Special Issue "New Applications and Development of Christopher Alexander’s The Nature of Order"
A special issue of Urban Science (ISSN 2413-8851).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).
Interests: geography; spatial analysis; GIS
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Interests: architecture; design; patterns; urbanism; urban design; complexity; neuroscience; eye-tracking; fractals; symmetry
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The work of the architect Christopher Alexander has proven enormously influential, if sometimes controversial, spanning from his early work on Notes on the Synthesis of Form, through his seminal paper “A City is Not a Tree”, to later books A Pattern Language and A New Theory of Urban Design. His ideas have found remarkable applications in software engineering, communications, management theory, and many other fields. Among the spinoff innovations are design patterns (also known as “pattern languages of programming”), popular software programs like “The Sims”, platforms like wikis (and Wikipedia), and new methodologies like Agile, Scrum and others.
Later in his career, Alexander devoted over 27 years to his most ambitious work of all: The four-volume magnum opus, The Nature of Order: An essay on the art of building and the nature of the universe (Alexander 2002–2005). In this far-ranging book, Alexander presents an intriguing account of the fundamental phenomenon of order, the processes of creating order, and even a new cosmology—as he describes it, a deeper conception of how the physical universe is put together. The book argues that order in nature is essentially the same as that in what we build or make, and underlying order-creating processes of building or making of architecture and design are no less important than those of physics and biology. The book presents an argument for a new kind of beauty—structural beauty—that exists in fine structure of space and matter, and subsequently it argues for a new basis of doing architecture for creating more beautiful and more sustainable buildings, gardens, streets and cities.
While the applications of his earlier works are well-documented, the potential applications of his later work are still unclear. A number of tantalizing indications suggest a promise that may equal or even exceed the benefits of his earlier work. However, there is a need to develop further peer-reviewed research on this question. We invite papers on Alexander’s work and its potential applications and development, with a focus on The Nature of Order but also addressing other aspects of his contributions related to urban science including both understanding and making of better built environments. The purpose of this Special Issue is not only to debate Alexander’s legacy, but also to try to assess previously-unrecognized potential applications of this later work. Submissions may include research papers, reviews, or case studies. The editors will curate the selection of submissions, and if appropriate, the selected submissions will follow the subsequent peer review processes.
Advisors: Michael Mehaffy, PhD and Executive Director of Sustasis Foundation, Portland, USA; Yodan Rofe, PhD and Senior Lecturer at Ben-Gurion University, Israel
Prof. Dr. Bin Jiang
Prof. Dr. Nikos Salingaros
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Urban Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
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