Dealing with Information, Complex Dynamics and Organizations: Notes on Architecture, Systems Research and Computational Sciences
Architecture, Systems Research and Computational Sciences
Research D De ea al li in ng g w wi it th h I In nf fo fo f fo fo f f r rm ma at ti io on n, , C Co om mp pl le ex x D Dy yn n n yna am mi ic cs s a an nd d O Or rg ga an ni iz za at ti io on ns s: : N No ot te es s o on n A Ar rc ch hi it te ec ct tu ur re e, , S Sy ys s s yst te em ms s R Re e e Res se ea ar rc ch h a an nd d C Co om mp pu ut ta at ti io on na al l S Sc ci ie en nc ce es s A Ab bs st tr ra ac ct t. . Similarities can certainly be found between systems research and
... rch and computational sciences, and architecture and design. The first pair deals with information, complex dynamics and organizations; the second pair is often understood as synthetic and systemic. Postwar history recalls a sequence of exchanges between these fields; the aim of this paper is to highlight the relevance of some exchanges and their contemporary legacy. In this connection, the first part briefly outlines the meaning and history of the former disciplines, highlighting the strict circular models and how first-order cybernetics evolved towards a second order. The second part points to some exchanges between systems research, computational sciences and art forms, as well as to its architectural legacy. To a large extent, the current architectural interest in new sciences of emergence and complexity is rooted in the early systems research approach. Both areas are possible root sources of a future, effective built environment. I In nt tr ro od du uc ct ti io on n The present text was prepared as an introductory presentation to the session at Nexus 2010 entitled "Architecture, Systems Research and Computational Sciences". 1 The session was dedicated to exploring the exchanges between architecture and the fields of systems research and computational sciences. The session's main areas also included: second-order cybernetics, architectural morphogenesis and sustainability. Presentations focusing on topics such as complex systems, self-organization, emergence, topology, Cad-Cam, virtual environments and cyberspace, as well as on architects, designs and buildings which illustrate the relationship between architecture and mathematics, were included. Regarding the present paper, it should be acknowledged that the computational connection with telecommunications, which led to cyberspace, has constituted an architectural challenge at the level of urban building and design practice. More recently, architecture's interest in the new sciences of emergence and complexity, which Jencks even associated to a 'New Paradigm in Architecture' has became noticeable. However, the current digital architectural culture is rooted in early systems approach; an area which tended to view 'organization' from an approach of complexity.