The man who started a fire (Christopher Alexander Lecture at Berkeley, California)
Original article: http://permaliv.blogspot.no/2012/08/the-man-who-started-fire-christopher.html

Surely, Alexander is the architect of the coming realm of the commons!

I’m happy to share that a new book by Alexander is to be published in October. Here is the Amazon.com description of The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth: A Struggle between Two World-Systems:

The purpose of all architecture, writes Christopher Alexander, is to encourage and support life-giving activity, dreams, and playfulness. But in recent decades, while our buildings are technically better — more sturdy, more waterproof, more energy efficient — they have also became progressively more sterile, rarely providing the kind of environment in which people are emotionally nourished, genuinely happy, and deeply contented. 

Using the example of his building of the Eishin Campus in Japan, Christopher Alexander and his collaborators reveal an ongoing dispute between two fundamentally different ways of shaping our world. One system places emphasis on subtleties, on finesse, on the structure of adaptation that makes each tiny part fit into the larger context. The other system is concerned with efficiency, with money, power and control, stressing the more gross aspects of size, speed, and profit. This second, "business-as-usual" system, Alexander argues, is incapable of creating the kind of environment that is able to genuinely support the emotional, whole-making side of human life. To confront this sterile system, the book presents a new architecture that we — both as a world-wide civilization, and as individual people and cultures — can create, using new processes that allow us to build places of human energy and beauty. The book outlines nine ways of working, each one fully dedicated to wholeness, and able to support day-to-day activities that will make planning, design and construction possible in an entirely new way, and in more humane ways.

See the lecture, read the book, and let’s create a new kind of world. A world full of living structure!

This article is published at The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia on September 11, 2012.