Monday, October 18, 2010

Of course, as an artist, I may also be pursuing beauty, truth, the sublime and the quality without a name ...

1 comment:

John Powers said...

I was totally floundering at university in the mid-1970's; very earnest but lost. For a while I was living in a rented house with too many others. Someone subscribed to a book club with no intention of actually paying. These books got passed around and we would talk together about them.

One of the books was "The Oregon Experiment" by Christopher Alexander. Not via the book club, but a book that had also been passed around was Victor Papanek's "Design for the Real World." I read Alexander's book as a political work. It seemed to me to provide a map of the way to go forward.

I was studying Child Development, so investigating Alexander more discovered that he had worked in Jerome Bruner's Learning Laboratory. It was only later after I'd dropped out of school that I discovered Alexander's "The Timeless Way of Building" and introduced to the idea of the quality which has no name.

Everyone I knew at that time was trying to make a living and this idea seemed laughable rather than essential. I chocked up my interest in Christopher Alexander up to one of my quirks.

Meeting you online was the first I knew that "A Pattern Language" had become important for programmers.

A couple of pieces of writing you may find of interest. First is a book by Stephen Grabow, "Christopher Alexander: The Search for a New Paradigm in Architecture." The book is a window on Alexander's ideas as of the late 1970's. the second is Jerome Bruner's 1991 article The Narrative Construction of Reality (PDF).