Here are some notes on where pattern language is coming from.
Christopher Alexander (www.mediamatic.nl ) is an architect and professor emeritus at Cal Berkeley. He is very interested in design, and computer folks who read his books are always impressed by the parallels with designing software. He originated the patterns concept in the later 1960s and early '70s. In particular, a lot of the jargon we use when we are talking about patterns, such as "forces" and the distinction between problem and solution, come from his work.
- Jenny Quillen, *The history of the pattern language*, Wise Democracy Project pattern language website
- 'A child's history' on Chris Alexander's pattern language site webpage