The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc.
W61 N617 Mequon Ave, Cedarburg, WI 53012 | p: 262.377.6039

The Fifteen Fundamental Properties of Wholeness

The degree of life which appears in a thing depends upon the life of its component centers and their density. Following are fifteen structural features which Christopher Alexander has identified as appearing again and again in things which have life.

Together, these fifteen properties identify the character of living systems. They are the principal ways in which centers can be strengthened by other centers. They are not independent, but rather rely on and reinforce each other. Things which are more whole, which exhibit more life, will have these fifteen properties to a strong degree. Conversely, the things in this world which are most lifeless will have these properties to the least degree.

  • Levels of Scale
    1
    Levels of Scale
  • Strong Centers
    2
    Strong Centers
  • Boundaries
    3
    Boundaries
  • Alternating Repetition
    4
    Alternating Repetition
  • Positive Space
    5
    Positive Space
  • Good Shape
    6
    Good Shape
  • Local Symmetries
    7
    Local Symmetries
  • Deep Interlock
    8
    Deep Interlock
  • Contrast
    9
    Contrast
  • Graded Variation
    10
    Graded Variation
  • Roughness
    11
    Roughness
  • Echoes
    12
    Echoes
  • The Void
    13
    The Void
  • Inner Calm
    14
    Inner Calm
  • Not-Separateness
    15
    Not-Separateness