The are two main sources for input into Steve Mouzon’s Original Green. Software (humans) and hardware (environment) and the method for their input or transmission is Steve’s “Living Tradition” theory.
Humans are, well, human, we have hopes and fears and we have cultural traditions. Places founded by Englishmen in the 1600’s are different than places founded by Spanish in the 1600’s. Places and buildings also take there cues from the human body in terms of proportion and order. Also, the human body (and animal) placed limits on distances that made sense. Much of Europe is covered with villages a days walk from the next, that’s not an accident. The human body gives us a measuring unit as designers.
The Hardware comes from the environment. It is how we design for climate, a hot humid place or building is designed differently than a building for a cold dry climate. Also, local materials dictate construction technology and methods, unless you want to ship things all over the world. Many cities will share a common color of stone, that’s because it was local based not a style based choice.