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In this books, the authors aims to reveal an ongoing dispute between two different ways of shaping our world. One system places emphasis on subtleties, on finesse, on the structure of adaptation that makes each tiny part fit into the larger context. The other system is concerned with efficiency, with money, power and control, stressing the more gross aspects of size, speed, and profit. This second, 'business-as-usual' system, Alexander argues, is incapable of creating the kind of environment that is able to genuinely support the emotional, whole-making side of human life. To confront this sterile system, the book seeks to present a architecture that the people - both as a world-wide civilization, and as individual people and cultures - can create, using processes that allow them to build places of human energy and beauty. The book attempts to outline nine ways of working, each one dedicated to wholeness, and able to support day-to-day activities that will make planning, design and construction possible in an new way, and in more humane ways.