There are several reasons why I decided to move my notes online and make them public. These are possible outcomes I hope for:
- First, I’m working through these four massive books now as part of my studies in Building Beauty and the Beautiful Software Initiative. Good to have a place to keep my notes, make them publicly available, and increase the number of interesting conversations about this.
- There are many important ideas in Alexander’s work that need to be available to more designers, builders, and makers. Reading a 2000-page magnum opus, which appears to be from an unrelated domain, if you’re not an architect, is a barrier of entry. Perhaps this site can play a small role in making Alexander’s ideas more accessible outside architecture and get more people interested in his work.
- Alexander’s work is incredibly timely. Even though it was published twenty years ago, his theory addresses the biggest social, political, and ecological challenges we face today and he presents a potential solution to change the world for the better. There is no better time than today to make his ideas more well known, as we struggle with finding solutions.
- A tiny part of Alexander’s work has been adapted to the world of software. There are many more — much more important — insights that deserve the same treatment and need to be translated into the tech industry; it desperately needs it. I’m interested in figuring out how we can achieve that.
- I’m testing and experimenting with the current iteration of my personal knowledge management workflow. This is a great project to collect more experience with many details involved in understanding source material deeply, integrating it into my existing knowledge network, transforming it into valuable sharable bits of content, and invent useful tools for thought along the way. For instance, this is the first time I’m experimenting with a Digital Garden, which resembles an adaptive living process itself as Alexander describes them.
A website like this, however, as dynamic and evolving its structure may be, is still a one-sided endeavor. I am a student of Alexander’s, just like you. I am still learning. That’s why I hope that this site will encourage you to ask questions and participate in discussions about this material and learn from each other. There are also some ideas on how to further grow this site.