By the book. Or,… buy the book.

A Pattern Language, written by several authors -- is an attempt to codify generations of architectural wisdom. While utopian in its ideals, it reveals how architecture and design connects people to their surroundings in an infinite number of ways based upon natural considerations. This book is about functional design for humans rather than design for design's sake. It promotes design which fits the needs and desires of the user, not the developer, architect or designer.

The reader is given an overview of some 250 patterns that are the units of this language, each consisting of a design problem, discussion, illustration, and solution. By understanding recurrent design problems in our environment, readers can identify extant patterns in their own design projects and use these patterns to create a language of their own.

I’ve read that the “Sim” computer games were fashioned from this book.

A summary of the book can be found here
My thanks to Jan Johnsen for turning me onto this amazing book.