Generative Patterns as an Open Source Model for Urban Design

By Moshira Karmouse.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

When first introduced in the late 1970s, pattern language was described by its author, Christopher Alexander, as “a way to take design out of architects' hands”. The main purpose of pattern language was to extract the design solution out of people’s real “life patterns” and then have both people and professional designers use these solutions. Pattern language had been developed and adopted by number of theorists, architects and urban designer, as well as software designers throughout the last 30 years to create what is called “generative patterns", an end product that depends on sharing design knowledge and responsibilities between users and designers, a practice that may be considered as an “open source” process. The term open source describes a practice in the field of production and development that promotes the availability of end products to users for reviewing and enhancement. This approach has been widely adopted in the field of software design, yet not fully interpreted in architecture and urban design fields. This paper discusses patterns theory contributions to the field of user participation in urban design practices, and steps to be made to develop an open source model for urban design using pattern theory.

Keywords: Pattern Language, Generative Patterns, Generative Code, Open Source Design, Open Source Architecture, User Participation

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.49-59. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 846.093KB).

Moshira Karmouse

PhD Candidate, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

I am a PhD candidate at the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University in Egypt. I have been working as a professional architect for about 10 years for a repetitive consulting group located in Alexandria, Egypt. My professional experience includes urban design and public buildings projects. I’m interested in architecture theories and design research fields. My current research concerns the development of urban spaces in residential neighbourhoods for middle-class families, which is a great challenge in Egypt because of the decadent conditions of most of existing residential settlements in Egypt.