House and Home: the New Pattern Language

For years now, many of the most connected North American housing professionals have derived inspiration and guidance from A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction, the seminal handbook to community and housing design that was authored by Christopher Alexander and colleagues back in 1977.

It's the type of advice that ages well, but some housing practitioners have recognized that the timeless knowledge captured in this treatise could use an update. Though A Pattern Language became a bible of sorts that informed the work of many housing pros, there has never been a strong connection between the humanist principles expressed in the book and the stark practicality of the high performance housing industry.

Making that connection -- assuring that high performance housing is designed and built to truly meet the needs of the people who live there -- is the goal of an initiative that we'll launch at the 2018 Habitat X Summer National Conference. We believe that people in the Habitat X network could add a lot of modern relevance to this work.

We've tagged the new initiative House and Home: the New Pattern Language, and we'll share the early results of our work on Friday June 29 during the Summer National Conference. We'll present case studies from personal home construction projects undertaken by some of the most experienced home performance professionals around. We'll consider how codes and standards and market conditions affect our ability to create livable homes. We'll take comments and collate ideas from conference participants. And we'll fold this valuable and highly relevant beta into what we expect to be an industry-shifting publication and educational series to be released in 2020. We hope you can join us and add your voice to the discussion.

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Comment by Jacob Corvidae on May 17, 2018 at 10:39am

Chris,

This is super exciting! A Pattern Language has not only informed house remodels I've done, but actually informed designing an entire village I helped create (with many others). It's even informed my thinking on language, culture, and poetry. 

I'm excited to see where you go with this. Please keep me in the loop. 

Jacob 

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