Reading Notes/Response

Swarm Tectonics

Neil Leach

-emergence of biochemistry, biotechnology, biophilosophy

– everything operates within a dynamic, open system

-complexity theory: strive to understand the process by which complex patterns of behavior are generated in nature

-complexity is not so complex but born of clear principles

-“self-organizing systems” proves complex behaviors may emerge from interactions amongst individuals that exhibit simple behavior

-“swarm intelligence” – the emergent collective intelligence of groups of simple agents , not limited to ants/insects => “a given population of interacting entities will tend to display similar collective behavior”

-“a city is a pattern in time” – John Hollard – constant flux, million of people reacting to millions of actions to perpetuate the cities direction/path/life – like a “river flowing around a rock”

-question “master plan”

-Deleluzian Framework – history of architecture as two (contrasting) outlooks; 1) aesthetic, imposition of form on building materials based on a preordained template (apperance over performance)  2) structural, allowing forms to emerge according to programmatic requirements (process over appearance)

-architecture that does not crystallize into a single, inflexible form, but is able to reconfigure intself over time, and adjust to the “multiple permutations of programmatic use that might be expected of it”

-use of computer to autonomously create forms that are self supporting structures — designer merely establishes certain defining coordinates

-“architect has been recast as the controller of a process, who oversees the formation of architecture.

The Architectural Relevance of Cybernetics

Gordon Pask

-systems are based on regulation, control, adjustment and purpose filtered through means of feedback

-PERT programming  – cybernetic technique _ WSCC planning scheme can display to represent the disposition of structural modules on a grid in which the computer summarises the cost effort consequences of a proposed layout

-argument rests upon assumption that architects are “first and foremost system designers”




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