The Origins of Pattern Theory, the Future of the Theory And The Generation of a Living World

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"(A) Pattern Theory. I'm going to talk first of all about patterns and pattern languages, what I did about that, a few little points about problems we encountered, why we did it, how we did it, and so forth. That is a historical survey referring back to the late 60s and early 70s.
(B) The Nature of Order. Then, I'm going to summarize the theoretical framework which has evolved out of the pattern work: a framework which is about to be published in a series of four books collectively called The Nature Of Order, four books that will be put out by Oxford University Press in the year 2000. That framework is a fairly radical departure from what the pattern language in the earlier theories contained, although it is consistent with them. That'll be the second thing. And, I'll just try and sketch that out in the hope that there might be some carryover or you might possibly find it interesting -- even though of course I will have no way to apply this to your field directly when I tell you about it. However, there are undoubtedly abundant connections between the two fields that can be drawn.
(C ). What the future holds in store: The Generativity Problem and the Generation of a Living World. At the time I wrote the introduction for Richard Gabriel's book, that was really as far as I had gotten in trying to trace the connection between my work and your work in the field of computer science: I tell you what I'm doing, and maybe some of you folks might find it interesting or be able to extrapolate. But I couldn't really find that sufficient to be satisfying. I felt that there is some more significant connection between your field and mine. Or at least that there perhaps is. And that finally brought me to the third point.
The third thing I'll talk about is how I now perceive that connection. I suppose that some of you know what I do for a living. You know I'm an architect. All of my life I've spent trying to learn how to produce living structure in the world. That means towns, streets, buildings, rooms, gardens, places which are themselves living or alive. My assumption here – a sad one -- is that for the most part what we have been doing for ourselves, at least during the last fifty years or so, perhaps starting somewhere around World War II, has virtually no ability to produce that kind of living structure in the world. This living structure which is needed to sustain us and nurture us and which did exist to some degree in the traditional societies and in rural communities and in early urban settlements has disappeared. It is drastically gone. We don’t know how to create it or generate it any more.
Of course, especially for architects, that is a debatable matter. Some professional architects might say, What are you talking about? What we are doing is absolutely fine, the buildings we are building today are excellent, very good, no problem!! I suppose the architect of this particular huge and nauseating conference hall we are in, here in San Jose, where we can hardly understand each other, would say that, too. But, actually, it isn't fine. It's a hell of a problem. It's a serious problem. It affects every man, woman, and child on Earth. We are so ignorant about how to do this, to make living structure on Earth, it is lamentable. And it is very, very serious, becomes more serious every day, because the population of the Earth is growing, and the Earth is being damaged more and more – and with the damage to our towns and buildings, we too are being damaged. " to find out more...

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Building architects should pay special attention to Part C.. Informed building architecture students transfering to a major in computer science, may wish to examine this.

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