Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Sun, 06/21/2009 - 23:54, last updated Sat, 02/18/2012 - 12:21
I don't believe that there is a dichotomy between a supposedly modern and traditional architecture. Instead there exist different geometric processes, and while traditionally builders have employed nesting processes in their work, for perhaps no other reason than it came naturally to them, modern builders have restricted themselves to linear geometric processes due to drawing their inspiration from Cartesian science and engineering.
Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 20:37, last updated Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:05
When did human creations stop being natural? We look at a tower block, a subdivision or a shopping mall parking lot and see the worst of industrial civilization translated into form. We tolerate them as necessary to achieve the material wealth of our civilization. Those human settlements that are still natural we grant special protections through UNESCO and historical preservation laws. We do not have a law that promotes the creation of new historic settlements because we are not quite sure how they are made.
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 Tue, 05/13/2008 - 00:37, last updated Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:06
If you ever find yourself speaking to an architect at a party, most likely the word transparency and the supposed need for it is going to come up over and over. This is a recent concern for the building arts. Modern architecture, traditionally, has been philosophically focused on honesty of materials, or the meaning of forms. Transparency is in a way a renunciation of architecture. Its purpose is to make the form of a building as unnoticeable as possible. Architecture just gets in the way, so making it unnoticeable is the best design choice. Nothing is the new something.
Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Mon, 11/19/2007 - 00:08, last updated Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:02
Fractal geometry has infiltrated popular culture since it was formalized in the early 80's from the works of Benoit Mandelbrot. While it has been used to study the form of cities by researchers such as Pierre Frankhauser and Michael Batty, the insights to be drawn from this field of mathematics have not yet penetrated the field of urbanism, defined as the construction of cities.
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"?