Inventor of the idea of PatternLanguage(s), and organic building.
Main pages about or inspired by ChristopherAlexander here :
At C2 Wiki : http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?ChristopherAlexander
His own site : http://www.patternlanguage.com
houses he built? :
Alexander is an AestheticRealist
Christopher Alexander keynote talk at a programmer conference : http://www.patternlanguage.com/archive/ieee/ieeetext.htm
"Please forgive me, I'm going to be very direct and blunt for a horrible second. It could be thought that the technical way in which you currently look at programming is almost as if you were willing to be 'guns for hire.' In other words, you are the technicians. You know how to make the programs work. 'Tell us what to do daddy, and we'll do it.' That is the worm in the apple."
"What I am proposing here is something a little bit different from that."
-- John Gabbour
Wow! Fuck! I didn't know about this. That is such an amazing vision. Programmers as people who understand languages for growing OrganicArchitecture via StructurePreservingTransformations. That keys into so many things I have intuititively thought but didn't know how to frame. Inspirational.
Counter : HardwareStuffAndSoftwareStuff (software might be harder than hardware)
I think my conversation with Tayssir here : is http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?best04.8.18748.2 is also worth a glance. Why does Alexander go down better with software people than urban planners? Maybe because, to a certain extent, programmers are more in control / have more freedom to design and construct, than urbanists. In practice, urban planning is just local politics, with no larger scale design at all.
In a semi-lattice, such overlaps are possible, though of course, hierarchies are a subset of semi-lattices. It's the distinction that Alexander is interested in. Alexander then goes on to show how many designs for cities and many new cities (including Brasilia) are in fact trees.