As an innovative thinker about building and planning, Christopher Alexander has attracted a devoted following. His seminal booksThe Timeless Way of Building, A Pattern Language, the Oregon Experiment, and The Linz Cafedefined a radical and fundamently new process of environmental design. Alexander now gives us the latest book in his seriesa book that puts his theories to the test and shows what sort of production system can create the kind of environment he has envisioned.
The Production of Houses centers around a group of buildings which Alexander and his associates built in 1976 in northern Mexico. Each house is different and the book explains how each family helped to lay out and construct its own home according to the family's own needs and in the framework of the pattern language. Numerous diagrams and tables as well as a variety of anecdotes make the day-today process clear.
The Mexican project, however, is only the starting point for a comprehensive theory of housing production. The Production of Houses describes seven principles which apply to any system of production in any part of the world for housing of any cost in any climate or culture or at any density.
In the last part of the book, "The Shift of Paradigm," Alexander describes, in detail, the devastating nature of the revolution in world view which is contained in his proposal for housing construction, and its overall implications for deep-seated cultural change.