Chapter 12. How Do Experts Design?


When trying to design, how do you start? Do you first get the details and see how they are put together? Or do you start with the big picture and break it down? Or is there another way?

Christopher Alexander’s approach is to focus on the high-level relationships—in a sense, working from the top down. Before making any design decision, he feels it is essential to understand the context of the problem we are solving. He uses patterns to define these relationships. However, more than just presenting a collection of patterns, he offers us an entire approach to design. The area about which he is writing is architecture, designing places where people live and work, but his principles ...

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