Christopher Alexander (born October 4, 1936 in Vienna, Austria) is an architect noted for his theories about design, and for more than 200 building projects in California, Japan, Mexico and around the world. Reasoning that users know more about the buildings they need than any architect could, he produced and validated (in collaboration with Sarah Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein) a "pattern language" designed to empower any human being to design and build at any scale. Alexander was a licensed contractor and architect in England. In 1958 he moved to the United States, and has lived in Berkeley, California from 1963 until the present. He is professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.
Alexander grew up in England and started his education in sciences. In 1954, he was awarded the top open scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge University in chemistry and physics, and went on to read mathematics. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Architecture and a Master's degree in...
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction is a 1977 book on architecture. It was authored by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein of the Center for Environmental Structure of Berkeley, California, with writing credits also to Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King and Shlomo Angel. Twenty five years after its publication, it is still one of the best-selling books on architecture.The book is a substantive, illustrated discussion of a pattern language derived from traditional architecture, with about 250 unitary patterns such as Main Gateways given a treatment over several pages.
This book inspired the Design Pattern movement in the software industry.
A summary of the patterns in the book is available online.
The three books in the series are: