The Luminous Ground: Nature of Order, Book 4: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe


Book Four presents a new cosmology that arises from the careful study of architecture and art, and above all from the practice of the arts. It is a cosmology which places the I, our experience of self, as the linking stem that unites each individual with the whole, connecting consciousness and matter.
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Book Four presents a new cosmology that arises from the careful study of architecture and art, and above all from the practice of the arts. It is a cosmology which places the I, our experience of self, as the linking stem that unites each individual with the whole, connecting consciousness and matter.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780972652940
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/15/2004
  • Series: Nature of Order Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 7.86 (w) x 11.22 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Alexander is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, architect, builder, and author of many books and technical papers. He is the winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, and after 40 years of teaching is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.
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Table of Contents

Book 1 The Phenomenon of Life
Prologue to Books 1
The Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe 1
Preface 5
Part 1
1. The Phenomenon of Life 27
2. Degrees of Life 63
3. Wholeness and the Theory of Centers 79
4. How Life Comes From Wholeness 109
5. Fifteen Fundamental Properties 143
6. The Fifteen Properties in Nature 243
Part 2
7. The Personal Nature of Order 299
8. The Mirror of the Self 313
9. Beyond Descartes: A New Form of Scientific Observation 351
10. The Impact of Living Structure on Human Life 371
11. The Awakening of Space 403
Conclusion 441
Appendices Mathematical Aspects of Wholeness and Living Structure 445
Book 2 The Process of Creating Life
Preface: On Process 1
Part 1 Structure-Preserving Transformations
1. The Principle of Unfolding Wholeness 15
2. Structure-Preserving Transformations 51
3. Structure-Preserving Transformations in Traditional Society 85
4. Structure-Destroying Transformations in Modern Society 107
5. Living Process in the Modern Era: Twentieth-Century Cases Where Living Process did Occur 137
Part 2 Living Processes
6. Generated Structure 175
7. A Fundamental Differentiating Process 203
8. Step-by-Step Adaptation 229
9. Each Step is Always Helping to Enhance the Whole 249
10. Always Making Living Centers 267
11. The Sequence of Unfolding 299
12. Every Part Unique 323
13. Patterns: Generic Rules for Making Centers 341
14. Deep Feeling 369
15. Emergence of Formal Geometry 401
16. Form Language and Style 431
17. Simplicity 461
Part 3 A New Paradigm for Process in Society
18. Encouraging Freedom 495
19. Massive Process Difficulties 511
20. The Spread of Living Processes Throughout Society: Making the Shift to the New Paradigm 531
21. The Role of the Architect in the Third Millennium 551
Conclusion 565
Appendix A Small Example of a Living Process 571
Book 3 A Vision of a Living World
Preface: Living Processes Repeated Ten Million Times 1
Part 1
1. Our Belonging to the World 25
2. Our Belonging to the World: Part Two 41
Part 2
3. The Hulls of Public Space 69
4. Large Public Buildings 101
5. The Positive Pattern of Space and Volume in Three Dimensions on the Land 153
6. Positive Space in Engineering Structure and Geometry 191
7. The Character of Gardens 229
Part 3
8. People Forming a Collective Vision for Their Neighborhood 257
9. The Reconstruction of an Urban Neighborhood 283
10. High Density Housing 311
11. Necessary Further Dynamics of Any Neighborhood Which Comes to Life 333
Part 4
12. The Uniqueness of People's Individual Worlds 361
13. The Character of Rooms 411
Part 5
14. Construction Elements as Living Centers 447
15. All Building as Making 481
16. Continuous Invention of New Materials and Techniques 517
17. Production of Giant Projects 561
Part 6
18. Ornament as a Part of All Unfolding 579
19. Color Which Unfolds from the Configuration 615
The Morphology of Living Architecture: Archetypal form 639
Conclusion: The World Created and Transformed 675
Appendix on Number 683
Book 4 The Luminous Ground
Preface: Towards a New Conception of the Nature of Matter 1
Part 1
1. Our Present Picture of the Universe 9
2. Clues from the History of Art 29
3. The Existence of an "I" 49
4. The Ten Thousand Beings 73
5. The Practical Matter of Forging a Living Center 111
Mid-Book Appendix Recapitulation of the Argument 135
Part 2
6. The Blazing One 143
7. Color and Inner Light 157
8. The Goal of Tears 241
9. Making Wholeness Heals the Maker 261
10. Pleasing Yourself 271
11. The Face of God 301
Conclusion to the Four Books
A Modified Picture of the Universe 317
Epilogue: Empirical Certainty and Enduring Doubt 339
Acknowledgements 345
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