A Pattern Language by

A Pattern Language was written by a group of designers trying to change the way we plan our living spaces. Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein with Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King and Shlomo Angel use the book to discuss different approaches towards architecture, buildings and planning. The writers believe that people should design their homes, streets and communities to suit their own needs. These books are radical in their ideas. The group of writers believe that people and not architects designed the most wonderful places in the world. The name of the book Pattern Language gives the book its core point that when people design their environments they use a kind of language. This language allows them to correspond in different ways within a design setting that can give them coherence.

The units of this Language Patterns has the answers to design problems such as how many stories you should have on your home, and how much grass and tree’s should be in a city park. There are more than 250 patterns that give design problems a solution. The book also gives diagrams to show how the authors think the pattern should work in design situations.

The Authors look at classical cities and towns and the way they are planned out.  Unfortunately they do not specify within the text where these locations are which they are referencing from, although some of the sketches are places that will be recognizable to people that live locally. 

The way the book has been written is that if you don’t not take the authors line of thought then you are not designing in the right way according to their laws. I feel that this is not right I would prefer the book if you were able to feel as if it was just guidelines.

The main points within the book is that they believe that you should follow their laws in the building of towns, house and other spaces.

The Road Taken by Katherine Fields

The Road Taken is an article about how people perceive their shopping environment. The surveys were all done with the United States and show how good shopping environments change the way people feel in their daily lives.
Katherine Fields the author of the journal addresses the issue of the fact that nice shopping environments make people happier. Katherine based her own research on an email that was sent to her from the International Council of Shopping Centers and conducted by Opinion Research Corp. There evidence showed that after taking a poll of more than a 1000 people from the American population, they found that 53% said that their preferred mall in which they visited made them feel good about them self’s. 
These people were also asked if they felt the community was connected with the shopping center and did it value community partners, and 64% of people from the surveys agreed that it had a
It was also agreed that these commercial areas are important to the local communities as a place for social interactions and a general hub for the community. Both male and female gave equally positive answers throughout the poll.
The article that Katherine wrote was based on her own changed career path from medicine or teaching like her family to retail journalism. This text shows she is asking weather she has picked the right path for her. How do retail journalists help people in the way that a teacher or a doctor would. The findings of this poll make Katherine see that she brings communities together through these shopping spaces and retail design. 
The conclusions within the text show that people within the United States think that their shopping centre’s make them feel good about themselves and bring the community together and help make bonds within the community. This also gives Katherine the feeling of self worth within the career she has chosen.
 The only negative thing about the text is that is generalizes the whole of the United States presuming that every town has a shopping centre. And as we all know there are some very remote parts in every country where towns are just not big enough for shopping centre. Also many people feel shopping centre’s are out to stamp on the little guy and the spread of super-markets are making the smaller grocers and independent stores like bakers and other independent stores loose business. So do these community-based shopping centers really give to a town what old style shopping streets have given. Coming from a new town and only having a shopping centre as a town centre I feel that our town has not got a soul, and its does not have anything to do at night due to the fact that the shopping centre and its amenity’s shut at 5pm along with the centre. 
The main point of view from this text are that shopping centre’s give the town a place for people to feel better about them self. I feel that this all depends on the size of the town and whether the shopping centre has got other aspects rather than just shopping, does it have a cinema or other communal areas?  And what kind of nightlife does the town have? But I can’t dispute that a good shopping environment makes people feel happy, but you also have to consider peoples livelihoods and weather you are cutting out the little man and making way for the larger stores to rule our city centers.