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Imagining a City-World Beyond Cosmopolis

A Research Report of the


Harvard Graduate School of Design
New Geographies Seminars
Spring 2010 & 2011
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2010
Paola Aguirre
Mais al-Azab
Hessa Alsowaidan
Allison Austin
Constantine Bouras
Jeffrey Butcher
Christina Cho
Ilana Cohen
Chris de Vries
Yao Dong
Nathan Etherington
Jaemin Ha
Song He
Hsiao Rou Huang
Jian Huang
Steve Huang
Laura Janka Zires
Nikolaos Katsikis
Saehoon Kim
Seong Seok Ko
Daniel Kumnick
Hungkai Liao
Shuhan Liao
Constantinos Louca
Patricia Martin Del Guayo
Ashley Merchant
Victor Munoz Sanz
Zhuorui Ouyang
Shawn Yee Shiong Pang
Pamela Ritchot
Christopher Roach
Pedro Santa-Rivera
Jonathan Scelsa
Ducksu Seo
Zeltia Vega Santiago
Rikako Wakabayashi
A Studio Research Report of the
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Imagining a City-World
Beyond Cosmopolis
2011
Ghazal Abbasy-Asbagh
Sheryl Bassan
Yarinda Bunnag
Yenlin Cheng
Dongjae Cho
Jonathan Crisman
Blair Cranston
Nick Croft
Robert de Miguel
Aneesha Dharwadker
Hana Disch
Jill Doran
Samaa Ellmam
Hui Feng
Amy Garlock
Chelsea Garunay
Michelle Ha
Daniel Ibanez
Mireille Kameni
Mariusz Klemens
Gavin Kroeber
Brendan Kellogg
Hee Seung Lee
Somin Lee
James Leng
Yu-Ta Lin
Elizabeth MacWillie
Jonathan Linkus
Ryan Madson
Pilsoo Maing
Fadi Masoud
Ryan Maliszewski
Paul Merrill
Magdalena Naydekova
Conor OShea
Andre Passos
Victoria Pineros
Mark Pomarico
William Quattlebaum
Trude Renwick
Li Sun
Mary Grace Verges
Clementina Vinals
Tory Wolcott
Ke Yu Xiong
New Geographies Seminars
2010 - 2011
Copyright 2011, The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All
rights are reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
The Harvard University Graduate School of Design is a leading
center for education, information, and technical expertise on the
built environment. Its departments of Architecture, Landscape
Architecture, and Urban Planning and Design offer masters and
doctoral degree programs and also provide the foundation for
Advanced Studies and Executive Education programs.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword by Prof. Hashim Sarkis
Course Description
Esquisses 2010
Infrastructure
Interregionality
Megaforms
New Geographies
Esquisses 2011
World 1 - TITAN
World 2 - Hydro States
World 3 - The Efficient World
World 4 - Post-Ecumenopolis
World 5 - The New Real
Conceptualizing Optimum Land Transformation Processes
Saehoon Kim
Managing Transition
Nikolaos Katsikis
Credits
1
8
48
84
88
97
1
Foreword by Prof. Hashim Sarkis
The World According to Architecture
Beyond Cosmopolis
Why should the city be considered the ultimate spatial
manifestation of globalization?
1
Much of the literature about urban development today
presents the global city or cosmopolis as the spatial outcome
of globalization with which we have to contend. World
migration patterns, ecological and other collective risks, and
unfathomable fows of capital are generating new patterns of
social, economic, and political organization that
specialists are still trying to identify and understand. They
are all unprecedented, we are told, and if they could only be
carefully modeled and well analyzed, and if some of their
undesirable impact could be addressed, they could lead to
more effective individual emancipation and better forms
of collective life. When it comes to their spatial modeling,
however, we are generally noticing the recurrence of
centralized metropolitan patterns of urbanization.
Granted, these settlements are rising at an unprecedented
scale and pace and in new settings. We have also no
doubt benefted enormously from two decades of rigorous
documentation and analysis of new settlement conditions
across the world, but this literature persists in describing the
new phenomena through established gradients of density and
centrality such as urban-suburban-rural, with conventional
land-use categories and within the confnes of nation-states.
Many radically different morphologies and typologies are
being recorded but their collective impact remains the city,
as big or fast-paced as it may have become.
To be sure, and whether coming from within the disciplines
of urbanism, landscape, geography, or ecology, we are
witnessing an increasing number of new positions that try to
respond to the complexity of the problem by proposing more
complex interdisciplinary approaches, but these positions, as
analytically rigorous as they may be, are ultimately so pre-
occupied with the nature of their interdisciplinarity that they
tend to forget the object of their inquiry. No matter how novel
the combination of tools, these interdisciplinary propositions
do not seem to offer better insight into the way that global
economic and social changes have transformed the built
environment. If one of the ambitions of architecture and
urbanism is to make visible emerging social conditions, why
are we not seeing the world as a possible scale of operation?
If fnancial and demographic fows are challenging national
boundaries, why is our imagination about space still bound
to the city and city-region-state order? Can we fnd an
equivalent to the scope of globalization in the space of the
world, as one spatial entity?
The City-World: A Brief History
An age, Gilles Deleuze repeats after Michel Foucault, does
not precede the visibilities that fll it. The image of a city-
world predates the advent of globalization, but it has yet to
come into consciousness as a representative visibility. The
representation may be too literal, but the world conceived as
one spatial entity corresponds to the scope of globalization,
where national and natural borders do not set limits to the
physical environment and to its perception. Early science-
fction writers such as H.G Wells foretold of the whole world
at war with itself ahead of a period of peace in which the
unifed conception acquired during wartime is maintained.
Led by technocrats, the world operates as one entity, as a
city-world. Science fction has continued to re-imagine the
world as a single entity, whether in the Asimovs Trantor or
in more popular renditions such as Star Wars Coruscant and
Death Star. Admittedly, these worlds differ considerably in
their governance, social and spatial organization, density,
and degree of urbanization, but they do anticipate and
rehearse the yearning for a spatial totality at the scale of the
world.
Discerning such a yearning from a totalizing project such as
that of empire or colonialism is as necessary as it is diffcult.
In the context of imagining the world as one entity, we cannot
overlook the grounds that such political aspirations cleared;
as emphasized by the likes of Fredric Jameson and Bruno
Latour, the necessity of the separation between the pursuit
of totalities and of totalizing projects is important if we are
to persist in developing clearer mappings or representations
of the world. Jamesons reference to Kevin Lynchs cognitive
mapping parallels Latours to the phenomenon of the
nineteenth century panorama.
2
In architecture, the classical project, and, in related, ways
that of the early Modernist universalism culminating in
the International Style, have aspired to a certain sameness
across national boundaries. This aspiration was driven more
by a temporal understanding of the world than a spatial
one. The world it imagined wanted to move in sync. Not that
a spatial conception was lacking, but it was lagging. The
aspiration for sameness of high Modernism emulated and
expressed the aspiration for equality among human beings
and states. The criticisms of this project are all too familiar
and they have helped us discern the indelible ties between
formal and political projects. Here again, however, we should
not miss out on the outlooks of connectedness and continuity
that Modern architecture effected across the world. As
visibilities, they should be able to live past their political
associations.
From the 1930s onward, the qualities of connectedness,
continuity, and sameness move from wish images to become
projected outcomes of development. Jean Gottmans
premonition featured a Megalopolis where cities grow and
connect to create regional bands of urbanization enabled
by increasing creation of communication and transport.
This premonition was magnifed to the scale of the world
and turned into an inevitability by Constantinos Doxiadis
Victor Pimstein, Horizon 39, 2009. Oil on wood, 54.5 x 78 cm.
2
in his proposition for an Ecumenopolis, a city-world formed
out of settlements around major routes of transportation.
Slowly, all development is drawn to this infrastructural grid
while clearing the rest of the planet for agriculture and
preservation. Speed of movement and proximity of people
to each other guided Doxiadis anticipatory and remedial
approach to urban planning. His contemporaries and fellow
world-warriors, such as Yona Friedman, Superstudio,
ConstantNieuwenhuis, and Buckminster Fuller, all aspired
to a worldly conception of their domain of operation that
transcended locality and city.
Friedman scaffolded a parallel city on top of the ground-
bound and sequestered one we inhabit. In doing so,
he accelerated spatial mobility and generated a new
topography that diffused boundaries and multiplied uses
and connections. For Superstudio, the connectivity of the
worlds citizens to each other depended on the establishment
of a fctive, smooth infrastructure that provided continuity
and connectivity against the earths geographic hurdles
and minimized the superstructure that is architecture to
almost nothing. Fullers obsession with mapping the world
in ways that could make its fnitude and fragility visible led
him to invent such representational devices as his famous
maps as well as the geoscope. Even though the scope of
Unitary Urbanism continued to be the metropolis, the
degree of diffusion of activities and land uses proposed by
Nieuwenhuis clearly transgressed the centrist models of
development toward more fuid continuities that heralded the
global space of New Babylon.
Not all of these attempts at representing and imagining the
world stemmed from a need to shape the larger totality, but
they all shared a dissatisfaction with the urban models of
high Modernism. The overwhelming revocation of these
models by postmodernist urban theories has in many ways
consolidated the Modernist centralized understanding of
the city. It has also ratifed it as the largest scope of the
inhabited environment while detracting from the radical
attributes of these late Modernist experiments in which the
world as one entity was articulated in architectural terms.
The renewed interest in this cast of renegade characters
and creations has primarily stressed the systemic versus
object-oriented approach to urbanism. Their environmental
and democratic motivations no doubt make them all the more
attractive and current, but even in the present reiteration of
these visions, their rendering of the world as one entity has
not been stressed. The global city has somehow eclipsed
the city-world. The difference between the two models
is important to stress even though city-world should not
be seen as the opposite of the world-city (or of the global
city or cosmopolis or whatever name will be applied to it
in the coming years). The cityworld is the scope, spatial
parameters, geometries, land-uses, and infrastructures
that connect the world and make us actively take part in its
description, its construction, and its perception as a totality.
Worldliness
Diffculties abound in thinking the world as one
architectural entity, but these diffculties are being slowly,
if inadvertently, overcome. We are venturing into a situation
where the city-world becomes a necessity. The seeming
immodesty of such a proposition and its imperial scope
should be countered with the scale and scope of risks
that contemporary society confronts, be they generated by
environmental, nuclear, or public health concerns; the scope
of action these risks generate requires a worldwide response,
including the coordination of the worlds spatial resources.
The capacity to understand and map the lived environment
beyond the scope of the city, corresponding to new patterns
of global mobility and demographic shifts, is now greatly
enhanced by new technologies and modes of representation
and communication that make us constantly aware of the
world as one entity. The lack of corresponding governing
authority that can help coordinate shaping the world remains
a major impediment to thinking the world but this may
weaken the totalizing dimension and mobilizes architects
to think of ways in which the qualities of the forms they
producetheir sameness, repetitiveness, connectedness
to larger geographic attributes like the horizon or trans-
regional phenomenacan mobilize the physical and
aesthetic dimensions of form in more effective ways than a
servile association with a political project. Most importantly,
while the emancipatory dimensions of such a scope of
imagination and operations, which predate the global
city to as far back as Heraclites, have been unnecessarily
bundled with the larger package of globalization, several
social theorists and philosophers such as Jean Luc-Nancy,
Kostas Axelos, and Michel Serres have recovered the project
of being in the world from the suffocating impositions of
globalization.
Furthermore, and despite valid criticisms that
have acompanied its resurgence, the discourse on
cosmopolitanism has helped imagine the subject of the world
as a positively nomadic stranger whose constant yearning
for being here and there at the same time produces ways
of describing and representing the world as the scope of
individual imagination. The writings of Edward Said on
worldiness and those of Anthony Appiah on strangeness are
particularly poignant on this issue.
World history, as an established feld of inquiry into the
history of the world as a set of collective phenomena, has
also helped generate historiographic and spatial models
for this investigation. In this respect, the recent work on
the history and historiography of the Mediterranean is
compelling. The Mediterranean that is most relevant to the
idea of the world is that of historian David Abulafa, who
speaks of distant shores with a frequency of communication
between them. Abulafa has argued that what most
characterizes the Mediterranean is a geography of opposed
but accessible shores with a frequency of exchange. In this
conception, the edges of the Mediterranean consist of cities
and towns that are loosely connected with their hinterland
but are mostly connected via trading communities and
businesses. The opposing shorelines could and should be
taken at different and nested scale.
What is most pertinent in Abulafas proposal is that the
Mediterranean is a model that could be applied to the world.
The increasing sameness within cities and between each
city and the rest of the world points to the dissolution of
place and to the acceleration of development to the point
where we can anticipate a world moving in a real-estate
development sync, especially after the last recession and the
global risks it generated. These global risks include security
and economic vulnerability that tie every citys patterns
to those of the world and bring it sometimes to the point
of brinkmanship and collapse, perhaps, as some argue, to
speak to the world. We ought to think again about whether
the sameness in the world is a sign of poverty of form or
of an untapped richnessa new source of inspiration
for urbanism and architecture. This sameness that I am
3
anticipating is not dull. It points to the fact that we are all
worldly, that we work to link to the world from where we
are, to achieve a sense of the totality and to anticipate a
city-world before and beyond globalization that fows with
Heraclitus River, where identities could be constantly
constructed, and constructed in part by design.
The World as an Architectural Question
But will the world ever be placed at the doorstep of
architects as an architectural question?
Increasingly, architects and planners are being compelled
to address and transform larger contexts and to give these
contexts more legible and expressive form. New problems
are being placed on designers agendas (e.g., infrastructure,
urban systems, regional and rural questions). Problems that
had been confned to the domains of engineering, ecology,
or regional planning are now looking for articulation by
design. This situation has opened up a range of technical
and formal possibilities that had been out of reach for
designers. The need to address these geographic aspects
has also encouraged designers to reexamine their tools and
develop means to link attributes that had been understood
to be either separate or external to their disciplines. The
importance of such questions as those of sustainability and
risk are beginning to put measurable standards in front of
architects so that they have to think about the world as a
physical scope of impact, if not of operation.
Yet engaging the geographic does not only mean a shift in
scale. This has also come to affect the formal repertoire of
architecture, even at a smaller scale, with more architects
becoming interested in forms that refect the geographic
connectedness of architecture, by its ability to bridge the
very large and the very small (networks and frameworks) or
to provide forms that embody geographic references (e.g.,
continuous surfaces, environmentally integrated buildings).
Curiously, while most of the research around these various
attributes has tended to be quite intense, the parallel tracks
of inquiry have remained disconnected. For example,
the discussion about continuous surfaces in architecture
ignores the importance of continuity of ground in landscape
ecology. Even if there is not a common cause driving these
different geographic tendencies, a synthesis is possible,
even necessary, to expand on the formal possibilities of
architecture and its social role. This makes the need to
articulate the geographic paradigm all the more urgent,
because the role of synthesis that geography aspired to play
between the physical, the economic, and the social is now
being increasingly delegated to design.
Even though the term geographic is used primarily in a
metaphorical way to designate a connection to the physical
context, the paradigm does overlap with the discipline of
geography. Some clarifcation is necessary in this respect
to beneft from the overlap while avoiding confusion.
The history of geography is strongly linked to the history
of discovery and colonization. The instruments for the
discovery of territory were extended into its documentation
and then, in turn, into its appropriation and transformation.
And yet the discipline has evolved to become more diverse
and broad, to become institutionalized around geographic
societies; to split into human and physical geography
producing very different approaches and even subject
matters; then to disintegrate (as in the case of Harvard)
and migrate into other disciplines (sociology, public health,
information systems); and then to be revived around
central contemporary issues such as globalization. The
paradigmatic role of geography in our thinking about design
in this proposition could be taken in the narrower sense of
geographic as being an attempt to study the relationship
between the social and the physical at a larger territorial
scale, but also to attempt a synthesis along the lines of
high geography by design. It may be an exaggeration to
propose that something like a geographic attitude, in both
method and content, is guiding different strands of design
thinking today toward convergence, or that a geographic
aesthetic dominates formal pursuits in the same way that the
machine aesthetic inspired functionalism at the turn of the
century, but it would be important to study the extent and
potentials of such a tendency.
As a way of pushing these formal possibilities, the question
of human settlements should be cast at the scale of the world.
Within this scale, the marks of the urban centralities would
be diffused and we can identify new spatial patterns that
transcend the limitations of cosmopolis and help us imagine
a better city-world.
Worldmaking
According to Nelson Goodman, the way the world is is
not predetermined. Moreover, it is not useful to draw an
exact distinction between what is given (out there) and what
is represented (mental or cognitive). To speak of the world
means to speak of one of its representations or constructions.
If two equally rigorous representations seem incompatible,
this implies two incompatible but nevertheless possible
worlds. Truth or rightness of rendering can only be
determined instrumentally, within a construction and around
the purpose for which it is constructed. Goodman has always
called on philosophers to examine the way artists construct
worlds through their media and techniques. Art anticipates
and elucidates the idea of world-making.
Goodmans proposition bridged between the logical and
semiological approaches to the question of representation,
but its emphasis on the world as the space in which a scope
of operation is internally consistent (and therefore real)
could be linked to the proposal of thinking the world as an
entity. As per Latours conceptualization of the totality in his
Reassembling the Social, we ought to take these panoramic
representations seriously because they provide the only
occasion to see the whole story as a whole. He goes on:
Their totalizing views should not be despised as an act of
professional megalomania, but they should be adding, like
everything else, to the multiplicity of sites we want to deploy.
Far from being the place where everything happens, as in
their directors dreams, they are local sites to be added to
as so many new places dotting the fattened landscape we
try to map. But even after such a downsizing, their role may
become central since they allow spectators, listeners, and
readers to be equipped with a desire for wholeness and
centrality. It is from those powerful stories that we get
our metaphors for what binds us together, the passions
we are supposed to share, the general outline of societys
architecture, the master narratives with which we are
disciplined. It is inside their narrow boundaries that we get
our commonsensical idea that interactions occur in a wider
context; that there is a up and a down; that there is a local
nested inside a global; and that there might be a Zeitgeist
the spirit of which has yet to be devised.
3
Along these lines, we should think of the ability of architects
to construct new worlds and to encourage new forms of
inhabitation, or habits, in these worlds. This constructionist
4
position in architecture could be expanded into the following
main ideas:
The idea that each building could be a world or part of
a world, that it would start from an internal logic and that
it would unwind outward to meet the edges of other worlds
and transform them. That this transformation could also
transgress the conventional boundaries between building
and context so that a new spatial relationship could emerge,
something like a new geography, to redescribe the terrain in
which architecture operates.
The idea that the functional dimension of architecture
should remain important in this process, but that it should
be addressed as habits of living, as inhabitation. In that
sense, these habits of living should be interrogated and
revised to allow for the formation and expression of new
habits. This is the core of world-making la Goodman.
The idea that we should inhabit these new contexts
with new eyes, that the new habits of living encourage new
habits of representation and seeing, which in turn help in
achieving another level of signifcance to architecture. This
signifcance is one that maintains a level of openness to the
experiences of its inhabitants. They are acquired rather than
imposed.
The idea that the attributes of sameness, repetition,
placelessness, scalelessness, and homogeneity that have
so far been scaring us and compelling us to obsessively
articulate and differentiate by architecture could be turned
into a treasure of qualities waiting to be re-explored.
The idea that architecture, by virtue of its ability to
balance between internal worlds and external ones, should
maintain a certain level of operative autonomy and behave
more like an object than systemic thinkers (blinded by the
utilitarian approaches of ecology or technology) would like.
The possibility of a quasiobject, to borrow from Michel
Serres, is also waiting to be explored.
These ideas are not foreign to our palette of moves or to
the history of our formal pre-occupations. Every building
by Mies van der Rohe alternated between constructing an
internal world and inscribing part of the horizon that links
it to the world. Every other building by Enric Miralles
wrapped a belt around the world but bled into it. Elias
Torres uses geometry as the means of mediating between
the particularities of the setting and larger orders that
tie a locality to the world. The practice of an exaggerated
silhouetting of buildings fattens an object into constructing
skylines rather than being fxed into grounds. The quasi-
object-like character of much of contemporary architecture is
latently pointing to this direction and impatiently waiting to
become conscious.
Reprinted with permission from New Geographies 4.
Edited by El Hadi Jazairy
Notes
1. This essay is the outcome of research toward the
course New Geographies that I have been teaching
at the Graduate School of Design since 2006. I am grateful
to the students who have participated in the class through its
different iterations, particularly to those who took part in the
last version
on Imagining a City-World Beyond Cosmopolis and whose
research and insights have helped clarify many arguments
made here. Peder Anker, as usual, has helped in raising
the bar on intellectual provocation. I am also very grateful
to Neil Brenner for his insights and for pointing me in the
direction
of Stuart Elden and Kostas Axelos.
2. See, for example, Fredric Jamesons canonical
essay on Ideology See also Bruno Latour,
Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to
Actor-Network-Theory (Oxford and New York:
Oxford University Press, 2005)
3. Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social, 189.
5
COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course invited the students to imagine better urban
and architectural forms that overcome the limitations of the
global city, or cosmopolis.
Much of the literature about urban development today
presents cosmopolis as the inevitable outcome of
globalization with which we have to contend. World
migration patterns towards the urban, collective ecological
risks, and the global economy are generating intense but
ultimately undesirable cities. We have benefted enormously
from two decades of rigorous documentation and analysis of
this condition, but this literature persists in describing these
phenomena within the confnes of nation states, through
gradients of density and centrality such as urban-suburban-
rural and with conventional land-use categories that overlook
many of the radically different morphologies and typologies
that are emerging. Ultimately, many of these methodologies
compromise the originality and potentials of emerging forms
of settlement.
Geography as Paradigm
Increasingly designers are being compelled to address
and transform larger contexts and to give these contexts
more legible and expressive form. New problems are being
placed on the tables of designers (e.g.: infrastructure, urban
systems, regional and rural questions). Problems that had
been confned to the domains of engineering, ecology,
or regional planning are now looking for articulation by
design. This situation has opened up a range of technical
and formal possibilities that had been out of reach for
designers. The need to address these geographic aspects
has also encouraged designers to re-examine their tools and
to develop means to link together attributes that had been
understood to be either separate from each other or external
to their disciplines. (For example, in the past decade,
different versions of landscape urbanism have emerged in
response to similar challenges).
Yet engaging the geographic does not only mean a shift in
scale. This has also come to affect the formal repertoire of
architecture, even at a smaller scale, with more architects
becoming interested in forms that refect the geographic
connectedness of architecture, by its ability to bridge
between the very large and the very small (networks and
frameworks) or to provide forms that embody geographic
references (e.g.: continuous surfaces, environmentally
integrated buildings).
Curiously, while most of the research around these different
attributes has tended to be quite intense, the parallel tracks
of inquiry have remained disconnected. For example, the
discussion about continuous surfaces in architecture ignores
the importance of continuity of ground in landscape ecology.
The seminar does not propose that a common cause is
driving these different geographic tendencies but it does
insist that a synthesis is possible, even necessary, in order
to expand on the formal possibilities of architecture and its
social role.
This makes the need to articulate the geographic paradigm
all the more urgent because the role of synthesis that
geography aspired to play between the physical, the
economic, and the social is now being increasingly delegated
to design.
The aim of the course was to expose the workings of this
latent paradigm and to help articulate and direct them
towards a more productive synthesis.
Even though the term geographic is used primarily in a
metaphorical way to designate a connection to the physical
context, the paradigm does overlap with the discipline of
geography. Some clarifcation is necessary in this respect in
order to beneft from the overlap while avoiding confusion.
The history of geography is strongly linked to the history
of discovery and colonization. The instruments for the
discovery of territory were extended into its documentation
and then, in turn, were extended into its appropriation
and transformation. And yet the discipline has evolved to
become more diverse and broad, to become institutionalized
around geographic societies; to split into human and
physical geography producing very different approaches and
even subject matters; then to disintegrate (as in the case
of Harvard) and migrate into other disciplines (sociology,
public health, information systems); and then to be revived
around central contemporary issues such as globalization.
The paradigmatic role of geography in our thinking about
design in this course could be taken in the narrower sense
of geographic as being an attempt to study the relationship
between the social and the physical at a larger territorial
scale but also to attempt a synthesis along the lines of
high geography by design. It may be an exaggeration to
propose that something like a geographic attitude, both in
method and in content, is guiding different strands of design
thinking today towards convergence, or that a geographic
aesthetic dominates formal pursuits in the same way that the
machine aesthetic inspired functionalism at the turn of the
century, but it would be important to study the extent and
potentials of such a tendency.
Proposal
To be sure, we are seeing an increasing number of new
interdisciplinary positions that try to adequately respond
to the complexity of the problem, like landscape-now-
ecological urbanism or post-metropolitan studies but these
positions are ultimately too preoccupied with the nature
of their inter-disciplinarity and not focused enough on the
formal consequences of their undertaking.
We are also seeing new design propositions that address
these challenges quite provocatively but if we examine them
carefully, as we will do during this semester, some of their
more vivid visions turn out to be powerless premonitions.

As a way of pushing these formal possibilities to the hilt,
the course proposes that we cast the question of human
settlements at the scale of the world, we can identify new
spatial patterns that transcend the limitations of cosmopolis
and help us imagine a better city-world. The course
focuses on the emerging geographies of urban regions,
infrastructures, new urban conglomerations, mega-forms,
and on the emergence of new geo-aesthetics.
The city-world is not the opposite of the world-city or the
global city or of cosmopolis. The city-world is the possibility
of imagining the spatial parameters, geometries, land-uses,
infrastructures that connect the world and make us actively
take part in its description and construction as a totality.
6
Note: student participants from each course (2010 top, 2011 bottom) are listed alphabetically in the title page.
ESQUISSES 2010
INFRASTRUCTURE
Constantine Bouras
Jian Huang
Constantinos Louca
Patricia Martin del Guayo
Christopher Roach
Rikako Wakabayashi
1000km
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1987 2005
66 33N
1992 2007
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a
[1
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5
10
30
20
15
38
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1978 1988 1993 2008 2003 1983 1998
greenland
S
1
9
8
2
2
0
0
7
lake chad
1963
1973
1987
1997
2007
nigeria
chad
cameroon
hamoun lakes [iran//afghanistan]
lake chad [chad//nigeria//cameroon]
lake nakuru [kenya]
aral sea [kazakhstan//uzbekistan]
dal lake [india]
yangtze river basin [china]
yellow river basin [china]
tonle sap lake [cambodia]
lake baikal [russia]
dojran lake [greece//f.y.r.o.m.]
lake chapala [mexico]
great lakes [usa]
mono lake [usa]
lake owens [usa]
constantine bouras // new geographies_the melting ice and shrinking lakes infrastructure
sources: united nations environmental programme // www.unep.org
nasa // www.nasa.gov
5.0 mm
rise of sea level /annualy
globalize
before its too late
la
sf
sd
ut
nv
az
ca
barranca del cobre [mexico]
cotahuasi canyon [peru]
kali gandaki gorge [nepal]
yarlung zangbo grand canyon [china]
grand canyon [usa]
11
Image source:
http://worldofweirdthings.com/
Image source:
http://shiftboston.blogspot.com/
2009/08/iphone-city.html
Black hole
Real-time communication
through multiple mode;
Reshuffling of physical
connectivity;
Virtual Reality
De-materialization
Virtual Reality
The merge of space and time,
physicality and virtuality;
Communication protocols.
Internet
Global 3G/4G Network
Connection at its geographical location
Connection after the distortion
i-frastructure
Global iphone network
iphone network Server network
Totality
New Connectivity
GSD 3420: New Geography
Jian Ming Huang
12
constantinos louca
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$
APPEARANCE CULTURE
PRODUCTION COMMERCE
BABTERRITORY
BABCITIZENSHIP
BABECONOMY
BABLANDSCAPE BABMETROPOLIS
BAB
LANDSIDE LANDSIDE AIRSIDE
Modern architects are negligent. They have systemati-
cally ignored the massive transformations of everyday
life caused by the twin forces of globalization and rap-
id urbanization. Their endless new urbanist schemes
desperately provide token fragments of pseudo-nature
to pacify ruthlessly exploited citizens. The modern
city is a thinly disguised mechanism for extracting
productivity out of its inhabitants, a huge machine
that destroys the very life it is meant to foster. Such
exploitative machinery will continue to grow until a
single vast urban structure occupies the whole surface
of the earth. Nature has already been replaced. Tech-
nology has long been the new nature that must now be
creatively transformed to support a new culture. The
increasingly traumatized inhabitants have to take over
the shaping of their own spaces to recover the pleasure
of living. This reshaping will be come the dominant
activity when information technology soon handles all
forms of production.
The airport will be hijacked as the medium for reshap-
ing the city because of its connection to global mo-
bility and its command over vast tracts of land. The
airports continual absorption of all urban functions
and its open-ended process of continual transforma-
tion will be co-opted to transform the web of mobility
infrastructure into a vast continuous interior. The
relationship between the city and its infrastructure
will be reversed. The increasingly localized produc-
tive capacity of the city will be used to support the
truly oiko-nomic activity of building and maintain-
ing this global aviopolis. This global aviopolis is the
New Babylon. Its citizens are not the generic laborers
of the global service economy but are the new nomads of
cultural production and ludic exchange. Passage to this
Mediterranean of the air is gained not through proof of
nationality or ones status as a consumer, but through
the repudiation of material possessions in exchange for
the true freedom of unhindered creativity. Citizenship
and identity are constructed through the continu-
ous artistic production of urban atmospheres, and
the New Babylonians become anointed as angels;
airborne, all-seeing, outside of time.
Leisure time will be the only time.
Work gives way to an endless collec-
tive play in which all fantasies
are acted out. The static
constructions of archi-
tects and urban plan-
ners are thrown away.
Everybody becomes
an architect,
practicing
a never-
-end-
ing, all-embracing ecumen-urbanism. Nothing will be
fxed.
This new urbansim exists in time, it is the
activation of the temporary, the emergent
and transitory, the changeable, the
volatile, the variable, the immedi-
ately fulflling and satisfying.
An intimate bonding of desire
and space will produce a
new kind of architec-
ture for a new so-
ciety: the avio-
ecumenopolis.
A New Baby-
lon of
t h e
BAB
NEW BABYLON GLOBAL
AI RPORT CI T Y WORL D
a medi t er r anean of t he ai r
15
1000km
N
1987 2005
66 33N
1992 2007
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lt
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a
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2
]
6
5
10
30
20
15
38
25
1978 1988 1993 2008 2003 1983 1998
greenland
S
1
9
8
2
2
0
0
7
lake chad
1963
1973
1987
1997
2007
nigeria
chad
cameroon
hamoun lakes [iran//afghanistan]
lake chad [chad//nigeria//cameroon]
lake nakuru [kenya]
aral sea [kazakhstan//uzbekistan]
dal lake [india]
yangtze river basin [china]
yellow river basin [china]
tonle sap lake [cambodia]
lake baikal [russia]
dojran lake [greece//f.y.r.o.m.]
lake chapala [mexico]
great lakes [usa]
mono lake [usa]
lake owens [usa]
constantine bouras // new geographies_the melting ice and shrinking lakes infrastructure
sources: united nations environmental programme // www.unep.org
nasa // www.nasa.gov
5.0 mm
rise of sea level /annualy
globalize
before its too late
la
sf
sd
ut
nv
az
ca
barranca del cobre [mexico]
cotahuasi canyon [peru]
kali gandaki gorge [nepal]
yarlung zangbo grand canyon [china]
grand canyon [usa]
rikako wakabayashi
INTERREGIONALITY
Ilana Cohen
Chris de Vries
Jaemin Ha
Seong Seok Ko
Daniel Kumnick
Pedro Santa-Rivera
Zeltia Vega Santiago
Jonathan Scelsa
Ducksu Seo
19
20
NETROPOLIS
High-tech
Industries
Municipal
Government
Financial &
Trading Center
Logistics
Main Farmland Cluster
Main Agricultural Cluster
51-809 hab/sqkm 810-2443 hab/sqkm 2444-4352 hab/sqkm 4353-17818 hab/sqkm 17819-26566 hab/sqkm
Professionals Manufacturer Logistics Agriculture Port
Shenzhen, China
Jaemin Ha
The development of Shenzhen is a process during which urban context gradually extends towards the waterfront areas and mountain
areas. The reclaimed land, about 4% of the citys land area, is mainly used for housing, industry and highway constructions
21
Greater Seoul Metropolitan Region for The Unified Korea, 2050 New Geographies : Imagining a City - World Beyond Comsmopolis
Seong Seok Ko
Seoul Metropolitan, 2010 Now
Seoul-Incheon Metropolitan Region

The Capital of Tadyas Korea and previous Dynasty 'Choseon'
Setled 1394 AD.

Area Special City : 605.25
Metropolitan Area : 9,864

Density 17,288/

Populaton Special City : 10,464,051
Metropolitan Area : 24,472,063
Seoul-Kaesong Metropolitan, 2050 Near Futreu afer Establishment of The Unied Korea
Seoul - Incheon - Kaesong Metropolitan Region

The Capital for The New Unied Korea afer Unicaton of South and North Korea
S
Area Special Cites (Seoul + Kaesong) : About 2,100
Metropolitan Area : About 11,500

Density About 11,000/

Populaton Special Cites (Seoul + Kaesong): About 17,000,000
Metropolitan Area : About 34,000,000
Kaesong City, 2010 Now
Seoul-Incheon Metropolitan Region

The Capital of Korean Old Dynasty 'Corea'
Setled 1394 AD.

Area 1,309
M

D

Populaton 308,440

Kaesong
Yellow Sea
Seoul 30km 60km
Seoul Metropolitan Region Land Use (2010 Present)
North Korea
Yellow Sea
D.M.Z.
Mountain Range
Expansion
Expansion to The West
Yellow Sea
Kaesong
Seoul 30km 60km
Seoul - Kaesong Metropolitan Region Land Use (2050)
Commercial
Residence
Industry
Transportaton
Satellite Res.
30km
60km
Commercial
Residence
Industry
Transportaton
Satellite Res.
30km
60km
2010 2050
Yellow Sea
Mountain Range
Expansion
Expansion to The North
22
23
24
25
Internally Displaced People Worldwide
April 2010
composite map
natural resources
agricultural land
green zone
new settlements
I
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The proposal looks for providing settlement to
African refugees between Sudan and Chad. The new
settlements will be autonomous from existing cities and
they will settle near natural resources in order to benefit
from them and prosper.
The main economic activity is focused on farming
and agriculture but the new cities will have other facili-
ties such as school, hospitals and markets which will
also serve the exisiting cities
A green zone will protect all settlements and their
resources.
26
27
Humans han been familiar with binary thinking in dividing man and nature, culture and nature, rea-
sonable and emotional, architecture and landscape architecture. Several critics and philosophers
such as Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, and Alice Jardine argued that binary thinking can be
identified as a strong medium to establish a controlling power in a hierarchical structure. The bi-
nary thinking has led to ruthless industrialization and urban sprawl which have the most destruc-
tive force against nature since it contains the highest concentration of human activity. The concept
of the region mentioned by Mumford and McHarg implicated a new relationship between landscape
and built environment. Mumford considered regional planning as a means of responding to the de-
teriorating environment, and put more emphasis on coexistence of human and nature in it. McHarg
strongly stressed the intrinsic suitability of lands for urban and regional planning, and argued
that physical planning should be well mingled with natural conditions and values. Neo-regionality
is to integrate natue and built environemnts. The critical components of natural system are con-
nectivitiy and flow. The neo-regionality reestablish relationship with human and nature with inte-
grative thinking.
Neo-Regionality
MEGAFORMS
Hessa Alsowaidan
Song He
Huang Kai Liao
Shuhan Liao
Ashley Merchant
Zhuorui Ouyang
Shawn Yee Shiong Pang
Victor Munoz Sanz
31
17%
7%
15%
5%
30%
8%
11%
4%
3%
Energy
Livestock
Transportaton
Argriculture
Manufacture
Other Industry
Land Reclamaton
Waste Management
Daily Life
21%
18%
14%
12%
10%
7%
12%
4%
2%
Energy
Livestock
Transportaton
Argriculture
Manufacture
Other Industry
Land Reclamaton
Waste Management
Daily Life
Carbon Dioxide Emission
Carbon Dioxide Circulaton
Capture Carbon Dioxide and Energy
Energy Consumpton
Energy Lost
40%
Input
output
100%
URBAN CANOPY
CARBON DIOXIDE AND ENERGY CAPTURE SYSTEM
Actvity Pool Rainy
INTER - CITY
SO
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UNDERGROUND CENTRAL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
solar energy panal weather control system
INTER - REGION
GLOBAL
INTER - CITY
INTER - REGION
GLOBAL
CENTRAL CONTROLED TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
Tallest Building = 190 oors _ Height = 700m = 2 x Empire State Building _ Total Footprint = 13,041,000 m2 = 50 x Empire State Building = provide 153,423 units of average 2 bedroom apartment (85m2/ unit)
MEGA FORM - THE WORLD WITHOUT A DIFFERENCE
LIAO, HUNG KAI
all climate / geographical condition
central underground transportation
farming everywhere
central transportation spine
structure, street, public space
buildings
shells, protection, climate control
TRANSPARENT METASTRUCTURE
Ring of Fire_earthquakes 1980~2006
Invisible cloak
Shu-han Liao
34
D
U
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B
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64
the walrus
over-exIoifed fhe aralIe Iand lv oening fragiIe grassIands fo cuIfivafion and over-uming rivers and aquifers in fhe oases lordering fhe ancienf deserfs. The area of deserf fhus creafedis equivaIenf fomore fhanhaIf fhe farmIandinCanada. The soiI, once if is larren, is swef u lv fhe wind info dusf sforms, laffering fhe caifaI, Beijing, and fhen mov- ing on fo Korea and Iaan. The mosf massive of fhe veIIow cIouds of dusf make fheir wav across fhe Pacihc and reach Norfh America. The Ioss of recious fosoiI for Chinese agri- cuIfure ends u oIIufing lofh China's cifies and counfries haIfwav around fhe worId. The Norfh American "dusf lowI" of fhe :q:os forced fhree miIIion farmers fo alandon fheir Iand in fhe Mid- wesf and fhe Canadian rairies. Buf fhe Chinese exodus couId reach weII info fhe fens of miIIions. GovernmenfaI reIocafion rograms for ecoIogicaI refugees are aIreadv in fuII swing. Iromfheir choice vanfage oinf af a window seaf in fhe FO's uscaIe resfauranf, frain assengers can wifness anofher equaIIv secfacuIar sighf: evervwhere onfhe horizon,
A
he FO frain fhaf foIIows China's greaf norfhern sfees and fhe Iegendarv SiIk Road couId le dulled "fhe deserfihcafion frain." TraveIIing fromeasf fo wesf, fromBeijing fo Irumqi, if cufs fhrough :,:: kiIomefres of dusfv grassIands, dried-u riverleds, fhreafened oases, and deserfs lofh ancienf and new. A few hours affer fhe frain Ieaves Beijing, a Iunar lIack mounfain range weIcomes ass- engers info a vasf arid Iandscae. Deserfs cover :S ercenf of China fodav. Of fhose, S er- cenf are nafuraI, whiIe zz ercenf were creafed lv humans. AImosf aII of fhemIie aIong fhe FO's roufe fhrough fhe rovinces of Inner MongoIia, Ningxia, Gansu, and hnaIIv Xinjiang, af fhe edge of CenfraI Asia. LuIIed lv fhe rhvfhmic cIang of mefaI wheeIs on raiIs, for fwo davs assengers can wafch a dreamscae of sfees and deserfs go lv. Buf fhe view aIso reveaIs one of fhe greafesf environmenfaI disasfers of our fime: fhe Chinese Dusf BowI, rolalIv fhe Iargesf conversion of roducfive Iand info sand anvwhere in fhe worId. To dafe, Chinese farmers and herders have fransformed alouf oo,ooo square kiIomefres of croIand and verdanf rairie info newdeserfs. The sheherds have overgrazed fhe sfees, aIIowing fheir shee and goafs fo chewfhe grass aII fhe wav down fo ifs roofs. The farmers, for fheir arf, have
fW][i ,(,)0;VgbZghbV`Zi]Z^glVn]dbZdc bdidgW^`Zhi]gdj\] i]Z Yjhi^c VYg^ZY"jegZhZgkd^g^c LjlZ^ dVh^h! <Vchj Egdk^cXZ# EaVhi^X abegd" iZXihbZadc hZZYa^c\h# WXel[06]ZgYZghiVcYhcZVg[gV\^aZheg^c\i^bZ\gVhh! l]ZgZ ]^h h]ZZe VgZ \gVo^c\ ^c i]Z V[iZgbVi] d[ V Yjhi hidgb ^c LjlZ^ dVh^h#
FEA_Chinese_01_OCT07.indd 64 8/15/07 4:58:22 PM
35
water desalination
energy generation
food production
living area
gathering space
hans hollein | transformations (1963 - 1968) | aircraft carrier city in landscape nl architects | virtual realities (2008) | cruise city, city cruise
plug-out cities
with rising water level, a network of cruise cities emerge along the coasts
these cruise cities can carry pieces of the old cities and be pl ugged into anywhere around the world
zhuorui ouyang
these cruise cities can carry over 10,000 inhabitants
Shawn Yee Shiong Pang
PLATE TECTONICS
a.k.a. Andinarchitecture
Vctor Muoz Sanz
After the impact of its incandescent surfaces on Buenos Aires, the Shopping Rock stands amidst a cloud from the evaporation of water of the lagoons
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NEW GEOGRAPHIES
Paola Aguirre
Mais al Azab
Jeffrey Butcher
Christina Cho
Nathan Etherington
Hsiao Rou Huang
Steve Huang
Paola Aguirre
41
A r c h i t e c t u r e
and The Surface of The World
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Spatial Mosaic . Mais al Azab . March II
The surface of the globe creates a natural landscape mosaic ; the new Architecture challenges the discontinuty of some of these surfaces and blurs the line between the architectonic spatial continuity and the surface of the world as a new form of coexistence .
42
THE OMPHALOS PROJECT
Earth has reached a population and environmental tipping point. Urban growth has extended around the
planet and the environment is suffering as a result. The thin atmosphere can not sustain life as it has in the past.
As an end run, The Omphalos project is a first step in a process of galacticization and interplanetary exchange.
The first, and closest source for primary resources and raw materials is our moon. The dusty soil on the moon has
been studied since we first landed there on Apollo 13, some 250 years ago. The samples brought back have told
us that the flour like soil, composed of iron, silica and oxygen are very nearly nanoparticulates. Therefore, the
fusion of this mixture can happen at low temperatures and yield a very hard substance, as hard if not harder than
steel. The process for farming this material is unique. NASA has developed large lunar tractors fitted with thermal
microwave discs. These disks heat the surface material with 250 watts of microwaves - the same as a conven-
tional microwave oven - congealing the soil to a depth of 1 meter. These new building materials are then shipped
back to earth to be used in the construction of domes over much of the earths surface.
Discussions of the creation of an ecumenopolis revolve around two issues. First, the density with which the
planet is covered and the corresponding population required to maintain it. Second, the environmental or social
reasons for creating a world city. Using Isaac Asimovs city world of Trantor as a starting point, the Omphalos
examines these issues by using the moon as a resource for creating an ecumenopolis and galactic center here
on earth. With President Obamas recent privitization of space travel the effect of decreasing the percieved
distance between earth and space, between individual and universe is becoming more apparent.
The Omphalos is an ancient religious stone artifact, or baetylus. In Greek, the word omphalos means "navel".
According to the ancient Greeks, Zeus sent out two eagles to fly across the world to meet at its center, the
"navel" of the world. Omphalos stones used to denote this point were erected in several areas surrounding the
Mediterranean Sea; the most famous of those was at the oracle in Delphi. History when considered in relation-
ship to such a project displays an interesting temporal effect. Once changes to the moon become visible from
earth, we will have created a historic hinge point. A kind of referent point of no return, which distorts yet codi-
fies the history of our civilization.
Jeffrey Butcher
PONTOON
CITY
locomotive, global
post-disaster
network
CHRISTINA
CHO
GSD3421
NEW GEOGRAPHIES
1
1
3
3
3
Port-au-Prince
EPICENTER
Carrefour Gressier
Gonaves
Saint-Marc
Logne
Jacmel
Miragone
blue whale offshore platform cruise ship
pontoon community pod
2480 ft
1100 ft 100ft 500 ft
CONCERTED, GLOBAL RELIEF EFFORT
Countries from around the world donate pods which then interlock and recongure
exibly according to its the specicity of its destination. Floating infrastructure does
not rely on an armature. Standardized pod size and parameters allow for asynchronous,
globally-distributed construction. Iconicity of aggregated pods diverts the worlds
collective gaze, heightening its anticipation of news on the disaster relief.
POD MOVEMENT
Pods are propelled through their own locomotive
system. The pontoon pods oat on ballasts and
hulls which integrate into the hydrologic energy
generation infrastructure.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL RELIEF
Floating hospital pod is on-call and can
be deployed within 24 hours.
POD SHAPE
Hexagonal shape aggregates to mediate
curvaceous and re-entrant coastline
geometries. The shape also allows for
seamless agglomeration. Pods are not
anchored to the ocean oor.
ROADS NETWORK
Pontoon pods link together such that the
roads continue, allowing short circuits of
existing highways which have shut down.
Decrepit transport infrastructure further
slows rebuilding effort. Immediate new
infrastructure facilitates overall rebuilding.
ENERGY PRODUCTION
Less than 1.5% of Haitis tree cover
remains intact. Lack of other energy
sources has led to severe deforestation.
Pod infrastructure makes possible the
harnessing of hydroelectric & wind
energy. Energy may power the pod or if
exceeding energy demand, be sent
back to grid to mainland.
IMMEDIATE, TEMPORARY HOUSING
Each pontoon pod can be a self-sufcient community with potential
for self-expression.
PROTECTION AGAINST SUBSEQUENT NATURAL DISASTERS
Floating on the water, the pod benets from natural base isolation in face of
aftershocks.
44
Te Aleph
The Alephs diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all
space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirrors face,
let us say) was infnite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle
of the universe; I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I
saw the multitude of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of
a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was london); I saw,
close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me in a mirror; I saw
all the mirrors on earth and none of them refected me;
Jorge Luis Borges
Te Synchronic Tower Te Diachronic Tower Te Labrint
8.00m 50.00m 3.12m
300m
2000.036m
2000.000m
45
w
o
rld
s
h
a
rin
g
th
e
d
iffe
re
n
c
e
s

WORLD OF EQUITY
MAUD Huang, Hsiao Rou
w
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l
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h
o
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t
y
Distribution of human settlements
S
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:

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C
lim
ate: Various
S
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ld

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C
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te: Various
S
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W
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ld
S
t
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C
lim
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: h
o
m
ogeneous
S
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ty
: O
n
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W
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rld
S
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te
C
lim
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te
: V
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rio
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s
Settlement unit/ Composition
In order to have a peace future, afer World War II, the world agreed to unify as a entty, called One World State. The world tried to reach the equity to avoid conicts. Therefore, citzens of one world state work
for the whole society. Everyone shares everything in the world. People can move to wherever they want to stay. However, this caused the extremely unequal distributon of human setlements. What is the new
model of the world of equity? Is the equity we pursue meaning having one same thing? Or it Is the equity that people can sharing the dierences?.
SCALE TESTS
Francois Blanciak proposes that form can be conceived a priori of site. But does
a tea saucer still have social signicance when writ large as a city? The megafor-
ms of Brazilia, Masdar, and Dongtan, according to Kenneth Frampton, can both
unify the random character of the megalopolis and connect cities with the hori-
zontality of the ground. Yet legibility from the aerial photo might not be cohesive
at the human scale.
GSD3421
STEPHEN HUANG
city on the water - New Tea Saucer City
1 m 10 m
tea saucers garden stairs
oating dock structure
infrastructural ties to mainland
GGGGGGGSSSSSSSSDDDDDDD3333333444444422222221111111
SSSSSSSTTTTTTTTEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEENNNNNNNN HHHHHHHUUUUUUUUUAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNGGGGGGGG
Francois Blanciaks
experiments- from
scaleless to scaled
1000 m
at the human scale.
1 m
t
47
ESQUISSES 2011
World One | TITAN
Yenlin Cheng
Dongjae Cho
BLair Cranston
Jonathan Crisman
Hana Disch
Brendan Kellogg
Gavin Kroeber
Ryan Madson
Ryan Maliszewski
Problematic
As the virtual is increasing the milieu for easy
social, commercial and political gathering, we
are left with the irony that human interactions
are fundamentally more effcient, intense, and
meaningful when conducted in person.
Currently the world seeks to address this issue
by making the virtual means of communica-
tion more robust without accepting the limit
state that it cannot be, by its nature, ever
equivalent. The rapid increase in world-wide
fows of information and data transfers is far
outstripping, and gradually replacing, the
fows of people within the world.
Proposition
To create the world as a functioning totality we
must create a dynamic equilibrium between
the physical fow of people and the fow of
information. If personal and group interac-
tions are fundamentally more successful in
the physical world we should seek to create
a world that maximizes these interactions
without rejecting globalization as a fact of
life. Our current model of urbanization is not
capable of dealing with this on a global scale
as people remain tied to particular locales
and a few large urban areas. We must allow
for the fow of people in the same manner that
we allow for the fow of information in order
to maximize these fundamental interactions.
Instead of a focus on a specifc place this
world will construct itself around the creation
of temporary events. This proposition will have
dramatic ramifcations on notions of ownership
and use rights, and we imagine that the only
path forward will emerge from a paradigm of
open source property and the provision of
urban hardware and software that is freely
useable by its citizens.
World One | TITAN
51
52
53
54
55
World Two | Hydro States
Yarinda Bunnag
Daniel Ibanez
Mireille Kameni
Somin Lee
Jonathan Linkus
Fadi Masoud
Robert de Miguel
Conor OShea
Andre Passos
Problematic
As the virtual is increasing the milieu for easy
social, commercial and political gathering, we
are left with the irony that human interactions
are fundamentally more effcient, intense, and
meaningful when conducted in person.
Currently the world seeks to address this issue
by making the virtual means of communica-
tion more robust without accepting the limit
state that it cannot be, by its nature, ever
equivalent. The rapid increase in world-wide
fows of information and data transfers is far
outstripping, and gradually replacing, the
fows of people within the world.
Proposition
To create the world as a functioning totality we
must create a dynamic equilibrium between
the physical fow of people and the fow of
information. If personal and group interac-
tions are fundamentally more successful in
the physical world we should seek to create
a world that maximizes these interactions
without rejecting globalization as a fact of
life. Our current model of urbanization is not
capable of dealing with this on a global scale
as people remain tied to particular locales
and a few large urban areas. We must allow
for the fow of people in the same manner that
we allow for the fow of information in order
to maximize these fundamental interactions.
Instead of a focus on a specifc place this
world will construct itself around the creation
of temporary events. This proposition will have
dramatic ramifcations on notions of ownership
and use rights, and we imagine that the only
path forward will emerge from a paradigm of
open source property and the provision of
urban hardware and software that is freely
useable by its citizens.
World Two | Hydro States
watershed
urban entity
urban clusters
hydro-world
hydro-despotism
temperate
arid - desert
tropical
delta
arctic
new geographies
Roads
collectoRs
collectoRs
connections
majoR
hydRo
couRtyaRds
blocks
public space
open
buildings
eneRgy
tRansit
despotism is a form of government
in which a single entity, called the
despot, rules with absolute power.
hydraulic civilization, according
to the theories of the german-
american historian karl Wittfogel,
is defined by any culture having
an agricultural system that is
dependent upon large-scale central
managed water works networks
- productive, for irrigation, and
protective for flood control. our
new geography is based on a world
where the city-state latches on
the natural system and cycle to
inform its structure of closed loops,
resources, and urban systems.
57
58
SOLAR ENERGY
RAIN WATER COLLECTION SYSTEM
MAT COURTYARD COMPOUND
OASIS
DOME STRUCTURE FOR INSULATION
AND RAIN WATER COLLECTION
WIND ENERGY
MIXTURE OF HIGH-RISE AND LOW-RISE
BUILDINGS
FRESH WATER SOURCE
FLOATING STRUCTURES
AQUACULTURE
TERRACE AGRICULTURE
59
TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE
TOPOGRAPHIC RING
URBAN RING
AGRICULTURE RING
AGRICULTURE RING
HYDRO COLLECTION RING
HYDROLOGY FLOW
ENERGY FIELDS
DESERT
DESERT
ARCTIC
ARCTIC
TEMPERATE
TEMPERATE
TROPICAL
ESTUARY
TROPICAL
ESTUARY
INFRASTRUCTURE
60
TEMPERATE
DESERT ARCTIC
TROPICAL
ESTUARY
61
World Three | Efficient World
Ghazal Abbasy-Asbagh
Sheryl Bassan
Hui Feng
Hee Seung Lee
Pilsoo Maing
Magdalena Naydekova
Victoria Pineros
Mark Pomarico
Ke Yu Xiong
Statement
Our world seeks to increase world effciency
through the redistribution of resources.
Resources include water, energy, food, educa-
tion, minerals, technology, and services. The
model exaggerates present world conditions
in hopes of improving total gross production,
effciency, and fairness of distribution. In this
restructured economy, the grid emerges as a
megaform, the economy becomes the base of
interregionality, and new infrastructures and
geographies arise.
Economic System
The economy changes based on two layers of
redistribution. First, there is the creation of
new zones where resources are produced in
the most geographically appropriate locations.
Each zone is one economic region and is
responsible for the production of one essential
resource, which is then delivered to the rest of
the world. For example, the Middle East will
focus on oil production while North America
will primarily be agricultural. In return for
the participation in the global economy, each
zone receives the resources, which it needs
from other regions and from itself. Resource
regions are distributed around the world as
to minimize costs in transportation. For this
reason, there are several agricultural zones
dispersed throughout the globe. This type of
resource collection and redistribution brings
specialization to a new level and generates
more resources than ever produced before on
earth.
The second layer of redistribution is the cre-
ation of a universal welfare system. As more
goods are generated throughout the world,
some resources are redistributed so that each
region receives a package of goods that is
suffcient to meet the basic needs of all their
population including a daily 2000-calories
ration of food. The distribution is based on
population density. To minimize corruption
and human prejudices, the distribution is
World Three | Efficient World automaticfacilitated by a universal data
system that calculates how much resources
each region requires through a global web of
automatic sensors. There will no longer be
world hunger or lack of drinking water. Be-
cause everyones basic needs are met, people
become even more productive and generate
additional goods. Individuals have the capac-
ity to earn more than just their basic ration of
goods. In fact, individuals are incentivized to
be as effcient and as productive as possible,
because they can keep a portion of their extra
earnings.
Through these two layers of restructuring,
the world will advance and become ever more
effcient and productive.
Social System
Social systems are dictated by the economic
function of the region. Each region and its
residents hold highly specialized skills, live in
a built environment shaped by the production
of the regional resource, and, consequently,
hold distinctive understandings of the world.
For example, technological regions produce
a different lifestyle from agricultural regions.
In the former, software engineers partake in a
complex urban society characterized by high
population density and advanced communi-
cation. In the latter, farmers are dwellers of
agrarian society largely dependent on primary
social ties. Economic specialization creates
distinctively different ways of life in each
region. Cross-regional migration is permitted
and is facilitated by the market demand for
labor and resources.
Political System
Current nationhoods and political systems
can exist, but take a back seat to new regional
networks of distribution. Nations and regions
can opt out of the new world, but they will
choose not to because of the interdependent
nature of our world.
63


SHIPPING
AIR
RE-ZONING
GROUND
TELECOMMUNICATION
-
-
ENERGY
Solid
Liquid
Wired network
Wireless network
-
-
[resource distribution rethought] INFRASTRUCTURE
In World 3, social, political, and
geographical regions are re-
defined and re-zoned as areas of
specialized production of specified
resources, and each zone is con-
nected to the world networks of
redistribution - grid - of those re-
sources.
A set of categories of prodution is
defined. Each region is assigned
with each category according to
the abundance of existing re-
source.
Each resource is modfied on site
into the easiest form to be trans-
ported to and consumed in other
gions. eg. fossil fuels can be made
into electicity before being trans-
ferred. Some raw material may be
processed on site, but most may
need to be shipped directly. Most
liquid products, such as water,
would be trasported through ex-
tensive network of pipes.
Infrastructure is the multiple grids
of transporting those resources
into other regions as well as within
the region. The grid can take form
of aerial and naval network, or
ground connection such as pipes,
or wireless nexus; the presence of
those grids and their intersections,
such as airports, would be intensi-
fied.
Each system of infrastructure will
strongly reflect the characteristics
of the resource each region is pro-
ducing. For instance, infrastructure
that supports region condensed
with human resource, or technol-
ogy, would take a vertical exten-
sion of the horizontal grid in order
to maximize the use of its land.
Consequently, the tower would
host a internal network of human
resource, information and data
while being connected to the wider
network of resources.
Power plant (Oil-Electricity) Multi-layered
Transportation
Oil reserves Oil-refinery Oil-extraction
Human resource tower Multi layered Transportation Infrastructure
[resource distribution rethought] MEGAFORM
Megaform generation strategies
Agricultural Region
land parcelation system for ecient resource generation, management and distribution
division into regularized parcels
facilitates production
plugin to global resource megagrid
- data collection grid
- human resource management
- energy and materials distribution
transportation networks and
settlements bind each agri region
creating a consistent pattern
ow networks
- roads
- canals
division of grid cells into
inner production region
and border settlemnt network

output product specication
and labour intensity/density
- low density settlements
- ecient specialization
grid variation according
to topography and
argricultural requirements

- mega agricultural plots
- product transportation
production megaform
output plugin
production megaform
hight speed light train
waste conveying center
input & output center
manufactorying center
data collection
resource distribution
prodcut distribution
input and recycling energy
Megaform generation
Production Region
plug into the resource distribution megagrid system
key points of region edge
plug into the resource distribution
megagrid
- data collection
- human resource management
- energy and materials distribution
plugin to global resource megagrid
district grid variation
according to topography
and urban form fabric

- highspeed light rail
- product transportation
- waste transporting tunnel from local
- heat and eletricity network for local
production megaform
voronoi as production mega
formand region main arteries
- receive energy and raw materials
from globlal resource megagrid
- distribution of goods from output center
I Input resource plugin
I
I
I
I
I
I
waste conveying system
connected to residential grid

- manufactoring centre
- waste conveying centre
O output product plugin
O
O
O
O
agricultural land - replies of a system of ecient parcelation
agri resources production zones - each zone is responsible for a
dierent set of crops/live stock products
settlement zones - uniformly distibuted throughout region
inbetween boundaries - ow networks for input/output
parcel interior - production
parcel boundary - human inhabitation
65
THE EFFICIENT WORLD: Interregionality
Source: Shutterstock.com
ECONOMIC SYSTEM:
Resource distribution
in economic regions.
SOCIAL SYSTEM:
Dierent economic regions= dierent social systems.
POLITICAL SYSTEM:
Existing national borders
within economic regions.
PR
O
D
U
C
ED
B
Y A
N
A
U
TO
D
ESK
ED
U
C
A
TIO
N
A
L PR
O
D
U
C
T
P R O D U C E D B Y A N A U T O D E S K E D U C A T I O N A L P R O D U C T
PR
O
D
U
C
ED
B
Y A
N
A
U
TO
D
ESK
ED
U
C
A
TIO
N
A
L PR
O
D
U
C
T
PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT
[resource distribution rethought]
Natural Resources
Minerals and Ores
Agriculture
Fossil Fuels
Alternative Energy
Tech & secondary production
Population and Production Overlay Map Data Collection and Enforcement Grid
Interregional Connectivity Map
66
[resource distribution rethought] NEW GEOGRAPHIES
Technology Region
Natural Resources Region
The Collection and Distribution System
Our world introduces a new economic system based on the redistribution of resources. While the current political system still exists,
they take a back seat to the new system of checks and balances that the redistribution of resources creates between regions.The new
resource distributional system is formed by a worldwide grid which serves as the mechanism of collection and distribution. The nodes and
connecting segments plug into each other creating a megastructure which then plug into the other systems of resources creating our
world's megaform. Our New Geographic is the collection and distributional system itself. The system's function produces its form and since
the function remains consistent throughout, its pipeline formation becomes the constant state of being. Then each region's individual
function ascribes the system a secondary condition to its form by changing the manner in which the system interacts with the earth.
For example, Agricultural Regions will see the system at ground level. This allows for a more ecient transportation condition
between the elds and distributional system. Technology Regions will see the system rising up to meet the level of the skyscraper. Cities
in this region will become nodes with outlying areas plugging into the system. Fossil Fuel Regions will see the system dive under the
surface, tapping directly into the source. In its default state, the system is raised 10 feet above ground. The aesthetics that go beyond the
functional formation of the system varies and depends on the locality.
Agriculture Region
67
World Four | Post Ecumenopolis
Jill Doran
Samaa Ellmam
Amy Garlock
Chelsea Garunay
Michelle Ha
James Leng
Paul Merrill
Li Sun
Tory Wolcott
Statement
World Four emerges from Doxiadis conception
of the world as ecumenopolis, after reaching
its peak population of 20 billion in 2120. The
world of the post-ecumenopolis posits a state of
civilization where greater educational
attainment, resource scarcity, environmental
degradation eventually culminates in a
decrease of population worldwide.
The question of the post-ecumenopolis
world is, what is to be done with all of the
infrastructure, services, and built matter
constructed to support the highest density of
urban growth the planet has ever seen? Some
infrastructures, such as those that underpin
the digital domain, continue to be developed-
-screens, consoles, and wires persist to be
the vehicles through which we communicate
and govern. As density deteriorates, people
become further dispersed and isolated, but
social and cultural alliances still survive
through the digital. The only physical
mobility is the transport of material goods,
taking place underground in a system of
high-speed tubes. The built environment that
previously resembled a single web of density
now crumbles in the center, as remaining
citizens move to the edges of ecumenopolis
clusters which provide best access to precious
dwindling resources. Cities themselves are no
longer - now stratifed into edge settlements,
they encircle resource territories and take on
the cooperative identity of a region. However,
the culture of the past city still lingers, a
messy artifact-strewn backyard, the salvage
zone where digital richness and waste thrive
together.
All energies now concentrate on the ffciencies
of resource extraction, and it is the pastoral
arable lands that ironically become stage to
the greatest achievements in architecture and
technology. But everything built up must come
down, and the regional decisions to repair,
improve, or divest in these systems become
blurry. Inevitable competition amongst the
World Four | Post-Ecumenopolis ringed edges for the resources in the center
introduces a period of negotiation and
cooperation, or alternatively war and famine,
either case ushering in an era of massive
infrastructural destruction and rehabilitation
for strategic use. Extraction components
become bearing walls, building fragments
become barriers, and the edges now fnd
themselves fully divided and surrounding an
edifce of self-protective, boundary-inducing
infrastructure.
It is now this central mass of built matter, of
past transport, agriculture, countryside, and
warfront with its tombstones of the past, that
becomes a monument, a symbol that embodies
all that has been lost and won on the path from
de-densitifcation to stability. Inhabitants of
post-ecumenopolis are constantly reminded
with layers of social, political, and urban
history, charged with connotations that are
physically manifest in the debris of the
archaeological ruin. The ruin presents a
new networked geography that replaces the
connective tissues of ecumenopolis -- and
each ruin embodies a particular struggle
representing the end of urbanization, the
conquest of the machine age, and the
neglected symbols of cultural identity.
69
POST-ECUMENOPOLIS: INFRASTRUCTURE
DATA
PEOPLE
GOODS
A system of tubes remaining from the time of the
ecumenopolis are used to deliver all goods efciently
across the world.
The large aggregate tubes cross great distances. As
they approach inhabitated areas, the tubes break
down into dense networks of smaller tubes that
service and deliver to individual dwellings.
Human habitation occurs above the network of
infrastructural tubes. Due to depopulation, humans
live in dense clusters, separated by great distances.
Because of the data networks, one is able to immerse
ones self in a digital projection, and because of the
tubes all goods are delivered to each housing unit.
Mass-transit corridors attached to the earth no longer
exist; all human travel, which is optional, is achieved
through high-altitude, high-speed ight.
70
power
regional
power
individual
power
global
water
ECUMENOPOLIS
POST-ECUMENOPOLIS: INTERREGIONALITY
DEPOPULATION POST-ECUMENOPOLIS ISOLATED DENSITIES
R
e
g
io
n
a
l G
o
v
e
rn
m
e
n
t
C
u
ltu
ra
l Id
e
n
tity
water
Global Power is inherited from the
Ecumenopolis model and controls
trade and Post - Ecumenopolis
resource allocation.
Due to isolated personal identity,
Regional Power is less about
crafting a unified local political
identy and more about a shift in
scale of global government in
order to control the allocation of
resources.
Due to the free flow of
information through the digital
realm, as well as the fact that
energy is plentiful and no
longer plays a significant role in
the distrubtion of global power,
the Individuals Power
becomes the most prominent
form of governance.
71
PHASE 01: ISOLATED DENSITIES PHASE 02: DETERIORATING INFRASTRUCTURE +
DISSOLVED GOVERNANCE
PHASE 03: DIVIDED GROUND, MIDDLE GROUND
POST-ECUMENOPOLIS: THE MEGAFORM
01 Concentration of population in edges
02 Underground infrastructure for
goods/materials
03 Arable agricultural center with deteriorating
transport infrastructure
04 Personal isolation + dependence on digital
05 Loose governmental identication at inter-
regional scale increasing individual power
06 Existing cultural ties through digital infra-
structure within salvage areas
SALVAGE ZONE WITH DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE
01 Population in edges, globally shrinking
02 Underground infrastructure for goods/materials
03 Increasingly deteriorating infrastructure
04 Individual isolation with increased dependence
on digital
05 Almost no governance at regional scale
increasing ties within the edges
06 Increased digital infrastructure in salvage areas
serve to connect culturally, divide physically
01 Population in edges globally shrinking
02 Sustained underground infrastructure for
physical goods/materials
03 Arable agricultural center with reappropriated
transport infrastructure, strategically built up to
create edge resource allocation boundaries
04 Complete personal isolation through digital
05 Amicable decision to dissolve interregional
governance due to shrinking population + no
need for larger central governing body,
self-sustaining edges oversee resource
distribution
72
Post-Ecumenopolis
NEW GEOGRAPHIES
AGRICULTURAL REUSE
Shared agricultural resources
Deteriorating transport infrastructure
RESOURCE NEGOTATION
Dissolved governance
Evidence of struggle
War lines or peaceful demarcation
Strategic upgrading and movement
SOLIDIFICATION OF DIVISIONS
Political boundaries
Renewed resource extraction
Spectacle and monument
NETWORK OF ARCHEOLOGICAL RUIN
Symbol of power inequalities
Collective memory
Geology of war, peace, inhabitation
73
PRE-ECUMENOPOLIS ECUMENOPOLIS DEPOPULATION RESETTLEMENT POST-ECUMENOPOLIS
POST-ECUMENOPOLIS: TIMELINE
PHASE I: ISOLATED DENSITIES PHASE 2: INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORKS PHASE 3: RESOURCE NEGOTIATION PHASE 4: POST-ECUMENOPOLIS
- Global depopulation leads to in
inhabitation of the border between the
structure of the crumbling ecumenopolis
and the hinterlands
- Cultural identity remains in the old city
- Regional government dictates the
distribution of the natural resources
around which the edge cities
accumulate
- Advances in technology allow for
mostly digital interaction leading to
physical isolation
- New infrastructure networks are constructed
underground for the transport of goods and people
- 21st century constructs of transportation are no
longer useful because of the vastly diminished need
for travel as well as the advent of new travel
technologies
- As natural and salvaged resources become
more diminished, the need for clearly defined
territories becomes paramount
- Conflict breaks out where territorial borders
are unclear
- The crumbling transportation infrastructure
of previous eras are broken down and
reassembled to form barriers, more clearly
defining resource allocation
- As the disputes settle, the barrier takes on a
symbolic value
- The border cities increasingly rely on digital
means of communication. To accommodate
the increased digital communications, the
now depopulated centers of the
ecumenopolis are occupied by a dense web
of digital infrastructure.
- After long disputes over resources, the
interregional governments are dissolved. This
is largely due to the self-sustaining quality of
the cities, as each is located within reach of
all necessary resources
- cities retain their cultural ties with other
cities that share their digital core.

- cities that have adjacent natural resources
maintain an antagonistic relationship
R
egional G
overnm
ent
C
ultural Identity
74
75
World Five | The New Real
Nick Croft
Aneesha Dharwadker
Mariusz Klemens
Yu-Ta Lin
Elizabeth MacWillie
William Quattlebaum
Trude Renwick
MaryGrace Verges
Clementina Vinals
77
Statement
Architecture is either a background for
augmented reality or a preserved, pre-aug-
mentation, artifact; the current fabric of the
built world exists, but within emergent regions
driven by artifcial intelligence (AI), archi-
tecture transforms into a tectonically uniform
version of itself. It is in these regions that
design acquires meaning through non-material
imagery.
Augmented regions are fuid in natureper-
petually redefning themselves and their
boundaries as a result of a complex collective-
AI feedback loopyet at any given moment,
clearly defned boundaries demarcate the
infuence of the augmented world on the physi-
cal one. Artifcial intelligence, as an advanced
stage in the evolution of the Internet, controls
the technologies of augmented reality, facili-
tates algorithmic forms of governance based on
collective input, and aids in the increasingly
effcient cycling of data.
Certain aspects of the world become virtual,
while others remain physical. The transporta-
tion of people and goods occurs in real space,
while events like voting, banking, shopping,
and so forth, are anchored in the virtual
realm. The processes through which humans
go to acquire goods and services no longer
require individual spatial displacement. The
world undergoes physical spatial compression,
but a virtual expansion occurs through user
experiences. Through the digital augmentation
of space, inhabitants can experience infnite
depth.
The individuals interaction with the world
occurs through a personal interface, which
allows the user to make choices about the
visual composition of his or her environment.
Connection to augmented reality is a choice,
not an obligation but it determines the abil-
ity of the user to access information and gain
knowledge. As a result, physical proximity
to AI centers allows for a faster exchange of
World Five | The New Real information. Public spaces become servers,
where individuals can collectively plug in to
the increasing mass of data. The economy is
thus run on memory both the memory of the
individual, and his or her ownership of digital
space. Bytes become currency, and are incor-
porated into the public sphere, giving more
power to classes without access to physical
wealth. Corporations collaborate with the AI to
govern the physical realm, providing generic
hardware for servers, bandwidth, interfaces,
and architecture. The differentiation of these
objects occurs virtually, based solely on the
choices of the user.
78
79
I
N
F
R
A
S
T
R
U
C
T
U
R
E
S
THE
NEW
REAL
[INFRASTRUCTURE]
80
AI CENTER
NON DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT
AI MIX ZONE AI MIX ZONE
NON DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT
MIXED REALITY ZONE
MIXED REALITY ZONE
NEW REALITY ZONE
AI Center
AI Mix Zone
New Units of Development and New
Reality Units:
- New Development
New Reality Units
Development:
- New Development
AI Center
AI Mix Zone
New Units of Development with
Mixed Reality within:
- Existing buldings
- New Development
- New buildings
New Units of Development and New
Reality Units:
- New Development
- New Buildings
- New Reality
New Reality Units
Development:
- New Development
- New Buildings
- New Reality
Old and New Units of
Development:
- Existing buldings
- Existing infrastructure
- New Development
New Units of Development with
Mixed Reality within:
- Existing buldings
- New Development
- New buildings
New Units of Development and New
Reality Units:
- New Development
- New Buildings
- New Reality
New Reality Units
Development:
- New Development
- New Buildings
- New Reality
Old and New Units of
Development:
- Existing buldings
- Existing infrastructure
- New Development
New Units of Development with
Mixed Reality within:
- Existing buldings
- New Development
- New buildings
New Units of Development and New
Reality Units:
- New Development
- New Buildings
- New Reality
New Reality Units
Development:
- New Development
- New Buildings
- New Reality
New Reality Units
Development:
- New Development
- New Buildings
- New Reality
New Units of
Development and
New Reality Units:
- New Development
- New Buildings
- New Reality
New Units of
Development with
Mixed Reality within:
- Existing buildings
- New Development
- New buildings
Old and New Units of
Development:
- Existing buildings
- Existing infrastructure
- New Development
The New Real
Fluid Megaform
THE
NEW
REAL
[NEW GEOGRAPHICS]
preserved historical zone - no AR signal
AR signal zones
hybrid zones
preserved historical zone
augmented reality zone
82
-
83
Conceptualizing Optimum Land Transformation Processes
Saehoon Kim, DDes
84
Outward expansion of urban territories in a developing
region is associated with a dynamic transition of landscape
and built forms in the urban fringe. With rising concerns on
environmental issues, degradation of land resources, and
increasing social costs of urbanization that often exceed
the capacity of a city, how to link our knowledge of urban
planning and landscape design with forms of practices has
emerged as a way of conceiving the future of cities (Fried-
mann, 1993). One immediate, and ultimate, task in the feld
of urban design and planning would be to respond to the
following question: what is a good city?, or if we refne
the question, what makes good city-world forms in relation
to the broader environment? This article is a preliminary
exploration of conceptualizing this question by studying
related literature.
Carrying capacity of Spaceship Earth
Imagining a boat, or a spaceship, that has a limited physical
volume being isolated from its broader environmental re-
sources has been associated with the inception of the notion
carrying capacity1. A number of writers, biologists, and
landscape architects were attracted by the disequilibrium
point of view between growing population, or astronauts,
and confned environmental settings that they belong to, or
Spaceship Earth. More radical survival-or-not discourses
emerged since the 1960s and 70s found in the works of
Odum brothers, Richard Buckminster Fuller, or Paul Eh-
rlich, or supporters of the Gaia Hypothesis. However, after
the initial shock-effects posed by these earlier specula-
tors, fundamental questions are left unanswered: which
astronaut(s) is doing better than others, and how can we
conceptualize and learn from their different performances?
Prescriptive planning
If we agree on the preposition that certain types of urban-
ization affect the seemingly unsustainable trajectory of
cities and urban regions, what is promising spatial descrip-
tions and design prescriptions to fx the problem? One of
the most infuential, and is still widely practiced, modes of
thinking will be so-called suitability analysis concretized
by Ian McHargs approach of valuing an intrinsic suitability
of various land resources. Based on McHargs and other
frst-generation landscape architects approaches, profound
advances emerged in defning optimal uses of land by
incorporating not only landscape and ecological features,
but also social, economic, and institutional factors (Ndubisi,
2002). Nonetheless, the notion of measuring and quanti-
fying values of various land resources for the purpose of
managing, or healing, the nature has faced criticism. James
Corner, for example, quoted the argument made by Neil
Evernden in order to depict the reductionism imbedded
in the works of conservationists or resourcists (Thompson
& Steiner, 1997). In parallel with his criticism, he argued
that it will be promising for landscape architects to accept
ecology for its ideational, representational and material
implications with respect to cultural process rather than for
its descriptive and prescriptive aspects. This inspirational
mode of thinking does enable a type of privilege of archi-
tects and urban designers by motivating them to actively
participate in the construction of socio-cultural meaning of
city-world through various form-making processes. Accord-
ingly, going back to the thesis of this article, the procedure
of making good urban forms in relation to environment
becomes much more sophisticated than simply a behavior of
re-arranging pieces of land based on designated suitability
status. Nonetheless, highlighting the creative contributions
of designers hardly replace the core scientifc values of
descriptive analyses and prescriptive modeling2. The inspi-
rational, intuitive, and sometimes stochastic, relationship
between nature and designed forms needs to be separated
from a scientifc view on design.
A fine-scale solution: land use and land cover change
modeling
Land use change modeling emerged over the past four
decades as a science-based method of investigating the
linkage between urban systems and landscape change.
Modeling, especially land use modeling that deals with
human dimensions, is often criticized for critically simplify-
ing the complex interactions among multiple land uses and
institutional actors. Also, a statistical approach embedded
in the modeling that does not incorporate non-static and
non-linear nature of dynamic land use transition fails to
provide insightful policy and design implications. However,
in spite of the potential pitfalls of modeling approaches,
collective attempts to comprehensively understand past and
future changes in land forms is increasing, due largely to
the advancements of geographic technologies and growingly
accessible satellite imagery that allows unprecedented
perceptions across wide territorial dimensions. Identifying
physical patterns of land cover within a region incorporates
form-related consequences of urbanization and landscape
changes, unlike land-use or zoning perspectives that study
the effects of non-physical forces or human uses on physical
patterns. Viewing actual land-urban forms leads us to a
concrete understanding about actually materialized changes
that have shaped the world, although some abstraction of
physical entities will be unavoidable. This abstraction,
nonetheless, is different from an intentional homogenization
of nature or urban settings that is often found in the works of
modern architects. While Yona Friedmans or Superstudios
overarching infrastructure homogeneously spreads across
the differences of cultural and territorial features, looking
into actual physicality of land changes is a way of temporar-
ily neutralizing our view in order to better interpret physical
consequences caused by both non-physical and physical
forces.
Complexity and non-linearity in land use change
More specifcally, modeling land use change raises several
critical issues. The frst question, also raised above, is how
to systematically identify the effects of complex driving forc-
es on land use and cover change. Geographic constraints,
biophysical aspects, socio-economic environs, neighbor-
hood characteristics, spatial policies and uncertainties
are widely-tested variables of land use change (Verburg
et al., 2004). A group of researchers recently illuminated
scale-dependent characteristics of the variables, arguing
that social- or accessibility-related variables best explain
land use change at farmland or local level, while climatic or
macro-demographic variables are useful in understanding
regional- to national-level land use variations (Veldkamp &
Lambin, 2001). Nonetheless, the scale-dependence theory
hardly dismantles the risk of generalizing unique patterns
of spatial-temporal land use change. Spatial variables
that have been proved to have high explanatory powers in
a certain case or at a site might have less signifcance in
understanding variations at different locations.
Quantifying empirical observations
The second issue is how to combine both direct and indirect
(or proxy) driving factors for land use change and how to
represent the outcome of land use modeling. Compared to
Patrick Geddes Valley Section that depicted inherent conti-
nuity of lands across human settlements and the specializa-
85
tion of uses according to the ways of extracting resources
from land, a number of forces that divide the physical
patterns of land are increasingly detached from ingrained
natural qualities of the land itself. Obviously, understand-
ing the past sheds light on seeing the future. Predicting
forthcoming land patterns often starts with the assumption
that an optimal set of prediction variables can be built by
carefully examining past spatial-temporal trends. This so-
called empirically-ftted model has been largely driven by
two simulation methods: CA-Markov processes and statisti-
cal regression (Brown et al., 2004). The CA-Markov chain
model started from a simple Markov random process fu-
ture land use status of one spatial unit (or a cell) is based on
its current status and has evolved into an advanced model
by incorporating neighborhood effects and non-stationary
processes of land use change. The statistical regression
model emanated from an empirical analysis in economet-
rics. It fnds probabilities of the occurrence of a specifc
land type out of another type by estimating a regression
function based on multiple variables. More recently, land
use analysts found out that the two methods are not mutu-
ally exclusive. Combining these approaches into one model
has spurred alternative models such as the artifcial neural
network that deals with a non-linear and non-stationary
relationship among variables at a number of different scales.
To understand how a set of spatial model can interpret and
predict future land use change, Wuxi Urban Districts in the
Changjiang Delta Region was selected for further analysis.
Under the national policy of building a harmonious socialist
society, fnding an equilibrium between economic pursuits
and long-term socio-environmental balance became an inte-
gral part of Chinas regional development strategy. However,
the complexity and uncertainty of reconfguring regions
with highly agglomerated urban and rural land patterns
has posed challenges for urban planners. Recent ecologi-
cal breakdowns in the Taihu Lake basin, for example, have
brought into question the carrying capacity in one of the
nations wealthiest regions3. A number of cities in China
responded to the continued demands for urbanization by
rapidly converting their peripheral lands into urban uses in
a consumptive manner, while another group of cities have
absorbed the infux of population within fairly compact
physical standards. Some scholars attributed ingrained
environmental problems in the urban regions to the failure
of large metropolises. However, arguably, the most land-
consumptive and resource-oriented urban expansions are
commonly observed around the peripheries of smaller cities
and the vicinities of towns.
Scenario-based probability modeling of land use change:
CA-Markov and neural network analysis
A prerequisite of this study will be to set up a methodol-
ogy of replying to the seemingly contradictory question,
how accurately, and how fexibly, can we predict future
urban land patterns?. Early pioneers of Markov processes
attempted to prove the validity of two assumptions 1)
the land use of any unit area is dependent on its directly
preceding use and 2) long-term stationarity and continuity
is sustained in land use change (Bell, 1974; Bell & Hino-
josa, 1977). Nonetheless, Markov analysis was intrinsically
non-spatial, allowing limited understanding on the explicit
spatial variations of land use transition. Thus, the develop-
ment of self-modifying Cellular Automata (CA) backed up
the Markov chain by accounting for various geographic
information and by modifying non-stationary transition
probabilities of each cell after each cycle. In spite of many
advantages of the CA-Markov analysis, however, the model
was defcient in the logic of determining parameter values
of explanatory variables and transition rules (Batty et al,
1999; Yeh and Li, 2001; Li and Yeh, 2000). A number of
non-linear ftting methods were proposed to fll the gap.
Among the alternative modeling methods, artifcial neural
networks provided a method of accounting for dynamic land
use transition probabilities and its area matrix, as well as
for various spatial-temporal proxy variables. Especially, a
neural network tool was integrated with a remote-sensing
software Land Change Modeler in IDRISI, providing a mod-
eling package of structuring complex non-linear variables to
a set of statistical probabilities by training multiple output
neurons. Once infuential factors on land use change are
selected, all direct and proxy variables can be embedded in
the modeling processes, due to the iterative and non-static
learning system of neural network.
Several findings
Two dominant spatial patterns of urban growth in Wuxi
were predicted through the modeling. Again, the simula-
tion outcome gives a view of land patterns with diverse land
transition probabilities. First, existing core urban districts
will expand with concentric ring-shaped patterns. In spite of
the presence of coniferous forest hills and major waterways
in proximity to the central districts, the peripheral lands
will face substantial land cover change. This trend was
partly materialized in the development of new industrial
district to the east-south of Wuxi, a district that will accom-
modate more than 1,200 industrial enterprises in the near
future. Second, corridor-type development patterns are on
the midway along the outwardly expanding road networks,
coupled with the formation of decentralized agglomerations
around each township sitting for further development.
The second way of viewing the model is by measuring the
quantity of the degradation of land resources. For example,
about 20% of the cultivated land in 1990 is likely to be
converted to urban built-up land by the year of 2020, based
on the scenario that only those non-urban lands above 75%
transition probability will be changed into urban land.
Between p = 95% and 75%, the rate of cultivated land
loss is not very steep, due to the clustering of agricultural
lands away from built-up land blocks. Thus, land-use policy
of confning urban development within those sites where
non-urban to urban land conversions are highly probable
will be helpful in preserving a large amount of productive
agricultural land.
Lastly, more conceptual view will be to account for the
criteria of comparing and evaluating different urban
growth patterns. Which spatial patterns will be optimum
land transformation processes? Conversely, which formal
consequences of probability-based urbanization will re-
spond to the collective optimization of land uses in terms of
aesthetics, geographic connotations, land values, amenities,
landscape ecology and environmental performance? The
synthesis of these normative questions into a form of design
needs to incorporate social and political dimensions. A
simplistic argument such as managing urban forms for the
better performance of cities based on a simulation outcome
will face criticism from operational perspectives.
Concluding remarks and future research
Prioritizing land use change based on theories of land use
change and landscape ecology is a promising paradigm that
urban policies and design practices can take immediate
actions. This research is an attempt to explore theoreti-
86
cal terrains of urban planning, landscape modeling, and
design issues. It raises a question about the selection of
spatial models that optimize our understanding of the past
and future land use change. CA-Markov neural network
modeling is potentially a powerful method of incorporat-
ing both explanatory and proxy forces of dynamic land use
change. Notably, a linear classifer generalizes a regression
line across different data spaces, so it achieves the goal of
averaging an overall trend, while missing local varia-
tions; cell-based learning processes can draw a complex
regression through the cloud of observations, but infuential
factors beyond certain bandwidths are ignored. Thus, the
most promising capability of the CA-Markov neural network
model beyond either an econometric or cell-based model is
integrating both dynamic cell-state based and static empiri-
cal modeling aspects by quantifying numerous parameters
of spatial variables through iterative processes.
However, several limitations do exist. A neural network
model runs in a black box, thus the processes of iterative
and dynamic training are hidden. Although the learning
algorithm is robust from a computational perspective, land
use planners and researchers have limited controls over the
system. Second, the model shows a limited prediction power
for spontaneous and non-linear change. Diffusive urban
development, for example, that is disconnected from exist-
ing urban land can hardly be an outcome of a simulation.
Lastly, the operational and social perspectives of (re)design-
ing forms of city-world will be an integral part of our ways of
putting our perceptions into a form of practices.
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87
Managing Transition
Nikolaos Katsikis, DDeS
Inventing the chessboard
Imagine that you have to invent the chessboard: A generic
feld allowing and constraining the constant rearrangement
of the chess pieces according to the rules controlling their
movements. However, the chessboard cannot be designed
without elaborating the rules of the game. At the same, time
the rules of the game cannot be constructed without the
chessboard defning their main aspects. The rules can be
reduced to the repertoire of the pieces movements, which in
turn depend on the operational feld defned by the board.
Moreover the rules, the pieces and the chessboard are all
defned and eventually bound together by the initial setup of
the pieces on the board, just before the game starts. It is ob-
vious that all of the above can only be constructed together
in a process that leads to the crystallization of a solid inter-
relation between them. Only then are the true dynamics of
the game unveiled.
The chessboard cannot be invented but only co-produced.
How is then a chessboard constructed for a game that is
not yet clearly known and whose rules will be coevolving
together with their feld of operation? The broad interest
of this research is to develop an understanding on how
planning and design deals with this changing interrelation
between the rules and actions and their operational feld. As
a result, the built environment (and its construction) is not
considered a fxed chessboard, but rather a complex adap-
tive system, constantly redefning the synthesis between its
physical and operational aspects. The question then is: How
is this transition managed?
1. The chessboard as complex adaptive system.
The increasing interest in complex adaptive systems that
followed Second World War, focused according to Herbert
Simon on tracing the mechanisms that sustain organized
complexity
1
. This quest for the basic management principles
behind complex systems was comprehensively structured
through Norbert Wieners concept of cybernetics, which
highlighted the notion of (negative) feedback as the main
tool for achieving control, both in biological and in mechani-
cal systems
2
.
In the feld of architecture and urban planning, this ap-
proach infuenced the conception both of the built environ-
ment and of the design process in terms of complexity. Con-
trasting the modernist conception of the city as a problem
of simplicity, that is a simple cause and effect problem, the
notion of the city as a problem of organized complexity sug-
gested that it could and should be systematically analyzed
on the basis of various interrelating variables.
Moreover the conception of the built environment of the city
as a complex adaptive system, offers a valuable framework
for understanding how they manage transition, a framework
largely adopted in this paper as an analytical tool. Based
on H. Simon, the adaptation of complex systems to their
environment can be achieved on the basis of three different
mechanisms: First of all, the ability to predict future change
and modify the design of the system accordingly, which
would require a suffcient understanding of the parameters
affecting the system and their interrelation. This concept
introduces the idea of simulation, largely dependent on the
input variables and the validity of the model interrelat-
ing them. However, according to Simon few of the complex
adaptive systems rely on predictive control, but rather
mobilize mechanisms of homeostasis and feedback. Ho-
meostasis, the second mechanism discussed by Simon, can
be understood as the ability of a system to absorb change
without changing, a resilience that in architecture is often
sought in the vernacular.
The third mechanism, feedback, as already discussed leads
to an adaptation of the system through a dynamic response
3
.
2. Centrality in transition
Now the question concerning can be reframed in terms of
how urban environments, as complex adaptive systems re-
spond, adapt, predict and in general manage transition. The
notion of centrality is suggested as a meaningful platform
to start investigating this question for two reasons: First, for
relying highly on the combination of spatial and operational
factors and second, for being both sensitive and resilient to
technological change. However, the issue of tracing causali-
ties between technological infrastructures and the urban
condition is in itself extremely complex to be addressed in
its totality. Issues of technological progress and determin-
ism and their spatial expressions, better studied through the
history and philosophy of technology, are blurred by the fact
that often-critical forms of networked infrastructure, do not
88
seem to lead to spatial change but rather to spatial adoption.
This indirect but crucial interrelation between networked
infrastructures and their role in shaping the contemporary
urban condition has been addressed by an increasing body
of literature, borrowing mainly by the tradition of the social
construction of technological systems. Yvonne Audirac
offers a useful overview of this literature by framing it in two
urban theorizing traditions
4
:
On the one hand, the deconcentration school (Hall, Mitch-
ell, Townsend) carries on the human ecology tradition in
urban sociology and neoclassic economic approaches of lo-
cational and land use theories, as well as insights obtained
from the geography of transportation research. In explaining
the structure and growth of cities, this literature conceptu-
alizes technology as a form of organizational adaptation to
environmental and resource constraints and the outward
spread of cities as the result of innovations in transportation
and telecommunications, which free society from place and
distance constraints
5
.
The restructuring school (Castells, Sassen, Graham and
Marvin), on the other hand, devotes a great deal of attention
to the political economy of cities and regions. It empha-
sizes economic and spatial restructuring resulting from
technological change reshaping and being reshaped by the
(capitalist) mode of production and emphasizing on the role
of urban political regimes and the entrepreneurial state
in shaping the conditions for economic growth and urban
expansion
6
.
The proposed research intends to carefully revisit and
combine concepts from both theoretical frameworks and
elaborate them into revisiting crucial elements of the sug-
gested new geographies. First of all, Graham and Marvin
offer a simplifed but powerful framework for understanding
the spatiotemporal relationship between cities and infra-
structures (mostly networked mobility and communication
infrastructures). In general, they consider both cities and
networked infrastructures as structures that strive to chan-
nel an interaction with space and time, distorting them in
two discreet ways: On the one hand, cities aim to overcome
time constrains by compressing spatial parameters while
on the other hand, infrastructures, based on technological
developments, aim to overcome spatial constrains by com-
pressing temporal parameters. In this way, space and time
become factors so interrelated within the urban experience
as city and infrastructure.
3. New forms of Centrality
This concept reveals the temporal character of networked
mobility, communication and information infrastructures,
which is easily linked to distance by the notion of velocity.
However it also introduces a third factor, a third interval
according to Virilio, which is neither time nor space: The
notion of simultaneity. Virilio
7
and Kittler seem to agree
on the importance of the notion of simultaneous interac-
tion over distance, especially in the digital era. However,
it is Manuel Castells who more lucidly traces the effects of
simultaneity, by offering a synopsis of the network topology.
According to Castells, the distance between two points is
shorter if both points are nodes in a network, than if they
do not belong to the same network. Thus, distance for a
given point or position varies between zero (for any node
in the same network) and infnite for any point external to
the network
8
. In this way the new chessboard appears as a
complex web of interactions, where however spatial distance
is no longer as crucial for meaningful relationships as it
used to be:
Space-time no longer corresponds to Euclidean space.
Distance is no longer the relevant variable in accessing
accessibility. Connectivity (being in relation to) is added to,
even imposed upon, contiguity (being next to)
9
.
The detachment of physical proximity from simultaneity and
interaction highly challenges the notion of centrality, largely
dependant upon accessibility and connectivity, which ac-
cording to Sassen tends to mutate and take additional forms,
based on the network topology. As a result, the centrality
of place as originally described by Christaller
10
, does not
necessary mean a condition of centrality, a condition that
becomes highly interdependent with networked infrastruc-
ture. In this context new forms of centrality seem to mutate
from geographic to programmatic entities, or to set it in
broader terms from spatial to operational geographies.
4. Doxiadis and the changing geographies of centrality.
In unfolding the transitional phenomena described above
this paper will focus on some specifc aspects of the work
of the Greek architect and urban planner C.A. Doxiadis.
Doxiadis research and practice provides a valuable feld
of revisiting notions of change management and analyz-
ing them through the lens suggested above, as most of the
mechanisms discussed (prediction, homeostasis, response)
are not only mobilized but also restructured around notions
of centrality, infrastructural networks and human scale.
4.1. Ekistics and the management of growth
The rational, scientifc and systematic management of
change was at the core of Doxiadis research on the develop-
ment of human settlements. According to P. Pyla, since the
mid-1940s, when he formulated Ekistics as an altogether
new feld, the science of human settlements, Doxiadis
aspired to expand the scientifc basis of architecture, urban
design, and planning
11
. Derived from the Greek oikos,
meaning house Doxiadis Ekistics aimed to respond to
the totality of human needs across cultural, geographic, and
socioeconomic differences. It held onto the modernist opti-
mism for the architect-planner as an agent of socioeconomic
reform, while simultaneously rejecting earlier modernisms
excesses of individualism and rationalism. It also promised
to accommodate the forces of industrialization and mod-
ernization, while minimizing their dehumanizing impact by
reclaiming physical qualities of past settlements that had
achieved a balance between nature and society.
Most interestingly it was accompanied by wide and inter-
disciplinary discussions about technological impacts on
urbanism by a wide range of theorists, urbanists and tech-
nologists. This discourse was largely expressed through the
World Society of Ekistics he organized and especially in
a series of annual symposia which mainly took place in the
Greek island of Delos for more than 10 years (1963-1976),
as an attempt to bring together researchers and leading
personalities from different disciplines related to urbanism.
This discourse offers valuable insights not only for better
understanding Doxiadis theoretical approach but also for
critically evaluating the speculations about the impact of
technological developments on urbanism
12
.

However, the focus of this paper will be on same specifc
rather methodological aspects of Doxiadis approach to
managing what he considered as the main problem of urban
89
settlements: The inability of their structure to effciently
adapt to change and specifcally growth. Doxiadis, infu-
enced by the eras increasing interest in complexity and sys-
tems theory, conceived the problems of urban settlements as
problems of organized complexity that could be addressed
rationally and systematically. As it will be further discussed
below, his methodological approach tried to develop an
understanding and elaborate on both three aforementioned
mechanisms of adaptation to change, that is prediction,
homeostasis and responsive feedback.
Actively engaging research in his practice, he launched two
major different research projects to develop an understand-
ing around these mechanisms and of course elaborate them
in his planning and design proposals. The prediction of the
future development of world settlements was researched
through the City of the Future research project, which
also investigated the structure of dynamically responsive ur-
ban systems, while the quest for homeostasis and resilience
in human settlements was conducted through the Ancient
Greek City research project. Before further discussing how
those three approaches addressed the notion of transition
management, it will be shortly discussed which was the
understanding of the forces behind this change. Navigating
through Doxiadis vast theoretical work the main questions
of interest will then be: How does change happen and were
does it come from? How is change asking pressure on hu-
man settlements?
4.2. Understanding change in settlements
In conceiving human settlements as complex systems, Doxi-
adis suggested that their understanding could be managed
only through a holistic approach unveiling the changing
interrelation between their basic variables, which he tried to
categorize into fve basic elements:
Our subject, the whole range of human settlements, is a
very complex system of fve elements - nature, man, society,
shells (that is, buildings), and networks. It is a system of
natural, social, and man-made elements, which can be seen
in many ways - economic, social, political, technological,
and cultural. For this reason only the widest possible view
can help us to understand it
13
.
Moreover, Doxiadis extended his descriptive approach
trying to clarify the basic principles through which the
above elements, the fve basic Ekistic elements, engaged
in the formation and mutation of human settlements. These
principles in overview included: The maximization of the
mans potential contacts with the four other elements [1], the
minimization of the effort to achieve them [2], the optimiza-
tion of these contacts [3] and mans protective space [4], and
more importantly the optimum and balanced organization
and synthesis of these elements in a coherent whole which
would lead to an anthropocentric approach to the urban
environment [5]
14
.
Doxiadis certainly suggests an anthropocentric approach, in
which considerations of changing human spatial needs leads
to treating human behavior, be it patterns of movement,
coordinated assembly, or mere co-presence, as spatial phe-
nomena in their own right, which are linked to the physical
form of shells and networks. The human needs pertaining
to settlements are then expressed as forces affecting
settlement form. The interplay of these forces is likened
to a changing force (or mobile force), which comes to rest
when settlement form and structure provide for a balance of
intensities and directions. Where the force mobile does not
limit the possible form of settlements, generic layouts come
into play. However, the apparent form of a settlement should
not be equated with its underlying structure.
Thus, Doxiadis analysis suggests that in order to under-
stand change in human settlements we must look at their
manifest spatial morphology, the underlying spatial patterns
associated with human activities and behavior, as well as
the functional and organizational structure that joins the
former to the latter, always bearing in mind that the rela-
tionships involved are not simple cause and effect but rather
statistical in nature.
For Doxiadis, the inability to manage this constant socio-
technical change in the interrelation between functions,
structure, density, dimensions and urban patterns consti-
tutes the main problem of the ever-changing settlements.
And one of the more critical factors intensifying this change
is growth. It could be argued here that growth can be seen
as both a factor causing change and a type of change itself.
In both cases, managing growth and its pressure on the
elements of urban settlements appears as one of the most
critical issues. And centrality plays a key role in the transi-
tion to dynamically growing settlements.
4.3. Dynapolis
In all settlements, argues Doxiadis, we can draw a distinc-
tion between the central part, the homogeneous parts, which
are mostly residential, the circulatory part, and the parts
accommodating special functions. Ideal growth should allow
for the stability of the homogeneous parts, the residential
units that make up the settlement, while letting the center
grow with the least disruption of existing form, structure
and function. To achieve the combination of stable units
and a dynamically growing center, Doxiadis proposes two
complementary principles:
First, the settlement should be based on the aggregation of
relatively independent sectors corresponding to human com-
munities. Second, the center should be able to grow linearly
along a predetermined axis. While in radial growing settle-
ments, the growth of the center is in confict with its periph-
ery, the linear growth of the center in one direction, along a
predetermined axis, is proposed for two main reasons: First,
it implies the least destruction of the peripheral settlement
fabric at any given point in time and second, it implies that
the location of the new center gradually shifts away from
the old center, thus assisting the preservation of the most
important inheritance of the past.
Of course, as the center is displaced, adjustments must be
made to the system of major transportation routes, which
have to respond to both the texture of the city, and the larger
scale distribution of other cities and settlements. In the case
of very large cities, linear axes of extension may themselves
intersect to form more complex patterns, which reveal a
strong infuence of the aforementioned Walter Christallers
seminal work on centrality. According to Christallers
Central Place theory, settlements distributed along
hexagonal patterns can most effciently cover a uniform
and plane feld, minimizing the distance of any particular
location from the nearest settlement center. Within a region,
hierarchies of settlements of increasing size, functional
diversifcation and specialization can correspond to nested
hierarchies of hexagonal lattices.
90
PREDICTION
ADAPTATION
INITIAL CONDITIONS
THEORETICAL MODEL
SIMULATION
DISCRETE
HOMEOSTASIS
FEEDBACK
PRINCIPAL COMPONENT ANALYSIS
CONTINUOUS
SHELLS
NETWORKS
CHANGE
management
SHELLS
NETWORKS
DYNAMIC
STRUCTURES
PERSISTENT
STRUCTURES
DYNAMETROPOLIS
CITY OF THE FUTURE
STATIC SECTOR
91
For Doxiadis however this model seems to be equivalent to
a law of inertia rather than a law describing actual reality,
providing the underlying structure which is in practice dis-
torted through the effects of topography, history, geography
or economy. If in this ideal Dynametropolis the center is
constantly in a transitional state, the human communities
comprising it largely remain static as they refect the stabil-
ity of a global variable: Human scale. Doxiadis advocates
that sectors would constitutive modules of large settlements
that most closely correspond to the human scale and bal-
ance the dynamic growth of the center and of special func-
tions. Urban sectors correspond to communities served by
basic urban functions. Interestingly, sectors have their own
static centralities around buildings serving the community,
which largely organize their structure. At the same time,
their boundaries are highly solid, protecting them from
transformations in other parts of the settlement and also
from high-speed vehicular traffc, which is only peripheral.
4.4. Scalar and Infrastructural change
Reviewing the Dynametropolis model two things become
clear: First, while according to Doxiadis there is no opti-
mum size for a city but rather an optimum speed of growth,
there still seems to exist an optimum size of community,
refected to the human sector. This static module organized
around internal static centers is still based on classical no-
tions of proximity closely related to human scale. This scale
however does not only regard mans kinetic felds, but also
his ability to perceive the totality of his habitat.
On the other hand, central functions expanding along linear
dynamic axis seem to relate more with the infrastructural
transportation networks that support them, and less with
the surrounding peripheries. They become operational and
not geographic, although they depend largely on physical
patterns of associated networks. In this way the choice to
unlink the growing centers from the static communities
adds fexibility but subtracts coherence, in a planning logic
which is highly hierarchical and stratifed according to spe-
cifc scales. Both change and centrality seem to be scalar
issues, being addressed in different ways in scales ranging
from the human to the global. As a result defning and
researching these two extremes, proves highly crucial for
the understanding of the dynamic change in the transitional
scales and stages between them.
To develop this understanding Doxiadis conducted exces-
sive research on these two ends through the two different
research projects already mentioned: The Ancient Greek
City, investigating the formation of human communities
and the stabilizing forces behind them, and the City of
the Future, which investigated the shape and structure
of human settlements in the far future. It could be argued
that while the Dynametropolis project embodied a generic
principal mechanism for managing growth, and balancing
between the elements that were subject to change and these
that remained static, these two projects complemented the
understanding of the structure of the static sectors and the
directions in which change was supposed to happen. In
this understanding, the static sectors largely depended on
homeostasis whose nature was sought in the ancient Greek
cities of the past, the city of the future was predicted
based on simulations and projections and the Dynametropo-
lis offered a responsive mechanism that could accommodate
this planned change towards this future global city. In this
way predictive, responsive and homeostatic mechanisms
were mobilized to manage change leading to adaptive hu-
man settlements.
4.5. The ancient Greek city
The research regarding the Ancient Greek City
15
, could
then be characterized as a quest to reveal the elements
behind the ideal form of human communities that allowed
them to achieve optimum synthesis of the fve ekistic
elements. In this quest the return to human scale was for
Doxiadis crucial. As he notes:
The ancient Greek city was built on human dimensions
which gave it a human scale and unity. The city of the
present has lost its human dimensions. There is an impera-
tive need for human dimensions in the city of the present.
The city of today also needs other dimensions suitable for
the machine and, accordingly, a synthesis of two scales is
required: the human scale and the scale of the machine. It
is therefore absolutely necessary that we give back to the
city its human dimensions, even though we have imposed
on it the dimensions of the machine. It was a mistake to let
the historic continuity of the human dimensions in the city
to be lost. We must establish it again, in harmony with the
evolution imposed on us by the new factors
16
.
In this research that examined ancient cities mainly along
the Greek peninsula but also in other parts of the Mediter-
ranean, Doxiadis emphasized on the role of human kinetic
felds on the formation, structure and dimensions of the
ancient City State (fgure 06). Both the state and the city
itself were organized according to proximity rules based on
walking distances. The central position of the city within
its periphery and the centrality, frst of the acropolis and
then of the agora within the city itself, refected these rules
not only in organically developed cities, but also in the
Hippodameian planned cities. The result of according to
Doxiadis was that: anyone could easily perceive the ancient
city in all its extent as a synthesis. The outcome was that
the city not only formed a community of people, but that this
community was readily perceived by every inhabitant, who
dominated over its entire area with all his physical capaci-
ties. He could view it, he could hear its messages, he could
walk over it very easily. The city belonged to the man; it was
built on the human scale
17
.
This call for a return to human scale clarifes the need of
the sectors to remain static: If human scale is a fxed value,
the corresponding community should be fxed too. However
it could be argued that there is a second underlying notion
regarding change: Sectors, based on human scale and on
lessons learned from historical examples developed on
experience, would be able to manage change by absorb-
ing it, at least change that would occur in relevant scales.
In this context, sectors could be thought of as homeostatic
mechanisms, stable not only because they are protected
from change, but also because they can infltrate it on
certain levels.
This search for the global variables that would enable to
built dynamic cities out of static elements by revisiting past
examples is evident in the following quote: We can face
a world of changing dynamic cities by building them with
constant physical units within which we can create quality
- units meant for a certain purpose and containing a certain
desirable mixture of residences, cultural facilities, industry,
and commerce. We can design these small units if we
understand the processes of synthesis and morphogenesis of
the past and if we do not try to discover new patterns of life
expressing nonexistent principles, just for the sake of chang-
ing the traditional ones
18
.
92
4.6. Ecumenopolis or the City of the Future
With the Ancient Greek City digging in the past to
reinvent the elements that would equip the future, the City
of the Future
19
research project tried to set the guidelines
for this journey. However the aim of this study was not to
remain speculative and utopian. According to Doxiadis:
Utopian thoughts about the cities of the future have not
led us very far - rather they have confused the issue of the
city of the future for the uninformed reader by focusing on
the small size of the dream place and the need to escape
to it
20
. Against these escapist and idealistic tendencies,
Doxiadis insisted on the need of a more grounded approach
to the future that based on predicting the evolution of actual
sociotechnical parameters could prove realistic:
We have now reached the point where we must decide
on the future road to follow. The question is: are we now
capable of examining systematically the various practicable
alternatives for the future, which are open to us? I believe
we are
21
.
Against imaginary and unrealizable Utopias, Doxiadis
suggested the usefulness of a grounded Entopia
22
that could
guide managing for change. As a result the fndings and
proposals of the City of the Future project were not to
remain on the theoretical sphere, but were also to provide a
frame and guidelines for proper planning for any place and
for any foreseeable time horizon
23
.
The importance of it, at least in its initial conception, was
not in creating a frozen frame of urbanization reference, but
a perpetually revised frame, continuously updated, thus
always valid
24
. This frame largely grew out of the belief
that projections into the future and simulations of future
scenarios would be both possible and meaningful for the
guidance of short and long term planning. Moreover, it
replied to the belief that population growth and increasing
urbanization of the earths surface would be inevitable and
thus should somehow be managed methodologically.
This methodology used mainly three techniques in predict-
ing future change: First of all, extrapolating the existing
trends provided a starting point for estimates concerning the
near future. Secondly, using assumptions which would pro-
vide end points into the furthest future it rendered different
urbanization scenarios, and fnally, connecting the starting
point to all these end points sketched probability curves,
well-defned lines at their beginning, turning into hazy
zones as they approached the end points in the uncertain
future scenarios. The above techniques were applied to a
number of variables, which included population, resources
(water, energy, food, minerals), habitable land rated accord-
ing to development cost (climate, topography, drinkable
water) and income.
The information obtained through these techniques, in
correlation with each other or independently, narrowed
the width of the hazy zones. In this context it could be
argued that the more variables considered and the better
they were specifed, the sharper the image of the City of the
Future would be. As the time horizon peaked in 2120 using
thirty year variables for intermediate projections, space on
the other hand offered a rather stable variable: Consider-
ing space as a static and fnite resource, highly defned by
the future habitable land according to quite predictable
parameters (ruggedness, drinkable water, cost of develop-
ment of hostile areas), offered a highly constrained envelop
for urbanization. This constrained envelope together with
the fnitude of natural resources on earth would sometime
lead the population growth and constant urbanization to an
end, leading to a global entity eventually saturating all the
available habitable land.
This global city was named Ecumenopolis
25
and represented
a rather stable state of equilibrium between man and terres-
trial space. According to Doxiadis: many things are going
to change in Ecumenopolis, but not its size. This is one of
the reasons why it has to be successfully built
26
.
Besides the technocratic dimension of this project however,
Doxiadis largely envisioned Ecumenoplis not only as a
system of urbanization but also as the ultimate and symbolic
Unique City of Man, as for the frst time in history man
would have to inhabit and also conceive one single city
rather than many cities belonging to different national,
racial, religious, or local groups:
Ecumenopolis, the unique city of man, will form a continu-
ous, differentiated, but also unifed texture consisting of
many cells, the human communities. Depending on how
well man can understand that he belongs to all units of Ecu-
menopolis, to himself, his family, his cell, his region, and
to the whole, we can have a happy man or not. [...] unless
everybody understands that he belongs to all scales, to the
whole, [...] we cannot have a successful city of man
27
.
5. Change is inevitable and manageable
This humanistic approach reveals a strong tendency to re-
store the centrality of human scale in governing both ends:
From the scale of the community, to the Ecumenopolis, built
environment should facilitate interactions between man and
the rest of the ekistic elements following an anthropocentric
approach. Interestingly, both these states constitute states
of ultimate stability that in a way frame the transition in
between: On the one hand, sectors are validated through the
corresponding historical research as elements that should
and could be regarded as static in the process of their dy-
namic aggregation. On the other hand, Ecumenopolis is also
conceived as a fnal state of global urbanization and again a
stable, homeostatic entity, that will be still able to facilitate
change but without changing.
However, these two extremes could be argued to inherit
their stability through different processes: While for the
static sector the stability comes from internal forces that
have balanced in an optimum structure of interrelated
organization, Ecumenopolis seems to settle down under the
pressure of external forces constraining further develop-
ment. In achieving the balance of these externalities, the
whole urbanized and non-urbanized surface of the earth
becomes at last a fxed chessboard, where not only its layout
is defned, but also the rules of the game are set. It could be
argued that for Doxiadis change management is not the fnal
target but rather the medium to ensure that this inevitable
stable stage of the future would be organized and construct-
ed in the best possible way.
Equipped with the feedback offered by projecting in this
simulated future stable condition, the transitional states
from Megalopolis, to Megalopolitan networks, urbanized
regions, urbanized continents and fnally to Ecumenopolis
are nothing more than expressions of the generative rules
of dynametrapolis on the static sectors distorted by factors
like, existing urban development, main transportation axes,
and availability of habitable land.
93
In these transitional stages, stratifed centralities that seek
to chanel change and constrain its overspilling in elements
that are meant to remain stable, often seem to create geog-
raphies of vertical disconnections, bound by hierarchical
interelations, far away from the nature of networked iconog-
raphy Doxiadis suggests. The lost coherence between scales
and the effort to control change by disconnecting them, is
largely evident in the two prevailing centralities Doxiadis
suggests: The centrality of the sector, largely similar to this
of a cell
28
, guarantying the stability of the local organization
of the community, and the dynamic and changing linear
centraliy of the Dynametropolis, that would lead eventualy
to a condition of generalized networked centrality.
This problem however of dealing with change in different
scales, by enabling it where desirable and constraining it
where harmfull, is largely refective of the contemporary
discussions regarding changing infrastructural networks of
globalization. The changing interelation between centres
and peripheries mutated and often fragmented by networked
infrastructures, as already discussed, disenchants the vi-
sion of Ecumenopolis
29
. The problem of inventing the chess-
board is still structured around the main question: How to
conceptualize and manage, change which seems to come
from differnt scales and forces, in achieving a functional
coherence across scales, between the rules, the pieces and
the chessboard?
Is it possible that we are at the same time reinventing the
chessboard and the rules, while already playing the game?
Notes & References
1 Simon distinguishes three main explosions in the inter-
est for complexity: The frst, right after the frst world war,
dealing with the characteristics and the nature of complex
systems, the second following world war two focusing on the
mechanisms sustaining complexity and especially feedback,
and a third one during the seventies researching the mecha-
nisms creating complexity with an emphasis on the notion
of emergence.
Simon, H.A., 1996, The sciences of the artifcial, 3rd edn,
MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
2 Wiener, N., 1961, Cybernetics: or, Control and communi-
cation in the animal and the machine, 2d edn, M.I.T. Press,
New York.
3 Simon, H.A., 1996, The sciences of the artifcial, 3rd edn,
MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
4 Audirac, I, Information Technology and Urban Form,
Journal of Planning Literature 2002; 17; 212
5 Seminal works in this direction include:
Hall P., Cities of tomorrow: an intellectual history of urban
planning and design in the twentieth century. Oxford:
Blackwell, 2002.
Mitchell, W. J., e-topia, Cambridge Ma: MIT Press, 1999.
Mitchell, W. J., me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked
City, Cambridge Ma: MIT Press, 2003.
6 Seminal works in this direction include:
Castells M., The Informational City. London: Blackwell,
1989.
Castells M., The Information Age: Economy, Society and
Culture I, The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford: Black-
well, 1997.
Graham S. and Marvin S., Splintering Urbanism. London:
Routledge, 2001.
Sassen, S., The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.
7 Virilio introduces the term third interval to highlight
the importance of simultaneity in relation to the frst inter-
val (space) and the second interval (time). See Virilio, P.
The Third Interval, in Rethinking Technology: A Reader in
Architectural Theory, London: Routledge, 2004.
8 Castells M., The Information Age: Economy, Society and
Culture I, The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford: Black-
well, 1997, p. 472.
9 Offner, J. as cited in: Graham, S. / Marvin, S. (2001)
Splintering Urbanism, London, Routledge, 172.
10 Christaller, W., Die Zentralen Orte in Suddeutschland,
Jena, 1933.
11 Doxiadis, C.A.,1968, Ekistics : an introduction to the
science of human settlements, Oxford University Press, New
York.
For a recent analysis of Ekistics as a discipline see: Pyla, P.,
Planetary Home and Garden: Ekistics and Environmental-
Developmental Politics, in Grey Room 36, Summer 2009,
pp. 635, and also: Pyla, P., Ekistics, Architecture and
Environmental politics, 1945-1976: A prehistory of sustain-
able development, PH.D. diss., MIT, 2002.
12 For an extensive discussion of the Delos symposia
discourse, see the Journal Ekistics especially from 1975 to
1977. Also for an analysis of the importance of Delos Sym-
posia in the discussion around networked infrastructure and
network culture in design see: Wigley, M., Network Fever,
in Grey Room 04, Summer 2001, pp. 82122.
13Doxiadis, C.A., Ekistics, the Science of Human Settle-
ments, Science, v.170, no.3956, October 1970, p. 393-404
Online: http://www.doxiadis.org/fles/pdf/ecistics_the_sci-
ence_of_human_settlements.pdf p.1
14 For Doxiadis the structure of human settlements is a
quest for this optimum synthesis. As he notes: Man orga-
nizes his settlements in an attempt to achieve an optimum
synthesis of the other four principles, and this optimiza-
tion is dependent on time and space, on actual conditions,
and on mans ability to create a synthesis. Doxiadis, C.A.,
Ekistics, the Science of Human Settlements, Science,
v.170, no.3956, October 1970, p. 393-404.
15 During the period 1963-1977, Doxiadis Associates in
collaboration with the Athens Center of Ekistics, conducted
a research which aimed at gathering data regarding the
organization of space in ancient Greek cities and, subse-
quently, to arrive at a new synthesis which would account
for the newer fndings and hypotheses. The research would
cover ekistic phenomena in the wider sense of the term, in
order to deal with the development of settlement from its
start, from the selection of the space for mans living, to its
completion and artistic expression through buildings and
monuments. Since August 1968, the research was organized
more systematically under the supervision of the Athens
Center of Ekistics and additional funding from the FORD
Foundation and Doxiadis Associates. C.A. Doxiadis person-
94
ally supervised the research until the day of his death, June
28, 1975, in a project that involved the collaboration of
prominent Greek archaeologists, historians, philologists and
architects. Doxiadis was largely infuenced in this historical
approach by the British historian Arnold Toynbee, who was
also a member of the World Society of Ekistics. However it
could be argued that the starting point for Doxiadis interest
regarding space in ancient Greek cities was his Doctoral
Dissertation on the production of space in ancient Greece.
For a translation of the authors thesis, prepared at the Ber-
lin Charlottenburg Technische Hochschule and published in
1937 under title: Raumordnung im griechischen Stdtebau,
see:
Doxiadis, C.A.,1972, Architectural space in Ancient
Greece, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass
For a research overview see the online resource:
http://www.doxiadis.org/page/default.asp?la=1&id=16
For extensive publications of the outcomes of the research
see:
Dakaris, S. & A.K.O., 1971, Cassopaia and the Elean colo-
nies, Athens Center of Ekistics, Athens.
Lazaridis, D. & A.K.O., 1971, Thasos and its Peraia, Ath-
ens Center of Ekistics, Athens.
Sakellariou, M.V., Pharaklas, N. & A.K.O., 1971, Corinthia-
Cleonaea, Athens Center of Ekistics, Athens,.
Theocharis, D. & A.K.O. 1971, Prehistory of Eastern Mace-
donia and Thrace, Athens Center of Ekistics, Athens,.
Toynbee, A.J. & A.K.O. 1971, An ekistical study of the Hel-
lenic city-state, Athens Center of Ekistics, Athens.
16 Doxiadis, C.A., The ancient Greek city and the city
of the present Ekistics, v.18, no.108, November 1964, p.
346-364.
17 Doxiadis, C.A., The ancient Greek city and the city
of the present Ekistics, v.18, no.108, November 1964, p.
346-364.
18 Doxiadis, C.A., Ekistics, the Science of Human Settle-
ments, Science, v.170, no.3956, October 1970, p. 393-404
19 The City of the Future (COF) was the frst Research
Project launched by C.A. Doxiadis in 1960. The idea for
a research on the future of cities was already conceived as
early as 1958. Its frst Project Manager was C. A. Doxiadis
himself assisted by John G. Papaioannou, who in 1964
became its second Project Manager. The frst task of the
initial COF team was to compile a research design, setting
the goals and the time horizons of the study as well as speci-
fying the necessary specialties, which would cover the large
variety of topics involved. The number of scientists fnally
participating rose to more than 100, working independently
or in association with the project.
For a research overview see the online resource:
http://www.doxiadis.org/page/default.asp?la=1&id=18
For a more extensive discussion presentation of the research
see:
Doxiadis, C.A. & A.T.O., 1967, Ecumenopolis : the settle-
ment of the future, Athens Technological Organization,
Athens Center of Ekistics, Athens.
Doxiadis, C.A., Papaioannou, J. G. & A.T.O., 1974, Ecu-
menopolis : the inevitable city of the future, Norton, New
York.
20 Doxiadis, C.A., Ecumenopolis: Tomorrows City, Brit-
tanica Book of the year 1968, Encyclopaedia Britannica,
Inc.
Also online:
http://www.doxiadis.org/page/default.asp?id=238, p. 9.
21 Doxiadis, C.A., The city(II): Ecumenopolis, world-city
of tomorrow, Impact of Science on Society, v.19, no.2, April
- June 1969, p. 179-193
22 Coined in 1965 by C.A. Doxiadis, from the Greek en
topos (in place) as a term opposite to utopia (from u-topos,
meaning non place), Entopia was meant to be a plausible
reality for the future.
23 The COF fndings were used extensively while the
project was still in progress, providing the wider frame for
future development in many areas. Prominent examples
include the Masterplan for Islamabad and the Great Lakes
Megalopolis project.
24 According to Myrto Antonopoulou-Bogdanou, although
the idea of an on-going project was never fully realized, the
model and structure of the project allowed for updating at
any moment and of any variable, even simply by making
a cross section at a given date and comparing the sets of
fgures, readjusting the relative points and curves.
Networked resource reviewing the City of the Future
research:
http://www.doxiadis.org/fles/pdf/City%20of%20the%20
Future.pdf
25 After the Greek word Ecoumeni which refers to the whole
world as an entity. In his term coined in 1961, Doxiadis
defnes Ecumenopolis as: The coming city that, together
with the corresponding open land which is indispensable
for man, will cover the entire earth as a continuous system
forming a universal settlement. For a glossary of terms see:
Doxiadis, C.A., Ecumenopolis: Tomorrows City, Brit-
tanica Book of the year 1968, Encyclopaedia Britannica,
Inc.
26 Doxiadis, C.A., Ecumenopolis: Tomorrows City, Brit-
tanica Book of the year 1968, Encyclopaedia Britannica,
Inc.
Also online:
27 Doxiadis, C.A., Ecumenopolis: Tomorrows City, Brit-
tanica Book of the year 1968, Encyclopaedia Britannica,
Inc.
Also online:
http://www.doxiadis.org/page/default.asp?id=238, p. 21.
28 See for example Doxiadis metaphor regarding human
cells and their static morphology in our growing organisms.
Doxiadis, C.A.,1968, Ekistics : an introduction to the sci-
ence of human settlements, Oxford University Press, New
York, p. 356.
29 For the splintering effect of networked infrastructures on
the built environment see for example:
Graham S. and Marvin S., Splintering Urbanism. London:
Routledge, 2001.
95
CREDITS
Professor Hashim Sarkis
Guest Critics
Peder Anker
Pierre Belanger
Felipe Correa
Gareth Doherty
Rania Ghosn
Timothy Hyde
El Hadi Jazairy
Boris Jensen
Ciro Najle
Rafi Segal

Teaching Fellows
Rania Ghosn (2010)
Nikolaos Katsikis (2011)

Teaching Assistants
Christina Cho (2010)
Chris Roach (2011)

Book Design
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