2015/07/03 14:30 Hermann Czech, “Remarks about the Truth and the Whole”, Purplsoc

Plenary at Purplsoc, Hermann Czech, architect, translated the works of Christopher Alexander into German.

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At PURPLSOC (Pursuit of Pattern Languages for Societal Change) 2015, Danube University Krems, Austria

Introduction by Richard Sickinger

Purplsoc: Richard Sickinger, Hermann Czech


Translated A Pattern Language

Alexander translated pattern as German word muster

  • A few German words with muster don’t mean pattern (e.g. ideal husband), but most translate as pattern

Muster-Sprache as Pattern Language, without hyphen in German would mean Perfect Language

Purplsoc: Hermann Czech

Alexander’s, The Linz Cafe

  • The only one that was simultaneously published in German and English
  • Alexander himself chose the photographs
  • Ornament
  • At first, seems like wallpaper, but each ornament was handpainted
  • 119 Arcades **, two stars mean pretty sure it’s a valid pattern
  • Paragraph starts with description of larger scales (and at bottom, will describe smaller scales)
  • Middle paragraph of how people with interact with the pattern
  • Then some diagrams
  • Therefore … what you’re advised to do
  • At the very end, the patterns at a smaller scale

Book has this character

Covers of American version of the book has an imprint, like the bible in a hotel

  • In German edition, couldn’t get the soft cover as per American, it’s stiff in the German style

Older than the work on the pattern language, is work on the nature of order, “A City is Not a Tree”

  • Perception of properties of things overlap
  • Not a pure tree, has crossovers
  • Perception is also attributed to society, which also has never been argued strictly hierarchically

In Notes on the Synthesis of Form, designs are so complicated that can’t be solved all at once, even with computers

  • Elements are design problems
  • Inter-related in different rates
  • Preface:  The idea of a diagram, or pattern, is very simple …..
  • “I use aesthetic criteria for the validity of a theory all the time”
  • “Design methods” and theory — but theory is not separated from design

Photo of hotel bathroom

Architectural drawing

Levels of design thinking leads to questions of design

Earlier work by Rose:  who looks out for the whole?

Philosophy deals with objectivity and realism

  • Architecture doesn’t deal with uniformity and homogeneity, it deals with heterogeneity

Central Pavilion, 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, designed by Rem Koolhaas with collaborators

  • Can compare Rem Koolhaas with Christopher Alexander

With Alexander, A New Theory of Urban Design

  • Can separate decisions, e.g. can’t decide now, should wait until later
  • With students, development of a not-reality city core
  • Challenge of working individually or together: design decisions by one peron or many