Title:A Pattern Language
So many people swear by this book, it almost has cult status. Amazingly satisfying solutions to design problems.
In A Pattern Language Christopher Alexander and his group of coauthors; Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King and Shlomo Angel present a theory of architecture, building, and planning which has at its core the idea that people should design for themselves their own houses, streets and communities. Although this may sound radical, it stems from the observation that most of the wonderful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people. Pattern Language seeks to provide a "language" of "patterns" or "units" to answer design problems, such as "how high should a window sill be?" discussing each problem (pattern) with an illustration and a solution. More than 250 of these patterns are represented many of which are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seems likely that they will be part of our human nature and action as much in five hundred years as they are today. Wonderfully satisfying solutions that are often "obvious" in retrospect. 1170pp. $65.00 hard cover Oxford University Press.