Architect, professor, and author Christopher Alexander has been named the 11th recipient of the National Building Museum's Vincent Scully Prize, which recognizes exemplary practice, scholarship, or criticism in architecture, historic preservation, and urban design. Alexander will receive the prize during an event at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 5, 2009.
Since 1963, Alexander has taught in the University of California, Berkeley's department of architecture, and in 2001 he became Professor Emeritus. Throughout his nearly 40-year career, Alexander has challenged the architectural establishment to give greater consideration to the human element of design. He also founded the Center for Environmental Structure (in 1967), invented new building methods, built more than 300 buildings around the world, published hundreds of papers and several dozen books, and fathered the pattern language movement in computer science. He is being recognized with the Vincent Scully Prize for his efforts toward inspiring students to be more thoughtful design practitioners and for his seminal books, such as A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Oxford University Press, 1977), The Timeless Way of Building (Oxford University Press, 1977), and The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe (Center for Environmental Structure, 2004).
During the Scully Prize event on November 5, Alexander will present an original lecture on the need for a new production system for buildings, communities, and neighborhoods and will participate in a panel discussion with Boston Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell and Michael Mehaffy, research associate at the Center for Environmental Structure. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Prepaid registration is required. Visit www.nbm.org to register and purchase tickets.
For more about Alexander's accomplishments, visit the 2009 Vincent Scully Prize webpage, or read ra's 2001 Hall of Fame Leadership Award profile.