The Geometry of Living Reality and Beauty


What, then, is this whole that has arisen from the buildings we have built, working together with the students and teachers and visitors who come there, working with craftspeople, walking in silent pleasure, and taking in the atmosphere. It enlarges them all. And why does it enlarge them? Why does it deepen their experience? It happens because the structure of the place forms strands, connections, interlocking elements, human connections too, and the matter which also comes through the soul, from the mind, and from the poetic substance which exists there.

When a state of wholeness is reached, we almost inevitably embrace the structure of the actual place. And it embraces us. The elements, centers, and properties are part of that embrace. The wholeness consists of a multistranded chain of interlocking properties and interlocking elements, forming one whole, and being nourished by that one whole. The place has something positive to give, and it nourishes people to be there. And the place has the power to help create life within the people themselves, and their interactions with one another.

Christopher Alexander

1. Photo: Eishin School, Japan. Words: from pages 412-413 of Battle for the Life and Beauty of The Earth: A struggle between two world-systems, Alexander, C., Neis, H., & Alexander, M. M. (2012). New York: Oxford University Press.

Dan Klyn