The network of patterns: creating a design guide using Christopher Alexander's pattern language

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Abstract

This research seeks a comprehensive process for developing a design guide utilizing pattern language and social network analysis. Pattern language is a structured mechanism for describing good design practices, the patterns. Network analysis helps analyze quantitatively the relationships between the patterns and identify the relative importance of each pattern. The result is also visually delineated as a web of networks to illustrate how these patterns are clustered and connected. In this study, downtown design, which planners and designers are familiar with, is used as an example to explain the process of developing a comprehensive design guide. The results reveal that pedestrian streets and building complexes function as key patterns among the downtown-related patterns. Using the techniques and methods from this study, we can clearly see the entire web of patterns with connective maps, which was never-before visualized. The process can also provide information about key patterns that can serve as backbones for prospective projects. Planners and designers, understanding the network of patterns, can prioritize and categorize tasks and projects of their own.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-614
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Planning and Design
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 26 Jul 2015

Keywords

  • design guide
  • downtown
  • interface
  • network analysis
  • pattern language

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