Patterns of Organization: From a Set of Forces to a Form by Christopher Alexander
Given a set of needs, how can we generate a form which meets those needs?
A force (need) is an invented motive power which summarizes some recurrent and inexorable tendency which we observe in nature.
- when in certain states, they have inexorable tendencies to seek certain other states. Ex: people walk in straight lines to take the shortest path between two points.
A tendency can be defined from:
- the exact circumstances under which force arise
- the exact conditions which the force is seeking
A man-made object is formed directly by forces which act upon it and arise within it, but also by latent forces without a direct influence on its form, with the result that the system in which the object plays a part may be unstable.
1. Given a system, how can we assess the forces which act upon it and arise within it?
2. Given a set of forces, WITH NO RESTRICTION ON THEIR VARIETY, how can we generate a form which will be stable with respect to them?
As all methods of generating forces must do, they obtain form from the interaction of forces and they succeed in this because they establish a common ground where the forces can interact.
Relational Methods: Find the common ground for forces: 1. determine the physical relation which each individual tendency is seeking and, 2. combine the individual abstract rational implications, by fusion, to generate the form.