Architecture complexity and emergence; a deep ecology.

Although non-linearity can only provide a formal paradigm for the pursuit of architectural ideas, by doing so it produces a singular opportunity. The pursuit of simplification, a term currently synonymous with elucidation, explanation, definition, interpretation, description, exposition or, most importantly, clarification, is a pursuit for its own sake, and characterizes the nature of contemporary praxis both in science and in the practical arts. Indeed the identification of beauty with methodological simplicity has become a shibboleth of the empirical method. This erstwhile confederation of aesthetics with  process, has precipitated a succession of circularities vis.

in order to remain within the range of predictability and measurability, only those  problems which are, de facto, predictable and measurable should be tackled.

in order to remain within the realm of the feasible, problems should be restricted in their scope; they should remain practicable and realizable.

The notion of simplicity which might now be associated with its insinuated and sophisticated inference clarity in the sense of comprehensibility or explicitness -, subtends an ideological figuration upon the discipline which adopts it. Architecture, by applying itself to so called appropriate issues, essentially issues which are intrinsic to its own view of the world, only cramps its already restricted scope.

Pragmatism, a predominate belief/ dogma/ creed of the architectural profession, is a notion moderated by an intrinsic perspective. There are two kinds, at least. Short term pragmatism, which  tends to myopia, giving itself up to immanent conditions and forsaking long term trends and consequences; and long term pragmatism. In this second the consequences of forgoing short term expediency are implied. In other words, what is pertinent now, may be altogether foolish under different, impending circumstances. This last, in so many words, is the ecological position. It implies an abrupt reversal, not to say a dramatic expansion of the professions current position and sphere of interests, beyond the narrow terms of its own, willfully circumscribed vision.

The city is a deep structure; a dynamic structure. It is complex. This is the rub.

This fact leaves the architect, with a central problem of how to produce working procedures which can model, more effectively and appropriately, the complex and transforming nature of the contemporary city.


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