The Nature of Order: Book 4, first lecture

The Nature of Order Seminar forms the theoretical backbone of the Building Beauty program. Students go through an exploration of the essential elements of Christopher Alexander's Magnum Opus The Nature of Order. The magnitude of the spectrum covered in this remarkable work offers students the opportunity to engage in a large reflection on the essential elements that come into play in making, at all scales. The course is a reading seminar. Students alternate in presenting chapters assigned each class. There are also presentations and talks by academics and practitioners relating to particular chapters. At the end of the year students make the connection with the practical making experience in the course, or regarding a topic of their own interest, in a piece of original academic writing of between 20-30 pages.


On March 28, 2019, Nikos Salingaros discussed the beginning of book IV of The Nature of Order: The Luminious Ground. His presentation covers pages 1-48 including the Preface, Chapter 1: Our present picture of the world, and Chapter 2: Clues from the history of art. The presentation is followed by a discussion.

This lecture has now been published as an essay in The New English Review. “Beauty and the Nature of Matter: The Legacy of Christopher Alexander” can be accessed here.

Maggie Moore