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Sustasis Press has a range of titles that we offer through our fulfillment houses in Amherst, Massachusetts, and  Rotterdam, the Netherlands. They can also be ordered through Amazon and other booksellers. Here are some of the most recent!


A Benchmark Building's Lessons for a Green Future


Settlement, Science, and the Human Future (2017)

In 1984, energy guru and gadfly Amory Lovins made his home and established his globally significant consulting firm in a building that demonstrates his influential "soft path" approach to sustainability. The sun provides all the heat. Judicious choice of materials and meticulous construction retain it. Still operating with high performance today, this building sheds light on how to combine technical excellence with human feeling and values in a way that lasts. The story also illuminates the zig-zag American progress toward a sustainable society. The book unfolds these important topics in accessible detail.

Order from Pegasus Bookstore (for US orders):

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THE AUTHOR: Rob Knapp, Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Physics and Sustainable Design at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.  


In this brief, accessible volume, the authors -- an urban philosopher and a mathematician-physicist -- explain the surprising new findings from the sciences that are beginning to transform environmental design in the modern era. Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros explore fractals, networks, self-organization, dynamical systems and other revolutionary ideas, describing them to non-science readers in a direct and engaging way. The book also examines fascinating new topics of design, including Agile, Wiki, Design Patterns and other "open-source" approaches from the software world. The authors conclude that a profound transformation is under way in modern design -- and today's students and practitioners will need to be aware of its implications for our future.

Order from Levellers Press (Amherst MA):

Order from Mijnbestseller, Rotterdam NL (for non-US orders):


Jane Jacobs, Christopher Alexander, and the Roots of the New Urban Renaissance (2019)


Cities are experiencing a renaissance today, because we’e begun to understand how they really work—and what they will need to work better in the years ahead. This is the story of two revealing figures in the history of that renaissance: the urban economist Jane Jacobs, and the architect Christopher Alexander. Their key insights have shaped several generations of scholars, professionals, and activists. However, as the book argues, this renaissance is still immature, and more must be done to achieve its promise—especially in an age of rapid, often sprawling urbanization. In response, in December 2016, all 193 member states of the United Nations adopted by consensus the “New Urban Agenda” a historic document emphasizing the pivotal role of cities and towns in meeting the challenges of the future. As this book documents, Jacobs and Alexander played key roles in formulating the conceptual insights behind the New Urban Agenda—and as the book shows, they continue to offer us crucial implementation lessons for the years ahead.

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Places, Networks, Processes (2020)

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The 1977 book A Pattern Language was a landmark in the design world, introducing a methodology that has become influential across many fields. Among them are software and “design patterns,” and important spinoff technologies like wiki (the basis of Wikipedia) and Agile Methodology.  Yet curiously, the field where pattern methodology began—the built environment—has lagged conspicuously. As one remedy, a number of long-time collaborators with the original book’s lead author have followed the explicit guidance of the book, and developed a new collection of 80 patterns offering tools and strategies for a new era of urban challenges.

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50th Anniversary Edition (2015)




On Christopher Alexander's The Nature of Order

In 1965, the architect and design theorist Christopher Alexander published a landmark theoretical critique of modern urban design, and by extension, modern design in general. His critique was different from others of the day in that it was not based on a social or political argument, but on a structural analysis, rooted in then-emerging insights from the fields of mathematics and cognition. Here, published again on its fiftieth anniversary, is Alexander’s classic text, together with new interpretive commentaries and discussions by leading theorists and practitioners. This volume is destined to become an invaluable resource for a new generation of students and practitioners.

“One of the classic references in the literature of the built environment and associated fields.”
—Resource for Urban Design Information (

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Order from Mijnbestseller, Rotterdam NL (For non-US orders):

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Delight’s Muse is a blessedly short, accessible, and thoughtfully illustrated summary of Christopher Alexander’s four volume work, The Nature of Order. It rescues readers from the massive effort required to navigate Alexander’s 2,000 page labyrinth without map or compass.  In this overview of Alexander's ambitious magnum opus, Jenny Quillien (a former colleague of Alexander) suggests that we eschew those conventional judgments and simply recognize that Alexander is ‘onto something’ novel, useful and important. Alexander aims not only to examine the hows and whys of true success in built environments, but pushes on to far-reaching discussions about order and process in the natural and man-made worlds, questioning the very character of beauty, wholeness, and spirituality. Quillien’s synopsis and interpretative commentaries foreground what can be called Alexander’s ‘General Theory of Everything’ with the goal of promoting critical discussion and thoughtful implementation. She argues that we need not be wedded to the products of Alexander’s thought but can benefit greatly by courting its process. Winning an audience to innovative ideas is a ‘high stakes’ proposition for all parties. Listening sympathetically―the only way really to truly ‘hear’ what a new point of view is proposing―is to risk changing one’s mind. In turn, a new perspective, if openly engaged, will be transformed by those listening. On offer is a restructuring of the attending mind.

Delight’s Muse will interest not only fans of Alexander’s earlier books (the best known being A Pattern Language, 1977, and The Timeless Way of Building, 1979) but everyone willing to entertain a fresh and stimulating way to observe the world and the variety of things we place in it.

"...a wonderful personal interpretation... contains the essential building blocks, arguments, and suggestions made by Alexander in The Nature of Order. The reader will enjoy and take away many of Alexander's notions in a short and accessible book that is heavily illustrated with mostly color photos that explain and complement the text very well."

- Besim Hakim, author and Alexander scholar 


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Jenny Quillien is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at New Mexico Highlands University, and a board member of Sustasis Foundation.

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