Christopher Alexander

On Thursday evening, I flew down to Baltimore.

During my flight, I was seated next to a very chatty gentleman. We talked for a few minutes at the beginning on the flight (i.e., asked polite questions about occupations, reasons for travel, etc.), but I tried to ignore him after that - I was reading a great New Yorker article on Amory Lovin of RMI.

He didn't quite catch the hint, so I finally gave up & listened to him talk about his views on a few things (including females entering engineering fields, balancing work & family, and traveling for work). I should point out that I hadn't really gone into detail about my job; I've found the best thing to do is say that I work in construction management.

I was only half listening to him when he said, "Have you ever heard of object-oriented building software?" That caught my attention.

He proceeded to tell me about an author he has recently gotten into, Christopher Alexander.

Alexander has been writing theoretical books on architecture and software since the 1970s. In them, he "invented" the concept of object-oriented architectural software.

I have yet to read any of his books, but I'm intrigued.


David Gunderson, AIA said...

Nice blog. I'm interested in BIM's effect on the architectural profession.

Alexander was first year required reading when I was in architecture school at UTexas. Rather than typical (capital "A") Architecture, he has a fascinating phenomonological design view. For instance, a porch should be six feet deep because it's the right dimension for comfortable seating and there should allows be a reading nook at the landing of a stair. Great stuff!

David Gunderson, AIA

Dan K said...

If you're into Alexander you should check out Bernard Cache.