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Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

These news items about residential colleges, collegiate houses, and the renewal of university life are posted for readers of the Collegiate Way website. For more about residential colleges and collegiate universities please visit the main Collegiate Way page.

“Generative Sequence” to Create a Residential College

— I have recently added a short “recipe” page to the Collegiate Way website that gives a recommended sequence of steps for starting a new residential college in existing dormitory buildings. My several “How To” pages describe the ingredients in some detail, but this very short recipe suggests an order in which you should assemble them for the first time. This recipe is what the architect Christopher Alexander and his colleagues refer to as a “generative sequence”—not a blueprint per se, but rather an organic embryology that is flexible and adjustable according to the local environment. Look it over and see how you might be able to employ ideas from it in your own university. For some notes on Alexander’s work on the design of human social environments pay a visit to the Collegiate Way’s recommended reading page.

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2021