A Pattern Language
A Pattern Languageby Christopher Alexander
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
Buildings, and especially houses, with a graceful transi- tion between the street and the inside, are more tranquil than those which open directly off the street.
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒5mo
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
It is a mark of success in a park, public lobby or porch, when people can come there and fall asleep.
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
The children who walk or bike, remain in contact with the ground, and are therefore able to create a cognitive map which includes both home and school. The children who are taken by car, are whisked, as if by magic carpet, from one place to the other, and cannot maintain any cognitive map which includes both home and school. To all intents and purposes they feel lost when they are at school; they are perhaps even afraid that they have lost their mothers
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
The nuclear family is not by itself a viable social form.
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒7mo
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
If children are not able to explore the whole of the adult world round about them, they cannot become adults. But modern cities are so dangerous that children cannot be als lowed to explore them freely
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒7mo
Kids want what we want: autonomy
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
There is too much hot hard asphalt in the world. A local road, which only gives access to buildings, needs a few stones for the wheels of the cars; nothing more. Most of it can still be green
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒7mo
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
in traditional Chinese medicine, people pay the doctor only when they are healthy; when they are sick, he is obliged to treat them, without payment. The doctors have incentives to keep people well.
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒7mo
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
The original universities in the middle ages were simply collections of teachers who attracted students because they had something to offer. They were marketplaces of ideas, located all over the town, where people could shop around for the kinds of ideas and learning which made sense to them. By contrast, the isolated and over-administered university of today kills the variety and intensity of the different ideas at the university and also limits the student's opportunity to shop for ideas.
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒7mo
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
Old people need old people, but they also need the young, and young people need contact with the old.
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒7mo
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
Make certain that the full cycle of life is repr din each community. Set the ideal of a balanced e as a principal guide for the evolution of commu balanced in each life cycle as a principal o nities. This means: hat each community include a balance of people at every stage of the life cycle, from infants to the ve old: and include the full slate of settings needed for all these stages of life; 2. That the community contain the full slate of settings which best mark the ritual crossing of life from one stage to the next.
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒7mo
One drawback of the youth oriented culture inSV is that we don’t get to see people grow old and die. People either hide their age or leave SV after some time. We need more memento mori, a bit less dreams of eternal youth
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
. “Once we understand that modern industry does not necessarily bring with it financial and physical concentration, the growth of smaller centers and a more widespread distribution of genuine benefits of technology will, I think, take place” (Lewis Mumford, Sticks and Stones, New York, 1924, p. 216).
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒8mo
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
large centralized organizations are not intrinsic to mass production. There are many excellent examples which demonstrate the fact that where work is substantially scattered, people can still produce goods and services of enormous complexity. One of the best historical examples is the Jura Federation of watchmakers, formed in the mountain villages of Switzerland in the early 1870's. These workers produced watches in their home workshops, each preserving his independence while coordinating his efforts with other craftsmen from the surrounding villages
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒8mo
Old patterns of scalable distributed work
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
In a society where there are many voices, and many values, people cling to those few things which they all have in common. Thus Margaret Mead (op. cit.): “There is a tendency to reduce all values to simple scales of dollars, school grades, or some other simple quantitative measure, whereby the extreme incommensurables of many different sets of cultural values can be easily, though superficially, reconciled.”
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒8mo
Beautiful and insightful
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
Many of the people who live in metropolitan areas have a weak character. In fact, metropolitan areas seem almost marked by the fact that the people in them have markedly weak character, compared with the character which develops in simpler and more rugged situations. This weakness of character is the counterpart of another, far more visible feature of metropolitan areas: the homogeneity and lack of variety among the people who live there. Of course, weakness of character and lack of variety, are simply two sides of the same coin: a condition in which people have relatively undifferentiated selves. Character can only occur in a self which is strongly differentiated and whole: by definition, a society where people are relatively homogeneous, is one where individual selves are not strongly differentiated.
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒8mo
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
Since the arable land which can be used for farming lies mainly in the valleys, it is essential that the valley floors within our urban regions be left untouched and kept for farming. The most complete study of this problem that we know, comes from Ian McHarg (Design With Nature, New York: Natural History Press, 1969). In his “Plan for the Valleys” (WallaceMcHarg Associates, Philadelphia, 1963), he shows how town development can be diverted to the hillsides and plateaus, leaving the valleys clear
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒8mo
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
Do what you can to establish a world government, with a thousand independent regions, instead of countries
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Jonathan Gheller@jonathan ﹒8mo
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
It is not well known that the effects of separation from other infant monkeys are even stronger than the effects of maternal deprivation. Indeed, the Harlows showed that although monkeys can be raised successfully without a mother, provided that they have other infant monkeys to play with, they cannot be raised successfully by a mother alone, without other infant monkeys, even if the mother is entirely normal. They conclude: "It seems possible that the infant-mother affectional system Is dispensable, whereas the infant-infant system is a sine-qua-non or later adjustment in all spheres of monkey life
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
If you spend eight hours of your day at work, and eight hours at home, there is no reason why your workplace should be any less of a community than your home.
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
We suspect that when the density of cars passes a certain limit, and people experience the feeling that there are too many cars, what is really happening is that subconsciously they feel that the cars are overwhelming the environment, that the environment is no longer "theirs,” that they have no right to be there, that it is not a place for people, and so on. After all, the effect of the cars reaches far beyond the mere presence of the cars themselves. They create a maze of driveways, garage doors, asphalt and concrete surfaces, and building elements which people cannot use. When the density goes beyond the limit, we suspect that people feel the social potential of the environment has disappeared. Instead of inviting them out, the environment starts giving them the message that the outdoors is not meant for them, that they should stay indoors, that they should stay in their own buildings, that social communion is no longer permitted or encouraged
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A Pattern Language
A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander
We suspect that when the density of cars passes a certain limit, and people experience the feeling that there are too many cars, what is really happening is that subconsciously they feel that the cars are overwhelming the environment, that the environment is no longer "theirs,” that they have no right to be there, that it is not a place for people, and so on. After all, the effect of the cars reaches far beyond the mere presence of the cars themselves. They create a maze of driveways, garage doors, asphalt and concrete surfaces, and building elements which people cannot use. When the density goes beyond the limit, we suspect that people feel the social potential of the environment has disappeared. Instead of inviting them out, the environment starts giving them the message that the outdoors is not meant for them, that they should stay indoors, that they should stay in their own buildings, that social communion is no longer permitted or encouraged
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