November 11, 2008

Architecture School

Anybody wondering what kinds of things we learn in architecture school?

How about an excerpt from an assigned reading:

"Intuitively we may guess that the beauty of a building, its life, and its capacity to support life all come from the fact that it is working as a whole. A view of the building as a whole means that we see it as part of an extended and undivided continuum. It is not an isolated fragment in itself, but part of the world which includes the gardens, walls, trees, streets beyond its boundaries, and other buildings beyond those. And it contains many wholes within it -- also unbounded and continuous in their connections. Above all, the whole is unbroken and undivided. This rather obvious idea, though we may assume it to be true, does not yet have a precise counterpart in our professional or scientific analysis of buildings...
The general idea is that the wholeness in any part of space is the structure defined by all the various coherent entities that exist in that part of space, and the way these entities are nested in and overlap each other..."

If you actually read all of that...kudos, you now have a basic understanding of Christopher Alexander's explanation of "wholeness", if you'll excuse me, I have to write a paper on how this notion of wholeness, along with the theory of centers, could begin to explain the varying degrees of "life" that can be found within all material systems. (PS- in order to do this, you have to free your mind from hundreds of years of Cartesian logic in which everything measurable can be deduced to its rudimentary machinistic method of operation)


  1. you're not even speaking english anymore. you lost me...about the 2nd sentence in!!!

  2. In other words, to be a great architect means you also have to be a great "bull" shooter! In which case, YOU will be one of the all-time greatest! HA! Love, MOM