but it was a library checkout and I want to refer back to it.

I was initially annoyed that there wasn't an idex where I could look up "office space" and quickly read their recommendations for the best layout. Yet now I love the way each pattern refers to all the other patterns it is connected to, and you find yourself flipping from garden benches to farmhouse kitchens. It probably al
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Alper Çuğun
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An essential book for anybody interested in the field. I read it cover to cover, very slowly with breaks and now I feel I have some grasp of what it takes to build a house.

It is of course dated and highly geared towards North American houses but it's still a seminal work. The parts on urbanism are in fact how we in CNW Europe do manage things, so that is heartening.

Extensions to the book for instance how to build houses in very space constrained environments like the Netherlands could be intere
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Mike
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is probably my favorite non-fiction book. Christopher Alexander and his students have collected everything there is to know about design and put it in one book. Yet cultures go on making the same mistakes over and over. And few architects I talk to have ever read the book.

The book is easy to read and understand. It consists of hundreds of patterns, described in a page or two. They range from the width of door molding to how cities should be laid out. For example, there is a pattern, "Old Pe
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Taco Ekkel
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very inspiring. Empowered me to think practically about architecture at all scales. No appraisal or brainstorm on anything architecture, houses or buildings goes by without these patterns popping up in my mind.

I now understand why the author himself hated that his 'pattern' approach was appropriated by folks turning it into something abstract (programming patterns) whereas he meant them as an easy, democratic tool for everyday people to make their own neighbourhoods and houses. This book is a po
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Jordan Wallace
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was my anam cara. I’ve long since felt perplexed by the way American cities are designed and the way we are forced to live as a result of their structure and underlying philosophy. I am likewise confused by the holding in high esteem of homes that lack the ability to satisfy daily needs. Though this book is designed for the city planner, architect, or builder (none of which am I), I found in it validation that these needs are not so unusual and hope that there are those in the American ...more
Dawn
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
1171 pages covering 253 'patterns'. And this is the second half of the book (1st half is "The Timeless Way of Building".

1171 pages!!! love their little sketches and diagrams, but for the average urbanist, this book isn't worth your time. Lots of the ideas are timeless, if misunderstood or neglected during certain periods, but many others are dated, unpopular, or so idealistic as to be ludicrous. Some principles counter-acted others, some are counter-intuitive but quite sensible, others are class
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Faith
Jun 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-nonfiction
Anyone with the luxury of designing their own home should jump at the chance to get this book. It's a bit dated, but at 1100+ pages it surely describes most of the details you'll need to think about.

I took it home from the library because it's a fascinating book about architectural design in general, everything from the optimal size of a public square (70 feet wide) to the best place for a garden seat. I learned that my house has a good "intimacy gradient" (spaces meant to be public are readily
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Howard Mansfield
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Howard by: howard@howardmansfield.com
Patterns are key to understanding what is ailing our landscape. There is an order, a language, for the way a good street is created. For example, there are recognizable parts that make up a good village townscape. Each part — a fence, a lilac, a walkway, a wall, a front door, a roof — each part works with the other parts to create a place that could only be that place in the whole world.
This is the brilliant insight of Christopher Alexander’s amazing book, A Pattern Language. You may have seen
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« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built
  • Great Streets
  • Architecture without Architects: A Short Introduction to Non-Pedigreed Architecture
  • The Image of the City
  • Design With Nature
  • The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces
  • Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space
  • Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form
  • S, M, L, XL
  • The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects
  • The Architecture of the City
  • Not So Big House
  • Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the Twentieth Century
  • Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises
  • Building Construction Illustrated
  • The Seven Lamps of Architecture
  • The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community, and the American Dream
  • Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture

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