Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Tue, 03/16/2010 - 14:33, last updated Mon, 09/05/2011 - 21:47
As the idea of an emergent urbanism has become more popular, I'm receiving more and more emails asking me to look over some link or another and provide an opinion of the content. As I have unfortunately limited time, I cannot answer many of these requests. This led me to the realization that this little website needs to take a new, bold step into becoming something more than a blog/lesson, into an experiment in a new type of media.
Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Mon, 03/23/2009 - 07:00, last updated Sun, 11/06/2011 - 01:02
This is part I of a series of excerpts of an article to be published in the International Journal of Architectural Research entitled The Principles of Emergent Urbanism. Additional parts will be posted on this blog with the editor's permission until the complete article appears exclusively in the journal's upcoming issue.
Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 20:29, last updated Sun, 11/06/2011 - 01:06
Complexity, to employ the definition proposed by Jane Jacobs in the final chapter of Death and Life of Great American Cities, is a juxtaposition of problems. This implies that a complex solution is a juxtaposition of solutions: fractal geometry.
How does the way we build arrive at complex solutions to complex problems without driving the builders to madness? How can we solve problems which exist at every scale in space, but also exist at every scale in time? Let's take a look at St. Paul's Cathedral in the City of London.
Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 00:55, last updated Sun, 11/06/2011 - 01:09
It's strange that in all the literature on the subject of urbanism and city living, very few people ever ask themselves why humans would build cities at all. It seems to me that in order to truly know what to do with the city, we must start out by knowing why it's there in the first place. Somehow cities are so deeply rooted in humanity's history that we never get around to asking why we live in them.
Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 00:23, last updated Sun, 11/06/2011 - 01:19
In the 20th century, the modern movement in architecture drew up grand plans to remake cities for the machine age. Le Corbusier, the leader of the movement, conceived his Radiant City plan. He designed every part of it himself so that it would work as he had willed it to. His machine provided the solution to four problems: inhabitation, work, recreation, circulation. Everything else was removed.
The idea of a machine city expressed three assumptions that led to the catastrophic results of modernism.
Interesting observations, and in general I agree. However, I would add that another powerful part of this film is the dystopian idea that in a "dis-aggregated" world of suburban limbo, violent death is inevitable, and often emerges out of sheer boredom.
Thank you Mathieu.. I find myself lucky to come across your articles recently when i really needed knowledge about theory of emerging cities..
Its my master's project and I was going through few references when I came across this particularly..
I've been keeping your blog as a personal reference in the last two years and I'd like to congratulate and to thank you. It seems we have close interests... I was wondering if you know "The Self-Organizing Universe" by Eric Jantsch.
I appreciate the content on complexity, but I think many of the initial presumptions are unfounded, assumed, or contended. For example, when shall we assume that cities became "a normal, ordinary aspect of civilized living"?