Resonant Thoughts: Christopher Alexander’s “The Timeless Way of Building” (1979)

Each pattern helps to sustain other patterns.

“The quality without a name occurs, not when an isolated pattern occurs, but when an entire system of patterns, interdependent, at many levels, is all stable and alive.

We may see the sand ripples anywhere where we choose to put loose sand under the wind. 

But when the wind blows across the sea, over the inland marshes, and the sand ripples support the dunes between the two, and the sandpiper walks out, the sand fleas hop, and shifting of the dunes is held in check by grasses which maintain themselves and the sandpiper—then we have a portion of the world, alive at many levels at once, beginning to have the quality without a name.” 

– Christopher Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building, p. 131

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