I worked with Christopher Alexander while at Berkeley, a man with a keen mind and a powerful view of architecture in the twentieth century. He took the position that architects themselves were the cause of the failure of “modern” architecture because they failed to respond to the needs of people. He argued that we would be better off with more user and citizen input into the designs of buildings and public places, because the public relied on experience and common sense - substance over style.

Architects lacked the humility and insight to accept knowledge they saw as mundane.

Alexander, in addition to helping pioneer the computer as a design thinking/doing tool, led a revolution of sorts in thinking about the architectural profession.

His ideas antagonized people. He challenged the status quo. He suggested that the profession was the problem, not the cure. In The Timeless Way of Building, A Pattern Language, as well as in a lasting body of additional work, Alexander laid out a different vision for the profession.

He built his arguments, not at a faculty meeting, but in a studio; not in a union hall, but in a laboratory; not in a courtroom, but in his office; not on politics, but intellect.