Analysis Of The Works Of Christopher Alexander 's Notes On The Synthesis Of Form And Form Making Process

Analysis Of The Works Of Christopher Alexander 's Notes On The Synthesis Of Form And Form Making Process

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The following is an analysis of the works of Christopher Alexander’s Notes on the Synthesis of Form and Herbert Simon’s The Sciences of the Artificial. It contains explanations of the concepts of the artifice, the form, and the form making process; and explanations on how the artifice, form and form making process can be relevant to policy making. Included is a discussion of Simon’s concept of the inner environment and outer environment of the human decision maker, and the abilities in their relation to decision making. According to Simon there are three principles of complexity that allow humans to understand a complex problem and simplify it. The analysis includes a discussion of these three principles of complexity and how the components of complexity relate to decision making.
Christopher Alexander’s Notes on the Synthesis of Form provides a generalization of explaining design problems. The ultimate object of design is form, and only forms can exist in a world that is not homogenous. If the world was homogenous or the same in every aspect there would be no need for form, and design would not exist. Designs are an attempt to create a form that fits a context. Forms are the solution to the problem and the context defines the problem.
In Herbert Simon’s The Sciences of the Artificial he describes the concept of the artifice to be similar to that of the form and context. An artifice is designed or created, just like a form, to solve a problem. An artifice is everything humans create to improve their environment. “Adapted to human goals and purposes they are what they are in order to satisfy our desire to fly or to eat well. As our aims change, so too do our artifacts and vice versa.” (Simon, 1996, page 3). When humans are creat...


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...ch goal has its own subsystem because each goal is achieved differently. Now the hierarchic list has been decomposed all that is left to do is to reduce redundancy. Anything that is not needed produces inconsistencies, or contradictions in the attempt to solve the problem are redundancies. By utilizing the three principles problem solving can be achieved by representing the problem in a specific way to show the solution.
This analysis includes discussion of the perspectives of Christopher Alexander and Herbert Simon on the nature of complexity and its relation to human decision-making and problem solving processes. Concepts such as form, artifice, fit, misfit, inner environment, outer environments, and the three principles are utilized by humans to confront the natural complexity of the world. These concepts are used to design solutions and to help make decisions.

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