The Nature of Order

Summary of Book One:


In Book 1, Alexander defines life and living structure as the necessary criteria for quality in buildings. Starting with an analysis of the arbitrariness of present-day architecture, and going to the root of functional order in the world, he proposes a scientific basis for looking at life as an objective concept that is rooted in structure. The book shows living structure in good buildings and bad, human artifacts, and natural systems, and discusses the presence of the same living order in all systems. It is proposed that living structure, or living order, depends on features which make a close connection with the human self. This way of regarding living structures makes them amenable to empirical treatment. The quality of works of art, artifacts, and buildings is defined, not merely in terms of living structure, but also in their capacity to affect human growth and human well-being.


". . .This will change the world as effectively as the advent of printing changed the world. . ."
       Doug Carlston, Silicon Valley Luminary, former President of Broderbund

"Five hundred years is a long time, and I don't expect that many of the people I interview will be known in the year 2500. Alexander may be an exception."
       David Creelman, Author, Interview and Editor, HR Magazine


Book 1:
The Phenomenon of Life

Book 3:
A Vision of a Living World

Book 2:
The Process of Creating Life

Book 4:
The Luminous Ground

About Christopher Alexander

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