Author’s note

There are phenomena in the universe that are explainable only by means of specific models, or approaches, and not by any other means. Nature has many different aspects and is not a single reality; at least the human mind cannot comprehend everything at once using a single model.

The Nature of Order
complete overview of: phenomenon of life in architecture + issue of value (inseparable from life)
  • Book 1
    • static character of living structure
  • Book 2 & 3
    • view of living processes, which can successfully generate living structure

Living phenomena

  • are commonly observable
    • we see and feel them when they are present in the structure of the world
  • are difficult to explain
    • cannot be explained within the world picture of conventional 19th-century mechanics
    • cannot be explained in the world views (as we know them at the end of the 20th century) of
      • biology
      • complex systems theory
      • quantum physics
  • do not fit within any previous explanatory context
  • need their own model

Analogy to quantum mechanics

Whether a person has philosophical reservations about the basis of quantum mechanics or not, it remains true that it is useful, and that no other formalism available when it was first formulated, or now, does an equally good job explaining what has to be explained, in a certain range of phenomena.

“All models are wrong, but some are useful.”

The Nature of Order
a workable explanation of the physical and emotional phenomena observed in buildings and the living world

What I am putting forward in these four books of The Nature of Order is — for the present — the only theoretical explanation I can construct (until a better one comes along) to help us understand what I have described.

Understanding + practical applications

Not only do we want to understand this set of phenomena, but we must also be able to reproduce them: we want to be able to create living structure in the world. […] We wish to apply this model of the universe in order to reproduce the phenomena that we are interested in.

The explanation that I give is not complete, and it is my hope that it will be improved by others in years to come.

Is it real?

Well, the phenomena are observable, and the results are reproducible (when we create an artifact or building that has the proposed qualities), so this part at least corresponds to reality.

The theoretical explanation is simply an attempts to consolidate the observed phenomena. A reader who rejects some aspects of my explanation in Book 4 as too unlikely, should keep in mind that this is but an attempt to explain certain observed phenomena. It helps us to understand a particular aspect of physical reality.

#book/The Nature of Order/4 The Luminous Ground/Author’s note# (pages xv-xvi)

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