Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Christopher Alexander Awarded Vincent Scully Prize

The National Building Museum has awarded the 11th Vincent Scully Prize to Christopher Alexander (left), an architect, and professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Christopher Alexander is one of the most important and innovative thinkers of our time.

Previous recipients of the Scully Prize, which recognizes “exemplary practice, scholarship, or criticism” in the field, include Jane Jacobs, Phyllis Lambert, Witold Rybczynski, and Robert A.M. Stern.

For nearly 40 years Christopher Alexander challenged the architectural establishment to pay more attention to the human beings at the center of design. He has combined scientific training, architectural research, observation and testing throughout his building projects. He developed a radical but influential set of ideas that have extended beyond architecture as far as computer programming and game design.

Alexander is widely recognized as the father of the pattern language movement in computer science, which has led to important innovations such as Wiki, and new kinds of Object-Oriented Programming. He is the recipient of the first medal for research ever given by the American Institute of Architects, and he has been honored repeatedly for his buildings in many parts of the world.

Alexander wrote a number of books, including A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (1977) (right); The Timeless Way of Building (1977) and his most recent, the four-volume book set, The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe (2004).

Click on the heading above to learn about the Pattern Language Movement.

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