In chapter nineteen of Jesse Shell’s book “The Art of Game Design” there is a section entitled “Christopher Alexander is a Genius” in which Shell gives a brief overview of the philosophy and design implications of the deep thinking architect Christopher Alexander. He describes him as “an architect who has devoted his life to studying how places make us feel.”
While the author of many compelling books, Alexander has laid out his philosophy, methodologies and conclusions most completely in a series of books entitled “The Nature of Order”. These books describe what at first appear to be mysterious and enigmatic concepts of “wholeness”, “life”, “centers”, “smoothly unfolding generative processes”, and the “mirror of the self”. But together they form a picture, whether philosophical or literal, of the processes of creativity in both nature and man and provide us, as designers, a roadmap for creating more compelling, beautiful experiences through the things we create.