ABOUT   CONTACT
essays and talks
essays & talks
syllabi

Sci - Arc

syllabusspring


syllabusfall

RoTo, Spring Semester 2009
syllabus
quotes




 

 

 

 

Syllabus
SCI-Arc, RoTo, Spring Studio 2013

RETURN TO TOP
 

Introduction

Visual Imagination is fundamental to the creative process

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.

Objectives
coherence, convergence, conversion, visualization
-to re-learn how to see once by looking twice
-to accelerate the process underway for each of you to discover your own unique vision and voice
-to enhance your capacity to convert experience into ideas, into imagination, into space-form
-to re-contextualize your ideas via scaling, analogy, metaphor
-to increase the size and scale of your ‘network of knowing’ and your ability to express with improvisational.
-to learn more about why it is said in science the Universe is a symmetry operation, a hybrid of extremes.
-to see the creative process in terms of systemic change and growth, not merely form
-to become more aware of the basis for making choices.
-to better understand the equivalence of unity, singularity, equilibrium, balance, mirroring, symmetry
-to see in the mind’s eye a nanosecond prior to your media displays.


p2

Overview


Ways of Seeing
looking at the world with curiosity and wonder - bare attention and mindfulness

Ways of Knowing
The world that you see and interpret is the basis for what we know - awareness to insight

Ways of Making
The ultimate test of an idea is to construct it, to give it form



Themes


Cosmology
single coherent framework of knowing - faith and reason

Creativity
an evolutionary imperative – communal - curiosity, courage

Optimism
biological necessity and the essence of creativity

Communal
shapes human societies and the basis of civilization

Cooperation
the basis for communal life and the foundation for society

Story
the foundation to teaching and learning - structure, purpose, meaning

Beginners mind
seeing as if for the first time, as it is, without expectation

Context
genetics, family, society, culture, city - respond, adapt, and construct our world within worlds



Concepts


Time
scale, interval duration

Space
medium for bodies in motion and at rest

Light
outer light of nature gives meaning to the inner light of the mind

Scale
worlds within worlds

Transformation
transition from one medium or state to another

Symmetry
mirroring, conservation of energy, equilibrium

Play
intrinsically motivated activity and central to learning

Pattern
index of matter energy and form over time



Words


Process
inter-activity (on becoming) things change

Order
inter-relationships (on meaning) things self organize

Unity
inter-dependence (on being) things come together



Phrases


Economy of Means
conservation of energy

Theories of Economy
systems of exchange

Time Scales
evolutionary shifts

Scale Shifts
conceptual revolutions

Social Shifts
geo-politics, geo-economics, geo-technology

Conservation and Change
memory and action

Convergence and Hybridiztion
aggregation, intergration

Mobility and Dexterity
imagination, exploration, risk

Complexity and Coherence



p3

Questions


time structures
“Is it possible to have a long term vision in a short cycle world?”

intuition
“Is it possible that at the moment of birth we hold the potential to be all knowing?”

wisdom
”Is it possible to experience the still point in between faith and reason?”

social
”Is it possible that cooperation is an evolutionary imperative?”

economy
”Is it possible that we are ‘hard wired’ for scarcity, not abundance?”

mirroring
“Is it possible that the entire Universe is a symmetry operation?”



Note


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

Formats
-lectures
-creative discourse (exploratory and critical dialogue, not debate)
-spontaneous model making
-sketching
-photography
-writing

Grades
class attendance
40% - it is expected that everyone be present. 3 absences is maximum

class participation
30% - it is expected that everyone be engaged in the discourse during class time

class assignments
30% - it is expected that all writing, modeling, imaging projects be completed on time.


p4

Subjects

World View
Some of the biggest problems of present society is the effect of overall change and acceleration of change. To cope with the radical shift from a seemingly simpler, recursive mechanical world view to a quantum world view of unpredictable change and greater complexity, we need to come to terms with our personal world view to give us perspective and purpose. We need a framework that ties everything together allowing us to understand the world, and our place in it. , it can give us a consistent and integral sense of being.

Cosmology
Cosmology is the study of the origins, grand evolution, and eventual fate of the universe. It has 2 lenses, religion (faith) and science (reason). The shift from the age of faith to the age of reason occurred approximately 500 years ago commencing the process of dis-integrating mind and body. Much was gained and much was lost – what? Will be one of the drivers of our discussions. Historically, the world as it was lived was seen as ‘imperfect’. Perfection and how to attain it was embedded in the sky and the creation stories. This perfection was projected on the sky (heavens, cosmos, universe) and reflected back down to the earth for us to interpret and use as a blueprint for reconstituting the imperfect world. Mirroring.

CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY - Greeks
This culture 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 the human journey and geometric diagrams for social order manifest in urban and architectural forms.

RENAISSANCE to ENLIGHTENMENT
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).

MODERN times
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

Storytelling
It has existed as long as humanity has had language. Stories are a means of entertainment but more significantly they have been central to the preservation of culture. Story telling is a fundamental form of teaching. Traditionally, oral stories were passed from generation to generation, and survived solely by memory. In the oral tradition, storytelling is an improvisational art form with a hidden structure of connected events, ideas, and images that are transformed with each telling. Generally a storyteller does not memorize a set text. Instead he has a framework of facts or events that direct a narrative arc that guides the teller as he visualizes the characters and the settings while improvising the words.

Collective Intelligence
Collective learning gave us a history, making it possible for us to learn more, faster in proximity to others. Collective Learning shapes the Evolution of Human Societies. Over time, humans became a highly networked and inter-dependent creatures. In numbers we became a learning organism. Still true. Symbolic Language became a memory system – an external hard drive. Human societies marked a sudden and unexpected emergence of a new level of complexity


p5

Creativity
Analytical, Critical, Generative
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 which is a collective activity in varying degree. More on this later. Creativity is contingent on the cultivation of curiosity, bare attention, and confidence. We are most curious when we are children and less so as we drift toward expediency. Creative individuals are remarkable for their ability to adapt to any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand. They ‘play it as it lays’. Each of us is born with two sets of instructions: a conservative tendency made up of instincts for self-preservation, and an expansive tendency made up of instincts for exploring.

Exploration
Humans are innately restless
We explore and then map and then explore some more. No other mammal moves around like we do. In 50,000 years we have spread around the planet. Part of our motivation was to follow the sun and the food but we now know that our migratory urges to explore rises in us innately. Scientists now have evidence that its foundation lies within our Genome. We are wired for curiosity, restlessness, and exploratory risk taking. We have limbs that give us great mobility, hands with extraordinary dexterity and a big and clever slow growing brain that develops a imagination though a long childhood and an unmatched period of protected play that fosters the growth of our imaginative capacity. Other animals play but mainly to practice basic survival skills. Children play by creating hypothetical scenarios that defy gravity and consequence. We play less of this as we get older. In our wanderings, real and imaginary, what do we see and how do we convert these new discoveries into a more precise and focused conceptual imagination that forms the basis of the world we want to construct. Our conceptual imagination greatly magnifies the effect of our mobility and dexterity which in turn fuels our imagination.

This is another chicken and egg moment.

Order
D. Bohm, a theoretical physicist, said that reality means something existing independently of being known through conventional absorption and measurement. He sought to develop a theory of reality that would be inclusive and whole. Wholeness is a coherent view in which everything at all sizes and scales are inter-connected and inter-dependent. He conceived a hidden order at work beneath the seeming chaos and lack of continuity of worlds within worlds. This hidden dimension is Bohm’s ‘IMPLICATE ORDER,’ which has infinite depth and is the source of all the visible of the ‘EXPLICATE MATTER’ universe (4-D world of objects, space-time). Developing the capacity to ‘see’ and ‘know’ these realities are contingent on looking without pre-conditioning, pre-conception, or pre-determination. Bare attention, it’s often called - this is the foundation of discovery. It required observing things as they are without expectations.

Reciprocity
Individualism and altruism
Claude Levi – Strauss , a cultural anthropologist, told a story from his experiences traveling with his father. One day they sat for lunch, in a French country inn, directly across from a stranger. When they were served his father and the stranger both poured their small carafe of wine into the other’s glass; an equal exchange, nothing lost but much gained, symbolically. Levi-Strauss would eventually write that reciprocity was a fundamental centerpiece of society.

Evolution of Cooperation
Nature rewards cooperation
The Human Enterprise marks the continual emergence of new levels of complexity. The transition to greater complexity is linked to the creation of new forms of interdependence and larger patterns of cooperation and new collective structures. Our survival as a species is predicated on our capacity to cooperate.


p6

Play and Learning
Many animals play but mainly to practice basic survival skills. Children play to develop their imagination creating hypothetical scenarios to test and learn. During childhood we build the brain wiring to explore. We do less of this as we get older. Years ago on a walk through nature with my son, I stood and watched him explore with enthusiasm and surprise. He was delighted with each little discovery. As I watched, I realized that he was seeing things for the first time. Prior experience not being a factor allowed him to see without pre-determination or expectation. He saw things as they were and not as he expected them to be. That was my problem to overcome. The world is filled with wonder and if I take pause to focus on an aspect of it I may discover something new in something old.

Finite and Infinite Games
There are at least two kinds of games. One can be called finite , the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning. An infinite game is for the purpose of continuing the play. The creative process is, at best, an infinite game.

Space and Spaciousness
The richness and range of the Human environmental experience is defined by low close and vast spaces we inhabit through our life, beginning with the finite space of a near weightless floating environment of our mothers womb to the vastness of the California Deserts where I now sit. Looking across a valley 25 miles wide and a 100 mile long I am surprised by the clarity and the distance. I am even more surprised that my thoughts are too small for this space. Perhaps the size of my thoughts are in proportion to the space in between buildings. Here, I begin to think about aspects of geologic time – existence, evolution, plate tectonics, and the nature of time scaled events, in particular the intertwining of humans and the natural world.

Networks
systems and information
This topic will be our gateway into visualizing the dynamic processes of systems and information. Everything, at all sizes and scales, in all dimensions, are simultaneously interconnected and interdependent. We think of networks as a product the computer age, the Internet is it’s common name. The fact is that digital networks are a phase in the ongoing evolution of a networked global brain, which has existed for more than 3 billion years. It is a product of evolution and biology. The global brain is a web between all species. In Costa Rica as tuna hunt for their prey, seabirds watch their movement waiting for the leftovers. Fishermen searching for the tuna watch the birds, leading them to their catch. This is a network.

Organisms
Edward O Wilson
The Insect Societies, 1971

“Why do we study these insects? Because, together with man, they are among the great achievements of organic evolution. Their social organization – is far less than man’s because of the absence of culture, but far greater in respect to cohesion, caste specialization, and individual altruism– is nonpareil. The biologist is invited to consider insect societies because they best exemplify the full sweep of ascending levels of organization, from molecule to society. Among the tens of thousands of species of wasps, ants, bees, and termites, we witness the employment of social design to solve ecological problems ordinarily dealt with by single organisms. The insect colony is often called a super-organism because it displays so many social phenomena that are analogous to the physiological properties of organs and tissues. Yet the holistic properties of the super-organism stem in a straightforward behavioral way from the relatively crude repertories of individual colony members, and they can be dissected and understood much more easily than the molecular basis for physiology.”


p7

Time - Fast-Slow
The Clock of The Long Now
Stewart Brand
In recent years scientists have been probing time intervals in ecological systems: How do they manage to change, and how do they absorb and incorporate shocks? The answer appears to lie in the relationship between components in a system that have different change rates and different scales of size. Various elements in a system work together in ways that increase overall resilience – fast and slow time intervals are coodinated. Instead of breaking under stress like something brittle these systems yield as if they were malleable. Some parts respond quickly to the shock, allowing slower parts to ignore the shock and maintain their steady duties of system continuity. The combination of fast and slow components makes the system resilient, along with the way the differently paced parts affect each other. Fast learns, slow remembers. Fast proposes, slow disposes. Fast is discontinuous, slow is continuous. Fast and small instructs slow and big by accrued innovation and occasional revolution. Slow and big controls small and fast by constraint and constancy. Fast gets all our attention, slow has all the power. All durable dynamic systems have this sort of structure; it is what makes them adaptable and robust.

Scale
Freeman Dyson
“The destiny of our species is shaped by the imperatives of survival on six distinct time scales. To survive means to compete successfully on all six time scales. But the unit of survival is different at each of the six time scales. On a time scale of decades, the unit is the family. On a time scale of centuries, the unit is the tribe or nation. On a time scale of millennia, the unit is the culture. On a time scale of tens of millennia, the unit is the species. On a time scale of eons, the unit is the whole web of life on our planet. Every human being is the product of adaptation to the demands of all six time scales. That is why conflicting loyalties are deep in our nature. In order to survive, we have needed to be loyal to ourselves, to our families, to our tribes, to our cultures, to our species, to our planet. If our psychological impulses are complicated, it is because they were shaped by complicated and conflicting demands.”

Hybrid of Extremes
Equilibrium and Integrity
Two things move into each other’s field of interference and something unique emerges, a third thing that is the progeny of the two. If written as an equation it would be one plus one equals one. This is the oldest equation of all. all living organisms are evidence of this. Now there are three, each similar and unique., a paradox. The progeny is the new hybrid and the parents are the old hybrids. Each generation becomes more and more complex and simple, another paradox. Simplicity on the other side of complexity – a distillation of all that has come before it became what it currently is, a unique variation on a continuously emerging theme – life, as an aggregation of varied parts incorporated into a greater whole. It’s most singular purpose is survival the metric being endurance. The ultimate living organism is an ecosystem of worlds within worlds, natural and artificial, physical and virtual. The creation process is a constant transformation of matter into energy and energy into movement, movement into energy and energy into matter. Ashes to ashes is a phrase we use to describe this process. This is a dynamic system in a constant state of equilibrium. The point of balance in this system is the Hybrid of Extremes.

to be continued.

Roto
Los Angeles
January 2013




Visual Imagination
SCI-Arc spring 13
Tuesday 7:00 -10:00pm
Library
Roto


Semester Schedule

Week01 - overview
introductions, syllabus - 0

Week02 - context
reciprocal action - 0

Week03 - cosmology
what's the big idea - 0

Week04 - process-order
things change according to the rules - 0

Week05 - order-unity
things come together - 0

Week06 - dynamic equilibrium
what goes around comes around - 0

Week07 - time scales
conceptual revolutions and societal shifts - 0

Week08 - bodies in motion
space is our medium, place is our destination - 0

Week09 - economy of means
just enough and nothing more - 0

Week10 - hybrid of extremes
complexity and coherence - 0

Week11 - networks
one thing leads to another - 0

Week12 - cooperation
rights and responsibilities - 0

Week13 - play
exploration and curiosity - 0

Week14 - mirror worlds
in between earth and sky - 0

Week15 - open dialogue
dialogue with our HANDS - 0


Assignments
Overview-Context
week 2 - January 22
1. each week
Write a paragraph on Cosmology.
What real experience can it be connected to – the story can be real or a metaphor. story to idea to visualization

2. on going (to be handed in at midterm and final)
Creative Dialogue with me via the syllabus
Read the parts of the syllabus that refer to the word we talk about each week and Incorporate your thoughts into the syllabus. It will be a record of an imaginary discourse between you and me.

Midterm – each of you should choose a piece of your written ‘dialogue’ to read in class.

3. (to be handed in at midterm and final)
Weekly Presentation
Start with the presentation entitled Overview + Context and add any images you fell will expand the thinking on the topic.

Cosmology
week 3 - January 29
Write a brief paragraph on Process-order

Process-Order
Assignment - write on next weeks theme, Order-Unity

Model
- process - Spontaneous
- process - Ordered

Weekly Class Itinerary
1. warm up discussion - 10 mins
2. meditation - 05 mins
3. standing yoga - 10 mins
4. presentation of weekly theme - 90 mins
5. break - 10 mins
6. 5 minute model - 05 mins
7. 30 sec presentation - 45 mins
8. meditation - 07 mins

RETURN TO TOP

 

 

 

 

 

Syllabus
SCI-Arc, RoTo, Fall Studio 2013

RETURN TO TOP
 

HYBRID OF EXTREMES:I-HUBx
A modern day urban Caravanserai for Traders, Travelers, and Settlers:
A Creative Incubator for Serial Entrepreneurs inventing a Life +

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.

Synopsis
1. Relationship – the teacher enters the world of the student and becomes a student of the students as he mentors them.
2. Speculation – inventing a life vs. inheriting one
3. Approach – our methodology is game development as a creative medium – scripting via story, strategy, and modulating movement in space.
4. Objective – expanded definition of Architectural Practice. More than a discipline, Architecture is a Platform.
5. Play – this studio will be a safe zone for gamers, players, and anyone willing to make mistakes and risk failure.
6. Hybridity – complex integrated intelligences, human + technology merging, physical + virtual worlds merging
7. Architecture – there will be a logic of nesting context (city-urban) content (story-program) and form (urban-architectural)


p2

Quotes


The following words describe-explain core aspects and our frames of reference this semester.

lifework
Work is meditations.
Meister Eckhart 13c

shift in generations
Don't limit students to your own learning. they were born in another time.
Enter their world.
Rabindranath Tagore 20c

convergence
Life formed when metabolism and DNA, on parallel trajectories intertwined and integrated.

third skin
Architecture is our third skin.
Roto 20c

fourth skin
Some time in the last fifty thousand years, with the invention of culture, the biological evolution of humans ceased and evolution became an epigenetic, cultural phenomenon. technology is the real skin of our species.
Terence Mckenna 20c

game design and play
Collectively, the planet is spending 3 billion hours a week gaming. What if we decided to use everything we knew about game design and play, to fix what’s wrong with reality.
Jane McGonigal 21c

games
There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play
James Carse 20c

freedom
Do not let the facts get in the way of your imagination when in a creative mode.
Roto 20c

lightness and weight
I would suggest this: my working method has more often than not involved the subtraction of weight. I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language.
Italo Calvino 20


p3

Introduction

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.

Premise
The ages of faith (10c), reason (15c), society (19c), and economy (20c), conceived, constructed, and lived, over the last twelve hundred years has lead us into the early phases of the age of humanity (21c) and a new axial age, a shift in consciousness. The forces driving a fractured and fractionated world are subsiding and are beginning to become forces of gravity pulling everything into sync. The work that we do creatively moving forward will reflect this. As huge as cities are becoming, the biggest project of all, the Human enterprise, begins with the central question, “How can Humanity become a whole greater than the sum of it’s parts.” Is it possible for us to conceive a project that quietly expresses faith in our species capacity to self-correct back to our natural state of inherent goodness and compassion.

Overview
The project asks you to imagine a place, conceived as an incubator for your generation of creative leaders, post-grad and pre-pro, to invent a life in a collaborative community of interdisciplinary creators networked in physical and virtual space. The people working, living, and playing here are a cross sector group from the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, specifically from the creative disciplines, business, geo-sciences, bio-sciences, education, engineering, and law.

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.


p4

change and conservation
The 21st century is a time of faith and fear. The world you are about to inherit is different than the one you might have expected. It is no longer tenable due to the major conceptual shifts underway. It is evolving in fundamental ways. The good news, you can invent a life different than the one you might have been expected to inherit. Now it’s time to imagine new ways to live, work, and play. This means exploring older paradigms for human settlements based on civic mindfulness, slow growth, and intentional life practices in a locally based community with access to global resources. The world is increasingly unpredictable and requires higher degrees of open mindedness, multiple intelligences, and cross-functional collaborations.

hybridity-convergence, immersion, augmentation
The age of Humanity is one of hybridity.
There are four ways to think of hybridity.
1. Physical (matter-body) and virtual (light - mind) convergence
2. Technological augmentation of Human cognitive processes
3. Cross sector knowledge and intelligence
4. Co-evolution and merging of Humans and Technology into
a new Hybrid Entity (Singularity).

complexity-challenges
The scale and complexity of the challenges we face are in proportion to the scale and diversity the of the dynamics of population growth, migrations, cultural variations, and biological needs. The scale of our intellectual capacity to respond to the scope of these challenges must be of equal size and power. We need many brains working together as ‘one big brain’ with depth and breadth of intelligence and an imagination that is scalable, to address these complex challenges. Parallel processing computers working as one, is an analogy. Conceptually we know this but how do we achieve this? Game design, play and theory will be the medium, the instrument, and the tool for exploring alternative methods for doing so.

drivers of change
This is a time of great shifts in the natural, human, and technological worlds. This is not the first time we have been confronted with epochal change. Reverse migrations from the rural into cities, population growth, technological advancements that make previously invisible worlds visible, economic shifts that are creating disproportionate concentrated advantages and disadvantages etc. Our resilience and capacity for invention allows us to constantly face these challenges with optimism and invention.

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.

Population GrowthUrbanizationConsciousness
Environment (ecology, resilience)
Biotechnology (health, wellness, and longevity)
Energy
Communications
Transportation
Data analysis (big data and visualization)
Governance (poly-centric)
Human Dynamics
Local + Global


p5

Story
nesting context, content, and form

The story will be scripted like a game. Imagine a place, conceived as an incubator for your generation of creative leaders, post-grad and pre-pro, to invent a life in a networked community inventors, creators, makers, thinkers, entrepreneurs, gamers. The people working, living, and playing here are a cross-sector group from the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, Specifically business, geo-sciences, education, engineering, humanities, sciences, law, medicine, and architecture. The site organizing strategies will reflect the fluid collaborative working relationships based on the concept from gaming, the Affinity Space, AS is a place - virtual or physical - where informal learning takes place. According to James Paul Gee, affinity spaces are locations where groups of people are drawn together because of a shared, strong interest or engagement in a common activity. They are common today in our emerging geo-techno world driven by communications. Organizations of cross-functional, dispersed, networked teams doing project- based work, often seek to create affinity spaces to collaborate and teach

Metaphor and Models
Labs, Workshops, Beehives, and Computer Games

Bees and Beehives will be one of our metaphors. It is one of the social insects, when studied has given us knowledge and insight into human social evolution. Since time immemorial, bees have been associated with all manner of virtues and the beehive has served as the model for an ideal society.
Assignment – operations and output, metaphors for a beehive

Bell Labs was organized for pure and applied research. This unique structure led to countless electronic and digital inventions that has helped weave the technological fabric of modern society.
Assignment – difference of pure and applied research, purpose, information, work, and spatial flows

MIT building 20 - Rad Lab was where fundamental advances in physical electronics, electromagnetic properties of matter, microwave physics, and microwave communication principles were made
Assignment – purpose, information, work, spatial flow

Amazon.com – is the largest online retailer which hybridizes physical and digital systems for efficiency and ease of interface.
Assignment – intermodal transport, interface of human and machines, information, work, spatial flows

Methodology
games - creativity, learning, real-time strategy, culture of participation
Game design play and theory will be the method for scripting an imaginary game in an urban environment inhabited by a curated collection of individuals with wide ranging curiosities and intelligences with 2 things in common, expansive imaginations and faith in our humanity. Games tend to integrate thinking, social interaction, and technology, into a learning experience. Along with other forms of social media, they can foster participatory cultures and civic engagement among it’s players as everyone interacts in a democratic community. A diverse group of individuals with shared interests join together to negotiate norms, mentor novices with more experienced members, use teamwork to enable all to benefit from different skills of the group members, and to undertake collective problem solving that eventually leads to collective intelligence. MpOG’s (multiplayer online games) are a model and metaphor for conceiving, developing, delivering, and inhabiting the world of this project. It is an ideal world, a microcosm of the real world.

Reference Games, online and board

Spore
World of War Craft
GO
Settlers of Catan


p6

Affinity Space - A social-spatial metaphor
An affinity space is a fictional place but with a potential of having real time impact. – It is both virtual or physical. It is where informal learning takes place. Affinity spaces are locations where groups of people are drawn together because of a shared, strong interest or engagement in a common activity. `Often but not always occurring online, affinity spaces encourage the sharing of knowledge. Affinity Spaces are common today in our emerging geo-technological world driven by communications and emerging hybridity Organizations of cross-functional, non-local, dispersed, networked teams doing project- based work, often seek to create affinity spaces to motivate, organize, and act. People relate to each other primarily in terms of common interests, endeavors, goals, and practices. Personal identity is not fore-grounded; abilities and knowledge are the attractor not status or personality. Assignment – week 1 (one)

- Continually work on an Affinity Space due every other week in physical and digital model

- 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

PROJECT
Site - Northern edge of the Alameda corridor

Our urban and architectural parameters will be social (program), spatial (place) and formal (massing). The site is urban, an in between place that will become an attractor and a catalyst for the surrounding area. It will grow in phases from a core to the perimeter boundaries that will respond with program and mass in response to it’s interfaces or in anticipation of a longer term urban vision. Site coverage will be 35% building, 30%, public space, 35% park It will be a medium density neighborhood formally configured to your concepts of figures (solid), fields (void), and flows (movement),

Process
Write a story with you as the main character, an avatar who moves between reality and fantasy on this site Choose a topic from the list of drivers of change – based on your interests. ‘Unpack it – for fields of knowledge and all of who you would like to be surrounded with the kind of intelligence, skills, imagination, etc. from the arts, sciences, humanities, that you feel could benefit what you plan to do here.

Program Menu - a microcosm of a city
This is a list for you to combine in your own way. To develop your own program from this list of activities you will write a story, you as the central character. The story will unfold with more detail as your project unfolds and your project takes form. The cast of your characters will have 4 different roles to play each with a unique intelligence and motivation.

Warrior (worker-in the moment),
Healer (keeps things working)
Teacher (knowledge and skill transfer),
Visionary (sees the big picture unfold over time)

CORE
Collaborative Work Space / Office
Conference Center (400 people)
3 Affinity Spaces
Library (centralized or distributed)
Technology Labs
Making Labs
Media Labs (research, experimental, communications)
Auditorium / Concert Space


p7

LIVING
Housing
Hotel
RV park
Food and Farmers market
Chapel – Meditation space
Entertainment
Sports - Gym - Pool – Bathhouse

OPERATIONS
Administration
Healthcare
Childcare
Maintenance 

INFRASTRUCTURE
Transportation Interchange (Foot, Bike, Car, Train)
Movement Systems
Circulation Public/Private
Communications (physical and virtual)
Farm and Botanical Gardens (teaching, production, research)

p9

Subjective Definitions
Hybrid of Extremes

Equilibrium and Integrity
Two (photons) things move into each other’s field of interference each remaining integral as they interact. Something unique emerges from this relationship, a third thing, event, comes forth, progeny.

one plus one equals one. Everything tends to aggregate into greater wholeness over and over again, periodically reconfiguring responding to external forces, adapting and then constructing a hospitable environment to continue on. This is the way dynamic systems endure. The process of interactivity between one thing and another creates something new, a hybrid.

The creation process is a constant transformation of matter into energy and energy into events and events into objects, and then back into matter. Ashes to ashes, we might say. This is a dynamic system in a constant state of transformation, impermanence, yet with a deep imprint to endure, conservation of energy is at the still point, balance, equilibrium, the Hybrid of Extremes.

Play and Learning
Many animals play but mainly to practice basic survival skills. Children play to develop their imagination creating hypothetical scenarios to test and learn. During childhood we build the brain wiring to explore. We do less of this as we get older.

Years ago on a walk through nature with my son, I stood and watched him explore with enthusiasm and surprise. He was delighted with each little discovery. As I watched, I realized that he was seeing things for the first time. Prior experience not being a factor allowed him to see without pre-determination or expectation. He saw things as they were and not as he expected them to be. That was my problem to overcome. The world is filled with wonder and if I take pause to focus on an aspect of it I may discover something new in something old.

Finite and Infinite Games
There are at least two kinds of games. One can be called finite , the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning. An infinite game is for the purpose of continuing the play. The creative process is, at best, an infinite game.

City and Society
Do Cities matter in an age of social media?
The essence of the city is proximity, closeness, and density, being around other people makes us smarter, faster. Cities magnify the human ability to learn from other people. Collective learning shapes the Evolution of Human Societies. Yes, cities matter, they are our greatest invention.

Evolution of Cooperation
Nature rewards cooperation.
The Human Enterprise marks the continual emergence of new levels of complexity. The transition to greater complexity is linked to the creation of new forms of interdependence and larger patterns of cooperation and new collective structures. Our survival as a species is predicated on our capacity to cooperate, The principles of game theory provide a theoretical framework for understanding the evolution of biological interactions. Evolutionary game theory applies to organisms that interact repeatedly, both within a generation and over relevant timescales.

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.


p10







p11


SITE 10+ACRE Urban Industrial Site, in transition, Los Angeles



Assignments
1. week1 (one) and each subsequent 2 weeks

- Continually work on an Affinity Space due every other week in physical and digital model
- 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.

2.Geo-Cache
get this app and use it continuously - document/map the treasure hunt at 2 scales.

3.Precedent Studies
city types
1. Medieval - field as object - subtraction
2. Renaissance - object in a field - overlay
3. Modern - objects as a field - addition
4. Post Modern - hybrid
Research 4 city types and produce a 1:100 massing model of each

4.What is a Caravanserai?
- research it's systems, networks, and how it operates.
- produce a series of diagrams

5.Write a narrative
- To develop your project spatially and programmatically, you will write a story. You will be the central character. The story will unfold with more detail as your project unfolds and your project takes form.


p12

The cast of your characters will have 4 different roles to play each with a unique intelligence and motivation:
1. Warrior (worker-in the moment)
2. Healer (keeps things working)
3. Teacher (knowledge and skill transfer)
4. Visionary (sees the big picture unfold over time)
5.Your story should not simply explain your project (the why). Rather, it should describe the place moving the spaces. Use the narrative form to explore the unfolding of space (perspective) in your project, and to explore the potentials and relationships of space, program, form, site, etc.
6. Readings as required to better understand games and storytelling:
Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino
Mr. Palomar, Italo Calvino
Six Memos For the Next Millenium, Italo Calvino
Fictions (a collection of short stories), Jorge Luis Borges
El Aleph, Jorge Luis Borges
Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse
Big History, Carolyn Stokes-Brown

RETURN TO TOP

 



 

 

 

 

Syllabus
SCI-Arc, RoTo, Spring Studio 2009

RETURN TO TOP
 

HYBRID OF EXTREMES:
the epicenter of commerce and contemplation

a reconciliation of two speeds ;  slow (memory) and fast (action)

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.

Individualism Altruism
why do we study insect societies? Because their social organizations cohesive and innately altruistic. They best exemplify the full seep of ascending levels of organization from molecule to society. We witness social design to solve collective problems, both communal and ecological for the  sake of endurance. This is a fundamental imprint. We can only emulate this behavior, although we have a similar imprint. We are primarily Individualistic. Altruism is present when our survival as a species or a society is threatened. Our question this semester will be, ‘is it possible for us to be altruistic in the best of times?’

Body Mind
the body moves systematically, and relatively slowly. When it is working properly and with a particular focus,  each part ‘moves’ in proportion to other parts ; common goal, synchronized action, effective performance. It apprehends the world directly through senses and sub-senses (heat and cold, gravity, speed, etc) The body time structures are rhythmic, cyclical, and sequential.

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
In the influential book, Complexity and Contradiction, Venturi and Scott-Brown proposed an aesthetic argument for a more balanced and inclusive world view and approach to practice. The phrase either–or  was replaced with both-and. Colin Rowe also implied this in Collage City. We often talked about this as a social model, unity and diversity - and then a personal model – intense concentration and open mindedness
Introverted and extroverted
Particular and universal
Simplicity and complexity
Consistency and contradiction
Continuity and discontinuity

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.

NOW
the world as it is now is alarming and destructive but it should not blind us to the fact that at this very time it is also one of its most creative periods. The forces in play have brought us back down to earth making us aware once again of two profound existential realities, the interdependence and impermanence of everything. Ashes to ashes. And back again like the phoenix.

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?
Is it possible to move fast in slow motion?
Is it possible to move fast and think deeply?
Is it possible for all of you to envision a world that is not predicated on the values, performance criteria, and expectations of the world you will inherit from your parents, remaking it as you know in your hearts it should be?

And finally,Is it possible for you to imagine what the architectural equivalent of this new world might be?

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,
Professor Michael Dobry and Lama Tenzin ‘wangdu’ Thokme

PROJECT
Two extremely different uses that meet in the middle.

Extreme 1 –    SLOW PROGRAM – CONTEMPLATIVE RETREAT
               An urban Monastic Retreat
               30 lay people and 7 support staff
                         
Extreme 2 -    FAST PROGRAM - CARAVANSERAI
               A contemporary interpretation of a Caravanserai.
               depot, storage, hotel for 10 drivers, 10 workers, 10 craftsmen.
               light industrial (manufacturing), stores, public spaces

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
              .
Solitude and Communitas
In retreat, living in silence for 3 days to two weeks everyone is there to focus on an inner World of mind and body. In time, one moves into a liminal state, a positive twilight zone. It is a place and space of transition where normal limits to experience, thought, and self understanding are relaxed and can lead to new perspectives. Normally accepted difference between participants are deemphasized. ‘as it says in the American constitution,‘all men are created equal’, (another symmetry operation) for a while, living in a provisional community of 30 other people. A social structure of communitas forms. One based on humanity and equality rather than recognized hierarchies. An overwhelming sense of joy and compassion can be experienced.

Introduction to the Physical World: a metaphor of our social world
                                                             
First law of thermodynamics – conservation of energy
                              It can change form – kinetic to thermal
                              It can not be created nor destroyed

Third Law of Motion -         Reciprocal Action
                              To every action there is an equal and
                              opposite reaction

Quantum Mechanics -           The observer is the observed
                              We see what we have a capacity to see
                              Our lens sets the limits
                              We see ourselves

Spiritual Law of Motion -     Karma
                              What goes around comes around
                              Who we are is what we manifest

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.

 

RETURN TO TOP

 



 

QUOTES
SCI-Arc, RoTo, Spring Studio 2009

RETURN TO TOP
 

CONTINUITY AND CHANGE

   There are two principles inherent in the very nature of things- change and
  conservation.
   There can be nothing real without both.
                  Memory and adaptive innovation.
                A.N.W.
                       
OBSERVATION
to live, for Darwin, meant

looking and examining, and then      observation

writing down what is seen            recording
analyze it and finally               analytical
trying to make sense of it           meaning

 
TIME
Progressive and recurring
endurance and reproduction
cycles and rythms
sequence, patterns, spontaneous action
Now and then
Anticipation and memory

read : the clock of the long now
research: fast and slow

THIRD LAW
physics action : reaction
symmetry
mirror worlds
Feedback
Reciprocity and exchange

assign: visualize in a drawing this law.

PROCESS
Things change………………impermanence 
                      On becoming
                                                       
   
              energy                                       interface
                 information                                  interaction
                                                              exchange            
                       transformation
                       shape shift              steady state
                growth                dynamic
                decay
­
                       adaptability
                innovation
                metabolism

                       endurance

                you can never step in the same river twice.

ORDER
Things self organize………interrelationships
                On meaning
                 
                
context           
                      
                coherence                               
                patterns                         networks           geometries

                natural                          inherent           branching
                                                                    dendritic

                abstract                         extrapolate        grid
                                                                    matrix
      
                mythological                     constructed        nested
                                                                    enfolded
                             
                DNA
                           
                Nature likes to hide

UNITY
Things come together........interdependence
                       
                  On being
                  wholeness                     convergence
                                 
                  entrainment

stillpoint : the hybrid of extremes
We will search for. the center line of gravity that exists within all things and processes. A dynamic equilibrium,  a zone for 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.
line

                          where one            meets the other
                          where one            becomes another
                          where one     is the other
                          where two     become one
                                               
                               part     whole
                           molecule     organism
                              small         big
                              micro     macro
                             simple         complex
                                 in     out
                             inhale     exhale
                          implosion     explosion
                        contraction          expansion
                         convergent     divergent
                               here          there
                                 up     down
                              night     day
                               dark          light
                               void          solid
                               slow          fast

                                          EQUILIBRIUM
                                BALANCE

 line and circle

                                      emergence
                                      unity
                                      creation

visualize these phrases in your own terms. And match with images
What do  you see?
What do you think they mean?
.           1.   Moving fast in slow motion                      
            2.   Inevitability/Uniqueness               
            3.   Transparent Medium        
            4.   Neutral with Presence 
            5.   Hiding in plain sight         
            6.   Looking twice
            7.   Entrainment
            8.   Simplicity on the other side of complexity
            9.   Distillation
            10.  One to many
            11.  Solitude and community
            12.  Part to whole
            13.  Scaling
            14.  timing
            15.  Cycles and rhythms
            16.  Pattern recognition
            17.  Continuity
            18.  Coherence
            19.  Centering
            20.  Equilibrium
            21.  Flow
            22.  Metaphor

World view
4) The fourth is our the basis for making choices
world view refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts in it.
“why do we need to have values “, he asked, “they help edit  all of the choices that confront you” his older brother answered. 
“Where do they come from? “
“ they are embedded within your world view”, his brother answered, again.
“ where does this come from ?” he finally asked.
“ it is inherited from the past, through your family, and re-interpreted over time, by you.”

Creativity
Exploration, is moving  forward, across unfamiliar territory, with a destination and no itinerary, proceeding with an open mind and being attentive to what ever might be revealed,  without expectation or predetermination. Creative individuals are remarkable for their ability to adapt to any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand. They ‘play it as it lays’.
Each of us is born with two sets of instructions: a conservative tendency made up of instincts for self preservation, and an Expansive tendency made up of instincts for exploring.

TOPICS
Cosmology
The subject matter of cosmology is everything that exists and the aim is to place all known physical phenomena within a single coherent framework.

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.
Rights and responsibilities
Individualism and altruism
The cultural anthropologist,  Levi-Strauss proposed that the basis of society was reciprocity. It is a way of defining people’s informal exchange. It is an informal economic system.
There are tree kinds of reciprocity.
Generalized, which is defined by uninhibited sharing between people, without expecting anything in return.
Symmetrical, which is one person giving to another with the trust of a fair and tangible return at some undefined future date. And third,
Barter. These three kinds of reciprocity are the most basic forms of economic exchange. More complex exchange systems include redistribution and the market.

NETWORKS.
Systems and information
 This topic will be our gateway into visualizing the dynamic processes of systems,
Everything, at all sizes and scales, in all dimensions, are simultaneously interconnected and interdependent.
We think of networks as a product the computer age, the Internet is it’s common name. The fact is that digital networks are a phase in the ongoing evolution of a networked global brain, which has existed for more than 3 billion years. It is a product of evolution and biology. The global brain is a web between all species.
In Costa Rica as tuna hunt for their prey, seabirds watch their movement waiting for the leftovers. Fishermen searching for the tuna watch the birds, leading them to their catch. This is a network.

STORYTELLING
It has existed as long as humanity has had language. Stories are a means of entertainment but more significantly they have been central to the preservation of culture as a  fundamental form of teaching. Traditionally, oral stories were passed from generation to generation, and survived solely by memory. In the oral tradition, storytelling is an improvisational art form with a hidden structure of connected events, ideas, and images that are transformed with each recollection. Generally a storyteller does not memorize a set text. Instead he has a framework of facts or events that direct a narrative arc that guides the teller as he visualizes the characters and the settings while improvising the words. The same story is usually told differently, each time. Improvisational storytelling is an act of creativity.

FINITE AND INFINITE GAMES
There are at least two kinds of games. One can be called finite , the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning. An infinite game is for the purpose of continuing the play. The creative process is, at best,  an infinite game.

The Observer is the Observed

"Bohm first became aware of Krishnamurti in 1959 through a book of his entitled The First and Last Freedom and its exploration into the question of the observer and the observed. Both he and K had been questioning limitations imposed on discovery and awareness by the restrictions of language and images. The nature of the observer and the observed centers on the difficulties created by the self which, the observation of, and any action proceeding from, "is usually rooted in the apparent creation of a second self, who is watching and acting upon the first self. This is the problem of the observer and the observed, a cognitive structure which is appropriate and effective in some domains, but riddled with contradictions when applied phychologically. This subject was on great interest to both Bohm and Krishnamutri. They met soon after this and began a friendship formed from a mutual interest in the way thought works."

there is an innate relationship between that which comes to us in observation and that which  we bring to the observed

What we see
What we know it, and
What we make, are intertwined with
Who we are

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
This is a subset of all systems and are self-organizing systems with special characteristics of life and constantly interacting with its environment (context). This exchange occurs by means of information and material-energy exchanges. A living system can be a cell or a country and regardless of their size, scale or complexity, they each depend on
sub-systemic processes of exchange that are mutually beneficial to continue the propagation of their species or types beyond a single generation. The most essential imprint for any system

RECIPROCITY
It is common to every culture. It is a way of defining peoples informal exchange of goods and labor, that is people’s economic systems. It is the basis of non market economies. This is common to every culture. Giving to another without any expectation of anything in return. The satisfaction and the reward is in the act itself. Claude  levi–strauss , a cultural anthropologist,  told a story from his experiences traveling with his father. One day they sat for lunch, in  a French country inn, directly across from a stranger. When they were served his father and the stranger both poured their small carafe of wine into the other’s glass; an equal exchange, nothing lost but much gained, symbolically. Trust and social closeness.  Levi-strauss would eventually write that RECIPROCITY was a fundamental centerpiece of society. It  was an expression of altruism which is essential

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 negative

To be continued…
RETURN TO TOP