04: Dynamics and Complexity: Diagrammatic Fields
Tracing Nonlinearity and Emergence
Referring to Klaus Mainzer’s theory and interpretation of move from symmetry towards complexity (Mainzer, 2005), and considering his explanation of complexity theory and theory of nonlinearity through various scientific frameworks (mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, economics and social sciences, computer science, philosophy, and arts), this issue calls for specific explanation of their application and research in architecture. The architectural design aimed at engaging time and change, transformation, shifting scales, mobility, multiplicity of views, programmes, scenarios, and forms (versioning and variation), interactivity, inner reconfiguration and self-constructing capacities, renders a specific mapping of dynamics and complexity, offering new measures and strategies of their control and skillful articulation.
Complexity theory, the study of nonlinear dynamic systems, has been used as a conceptual framework that “reconciles the essential unpredictability with the emergence of distinctive patterns” (Cartwright, 1991) – “It suggests that simple deterministic functions can give rise to highly complex and often unpredictable behavior, and yet this complexity can still exhibit surprising order and patterns” (Levy, 2000:68). Without simple cause and effect relationships, or a single and easily discernible rule of progression and development, the systems analysed are based on more complex algorithms and relational laws between the elements that constitute them. Their dynamic properties are essential for being characterised by “nonlinear relationships and complex interactions that evolve dynamically over time” (Levy, 2000:68; Tran, in Erçetin and Bağcı, 2016:169).
Using systems theory, theory of complexity and chaos, dynamic systems theory, theory of adaptibility, and design intelligence strategies (Ćirić, 2016) to provide necessary information and frame diagrammatic articulation of multiple data in architecture’s extended meta-disciplinary field, this issue challenges architectural interpretation and problematisation of thereby defined systemic and spatial features. Diagrammatisation of dynamic processes here implies scientific refinement and definition of their properties as basic motives and principles of architectural research (work with data and organising structures, or intensive properties with specific spatial effects) and architectural design (e.g. investigation through iterative processes and versioning).
The aim of this issue is therefore to investigate the possibilities of contemporary application of complexity theory and its branches developed under different scientific frameworks in architecture. Besides applying complexity logic in design issues, the very ‘architecture of complexity’ may be analysed as a concept and concrete structural response to intricate spatial conditions and main building/design thinking properties and parameters (formal, programmatic, logical, social, aesthetic, or all of them at the same time).
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