Notes on the Synthesis of Form

Notes on the Synthesis of Form

" This book, opening with these words, presents an entirely new theory of the process of design.

Author: Christopher Alexander

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674627512

Category: City planning

Page: 228

View: 664

"These notes are about the process of design: the process of inventing things which display new physical order, organization, form, in response to function." This book, opening with these words, presents an entirely new theory of the process of design. In the first part of the book, Christopher Alexander discusses the process by which a form is adapted to the context of human needs and demands that has called it into being. He shows that such an adaptive process will be successful only if it proceeds piecemeal instead of all at once. It is for this reason that forms from traditional un-self-conscious cultures, molded not by designers but by the slow pattern of changes within tradition, are so beautifully organized and adapted. When the designer, in our own self-conscious culture, is called on to create a form that is adapted to its context he is unsuccessful, because the preconceived categories out of which he builds his picture of the problem do not correspond to the inherent components of the problem, and therefore lead only to the arbitrariness, willfulness, and lack of understanding which plague the design of modern buildings and modern cities. In the second part, Mr. Alexander presents a method by which the designer may bring his full creative imagination into play, and yet avoid the traps of irrelevant preconception. He shows that, whenever a problem is stated, it is possible to ignore existing concepts and to create new concepts, out of the structure of the problem itself, which do correspond correctly to what he calls the subsystems of the adaptive process. By treating each of these subsystems as a separate subproblem, the designer can translate the new concepts into form. The form, because of the process, will be well-adapted to its context, non-arbitrary, and correct. The mathematics underlying this method, based mainly on set theory, is fully developed in a long appendix. Another appendix demonstrates the application of the method to the design of an Indian village.
Categories: City planning

The Responsive Environment

The Responsive Environment

Christopher Alexander, Notes on the Synthesis of Form (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964); Christopher Alexander, “From a Set of Forces to a Form,” in Kepes, Man-Made Object; Christopher Alexander and Barry Poyner, ...

Author: Larry D. Busbea

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 9781452960722

Category: Design

Page: 344

View: 186

How new conceptions of human–environment interaction became central to design theories and practices in the 1970s At the end of the 1960s, new models of responsiveness between humans and their environments had a profound impact on theories and practices in architecture, design, art, technology, media, and the sciences. The resulting initiatives—design philosophies, art installations, architectural projects, exhibitions, publications, and symposia—sought to bring together insights from biology, systems theory, psychology, and anthropology with modernist legacies of total design. In The Responsive Environment, Larry D. Busbea takes up this concept of environment as an object and method of design at the height of its aesthetic, technical, and discursive elaboration. Exploring emerging paradigms of environmental perception, patterning, and control as developed by Gregory Bateson, Edward T. Hall, Wolf Hilbertz, György Kepes, Marshall McLuhan, Nicholas Negroponte, Paolo Soleri, and others, he shows how living space itself was reimagined as a domain capable of modification through input from its newly sensitized inhabitants. The Responsive Environment intercuts the development of new ideas about environmental awareness with case studies of specific architecture and design projects for responsive environments. Throughout, Busbea connects these theories and practices to the contemporary obsession with “smart” things: responsive technologies, intelligent environments, biomimetic materials, and digital atmospherics.
Categories: Design

The Synthesis of Form

The Synthesis of Form

Author: Christopher Wolfgang John Alexander


ISBN: OCLC:76977834



View: 355


The New Engineer

The New Engineer

Further reading Alexander , Christopher , Notes on the Synthesis of Form ( Cambridge , Massachusetts : Harvard University Press , 1964 ) . Blockley , D.I. , The Nature of Structural Design and Safety ( Chichester : Horwood , 1980 ) .

Author: Sharon Beder

Publisher: Macmillan Education AU

ISBN: 073294676X

Category: Engineering

Page: 372

View: 972

Categories: Engineering

Architectural Intelligence

Architectural Intelligence

Plato , Phaedrus , 265d , quoted in Alexander , Notes on the Synthesis of Form , iv . 16. Ibid . , 116. In contrast , the " unselfconscious " model presents a one - to - one relationship between the context and the form : there is an ...

Author: Molly Wright Steenson

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262546782

Category: Architecture

Page: 329

View: 820

Architects who engaged with cybernetics, artificial intelligence, and other technologies poured the foundation for digital interactivity. In Architectural Intelligence, Molly Wright Steenson explores the work of four architects in the 1960s and 1970s who incorporated elements of interactivity into their work. Christopher Alexander, Richard Saul Wurman, Cedric Price, and Nicholas Negroponte and the MIT Architecture Machine Group all incorporated technologies—including cybernetics and artificial intelligence—into their work and influenced digital design practices from the late 1980s to the present day. Alexander, long before his famous 1977 book A Pattern Language, used computation and structure to visualize design problems; Wurman popularized the notion of “information architecture”; Price designed some of the first intelligent buildings; and Negroponte experimented with the ways people experience artificial intelligence, even at architectural scale. Steenson investigates how these architects pushed the boundaries of architecture—and how their technological experiments pushed the boundaries of technology. What did computational, cybernetic, and artificial intelligence researchers have to gain by engaging with architects and architectural problems? And what was this new space that emerged within these collaborations? At times, Steenson writes, the architects in this book characterized themselves as anti-architects and their work as anti-architecture. The projects Steenson examines mostly did not result in constructed buildings, but rather in design processes and tools, computer programs, interfaces, digital environments. Alexander, Wurman, Price, and Negroponte laid the foundation for many of our contemporary interactive practices, from information architecture to interaction design, from machine learning to smart cities.
Categories: Architecture

The Redundant City

The Redundant City

A similar distinction is proposed by Christopher Alexander in “Notes on the Synthesis of Form” (Alexander 1964 pp.58ff), which I discuss in the next section. Finally, typomorphological research highlights the connectedness of built form ...

Author: Norbert Kling

Publisher: transcript Verlag

ISBN: 9783839451144

Category: Social Science

Page: 350

View: 751

Dynamic processes and conflicts are at the core of the urban condition. Against the background of continuous change in cities, concepts and assumptions about spatial transformations have to be constantly re-examined and revised. Norbert Kling explores the rich body of narrative knowledge in architecture and urbanism and confronts this knowledge with an empirically grounded situational analysis of a large housing estate. The outcome of this twofold research approach is the sensitising concept of the Redundant City. It describes a specific form of collectively negotiated urban change.
Categories: Social Science

Architecture in Development

Architecture in Development

... see Sco Keller, “Fenland Te : Ar itectural Science in Postwar Cambridge,” Grey Room, no. 23 (Spring 2006): 40– 65. 27 Alexander, Notes on the Synthesis of Form: “Appendix I: A Worked Example.” 28 Ibid., 137. 29 James A. Jaffe, ...

Author: Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000543544

Category: Architecture

Page: 448

View: 165

This extensive text investigates how architects, planners, and other related experts responded to the contexts and discourses of “development” after World War II. Development theory did not manifest itself in tracts of economic and political theory alone. It manifested itself in every sphere of expression where economic predicaments might be seen to impinge on cultural factors. Architecture appears in development discourse as a terrain between culture and economics, in that practitioners took on the mantle of modernist expression while also acquiring government contracts and immersing themselves in bureaucratic processes. This book considers how, for a brief period, architects, planners, structural engineers, and various practitioners of the built environment employed themselves in designing all the intimate spheres of life, but from a consolidated space of expertise. Seen in these terms, development was, to cite Arturo Escobar, an immense design project itself, one that requires radical disassembly and rethinking beyond the umbrella terms of “global modernism” and “colonial modernities,” which risk erasing the sinews of conflict encountered in globalizing and modernizing architecture. Encompassing countries as diverse as Israel, Ghana, Greece, Belgium, France, India, Mexico, the United States, Venezuela, the Philippines, South Korea, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Turkey, Cyprus, Iraq, Zambia, and Canada, the set of essays in this book cannot be considered exhaustive, nor a “field guide” in the traditional sense. Instead, it offers theoretical reflections “from the field,” based on extensive archival research. This book sets out to examine the arrays of power, resources, technologies, networking, and knowledge that cluster around the term "development," and the manner in which architects and planners negotiated these thickets in their multiple capacities—as knowledge experts, as technicians, as negotiators, and as occasional authorities on settlements, space, domesticity, education, health, and every other field where arguments for development were made.
Categories: Architecture