Why “Latent Centers”?

The goal of this website is to explore a future of computing that has the potential to come into existence. In Christopher Alexander’s worldview, a latent center is a center that has the promise of life, even though it may not be very strongly living at a point in time, much like the explorations on this website.

If Alexander’s work is unfamiliar to you, the above paragraph may seem somewhat mystifying.

Here’s a quote from The Nature of Order: The Process of Creating Life (page 255), explaining the concept further:

In every wholeness, in every structure, there are latent centers. These are centers caused by the overall configuration, dimly present in the structure, yet not yet fully developed. These centers are part of the structure, they are truly there, they are present. But they have not yet been developed, even though they are capable of development. In developing these latent centers, one is then both respecting the structure which exists, yet also paving a path to some as-yet-unborn new structure. Even though the structure which then emerges is a new one, it has its roots in the old structure.

– Christopher Alexander

This website, along with all the ideas presented on it, is a latent center. Each idea holds the potential to evolve into a project dedicated to bringing it to life.

Continue with:

Navigate Latent Centers

The website is structured as a digital garden. Here are all the pages, along with their links, visualized as a graph.

Personification of computer processes Why "Latent Centers"? Computing that makes us feel alive