In the unselfconscious process—which he claims applies to both natural and artificial forms—matter organizes itself coherently according to an evolutionary process of adaption in response to feedback from the environment. The designer thus becomes a conduit for the flow of information between the problem and the solution, which the aim of achieving a "good fit" between the object and its context.
—William W. Braham, Jonathan A. Hale on Christopher Alexander
This ideal model—to say it in her words—is the author who produces books "as a pumpkin vine produces pumpkins." She also used other metaphors of natural processes that follow their course unperturbed—the wind that shapes the mountain, the wrack of the tides, the annual circles in the bole of the trees—but these were metaphors of literary creation in general, whereas the image of the pumpkin referred directly to me.
—Italo Calvino, If On a Winter's Night a Traveller
For my part, I've worked harder this summer than in my entire life and I can say that I've worked for my entire life. I've laid the foundations of a magnificent work... I have died and been born again with the gem-encrusted key to my final spiritual casket. It's up to me now to open it in the absence of all extraneous impressions and its mysteries will emerge into a very beautiful sky. I'll need twenty years during which I'll remain cloistered within myself, renouncing all publicity other than reading to friends. I'm working on everything at once, or rather I mean that everything is so well ordered in my mind that, as a sensation reaches me now, it is transformed and automatically places itself in the right book or the right poem. When a poem is ripe, it will drop free. You can see that I'm imitating the laws of nature.
—Stéphane Mallarmé, Selected Letters, 66
There's a state you can get into where finding a song is just cracking the surface. It's like picking a potato—it was already growing there. You can just pull it out. I don't know if it's a different form of songwriting, but I know when I hear it. Townes [Van Zandt] would definitely be one of those people. People always call his music otherworldly, and that's why. It's not bizarre; it's very familiar to you.
—Cory Chisel, on Townes Van Zandt
Amid all the sameness, however, one change became evident. A good change. Tengo was aware that, as he went on writing his novel, a new wellspring was forming inside him. Not that its water was gushing forth: it was more like a tiny spring among the rocks. The flow may have been limited, but it was continuous, welling up drop by drop. He was in no hurry. He felt no pressure. All he had to do was wait patiently for the water to collect in the rocky basin until he could scoop it up. Then he would sit at his desk, turning what he had scooped into words, and the story would advance quite naturally.
—Haruki Murakami, 1Q84