Title: The Role of Complex Systems Analysis in Architectural Design/Theory, Creativity and Emergence.
Keywords: Complex Systems, Emergence, Architectural Design, Governing Dynamics, Chaos Theory, Christopher Alexander, Nonlinear Systems, Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS),
What kind of effect did social/digital media have on Architectural design?
Democratization of architecture. The construction process as well as design process transformed from a professional to a DIY/hobbyist culture. This can be explained by due to 2 major reasons. ① increase in availability of professional tools and construction materials, for e.g., “DIY CNC machines led to unit system based architecture” Alastair Parvin Figure1. Manual Labour->Manual Centralised->Mechanical Centralised->Digital Centralised>Digital-Distributed. ② change from object/product oriented design to process oriented design. Instead of attaching value to the final product, people have started attaching value to the memory and the flow of the entire building process.
Both above reasons have economic, environmental backgrounds. ① shows that as the industrial revolution moves onto machine production, the cost and availability of resources reduces. ② Shows that as things get cheaper they get so cheap,, that businesses don’t profit, so the only way to increase the economic value of a product is to appeal to the consumer/customers emotional side. This is very similar to what Don Norman says in his book, the design of Everyday Things, “good design is invisible, bad design in noticeable”. Opposites working against each other. This brings me to an important epiphany, the thesis’s, especially in design have been focused too much on action and consequence, stimulus and response but in a very LINEAR WAY.
For e.g. Media->Architectural design, Economy->Architectural Design, but they are never seen through a NON-LINEAR approach.
Architectural design is complex and situated cognitive of information to generate a solution for a given problem. A Creative Architectural Design means the introduction of new variables that change a common design model or structure thought the emergence of unexpected design structures. A lot of critical analysts of architecture including Kenneth Frampton and Adrian Forty have linked this creative process to the change in construction techniques and economics respectively. However, this begs the question as to why designers come up with wildly unique designs for the same given problem. Objective analysis of these ideals is a new field wherein the design process is looked at from a “Complex Systems” perspective. Say for example, in the study of the Geometrical “Emergence” are analysed.
One of the first architects to propose such an approach was Christopher Alexander in his book, “notes on the synthesis of form”. It is then important to understand how forms are synthesized as currently it stands to be a very subjective method of processing. Creativity needs an objective definition especially in field like architecture which deals with both science and the humanities.
There have been a lot of studies concluding to the fact that creativity, is a limited resource. However, with this thesis I would like to show the very opposite. It’s just that our understanding of creativity, especially with design is too linear. By understanding and employing the concept of “Emergence” I would like to show how creativity is not something that is planned but is a fallout product of the design process.
- Volume/Network analysis of the one hour design class from Sakaushi Lab.
Plan for next week’s presentation:
- Read and summarise Notes on the Synthesis of Form, Christopher Alexander (1964), extract relevant information for analysis of design processes
If however the book does not arrive,
- Improve understanding of the complex system theory, with focus on “Emergence”
- Search for concrete methods of analysis employed in other architectural design thesis, summarise and present
If employed data is unacceptable,
Search for new data, or create sufficient reasoning for employing the above-mentioned data
*Study on Geometrical Emergence in the Architectural Design of Le Corbusier, 日本建築学会大会学技術講演梗概集（東海）2012年9月