Christopher Alexander on living structure

Christopher Alexander, OOPSLA 1996, San Jose, California.

Here is a presentation on Patterns in Architecture by Christopher Alexander at the 1996 ACM Conference on Object-Oriented Programs, Systems, Languages and Applications (OOPSLA). And here is a full transcript of this talk.

Christopher Alexander says that there is something we objectively can call ‘living structure.’ We know it when we are in its presence. “It means that the objects that are most profound functionally are the ones which also promote the greatest feeling in us. This is a very peculiar thing. … The failure of that profound feeling to exist in the world around us is tragic. … The difficulty is that people don’t seem to know what to do about it.” The creation of ‘living structure’ cannot happen without intention.

I think what Christopher Alexander says about ‘living structure’ in architecture is profound. My hypothesis is that there is ‘living structure’ in organizations as well. We know when we are in its presence! How do we create it?


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