glyph 640: book . Christopher Alexander . design, life-giving architecture . exploration serving use of physical space . spatial-geometric organization as catalyst for social interactions ... pattern language


Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth

a struggle between two world systems

A book by Christopher Alexander with HansJoachim Neis and Maggie Moore Alexander, published in 2012 by Harvard University Press

From the Preface: A New Architecture, A New Civilization

Our book describes a revolutionary vision of the human environment: one which will, in coming eras, be conceived, designed, built, made, and widely understood as a necessity of emotional and social life. This will inevitably change the way we conduct ourselves in all the arts of building.

From the very beginning of the building project described in this book, we intended to show that architecture can bring life to a community — indeed, that it is necessary in order to help the community come to life. Thus, we mean to show how the physical fabric of the buildings plays a necessary and unavoidable role in the success of a community. ...

The purpose of all architecture, the purpose of its spatial-geometric organization, is to provide opportunities for life-giving situations. The central issue of architecture, and its central purpose, is to create those configurations and social situations, which provide encouragement and support for life-giving comfort and profound satisfaction — sometimes excitement — so that one experiences life as worth living. When this purpose is forgotten or abandoned, then indeed, there is no architecture to speak of.

The book at Harvard University Press
May 20, 2023

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