martes, 18 de mayo de 2010

book+ | The architecture of emergence

The architecture of emergence : the evolution of form in nature and civilisation / Michael Weinstock.
Chichester (England) : John Wiley & Sons, 2010.
280 p. : il.
ISBN 9780470066331*

Arquitectura - Teoría.
Biblioteca A-72.01 ARC

Emergence is one of the most exciting new fields in architecture today, gaining interest from not only academics and students but also leading professionals, with directors from Fosters, Arup and Bentley Systems all attending the most recent symposium on the subject at the Architects Association, London.

As a concept, Emergence has captured the zeitgeist, embodying the pervasive cultural interest in genetics and biological sciences. In the sciences, Emergence is an explanation of how natural systems have evolved and maintained themselves, and it has also been applied to artificial intelligence, information systems, economics and climate studies. The potential of the mathematics of Emergence that underlie the complex systems of nature is now being realised by engineers and architects for the production of complex architectural forms and effects, in advanced manufacturing of ‘smart’ materials and processes, and in the innovative designs of active structures and responsive environments.
  • The first book to provide a detailed exploration of the architectural and engineering consequences of this paradigm, and a detailed analysis of geometries, processes and systems to be incorporated into new methods of working.
  • Sets out a new model of ‘Metabolism’ that uses natural systems and processes as a model far beyond the minimising environmental strategies of ‘sustainability’.
Human forms and culture evolved over a period of extreme fluctuations in the climate and consequential rapid variations in ecologies; a regime of natural selection that conserved and enhanced the ability to adapt their culture to a variety of climates and ecological conditions. Culture acts to transmit complex social and ecologically contextualised information down through the generations, and has tended to increase in complexity over time, a process that began over 130,000 years ago in East Africa with the emergence of anatomically modern humans, the diaspora 'out of Africa' and the spread of humans across the world.

By 35,000 years ago, long-term settlements, complex spoken language, calendars and the material archiving of ecological information had emerged. Humans began to modify their local ecological systems about the same time, as the extinction of the megafauna and the use of fi re to drive game and clear land produced changes in patterns of vegetation in steppe grasslands, in cool forests and in warmer grasslands. As the energetic returns from hunting were reduced, the increase in the gathering of grains initiated the genetic changes that over many thousands of years led to the domestication of wild cereals.

Excavated dwellings, or 'pit houses', provided a fixed residential location for the winter months and enabled them to regulate their collective metabolism in a great range of climates, and to expand into the very cold territories of the high northern latitudes. In the other seasons, tents and temporary structures were occupied in ecologically determined patterns of movements around the home range. Pit dwellings were arranged in clusters, and included 'long houses' for the communal occupation by several families at the same time. Adaptations to differing regional climates, topographies and ecologies emerged from variations in the patterns of movements around the territory, and in the depth and size of the excavation and construction.

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