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We are constantly absorbing information from a variety of sources, as we move through the world. As children our learning is mostly informal and innovative as we do things for the first time, with no prior experience to inform our actions. Through our prolonged period of ‘play’ from infancy to adolescence we curiously test the nature of relationships, materially and personally. Why does water flow off a table and salt form into a cone, a child may wonder? In an academic setting our experiences are more structured by a predetermined curriculum and the information we apprehend is well formed. It is assumed that this more structured way of knowing can be enlarged to encompass the broadest range of human experience and it’s inherent creative possibilities. It can be if we have the courage to search for our own voice. This seminar is not about how we know what we know but rather how to access what we know from direct experience and convert it into conceptual structures that serve our Visual Imagination and in turn our creative output as Architects. The big question I want us to continually ask from week to week is – “where do we see the image first, in our minds eye or in the computer?”Spatial Memory, Spatial Intelligence and Visual Imagination are inter-dependent.
Creative conversions first occur in our ‘mind’s eye’, prior to their representation through media. The ‘minds eye’ is where virtual images are synthesized recombining and transforming selected parts of our spatial memory into new hybridized images of processes, events, places, and objects. The body in motion through physical space, is the basis for our spatial memory, recording and storing information about the environment and our place in it. Our body-mind complex records everything it apprehends and stores it for either short and long term use recollecting at the appropriate times to enhance and enrich new experiences, We are embedded in a world we inherit and immediately respond and adapt, but most significantly we begin to imagine how to re-construct this world. Improving one’s ability to see-know, visualize, and interpret the world in constructive ways is a great asset. Our focus will be to best understand these processes by thinking and making.
When we are infants beginning to crawl and then walk, we experience more than ever before and our brain grows as fast as possible to take it all in and process it. Simply stated, we need more RAM. With no prior experience we see everything for the first time. We are enchanted by what we see, a world filled with wonder. At this phase of life our curiosities are intrinsic and first nature. We must learn in order to survive - so we naturally explore with a growing brain and clever hands. We benefit from ‘not knowing’ - we see things as they are, not as we expect it them be. Imagine, as adults, the possibility of ‘looking twice’. Look once and you see what something is and how it operates, look twice and you see it in context and speculate on purpose and meaning.
Ways of Seeing
Ways of Knowing
Ways of Making
Economy of Means
Theories of Economy
Conservation and Change
Convergence and Hybridiztion
Mobility and Dexterity
Complexity and Coherence
the words and phrases above will be incorporated into our discussions throughout the semester. An ongoing assignment will be for you to define them precisely and in your own terms then to incorporate these words and phrases into the weekly writing assignments. Each week please write one page, no more, based on what you thought about after listening and participating in that weeks class. shoot 2 images and caption them. Hand them in at the beginning of each class
CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY - Greeks
RENAISSANCE to ENLIGHTENMENT
Evolution of Cooperation
Play and Learning
Finite and Infinite Games
Space and Spaciousness
Time - Fast-Slow
Hybrid of Extremes
to be continued.
Week01 - overview
Week02 - context
Week03 - cosmology
Week04 - process-order
Week05 - order-unity
Week06 - dynamic equilibrium
Week07 - time scales
Week08 - bodies in motion
Week09 - economy of means
Week10 - hybrid of extremes
Week11 - networks
Week12 - cooperation
Week13 - play
Week14 - mirror worlds
Week15 - open dialogue
2. on going (to be handed in at midterm and final)
3. (to be handed in at midterm and final)
Weekly Class Itinerary
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HYBRID OF EXTREMES:I-HUBx
A caravanserai is a roadside inn where traders (commerce) and travelers (cultural pollinators) can rest and recover from the day's journey as they do business. Caravanserais supported the flow of commerce, information, and people across the network of trade routes covering Asia, North Africa, and southeastern Europe, especially along the Silk Road. It was a hotel, rest stop, restaurant, depot and distribution center for goods, services, and ideas. Our speculation is that this is a historical model that has not been exhausted and ready to be reconceived and placed strategically in the city. Historically it managed physical goods and now it will manage physical and virtual products. It will become a communications hub as well.
This will be a place that is a part of a new social-cultural ecosystem emerging from a generation who sees the need to reinvent the world, their lives, and the places they live, work, and play. The world they were expected to inherit will soon begin an accelerated transformation to a higher level of performance while shifting into lower gears – higher speed and lower RPM. This is consistent with the principles of Conservation of Energy (first law of thermodynamics). This new complex will be conceived and built as it is lived in. It will grow over time (idea intensive), rather than be developed within time (capital intensive). This new small settlement will be constructed in phases conceptually mimicking Nature which has gone through a process of trial and error and multiple iterations to refine the dynamics of inter-scale creature transactions and forms of Habitat.A caravanserai is always situated at the nexus of multiple routes and modes of transport.
It is speculated that our evolutionary purpose in the Universe, is to create, to resist entropy, a theoretical time when difference no longer exists. This is referred to as the heat death of the Universe. We have lived creation itself, from the moment of conception to the moment of birth. The entire memory of this process is stored in our deep cellular memory, and is commonly expressed in less than visible ways through our genetic code and in visible ways though our creative work in the world at large. Creativity is biological necessity and an evolutionary imperative. It occurs in the interaction between a person’s thoughts and a socio-cultural context. Although, we learn more, faster when proximity to others and the foundation for our creative work is shared, the creative moment itself is an introspective and private moment. Beyond the creative moment is it’s realization. This is a collective activity. The uniqueness of a creative moment realized collectively injects new ideas into the world.
The incubator is an organization of mutually beneficial hybridized disciplines arranged into a campus. It is neither a school nor business but it educates and produces commodity. It occupies the transitory void between a student paying and a professional being paid. It serves its community by enriching the city environment as well as its social and economic surroundings. Its focus is on the Arts, Sciences and the Humanities.
The studio collective will explore ways of working together in studio that might approximate how those inhabiting the imaginary worlds we will create will live and work together. Based on the interests of an Architect, through a framework of an expanding definition of practice, and through the lens of your personal cosmologies, we will explore the role of Architecture in the City at this moment in time. We will use both conventional and unconventional models and metaphors to define the problem, set the constraints, and trigger your imagination.
The question Is there life after graduation that is a continuation of the life formed here, now? This is the question we will work on in all the ways we know how, plus some. This semester we will explore ways of working together in studio that might approximate how those inhabiting the imaginary world you will create for this project will live and work together. Based on the interests of an Architect, through a framework of an expanding definition of Practice, and through the lens of your personal cosmologies, we will explore the role of Architecture and the Architect in the City and the World at this moment in time. We will design a complex of buildings on an urban site in Los Angeles. We will use both conventional and unconventional models and metaphors to define the problem, set the constraints, and trigger the imagination.
change and conservation
hybridity-convergence, immersion, augmentation
drivers of change
The people who come to work or live at the Incubator are people motivated to address these shift in imaginative and productive ways. They also come for a cooperative work life. All around them are resources, ideas, co-workers thinking, talking, and making. Most of all they are attracted by the open-source ethos.
Metaphor and Models
Affinity Space - A social-spatial metaphor
- Criteria – a single space for 25 people each with a single workspace 4 feet apart in every direction. All of the work desks are situated in the volume not on a single horizontal surface. Space is configured to shape light in a spherical space
Program Menu - a microcosm of a city
Play and Learning
Finite and Infinite Games
City and Society
Evolution of Cooperation
In evolution, as in commerce, not all games let the winner take all. Often, the winning move for a particular organism requires cooperating with other organisms. Darwin was unaware of the concept of symbiosis.
4.What is a Caravanserai?
5.Write a narrative
The cast of your characters will have 4 different roles to play each with a unique intelligence and motivation:
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HYBRID OF EXTREMES:
Things are different now. Just how different is indeterminate and what the final state will be is unknowable. What created this predicament is short term thinking, our inability to pace ourselves to endure, our diminished patience, and need for diminishing time horizons for ‘returns on investments’, both personal and collective. It seems that we no longer are regulated or guided by a common vision or story and we have a growing propensity to negotiate our private interests in public forums. We have created quite a mess.
The brain works systematically but moves a-systematically, and at warp speed.When it is working properly and with particular focus, it can see what is less than visible, the order that lies within, and can imagine what is not present yet. It apprehends the world by analyzing primary sensations and transforming them into perceptions. The brains time structures are non-rhythmic, non-cyclical, and non-sequential
The mind-body complex ( subtle body) is the quintessential example of the ‘hybrid of extremes’. One plus one equals one.
the hybrid of extremes occurs when two ‘things’ become one. In fact they already are one system, but we could not see it or imagine it. Finally we realize that it has always been so.
BOTH / AND
We no longer had to take sides, or dis integrate something to know it, when we accepted the meaning of both – and.
“what part of the horse is the horse’ the shaman asked me when I looked puzzled at his naming of the constellation, the star, the place, the ritual, the dancer, and the experience, with just one word. This was unusual for me to hear."
The philosopher Alfred N. Whitehead described a symbiotic binary relationship of conservation and change. These two principals are inherent in the very nature of things. There can be nothing real without both, he stated.
In the human body this is known as Homeostasis, a regulating system and a fundamental expression of the Conservation of energy
The conservation of energy is fundamentally a symmetry operation at all scales, in all dimensions simultaneously.
Considering this, I am proposing we explore the possibility of a Societal Homeostasis, One that acknowledges striking a balance between human and natural systems, and their time structures, slow and fast.
Is it possible to strike a balance between these two speeds?
This is not a formal proposition as much as it is a spatial and programmatic one.
We will explore this with the help of some friends,
Extreme 1 – SLOW PROGRAM – CONTEMPLATIVE RETREAT
Liminal Zone - in between the two extremes is a zone where both need to be reconciled. It is the segue from one to the other conceptually and experientially. It is where the identity of the other two programs dissolves. 2 become 1+1=1
Introduction to the Physical World: a metaphor of our social world
Quantum Mechanics - The observer is the observed
Spiritual Law of Motion - Karma
When two things meet in this zone of interference they do not assimilate, homogenize or emulsify into similarity or sameness. There is at first a marginal overlap where a rite of passage will occur which involves some change characterized at first by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. Each part remains integral in this new context, a unified field of semi transparent Interdependencies and interactions that are mutually defining. Sometimes there is a transformation - one thing becomes another, or so it seems, until something new emerges. Then as they leave this field of interference they return to their original state with an evolved memory.
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CONTINUITY AND CHANGE
There are two principles inherent in the very nature of things- change and
read : the clock of the long now
assign: visualize in a drawing this law.
you can never step in the same river twice.
natural inherent branching
abstract extrapolate grid
stillpoint : the hybrid of extremes
Antipodal BINARIES are diametric extremes. They can be the flipside of each other, two aspects of one thing. Each is the context for the other. The midpoint in between these extremes is a point of balance, This is the middle way.
where one meets the other
visualize these phrases in your own terms. And match with images
It will be explored at three particular historical periods, and look at these three cosmologies and their relation to the built environment. The idea is to look at how the cosmos was explained, and then how that reflected back onto making. The thesis is that humans tend to project their social relations into the heavens, and then use that Schema as a way to map things back onto the earth.
A. The first period is of early man up to CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY- Greeks. These cultures saw the Heavens as embodying people and animals and their stories as mapped in the Positions and relations of the heavenly bodies. The stories about people were projected onto the heavens, where the constellations were used as sightlines inscribed on the surface of the earth. These projections then formed pathways for journeys and diagrams of urban and architectural forms. In this way social relations were transformed into cities and buildings and even states—the personal becomes the built.
B. The second period covers the RENAISANCE - ENLIGHTENMENT during which the newly discovered rational relations among the heavenly bodies are projected back to earth as the demand for rational relations among people and their institutions. It resulted in a duality: demanding rationality of the state (which results in totalitarianism) and rationality on the part of the individual (which implies personal responsibility and the ownership of the self, thus personal freedom).
C. The third period is our own MODERN times, from the middle of the 19th century until the present. The concept that is projected into the cosmos is that of the abstract materiality of space. Instead of being seen as a container or place where things happen, space becomes the “substance” of particles and forces. Everything that is—energy, space, time, forces, materiality, ourselves are seen as abstract conditions of space itself. Reality has become a completely abstract substance. The reprojection of that back to our planet is consciousness, the means whereby we apprehend all these ideas. Consciousness is tangible, abstract and completely self contained. But it cannot go outside itself to study itself. It is the consequent abstraction of all our relations and states of self. We are become the categories through which we analyze ourselves.
SOCIETY and RECIPROCITY.
FINITE AND INFINITE GAMES
there is an innate relationship between that which comes to us in observation and that which we bring to the observed
What we see
Developing a capacity to see and know the explicit and implicit realities of the world are contingent on looking without pre-condition, pre-conception, or pre-determination. Bare attention is the foundation of discovery. It requires observing things as they are and not as you expect them to be.
LIVING SYSTEMS THEORY
In social psychology reciprocity refers to responding to an action with another action (refer also to the third law of motion – action : reaction ). This can be either positive or negativeTo be continued…
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