The Soul, the Screen, the Smoke in Between
As an element in the world, each pattern is a relationship between a certain context, a certain system of forces which occurs repeatedly in that context, and a certain spatial configuration which allows these forces to resolve themselves.
As an element of language, a pattern is an instruction, which shows how this spatial configuration can be used, over and over again, to resolve the given system of forces, wherever the context makes it relevant.
The pattern is, in short, at the same time a thing, which happens in the world, and the rule which tells us how to create that thing, and when we must create it. It is both a process and a thing; both a description of a thing which is alive, and a description of the process which will generate that thing.
- (C. Alexander. The Timeless Way of Building. Oxford University Press, New York, 1979)
I think that whenever my sociology and anthropology professors will wonder why I’m so obsessed with sociology and aesthetics of software architecture, I’ll give them this to read. Sometimes I think I’m in the wrong faculty(ies, actually), considering the fun I’m deriving from reading computer science books and PhDs. To me, this is Knowledge, hardcore.