Christopher Alexander (who wrote A Timeless Way of Building, and A Pattern Language, among other things) now has this website intended to help people who are creating or trying to improve a neighborhood, take things into consideration that will create living spaces where people feel at home.
I think we need to consider carefully the way we design our community, so that it will be a place where people will feel at home and want to live for the rest of their lives. If it doesn't feel good to people, it is not, in the long run, going to be sustainable.
I have only begun to explore the concepts that Christopher Alexander has spent his life bringing to light, but the things he talks about feel like important things for us to think about.
When I've been to places that have had people living there for centuries, I feel a difference between those places and most towns in the US. Reading Christopher Alexander helps me to understand why that is. I want to design a place that feels (and works) like those places that have been lived in for centuries, that have grown out of the place over time, with particular patterns of use.
Perhaps another way of expressing what I'm thinking is that economic and environmental sustainability are important, but they are means to an end, which is the creation of a way of life that has us fully connected with the things, material and spiritual, that really sustain us. And which connects us to who we really are as individuals. A good place allows us to be who we really are.
Permaculture, according to Bill Mollison, is based on science and ethics. The way I see it, science and ethics are both tools that help us to see our way to fully engaging with Creation.
There is a connection between knowing who we really are, (each of us individually having our own true self) and having a way of living that allows us to be that person.
--Lorna 12:29, 22 January 2007 (CST)
The "morphogenic unfolding" and "Generative Codes" that are mentioned in the website in Lorna's links above, really resonate with me. They are what Christopher Alexander's 30 year old "A Pattern Language" have evolved into. We have been naturally and intuitively following many of his recommendations. Even some things that I thought we were doing because we were undisciplined amateurs, turned out to be technique that he recommends.
--Paulhunt 00:36, 1 February 2007 (CST)
Tickling our Genes
Our community project will only be successful to the extent that we satisfy our genetically driven behavior.
It would be a good exercise to make a list of important genetic drives and see how our architecture can help us pursue those behaviors.
- Growing it, super fresh eating, preparing and sharing space
- Culture will revolve around quality fresh food
- need to remodel, decorate, restructure
- Keep it easy to remodel
- Make movable plumbing, and wall and floor panels
- Remodeling tools that make reshaping cob easy.
- Social interaction
- Pedestrian oriented layout
- Lots of public hallway, picnic, dining, park, education space
- Common interests and vocations on site
- Good apartment layout
- North door to outdoor garden, balances South door to public hallway and greenhouse.
- Landscaping and windows placed to enhance privacy locally, enhance view at a distance
- Sound absorbing and sound blocking materials
- Share a meal
- Lots of opportunities here
- Be in touch with the Earth
- opportunities in spades
- Gathering (Shopping)
- This need has been exploited and distorted by the retail industry. We can hope to reduce retail shopping needs by satisfying the basic drive with these behaviors...
- Gardening, picking fruits and berries
- Trading with locals
- Craft work using local or surplus materials
- Lots of learning and teaching required to operate permaculture and building and utilities
- Need to have classroom space and lots of internet
- A little randomness creates serendipity, fun, life. Put it in the architecture, layout, artwork, and culture.
- Creating goods that have value and personality
- A short blog about it... http://pchrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/09/mandate-to-create.html
- A great article about the world changing value of crafting... http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/005934.html
- The ARC will be heavy on crafting everything from the building itself to its appliances and furnishings to trade able art.
- Story telling
- The need to Creed (Religion)
- We will tread lightly here.
- This gene evolved from a need to have a common belief system. It helps make complex societies possible.
- Short article... http://pchrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/12/need-to-creed.html
- In addition to whatever religion ARC residents may or may not have, they definitely have a common set of beliefs about sustainable living. This creates a common mission to be an example how to do it.