"Any act of building is connected to all the others, and its success depends ultimately upon improving the overall conditions of shared knowledge and human relationships on which the production of the built world depends."
howard davis's book arrived from the canterbury library a day before book 4 of 'the nature of order' and as christopher alexander references it, i decided to read it first and gave book 4 to bill telling him i found the prospect of reading it a little scary and would appreciate him having a look at it first as the fantastic blurb quote on the dust jacket suggests that alexander will be remembered for providing the first credible proof for the existence of god
"The organization and design of today's buildings parallel the organization and structure of the building culture that produces them. The discontinuous and fragmented character of the contemporary built world corresponds to similar qualities in the building production process. If this relationship is not merely a coincidence, then it stands to reason that improvements to the built world depend on fundamental changes to the building culture that produces it."
architects and builders were traditionally trained in a system involving masters and apprentices working on real buildings. as architecture came to be taught more formally the approach of the ecole des beaux arts combined with the ideology of individual creativity propogated by the bauhaus has lead to the modern university system where students work on projects that will never be built
"In the end, the beauty of the built world comes from the people in it, and they all have a stake in its beauty and its ability to improve their lives. If this concept begins to be recognized by those concerned about the built world, then there is a chance that the hints of new and healthy ways of making buildings - the flowers growing through the cracks in the concrete - will begin to grow and develop into new and sensible building cultures that can make beautiful things as a matter of course."