Narrative Development: Part 2: A Pattern Language – Christopher Alexander

A Pattern Language book written by various Graphics Designers such as Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King and Shlomo Angel, the book is based on Architecture by creating a new language that is called a Pattern Language by the Authors mainly Alexander, Ishikawa and Silverstein. The Pattern Language is based on various forms of Patterns that the Authors classify as timeless, They also state that all 253 patterns in the book put together form a language, as well as stating that the patterns can be used to describe a problem as well as the solution. The book was written in 1977 by the authors who were the staff of the University of California, Berkeley and the Center for Environmental Structure and was influence by the emerging use of the programmable languages used from Programming and Design. A Pattern Language is successor of several other books written by the same authors for example, The Timeless Way of Building and The Oregon Experiment which isn’t a predecessor but a successor of A Pattern Language to explain various ways of Architecture. Alexander states that “It is shown there, that towns and buildings will not be able to become alive, unless they are made by all the people in society, and unless these people share a common pattern language, within which to make these buildings and unless this common pattern language is alive itself”. What this means is that one cannot build a building or a town if the people you are working with have different tastes due to them been from a different social group and this in course creates their own pattern language making it harder to build. The rest of the quote means that In order to cooperate effectively the people from all the different social groups will have put aside their differences in order to successfully come up with their own effect way of pattern language and therefore their own building or town with this.

Christopher Alexander stated in A Pattern Language that Bus Stops are ” Bus Stops must be easy to recognize, and pleasant, with enough activity around them to make people comfortable and safe.” This means that in order for a bus stop to be a successful means of  meeting point for a bus and other transport it must have a welcoming and open atmosphere that makes the Customers feel safe. Alexander also stated that the secret to Bus Stops was the “The Secret lies in the web of relationships that are present in the tiny system around the bus stop. If they knit together, and reinforce each other, adding choices and shape to the experience, the system is a good one: but the relationships that make up such a system are extremely subtle”. This means that the bus stop will always be effective if the people and the environment interact with each other effectively but you wouldn’t notice how they first interfaced unless you knew what you were looking for.

Another effective chapter to look at to help with designing Bus Stop locations is Chapter 150: A Place to Wait because Alexander states that “In any office, or workshop, or station, or clinic, where people have to wait, it is essential to provide a special place for waiting, and doubly essential that this place not have the sordid, enclosed, time lowed character of ordinary waiting rooms”. What Alexander meant is that the purpose of the waiting rooms isn’t to be bored and anxious but to keep the people waiting entertained or distracted as long as it is close by to where they are waiting to help them relax until the time where their waits is over. Alexander states that later on in his book that a good waiting room would be in ear sot of various location so that the people waiting no when it’s their turn but would have various means of entertainment or distraction for them other than a magazine such as a pool table, TV, A bookshelf and a coffee Shop.

Here is a link to the PDF File of the Actual book:

A Pattern Language PDF File 

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