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Analytical approach on design theories of christopher alexander

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Notes on combination of form and pattern language to new concepts of complexity theory.
Dr. N. Mohajeri , Dr. Sh. Qom

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Analytical approach on design theories of christopher alexander

  1. 1. Analytical approach on design theories of Christopher Alexander Notes on combination of form and pattern language to new concepts of complexity theory. Dr. N. Mohajeri , Dr. Sh. Qom Essay Received Date: 11/08/2007 Date of Acceptance: 29/12/2008 Shabnam GOLKARIAN Girne American University, Architecture & Fine Art Faculty Ms. Student 143204002 Girne American University, Architecture & Fine Art Faculty Journal of city identity / Second Year / No2 / spring and summer
  2. 2. Keywords: Christopher Alexander, theory, design, quality of life, cohesion, complexity Abstract There are two distinct major currents of thought. First, his ideas in his previous opinions, Christopher AlexanderAlexander, Christopher,((2004), "Notes on combining form", translated by S. Resin Mehr, Rozaneh published, Tehran) can not be completely ruled out. But they will develop. His theory was based primarily on the rationalism of Descartes problems divided into smaller components, and each component individually assessed and ultimately led to an overall solution. His areas of architecture and urban design patterns as a basis for understanding the future rather to the quality of living. In the this paper analyzes the philosophical aspects of his theory designed to clarify and analyze the content, discipline, His past experiences and perspectives in the field of complexity theory in four stages were analyzed. Email:n_mohajer@azad.ac.ir Urban Development , Department of Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Instructor, Faculty of Architecture, South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran
  3. 3. Introduction In this paper, design theory, Christopher Alexander was analyzed in four stages. The first step involves finding appropriate methods of rational design approach and at this point in the notes to the combined form is released. At this point of view, not a tree. (Alexander, Christopher, (1993), "New Theory of Urban Design", translated by Consultants Tash publishing, Tehran.) New theory will also discuss the urban design. In both of these theories is the rational approach to alternative approaches. ( Alexander, Christopher, (2001), "Architecture and the secret of immortality (the time of construction)", translated by M. Qayyum Bidhendi, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran.) This paper provides a summary analysis of the evolution of ideas in achieving designer Alexander timeless design methods and try to make them immortal. Quality in all living organisms, ranging from unicellular microorganisms, and there are believed Macroorganisms Alexander ensure internal consistency of those. • Lalín Mack, Brian J., (2006), "Urban planning and regional planning system approach", translated by Dr. F. Habib, Islamic Azad University, Tehran. • Yar Ahmadi, A., (1996), "The city of the humanist", publishing companies and urban planning process, Tehran. • Alexander, Christopher, (1964), "Notes on the Synthesis of Form", Harvard University press, Cambridge and Massachusetts.
  4. 4. Methods The comparative analysis in this paper For comparison, consider the relationship between the principles of Alexander the various sources used. In this way the various aspects of the evidence collected and compared with the other relevant evidence. In other words, the processes of design, features and different mechanisms by comparing and analyzing the evidence taken together.
  5. 5. First stage: a rational approach The book notes that the combination of form, Alexander relied on rationalism of Descartes and use it to solve design problems rivals. The book with the help of set theory, graph theory and computer use was completed. In this approach the problem can be divided into its smallest components. Every piece is individually assessed and resolved, and then finally to reach the final solution, the components are combined. (Alexander, 1964: 12). Notes on combining form Alexander tried to find ways to express the designs. In this book, he designed a number of important factors such as: Form - Background adjustment - Inconsistency consciousness - unconscious, all new categories are introduced. Alexander states that form the bulk of the design and design major problem is how to coordinate the form field. Form an important part of the design process at all stages of the design is that designers must be masters. Areas also form part of the design is to concatenate (Grabow, 1983: 2). In the book of diagrams as key creation process takes the form name. (Alexander the final diagram of the pattern calls). Many buildings are designed as an artistic subject, without the slightest importance given to the area and surrounding areas. He believes that there should be harmony between form and context, although this rarely happened in modern architecture, but this is clearly seen in the house Falls Wright. In fact, in this building, house and surrounding area both belong to each other.
  6. 6. Frank lloyd wright's Falling water house
  7. 7. Frank lloyd wright's Falling water house
  8. 8. But the main issue for the design of Alexander, finding variables are incompatible. Alexander was not interested in conventional solutions. The theory of adaptation - Alexander incompatibility problems there, firstly difficult to find all the variables inconsistent. Second, information about important variables such as compatible as much information about the disagreements. If there is not enough information for a good cause, may be one of the most appropriate design solutions, self tapping the left and to the creation of a variable to be incompatible. Thirdly, one can argue that the two elements are consistent (harmonization) and incompatible (inconsistent) is divided. Alexander notes on combining observations form an important difference between the approaches of the unconscious and conscious approach to the design and construction of raises. Alexander the definition of a good design in architecture and indigenous building that was built in the traditional communities, respectively. Indigenous communities and their traditional architectural forms during and after passing the test of time and have found errors corrected (trial and error). Any change in these communities and they have traditionally been slow and slow the build system to adapt to changes. But in the modern world, the introduction of non-indigenous and modern technology, occurs. Alexander in the book Notes on combining form as completely rational attempts to explain the process to take advantage of modern mathematics. He believed that the problems of architecture and design, the designers ignorance about the true nature of things and the wrong attitude they emanated logic and mathematics. This book is about the design process, a process developed in response to the performance of any physical, configuration and management provides a new form.
  9. 9. Second, the emphasis on the whole Alexander in 1965 with the name of a tree paper is published. This paper compares several cities Tree species that had developed around the world with cities were normal. Alexander concluded that cities are designed as Chndygar city in India, Brasilia in Brazil and Tokyo in Japan, do not act as designers have predicted. This is due to the fact that these cities were designed based on logical principles. He received a traditional cities that are organically grown and formed a complex pattern with a common structure are eligible. Alexander said: "The human mind, the tree, the easiest method of reasoning" (Alexander, 1966: 4). The cities are designed with different physical models show that organic towns, cities were spontaneous growth of the various functions there is no clear separation. So at first glance it may order any organization and order in the city, but in fact a kind of discipline is not automatic and organic view of their inherent potential lies. The book is organized Alexander named a city proposes to organize overlapping. These structures can be mixed land use planners and urban designers allows the flexibility to change, instead of separating land use and zoning practices apply. These cities are designed based on network relationships represents a systematic approach to planning and urban design (Mac Lalín, 71, 1385). Alexander, Christopher, (1977), "A Pattern Language", Oxford university press, New York. Alexander, Christopher, (1975), "The Oregon Experiment", Oxford university press, New York.
  10. 10. Alexander on "The city is not a tree." Emphasizes the interactions between pedestrians and vehicles and how can these two functions as a pair, interact with each other, in the role. The semi- structured network of spaces separating pedestrians and vehicles to protect pedestrians priority areas have been emphasized. Triangulation method to organize small-scale overlapping functions might coordinate spaces Larger urban scale. This method of overlapping of two or more spaces are used and to facilitate additional functions and interactions among the public.
  11. 11. Examples of semi-structured network and the network shown in the figure below (Alexander, 1966: 44): 1. Semi-network structures (Alexander, 1966: 44) 2. Tree species (Alexander, 1966: 44) Brolin, Brent c., (1976), "Failure of Modern Architecture", Van No strand Reinhold Company, New York. Grabow, Stephen, (1983), "Christopher Alexander and the Search for a New Paradigm in Architecture ", Oriel press, Stocks field.
  12. 12. After the publication of the book "The city is not a tree," Alexander in 1988, has published a new theory of urban design. When he raised the most beautiful cities in the world to look at is the feeling that we are living in cities. The feeling of "being alive" is not vague, but it is an accurate portrayal of a particular structure of the oldest cities possess., sidewalks, in homes, shops, markets, roads, parks, gardens, walls and even on balconies and decoration of the city (Alexander, 27,1373). In this book, he proposes a framework for the design and urban planning which requires advance planning and inseparable link barter with neighboring regions and the neighborhood around it. This feature does not exist in the cities of today.There's this whole military and can not buy it there too. It is this process that is most responsible for the formation of the whole, not just the product itself. If you create a suitable process for the design of cities and towns in the hope that there will once again be able to become a whole. Shipsk, james, (1984), "Christopher Alexander Theory and Practice", Architecture Issue.
  13. 13. New Theory of Urban Design Alexander Seven Rules for this process, however, is applicable, provides and show how the urban space "of" making: 1. The gradual growth and granularity 2. The growth of larger 3. deeply and see 4. The key principle of good urban spaces 5. The arrangement of large buildings 6. Building 7. The formation of centers
  14. 14. Third stage: the development of a pattern language Alexander realized his ideas in the book Notes on the composition and form of a tree is not the solution To create beautiful buildings do not provide quality free time. Of course, part of this is due to his dissatisfaction with modern architecture. At this time, the idea of designer Alexander entered a new phase. He Patterns And emphasize the "whole" was preferred over other designs. Read the new idea in the book building method and pattern language Sitte, Camillio, (1965) is a reflection of the eternal. This book places particular emphasis on the interaction between people and their environment.thousand years ago were known as the primary design and a part of human nature as well. Alexander's pattern language as a means of perpetuating the building and design tools, in order to give meaning to their human environment and offers. He interesting comparison between the language model and a common language (the language spoken by the people say) do: with a pattern language, the ability to create an unlimited variety of cities, buildings, new urban spaces are unique and Field such as language and the ability to create an infinite variety of sentences is (Alexander, 1977: 43). Sitte, Camillio, (1965), "City Planning According to Artistic Principles", Phaidon press, Ltd, London.
  15. 15. Alexander's pattern language consists of a set of units (a wrong impression about it), but these models have raised the commonalities for communication with other units. The book presents a pattern language patterns to which people are able to build their own buildings and the physical environment. The Model 253 provides that they can be divided into three main categories: cities, buildings and structures. Each model offers a solution to a problem that has been repeated over and over in various deals. Like to link words together to form sentences, models are also capable of producing a large number of design solution. Alexander theory, models will be designed to respond to problems and this comes as any single project may be a solution to apply (Alexander, 1977: 45). The general solution to all the problems of the design pattern language does not provide, for example, if a person wants a basic input for the design can not be directly referred to the book and bring out a design pattern that because the pattern language, rich set of alphabet which can help to create a quality living environment, as physical. But you have to select the appropriate models that meet the criteria for the design and location to take necessary precautions.
  16. 16. Template design discipline in one way or another, but the challenge is to integrate models and practical projects. But the main problem here is that there is a relationship between these models. Each model has a larger pattern that is higher than itself, and also linked to its smaller models that are under it. The language model based on the interaction of people and their environment is stressed. The design of these models as a tool in order to give meaning to human and environment uses, and believes very powerful tool to control complex processes and patterns. But due to lack of understanding of their wider role in architectural design and is in a position to have made significant changes in patterns of computer science. The pattern in the following objectives: 1. The way to understand and control complex systems 2. Use the pattern language as a tool to achieve the structural and functional integrity
  17. 17. After Alexander's pattern language development, realized that his theory is still in its usual answer to the question "How does the quality of the physical environment created?" No.The population has grown and they are to survive. This order is the common language of the common model is needed. This requires a common framework designed to shape. The design language is a factor that changes the subject, that man contributes to prevent her from being forgotten, to maintain their structures and to achieve eternal life.live alone. Today Alexander studies have focused on coherent structures. (Alexander, Christopher, (2004), "The Nature of Order: an Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of Universe "(four books), Oxford university press, New York.) He believes that the order in the space of 14 days Alexander studies on coherent structures affect the physical, functional space, and the other one order, the order form. The two systems (functional form) Main characteristics of a space. System performance can be found in a car prepared coal to occur automatically. This machine is fully functional because it is precisely on the basis of performance and efficiency have been developed. This machine is very simple expression, as described in detail. In order to express the pot, one can only give a subjective response time compared with objective descriptions of an operating system, is not valid. The order of nature and human feelings to bind and this "whole" name. In a good design, "totality" of the individual components of the structure can be seen (Grabow, 1983: 22).
  18. 18. For example, there is universality. Four minarets, materials, calligraphy and the environment, all components have completed the form in Design 15 "Taj Mahal" and if one of them must be set aside, the whole will be undermined. The order of function and form can also be effective in achieving the quality of life in the physical environment. These two methods of environmental design in order to apparent (Grabow, 1983: 25). Sanders, William, (2005), "In the Cause of Architecture", Architectural Record.
  19. 19. Alexander always tries to make sense of experience into the design process. For example, in one of his own design studio, with her colleagues designed a bench with a holistic approach. Bench is designed to cater to the needs of sensory function, whereas they were happy with its decoration made bench. Design, detail, and all participants formed a part of the whole process. Although the smooth lines of modern bench but was comfortable and pleasant, form and place, the location was the result of practical experience. Alexander Another work entitled “Oregon experience" natural look that permits the full balance between the needs and requirements of the individual components is provided. The internal arrangement of the organic quality of its shape, creates a feel. This sense of awareness of the particular structure of the oldest cities that qualify it as well. Each of these cities under the general regulations, and the integrity of not only the city but the feeling is possible in the smallest details. In older cities, the whole city, its origin and the creators of the transition time is continuous. Therefore, any future growth and expansion of the institution of a special structure and the cities are affected. This species grows only in the cities of the old city as a whole is not unique and can be observed in other living organisms. 16- The Oregon Experiment, Christopher Alexsander Theory
  20. 20. The final step: create living structures, coherent and complex The natural order in more than 30 years, based on careful observation of the world around Alexander's writing, all the theories he takes from the beginning until now. The main objective of this thesis was to Alexander in this book how the various phenomena and living together to create a coherent structure. Structures that all phenomena in the universe of atoms to crystals (microorganisms) and living forms and galaxies (Macronasism) are common. (Alexander, 2004: 23) The purpose of Alexander in the book refers to the process rather than an emphasis on form or plan. As natural forms with similar processes are formed and grow, develop neighborhoods and cities must comply with these procedures. Alexander seeks to create living structures and artifacts made by human hands. His buildings and structures within the human artifacts to be searched. Their perception and mental structures that help the human person and his inner sense of their ability to emerge. objective method for measuring the viability and vitality of objects and phenomena knows. Fractals are self-similar structures contiguous with hierarchical communications from large scale to small.
  21. 21. In order nature of the phenomenon that surrounds him focused on critical aspects: 1. The scientific aspect 2. Aesthetic aspects 3. aspects of aesthetic sense and intuition. The four books he has established a profound link between these factors. In the first book of nature phenomena in order to live the life of the 15 characteristics of a structure based on the principle of "totality" which is described (Alexander, 2004: 50). The second book in the process of creating the life of Alexander the process by which the nature and manner of living structures in the notes. Within this new theory, the theory of deformation of the underlying structure is a theory based on the concept of universality and holistic view is formed. Deformation of the structure theory on which the whole system is maintained, it extends and grow. This theory applies to all phenomena and processes and characteristics in order to build its viability.
  22. 22. In the third book of the vision of the living world of nature in order to provide evidence of the process of creating structures of Alexander live in buildings and cities studied. In this example, with unparalleled simplicity and beauty of form and color are factors that exist in the process of building or reinforcing. In addition, Alexander places and buildings which have been created by living processes and structure are vital to our existence as human associates. Finally, his final book in the field of bright, geometric approach of matter and space, argues that a fully human person and his experience of space is concerned. His rational approach to analytical thinking and sensory perception of phenomena and structures to create a living, and considers necessary. Furthermore, Article 15 of the inextricable link that leads to a whole unit and integrated knowledge, the most important result of this book. The fifteen principle is as follows Alexander (Alexander, 2004: 165)
  23. 23. 18-Fifteen Principle collections of Alexander is as follows: 1- Levels of Scale 2- Strong Center 3- Deep Interlock and Ambiguity 4- Good Shape 5- Positive Space 6- Echoes 7-Roughness 8-The Void 9-Contrast 10- Simplicity and inner calm 11-Local Symmetries 12 -Alternating Repetition 13- Boundaries 14 –Gradients 15-Not-Separation 19-Timeless quality
  24. 24. Conclusion Alexander thought this article was about his design theories, the book Notes on the order of nature combine to form (new concepts of complexity theory), analyzed and evaluated. In the theories of Alexander in the connection between various components in the design and planning was not successful. But this theory has been successful in his recent works. Notes on combination of form, his rational approach to planning and design, and almost opposing position to defend its subsequent comments. The new theory of urban design, Alexander the importance of the principle of "universality" as a basis for the design and urban planning emphasized. Pattern language and eternal buildings, the application of design patterns to provide physical environments. Alexander's book is not a quick and easy reference for solving all the problems of design are considered, but should be used as a design guide. The design is based on an understanding of the patterns is possible to achieve success as a result of the experiences of people over the ages and time.
  25. 25. References: 1. Alexander, Christopher, (2004), "Notes on combining form", translated by S. Resin Mehr, Rozaneh published, Tehran. 2. Alexander, Christopher, (2001), "Architecture and the secret of immortality (the time of construction)", translated by M. Qayyum Bidhendi, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran. 3. Alexander, Christopher, (1993), "New Theory of Urban Design", translated by Consultants Tash publishing, Tehran. 4. Lalín Mack, Brian J., (2006), "Urban planning and regional planning system approach", translated by Dr. F. Habib, Islamic Azad University, Tehran. 5. Yar Ahmadi, A., (1996), "The city of the humanist", publishing companies and urban planning process, Tehran. 6- Alexander, Christopher, (1964), "Notes on the Synthesis of Form", Harvard University press, Cambridge and Massachusetts. 7- Alexander, Christopher, (1966), "A City is not a Tree", Urban Design Journal, no.206, pp.44-45 8- Alexander, Christopher, (1977), "A Pattern Language", Oxford university press, New York. 9- Alexander, Christopher, (1975), "The Oregon Experiment", Oxford university press, New York. 10- Brolin, Brent c., (1976), "Failure of Modern Architecture", Van No strand Reinhold Company, New York. 11- Grabow, Stephen, (1983), "Christopher Alexander and the Search for a New Paradigm in Architecture ", Oriel press, Stocks field. 12- Shipsk, james, (1984), "Christopher Alexander Theory and Practice", Architecture Issue. 13- Sitte, Camillio, (1965), "City Planning According to Artistic Principles", Phaidon press, Ltd, London. 14- Alexander, Christopher, (2004), "The Nature of Order: an Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of Universe "(four books), Oxford university press, New York. 15- Sanders, William, (2005), "In the Cause of Architecture", Architectural Record.

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