On the geometric level, we see certain physical elements repeated endlessly, combined in an almost endless variety of combinations... It is puzzling to realize that the elements, which seem like elementary building blocks, keep varying, and are different every time that they occur .... If the elements are different every time that they occur, evidently then, it cannot be the elements themselves which are repeating in a building or town; these so-called elements cannot be the ultimate "atomic" constituents of space.
Cited in: Peter Coad (1992, p. 152)
Every place is given its character by certain patterns of events that keep on happening there.... These patterns of events are locked in with certain geometric patterns in the space. Indeed, each building and each town is ultimately made out of these patterns in the space, and out of nothing else; they [patterns in the space] are the atoms and molecules from which a building or a town is made.Christopher Alexander
One begins to think with that new building block, rather than with littler pieces. And finally, the things which seem like elements dissolve, and leave a fabric of relationships behind, which is the stuff that actually repeats itself, and gives the structure to a building or a town.Christopher Alexander
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