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The Oregon Experiment (Anglais) Relié – 17 août 1978

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Book by Alexander Christopher

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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5 6 commentaires
0 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Stars 26 juin 2015
Par HKS - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
40 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Building an educational community 11 mai 2001
Par R. J. O'Hara - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The Oregon Experiment is one of a series of influential volumes on architecture and social design published by Christopher Alexander and his colleagues in the 1970s. While the most well-known volume in the series, A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, and Construction, develops general principles for the design of social spaces at all scales, The Oregon Experiment applies those principles to a specific case: the campus of the University of Oregon.
If you are looking for an example of a specific campus plan, however, you will not find it here. Central to Alexander's approach is the notion that communities should not create fixed master plans, but rather should develop a common pattern language, and then apply it organically, in a piecemeal fashion, as needs arise. The book talks as much about this process of planning as it does about individual construction projects. Whenever a need arises (expansion of a building, addition of a door, creation of a green) people consult their pattern language and build something to suit the space and satisfy the need. Because everyone follows the agreed-upon language, the new parts harmonize with those that already exist (or replace earlier, poorly-designed structures).
If you have enjoyed studying Alexander's patterns in A Pattern Language, you will find here a collection of new ones that are specific to a university setting, including "University Population," "University Shape and Diameter," "Departments of 400," "Local Administration," "Classroom Distribution," and about a dozen more. Although he clearly draws on ideas from British universities in many cases, he unaccountably does not include one of the fundamental features of the British model, namely the residential college of 500 (or so) within the larger institution. (Although he does include aspects of this pattern under the heading "Small Student Unions.") As always, Alexander's pattern descriptions are clear, blunt, and thought-provoking.
The question that most readers will want to have answered is, "Does all this really work?" When the volume was written, of course, the process was just getting under way, and so we cannot know from this book alone whether everything described was successful or has been sustained over the long term. From what I've seen of campus master planning in public universities, it often turns out in the end to have less to do with creating good educational environments than it does with kowtowing to the local chamber of commerce and lining the pockets of already-rich trustees. But just because something is difficult doesn't mean it shouldn't be made the goal. If Alexander or someone at the University of Oregon were to produce a sequel, "The Oregon Experiment 25 Years On," I'm sure it would meet with a warm reception.
35 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Short summary of the important stuff, mistakes to learn from 28 août 2004
Par James O. Coplien - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The good news is that this book is a short summary of what most people

will find important when they apply patterns either in the field of architecture

or in their own field of design. It provides insight into Alexander's theory

of economics--a stance which caused him to be unfavorably labeled as a

socialist when these ideas were taking form.

Patterns, in this book, are almost a footnote to the broader ideas of

design, of economics, and of socially coordinated construction that

form the core of Alexander's exposition here. The economics form a

compelling argument for a process of piecemeal growth. Alexander gives

practical advice on how to administer the social process, including the

creation of a community pattern board that oversees the introduction of

new patterns into the community language, and the retirement of old

ones. By putting the pattern mantra aside, this book helps the reader

get beyond the point where they are looking for patterns in their own right

to provide the answer to every design question, and pushes the reader

to think at the level of the foundations.

The bad news is that the book takes the reader into a couple of miscues.

Alexander would later bitterly recant the role this book accords to the

architect. Architects should be master builders rather than the font of

design ideas. The architecture role emerged in the Oregon Experiment

to lend the project an air of conventionality and credibility, a compromise

that kept the project from achieving its goals.

Current tidbits of retrospective literature try to make sense of the experiment;

some claim it succeeded (in spite of those aspects Alexander felt were

wrong-headed) and some claim it failed. Grabow's biography of

Alexander (Christopher Alexander: The Search for a New Paradigm in

Architecture) features some choice words about the miscues in this

experiment. Taken with the retrospective Grabow brings us, this book

provides a perspective on patterns that is completely absent from the

other books in this series. Some of these, such as the foundations in

economics, are there for the picking. To reap some of the other insights

requires study that goes beyond casual reading, but such study is

appropriate to the depth of insight it will afford, and you owe it to

yourself to explore it. These insights are crucial for making patterns

work in a practical way in a social setting.

If you want to learn about patterns, and you want to start with an

Alexandrian book, I think this is the one you start with. Get the big

picture first, in the context of the underlying principles, and come

back for the pattern details later in A Pattern Language, and for the

artist's artistic exposition of his art in The Timeless Way of Building.
108 internautes sur 121 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 A frustrating piece of vapourware 2 août 2000
Par Alan Little - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
As a software designer and as somebody who lives and works in buildings in cities, I find the ideas in some of Alexander's other books on architecture and design - The Timeless Way of Building and A Pattern Language - very interesting and appealing. They are a brave attempt to point to a more human, community-oriented way of doing things.
I had high hopes that The Oregon Experiment would describe a concrete example of whether these ideas worked when they were put into practice. It does nothing of the kind. It describes an interesting thought experiment in participatory design and tries to present this as a vindication of the Pattern Language concepts. But nowhere does it even mention whether the design it describes was ever actually implemented, much less whether it worked from the inhabitants' point of view.
It is very easy for a design team to get carried away with what a great design they have on paper. I've done it loads of times. That enthusiasm tells us nothing about whether a design is actually going to be a success.
I know Alexander later moved from academia and started trying to put his ideas into practice on actual building projects. A book on his real experiences and how well the original ideas stood up to the cold light of reality would be fascinating and important. The Oregon Experiment isn't that book.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Timelss way of building 28 octobre 2012
Par Cari Corbet-Owen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I heard about this book so many times before I actually went out and bought it and I was glad I had. We had just bought a home we were renovating and there were many of his principles that made me change what we were doing and I can honestly say that every idea we did implement, really makes for much more comfortable living. I've also been able to observe how much better rooms from the original building feel that follow his advice compared to those that haven't. It's simple, it's easy to understand and implement and it's a book I'll refer back to over and over in th years to come. I like books that are quick to reference, give great practical ideas, make common sense and this was definitely one of them I'd give 5 stars to.
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