Here is Jon Krakauer’s portrait of the iconoclastic architect Christopher Alexander, whose revolutionary human-centered approach has shaken the foundations of modern architecture. Krakauer delves into Alexander’s life and career, from his theories on a timeless “pattern language” that could be used to create buildings and towns that were simultaneously more livable and more beautiful, to his belief that architecture is correctly viewed as a powerful social instrument; from his on-site drafting techniques to his design process that, like a cocoon, shapes a building from the inside out. With trademark rigor, nuance, and insight, Krakauer powerfully draws us into Alexander’s singular vision of human-centered design—one in which people reclaim control over their built environment.
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