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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Jan 13 / Nicole Eley

notes on The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher Alexander

“A pattern is a rule which desciribes what you have to do to generate the entity which it defines”

systems of patterns form language

simple language contains: set of elements/symbols, rules for combining symbols

pattern language language is a system that allows users to create infinite variety of patttern

both are finite systems that allow infinite combinations.

They are responsible for building every building [piece of design] in the world

“It is only because a person has a pattern language in his mind that he can be creative when he builds”

every single part of the environment is governed by pattern language(languages for layout of fields, arrangement of streets, fixing walls, etc)

In design, grid lines are the pattern language. Having a grid saves a designer from the tedious task of laying out every piece of the design by hand, which will not be precise. Grids give the designer an easy way to layout the design with perfect proportions without really thinking about it. Many people may think the grid is constricting but, just like the pattern languages written about in the text, it allows the designer to be creative.