Salingaros’s way forward

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Fresno Farmers Market, by Christopher Alexander. (

Common/Edge may the most edgy design website because of its willingness to engage traditional viewpoints. Most such sites altogether ignore tradition in architecture. One of its editors, Martin C. Pedersen, has assembled an intriguing digital interview with Nikos Salingaros, the mathematician and architectural theorist at the University of Texas in San Antonio. He has long been a partner in the research by the noted architectural theorist Christo- pher Alexander. Here is an excerpt from “Calling For an Architecture that Connects Us to Our Bodies“:

On what forms and patterns would connect people’s bodies to their buildings: “We know those fairly accurately. There exist spatial patterns that define a sense of “partial envelopment,” and those help create welcoming spaces. Details and articulations of the structure and surfaces follow from universal scaling, organized complexity, color, etc. We have explained this in great detail in published texts, many of them online. Note that what we propose is found in traditional and vernacular architectures the world over, and throughout history. The connective qualities are not a secret, but those design tools and constraints were deliberately contra- dicted in order to promote the industrial-modernist style.

Because I must take a train up to Boston for an ICAA meeting, I must quote and run!

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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