Recognizing Causes of Stress
February 28, 2018

“A man is forced to make impossible choices among those desires.” Christopher Alexander, A Timeless Way of Building My wife and I were recently reflecting on a problem. There is so much visiting and hosting that we would like to do, and so little time in which to do it. We started […]

The Bathroom: Remembering Differences
August 3, 2016

“We imagine solid unlockable doors to the bathing room as a whole; perhaps swinging doors to establish the fluidity of the area; and then opaque glass doors or curtains on the shower stall; a simple door for the toilet stalls—this is the most private spot; and an open doorway to the alcove […]

The Living Room: A Place for Formality
July 27, 2016

“Unless the spaces in a building are arranged in a sequence which corresponds to their degrees of privateness, the visits made by strangers, friends, guests, clients, family, will always be a little awkward… [speaking of the custom in Peru…] Formal friends, such as the priest, the daughter’s boyfriend, and friends from work […]

A Place to Watch the World Go By
July 20, 2016

“For instance, in order for the pattern of events ‘watching the world go by’ to happen, it is essential that the porch should be a little raised above the level of the street; it is essential that the porch be deep enough, to let a group of people sit there comfortably; and […]

The Marriage Bed: Can It Really Work?
July 13, 2016

“The bed is the center of the couple’s life together: the place where they lie together, talk, make love, sleep, sleep late, take care of each other during illness … The importance of the bed as an anchor point in a couple’s life is brought home in this passage from Homer… [Alexander […]

A Space for Children in the Home
July 6, 2016

“If children do not have space to release a tremendous amount of energy when they need to, they will drive themselves and everybody else in the family up the wall.” Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language We need spaces that foster the various aspects of human life. This applies especially to children. Some […]

The Kitchen: The Last Stand of the Home
June 29, 2016

“…the heart of this common area is a kitchen or an eating area since shared food has more capacity than almost anything to be the basis for common feelings… …all the members of the family [need] to accept, fully, the fact that taking care of themselves by cooking is as much a […]

A Room for the Family
June 22, 2016

  “No social group…can survive without constant informal contact among its members. Any building which houses a social group supports this kind of contact by providing common areas. The form and location of the common areas is critical… Relatives and intimate friends may be made to feel at home in the family […]

Restoring Home Life, Room by Room
June 15, 2016

“Every place is given its character by certain patterns of events that keep on happening there… The more living patterns there are in a place—a room, a building, or a town—the more it comes to life as an entirety, the more it glows, the more it has that self-maintaining fire… But there […]