Discussion Leader

David Ing

Session Description

The original announcement is at https://wiki.st-on.org/2019-02-11.

The 1977 book, A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction is prominent in public library collections around the world. It represents, however, only one stage of the many works by Christopher Alexander, from his first book published in 1974, to his final book released in 2012. In addition multiple international conferences continue his legacy, in architecture and urban design (PUARL, for 10 years), in software development (PLoP, for 25 years), and in social change (PURPLSOC, for 5 years). Alexander was a builder of environment structure -- an architect -- and other communities have aspired to adopt the approach that he championed.

This Systems Thinking Ontario session will review pattern languages in three parts:

  • The Eishin School project (1985, published as a book in 2012);
  • Multi-Service Centers (1968); and
  • Beyond Built Environments, cross-appropriating the approach from architecture to other domains.

The pursuit of "systems generating systems" at the foundation of Christopher Alexander's pattern language has generally not been appreciated, and deserves a deeper inquiry.

Suggested pre-reading: 

Attendees are not expected to have read any works by Christopher Alexander. David Ing will step through a presentation that aims to make sense of Alexander's evolving body of knowledge.


David Ing, "Systems Changes: Learning from the Christopher Alexander Legacy", Systems Thinking Ontario , Toronto, Canada, February 11, 2019


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2019/02/11 Systems Changes: Learning from the Christopher Alexander Legacy