The Phenomenon of Life: Nature of Order, Book 1: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe

The Phenomenon of Life: Nature of Order, Book 1: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe

by Christopher Alexander
     
 

ISBN-10: 0972652914

ISBN-13: 9780972652919

Pub. Date: 09/15/2004

Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Inc.

In Book One of this four-volume work, Alexander describes a scientific view of the world in which all space-matter has perceptible degrees of life, and establishes this understanding of living structures as an intellectual basis for a new architecture.

He identifies fifteen geometric properties which tend to accompany the presence of life in nature, and

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Overview

In Book One of this four-volume work, Alexander describes a scientific view of the world in which all space-matter has perceptible degrees of life, and establishes this understanding of living structures as an intellectual basis for a new architecture.

He identifies fifteen geometric properties which tend to accompany the presence of life in nature, and also in the buildings and cities we make. These properties are seen over and over in nature and in the cities and streets of the past, but they have almost disappeared in the impersonal developments and buildings of the last hundred years.

This book shows that living structures depend on features which make a close connection with the human self, and that only living structure has the capacity to support human well-being.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780972652919
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis, Inc.
Publication date:
09/15/2004
Series:
Nature of Order Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
746
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.05(d)

Table of Contents

Book 1The Phenomenon of Life
Prologue to Books 1-4
The Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe1
Preface5
Part 1
1.The Phenomenon of Life27
2.Degrees of Life63
3.Wholeness and the Theory of Centers79
4.How Life Comes From Wholeness109
5.Fifteen Fundamental Properties143
6.The Fifteen Properties in Nature243
Part 2
7.The Personal Nature of Order299
8.The Mirror of the Self313
9.Beyond Descartes: A New Form of Scientific Observation351
10.The Impact of Living Structure on Human Life371
11.The Awakening of Space403
Conclusion441
AppendicesMathematical Aspects of Wholeness and Living Structure445
Book 2The Process of Creating Life
Preface: On Process1
Part 1Structure-Preserving Transformations
1.The Principle of Unfolding Wholeness15
2.Structure-Preserving Transformations51
3.Structure-Preserving Transformations in Traditional Society79
4.Structure-Destroying Transformations in Modern Society101
Interlude
5.Living Process in the Modern Era: Twentieth-Century Cases Where Living Process Did Occur131
Part 2Living Processes
6.Generated Structures169
7.A Fundamental Differentiating Process193
8.Step-by-Step Adaptation217
9.Always Helping to Enhance the Whole237
10.Always Making Centers253
11.The Sequence of Unfolding287
12.Every Part Unique311
13.Patterns: Rules for Making Centers329
14.Deep Feeling357
15.Emergence of Formal Geometry387
16.Form Language415
17.Simplicity439
Part 3A New Paradigm for Process in Society
18.The Character of Process in Society473
19.Massive Process Difficulties489
20.The Spread of Living Processes Throughout Society511
21.The Architect in the Third Millenium531
Conclusion541
AppendixAn Example of a Living Process: Building a House547
Book 3A Vision of a Living World
Preface: The Fundamental Process Repeated Ten Million Times1
Part 1
1.Our Belonging to the World21
2.Our Belonging to the World: Part Two39
Part 2
3.The Hulls of Public Space65
4.The Form of Public Buildings99
5.Production of Giant Projects147
6.The Positive Pattern of Space and Volume in Three Dimensions on the Land165
7.Positive Space in Structure and Materials199
8.The Character of Gardens239
Part 3
9.Forming a Collective Vision for a Neighborhood267
10.Reconstruction of an Urban Neighborhood291
11.High Density Housing323
12.Further Dynamics of a Growing Neighborhood343
Part 4
13.The Uniqueness of People's Individual Worlds365
14.The Character of Rooms405
Part 5
15.Construction Elements as Living Centers439
16.All Building as Making473
17.Active Invention of New Building Techniques507
Part 6
18.Ornament as a Part of All Unfolding543
19.Color Which Unfolds From the Configuration577
Epilogue: The Morphology of Living Architecture Archetypal Form601
Conclusion: The World Created and Transformed637
Book 4The Luminous Ground
Preface: Towards a New Conception of the Nature of Matter1
Part 1
1.Our Present Picture of the Universe11
2.Clues From the History of Art29
3.The Existence of an "I"49
4.The Ten Thousand Beings73
5.The Practical Matter of Forging a Living Center111
Mid-Book Appendix: Recapitulation of the Argument135
Part 2
6.The Blazing One145
7.Color and Inner Light157
8.The Goal of Tears241
9.Making Wholeness Heals the Maker261
10.Pleasing Yourself271
11.The Face of God301
Conclusion to the Four Books
A Modified Picture of the Universe317
Epilogue: Empirical Certainty and Enduring Doubt339
Acknowledgements347

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