The STEALTH group: Ana Dzokic Milica Topalovic Marc Neelen Ivan Kucina

WILD: occurring, growing without supervision or restraint; the urban paradigm of ontemporary Belgrade

THE WILD CITY
Genet ics of uncont rolled urban proces ses
The Wild City research project inspects the city in crisis – a complex, trembling ground on which rules for production of urban substance and logic for preserving of urban vitality are constantly reinvented. It spans over two conceptual territories: metaphorical, which describes an urban paradigm of wildness, and strategic, which proposes dynamic design procedures for contemporary environment, shaped by dominant market forces and decline of institutions.

not domesticated, cultivated or tamed; the wild city is

People in principle are cowards.
It’s not easy to rush out into the street all of a sudden and say: “Byebye busted firm; give me my compensation money, if there is any at all, and I’ll go out and do some business.” That takes courage. I found my spot. On literally half of a square meter, on a small camping table, I set out packages of cigarettes. I was making four- to five-hundred German marks a month. By our standards that’s a pretty solid salary. Later on, the Boulevard of Revolution started to develop as a shopping area. Of course it always was a shopping area, but then a second row of kiosks and stands started popping-up, parallel to the official state-owned or private ones that were already there. In the beginning of the 1990s, on that same street, I saw my buddies – guys my age selling all kinds of products from the hoods of the cars parked there. Smuggle-commerce, of course. They’d get the goods from Hungary, Bulgaria — wherever they could travel — and sold them right there on the Boulevard. These guys stood on the street literally across from the universities they had graduated from a couple of years before.Later, they shifted over to the flea market. We built our [first] shop space from whatever scraps we could get our hands on. We rented it cheaply; it was a small pre-fab house. We painted the interior, fixed it up a bit, so that it would look decent. You put in a few of those halogen lights, for [40, 50 or 60 DEM,] and presto! It resembles a shop, but in fact it is just a [maquette] [model] of a shop. The fact that system here allows you work for a year or two without any registration, any permission, without any kind of inspection — that’s another story. I think that the mentality of people from this climate makes us inclined and well-suited to anarchy and absence of a legal system. Our talent for improvisation can [come out] since we’re all more or less masters of finding [our way out] [our own way] — We’re all James Bonds. But things will have to be solved technically, soon the pedestrians won’t be able to pass through the streets, because of stands, cardboard boxes, shades and other wonders. It all looks very … thrilling. Bars, hangers, goods everywhere, music, people.

ALTERNATIVE: actions conducted by large numbers of indiv malfunctions of establishments and mainstreams

It’s not only in this part of the world that people sell fake perfumes and fake cigs. It works anywhere; those “detectives” are all over. But I guess it’s more intensive here, simply because it gained so much momentum and undoubtedly a very large part of the population exists on it. In the same way, there are people who made careers in the “practices” of the ad-hoc, improvisation, “on-black,” “on-grey”.— whatever you want to call it. Afterwards you will put the money into another practice that is profitable, but legal. Then it becomes another story, those are already mega-facilities, for example entertainment ones. (Where were you supplied with cigarettes? You remember the trucks in the city center?) How could I tell about that? That is what you know. Don’t think it’s some kind of paranoia, I simply think it’s not necessary. We are not exposing any glamor here, I think the story is just between us, to remember and to be warned. Foreigners should come here. They could learn all kinds of things — football, basketball . . . survival. Everything is in changes; without change there is no life. It used to be like that, now it’s like this, tomorrow it will be different. Obviously, this is a living mechanism; it didn’t come about overnight. About those people, it wasn’t easy to go out into the street while someone else was there all along, and for him it was normal and things even started to work in his favor. He already got stronger in this competition, he has courage, heart, knows how to fight, those are today’s qualities necessary for normal living. I think that this jumble is a strong alternative*. If you can organize yourself a bit better, if you are persistent, determined, you can make a career. If you are not, you can live from hand to mouth. It can choke you, like the guy next to you who has 3 brands of cigarettes more. One cardboard box will eat another one, which is perfectly normal. My name is Petar Miucin, but in the city I am known as Pera Lozac (Pera “the Firestarter”). That’s how you can ask for me if you need something when you come to Belgrade.

viduals, simultaneously, as a compensation for

38

GREY REALM
Without the necessary functions of institutional systems in society and in the city, personal initiative appeared as the only possibility for fulfilling demands and became the fuel for the move from the previous, centralised economy to disperse, a-legal, chaotic stage. During the last decade, the described condition - the Grey Realm has become an envelope for the human condition in Belgrade. The most radical reconfiguration of the city came about with the street trade entering public space and reshaping it. Over the past decade, in evolution* from a simple to a more complex spatial disorder, street trade underwent six phases from mobility to creation of new urban forms.

EVOLUTION: continuous progress from the homogenous to th Genetics of uncontrolled quality and simple to the diverse and manifold in urban processes function

mobility _

1

In early stages of the processes, street traders have blossomed along the lines of flux while phenomena rapidly intensified towards the city centre. The fast fluctuating, horizontal movement of this huge network simply routed around any institutional authority, keeping mobile in order to escape legal prosecution.

lightness _

2

The non-stop, 24-hour rhythm brought to the city came from the exceptional flexibility of tradesman functioning on a small scale. Channels for supply are numerous, the usual tax and bureaucracy are avoided, which enables new trade to react instantly and offer desired goods.

occupation _

3

‘Grey’ circulation of currencies became the only controller of the spatial growth. Profitable trading spots became ever more compressed while new public centres are being formed. All available public and void space of the city turned into a testing ground for new commerce and shapes gradually through dense juxtaposition of formally unrelated units.

legislation _

4

The resulting transformation into new spatial and organisational typologies is largely due to dynamic relations between individuals and institutions. Officials sought participation in processes by providing temporal support elements, such as stands, kiosks, dedicated trading locations with infrastructure.

solidification _

5

Subverting institutional intentions, the legislation gave further momentum to solid, physical definition of condensed, vivid space of street commerce through which its course became irreversible.

new forms _

6

The heterogeneous constellation of changing territories, ownerships, diverse types of trade and spontaneous architectures re-maps the city by producing multiple points of uncertain potentials.

he heterogeneous in structure, and from the single and

FLOOD OF CHANGES

_characters

atomised, pixelated, small entities

Amidst the disintegration of former Yugoslavia, war, media obsession and the politicisation of everyday life, the crucial point for a complete turn over of the city was the UN embargo of 1992. During a decade of instability, the governmental grip on the society weakened dramatically by economic, demographic and social crisis. Instead, emergent processes have replaced the city’s primary systems in the domains of trade, housing production and public services. In the beginning of the present decade, they were accounting for 50% of sale of everyday goods, 60% of petrol sale, 65 % of city transport and 70% of any construction activity. The concentration of activities in public space was supported, in a liberal manner, by the city municipalities. Their attempt to insure an independent source of income from the bankrupt state resulted in a compromise above the law, and a fast commercialisation of potent public ground. In this process, hardly any spatial regulations were implemented. The main concentrations of urban sprawl* are situated along the lines of flux, the city’s attraction points and outlets of traffic infrastructure.

temporary

_figures
as presented in daily newspaper Blic, jan-feb 2000

Wild history of Belgrade in numbers: 1975: 17 903 1995: 33 594 2001: 95 419

95 419 wild buildings ‘registered’, unofficial estimations 200 000

SECTION THROUGH THE CITY

1 out of 10 citizens of Belgrade’s central zone has built ‘wild’ in the past 10 years

tramline no.7, 15 km

URBAN SPRAWL: uncontrolled growth of compact urban ce existing buildings

aesthetic heterogeneity ‘in depth’ densification

adaptation strategies: camouflage temporarity lightness, mobility inventive use of materials and forms parasitical

no recognisable geometry

created by all social classes

anarchistic: creates and follows no rules posseses emergent behavior concentrations, and forces, not shapes

mobile light inward solid

wild center vs wild periphery: 73 045 vs 22 374

750 wild construction sites opening per week in the city

Legalisation City will profit 5 billion DM

Demolition City will pay 3 billion DM

entres, with extensions into public, void space and onto

URBAN READY-MADES
catalogue of new urban forms

In this continuing process of change the city acts as a machine for production of new urban forms and as generator of its own substance. Innovations are present across all scales and on different levels: spatial/physical, architectural typology, ownership, organisational structure, program. Catalogue of emerged forms proposes them as ‘ready-made prototypes’. Purpose of registration of each prototype* is to point out newness that it produces, to describe it’s prototypical features and to show the possibility of it’s applying. On the conceptual level the Wild City is an incubator* of new urban forms in which an urban planner becomes a hunter in the jungle, the one who searches for new species and cultivates them.

urb a n s c a l e _ 0 1

0 1 _ 0 1 _ worm

Minimal plan

0 1 _ 0 2 _ infection

Growth in waves

One of the new ‘wild’ housing areas in the perimeter Belgrade consists of approx. 1000 houses. It is built on city land, in the process of denationalisation. In fear that their constructions could be demolished, individual builders have obtained an existing plan for the area, and reproduced the same street pattern themselves.

The Flea market - one of the targeted locations for informal commerce was a piece of no-mans land in New Belgrade, on a major traffic junction. In just 5 years it became the largest trading centre in the country that continues to grow through perpetual waves of legislation and informal invasion.

PROTOTYPE: an original urban form or instance, serving as a

0 1 _ 0 1 _ worm

Minimal plan

Level of inventiveness / Prototypical features: - minimal plan consists just of infrastructure - permanently unfinished state - free standing houses on plots without property boundaries create sensitive gradation from public to private space - insensitivity to social status Cultivation: - assign area for development of individually commissioned or do-it-yourself housing - do not exceed diameter of walking distance - lay down ‘minimal plan’ - regulate / impose absence of fences - make available network of architectural advisors - for purposes of enriching the catalogue, monitor if and how the prototype will mutate

0 1 _ 0 3 _ worm

Impermanent ground

01_04_virus

Inward expansion

Along 5 km of riverbanks, uncontrolled or deliberately overlooked developments in the leisure sector have their peaks. The boats are not only linearly ordered, but form a floating fabric over the water. The ‘watery condition’ produced the ultimate negation of the city, its weight and its presence.

In the process of ‘in-depth’ densification of the city, built extensions vary across all city fabrics: internationalist, XIX century compact blocks, loose, fragmented structures.

a basis or standard for the design practice

architectural typology_

02

02_01

Parasite housing

02_02

Mushroom roofs

Often illegal, housing extensions have densified all types of existing city fabrics. They result in refreshing combinations of typologies, such as rural houses on top of skyscrapers.

Boosting square meters over the permission limit? Making ‘ghost floors’? Mushrooms are a formal synonym for architectural masking.

organizational structures_

03

03_01

Symbiosis

03_02

Consolidation

Without gasoline and spare parts, the city transport had to transform into a symbiotic model consisting of the old public company joined by numerous ‘one man – one vehicle’ enterprises.

The network of mobile petrol traders quickly consolidated, resulting in new private petrol stations, constructed at sites tested-out by mobile predecessors.

conversions public / private_

04

04_01 / 02

Expanding public privacy

>>>
many changes in program – the addition of a wooden-frame cafe space, a concrete basement and a roof shade into which a living space is hidden.

On a sidewalk of the most frequented Belgrade Boulevard, a plastic kiosk was placed with a temporary permit. Over 2 years, this structure passed through 3 solidification phases and as

use of mobile objects_

05

05_01

Boxes

05_02

Cars_trunck

INCUBATOR: an idea of a city of permanent urban innovation; on development of new urban species

02_03

Autarchic dreams

02_04

Programmatic hypertrophy

‘Wild houses’ range from modest ones, to ‘dreamland’ villas.They are built on the public land, in a wide belt of city perimeters.

Challenging the borders of housing typology, the owner of a private city transport company made his bus-garage villa in a part of a wild neighbourhood.

03_03

Homogeneity

03_04

Inversion of institutions

In mid-90’s, the first Chinese traders came to Belgrade. Quickly, their population grew to 50 000. Soon they overtook a redundant shopping centre and turned it into the Chinese centre.

Public swimming pool turned into private tennis court.

04_03

Private publicness

Linear repetition of the described masked typology, along the pavement of frequented streets produces commercial strips.

The whole city’s ground zero became a commercial asset.The spaces being converted range from common rooms in housing blocks of the internationalist New Belgrade, to flats and homes in the old city.

05_03

Cars_front

05_04

Cars_extended

ne which permits and encourages the formation and

PARADOX: a proposition contrary to the prevailing practice appearance or terms seems absurd, yet may be true

Extended Lada, used as a funeral car. At the moment, there are four of them in Belgrade.

e; a sentiment seemingly contradictory; that which in

METAMORPHOSIS
time/space mapping of transformation process
For a period of one year, the majority of department stores in the city were left without supplies, having only few products to sell. This example of a department store illustrates the process of inversion - where institution changed from a trade into a management organisation that rents its space and shares it with smaller private traders.

department store beogradjanka

1.

3.

2.
inertia
the department store still at its original state in the beginning of 1993

shrinking
in mid 1993, as a result of the embargo, the department store remains out of goods

attractor
in the autumn of the same year, the public space around the store begins to be occupied by street salesman

loosening boundary
the stateowned store starts partially renting its space to small private shops

BENEFICIAL VIRUS: alien presence, instigated by a degrading corrupting and vital force

The 3D sequential mapping is developed as a way to visualise physical and organisational evolution. These models contain information about the establishment of new relations among actors, change of boundaries and physical containment - over time. Organic shapes present self-organised initiators of

change entering primary system. They become more regular in the upper sections of the model (later phases in time) which correspond with a period of physical change. The colours present different levels of institutional recognition.

5.

4.
subdivision
once open in plan, the space becomes separated

partial recovery
benefiting form the new economic influx, the department store regains a part of its trading space

double skin
attachments to the building made by private investors appear, sometimes using a doubled façade as a camouflage

g institutional body, which becomes an inevitable,

a: subdivide territory without clear boundaries b: fill in subdivided territory

a: loosen boundary b: push boundary, step in

a: further shrinking b: push boundary, make various tactics

a: open boundary for selected tactic b: intensify by growing in numbers

a: shrink b: surround attractor, be ‘soft’

a: shrink b: a: expand by double skin b: camouflage into double skin a: b: grow network nodes by merging

department store:

public transport:

invert

branch

a: tolerate b: extend structure by adding units

a: offer empty structure b: find empty structure

a: give structure: line up! b: selection to fill in the structure a: rise value b: intensify by growing in numbers, form homogeneity a: tolerate b: disperse from central point

a: tolerate b: spread from units into in-between space

a: abandon the system b: surround attractor, be ‘soft’

homogenize

shopping centre:

cd market:

fertilize

GENETIC CODES
Through Urban genetics* mechanics of a transformation processes are extracted. In nearly all of the studied processes, ranging from street trade to city transport, pulsating organisations are achieved, through conflict and negotiation between institutions and individuals. They resemble profound symbiotic natural forms and

URBAN GENETICS: discovering the inherent scripts of unforese that their outcomes are more sophisticated than the designed o

a: give structure and program to territory use b: selection to fill in structure

a: give structure: line up! b: selection to fill in the structure

a: define strict territory b: concentrate within defined territory, be ‘soft’

a: tolerate surrounding development b: concentrate and solidify in the surrounding

a: b: concentrate in zones that are more attractive, be ‘soft’

a: offer new structure in public space b: solidify in zones that are more attractive

a: b: find void attached to lines of flux, occupy by dispersion

a: form solid double skin b: fill in the double skin

a: shrink b: disperse along lines of flux

a: tolerate b: connect by filling in-between space, be ‘soft’

flea market:

street trade:

stratify

coagulate

a: tolerate b: form network

a: tolerate b: step in, occupy in-between space, be ‘soft’

a: share units b: plug into the units

a: b: disperse along lines of flux

a: tolerate b: differentiate nodes by concentration

a: b: surround attractor, be ‘soft’ a: keep remaining territory b: form territory over group of units

a: shrink b: a: permit b: solidify strong nodes by adding another program

green market:

infiltrate

petrol selling:

disperse

systems, in which the small elements (individuals-orange) are in charge of producing newness and flexibility, while the big core (institution-grey) maintains

the minimum of stability. Tip: take a look at the public transport code and prototype 03_01.

een processes of urban transformations under a hypothesis ones

GAME OF LIFE
Following the exciting discovery that there is a pattern of similar behaviours among ‘urban genes’- stages of the observed processes these sequences have been collected and developed as an urban design support tool the Game of Life*. It started with a fascination and a question: can there be a sophisticated outcome of the evolutive process if it continues further and further? While its rules are fairly simple, the complexity that arises from it is able to maintain the character of a self-organising system.

Originally, ‘Life’ is a cellular-automata game, created in 1970 by J.H.Conway, in the field of artificial life.

In the example of a green market, which acts as multy-agent system, a simulation test was made. Heterogeneous and vivid spatial formation appears as the main value of the tool. It comes through ranges that are achieved in every spatial parameter – range of different scales, range of material qualities from solid to temporary, range from still to mobile, range in different forms of ownership, range in use throughout day and night, stretching the program in a range.

1

2

3

surround

inbetween

empty structure

LIFE: synonym for evolutive design, rather than the magazine, t state of existence

2

r ou 4h

ryt

hm
t w ne ul a g re dy bo

or

ed ar nt sh me e w ne nag ma di v tra ers de if y

iva g r i n - pr blu bl i c pu

te

i ng

green market - steps of simulation

4
Maksima Gorkog St. Kalenic market, Belgrade

5

6

7

plug-in

extend

inbetween

merge

the breakfast cereal, the 1950s-era game board or the human

hunch
y

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Today, while normality (read ‘globalisation’) is coming to Belgrade, the phenomena observed are on the verge of being erased. On the established path of, commonly called, ‘transition in Eastern Europe’, planning institutions are providing ground for an easy clutch of a city’s assets into the global world. In this condition, the aesthetics of the ‘wild space’ found among the street traders and the ‘do-it-yourself’ interventions will slowly vanish. The political aspect of the Wild City project However, the message of the wildness reaches much further than its appearance. For a period of 10 years, the Wild City has created an

CRISIS: a crucial or decisive moment or situation, a sudden c rather than deterioration

unconventional social condition in contemporary Europe. A fairly primitive, but rapid formation of a liberal market at its extreme, shows an example not determined by icons of global capitalism, but a romantically anarchist universe of ordinary people going for their everyday needs and dreams. On the city scale, this condition has pointed out to: multitude, variety, dispersion, physical growth through decentralisation, fragmentation, heterarchy, network organisations. This reality of Belgrade allows us to imagine and speculate about public policy in which

economies of scale are substantially less important than economies of variety and flexibility. The new and desired institutional structure is then created not to reverse, but to support emerging processes with a clear, social agenda.

The Wild City evolved and sustained itself through economic, social and political ruptures. It is an architectural creed: it offers no certainty and stabile solutions, it has no tolerance for professional prejudice. Instead, it allows us to enter the field of changes of a social and urban environment with ways to observe them and to navigate them.

change in the course of events, often towards improvement

YOU’LL HAVE TO BE IN THE WORLD
John Thackara
Design has to change if it is to be effective, or even meaningful, in today's context. It has to lighten up, big-time. A few years ago we were promised that the Internet would usher in a weightless new economy of mind over matter. But life has become heavier than ever, physically and psychologically. We live in a world of human, natural, and industrial systems whose complex interactions are difficult to comprehend. These systems are, by their natures, invisible, and we lack the clear mental models that we might otherwise use to make sense of the bigger picture. We've wallowed too long in the idea that the world is 'out of control' - be it cities, the economy, or technology. But we're people, not ants. We have a culture, and language, that enable us to understand and share knowledge about abstract phenomena. Against this background, projects like The Wild City bring us good news. Although this project is about the genetics of uncontrolled urban processes, its trajectory aims towards techniques of intervention and control. While The Wild City is taking this approach in architecture, in the worlds of Large Technical Systems and software design whole flocks of like-minded birds are already developing similar concepts, however tricky it will be to operate among complex and dynamically changing systems. This transformation of the design process has two axes. The first axis concerns the understanding and perception of the processes that shape today's shifting urban conditions. The second axis is about intervention, in a 'sense-and-respond' manner--a design process in which we are 'blind' to the precise outcome of the processes we put in motion, but clear about the kind of future we want to see emerge. Design for legibility In order to do things differently, we first might learn to see things differently, to re-connect with the systems and processes on which we depend, and to understand them in order to look after them. The emerging model of design and architecture incorporates what we know about the behavior of biological organisms, the geometry and information processing systems of the brain, and the morphology of information networks. Many affective representations of complex phenomena have been developed in recent times: physicists have illustrated quarks; biologists have mapped the genome; doctors have described immune systems in the body, and among communities; network designers have mapped communication flows in buildings; managers have

charted the locations of expertise in their organizations. But these representations have been created and used mainly by and among specialists as objects of research, not as the basis for feedback and ‘sense-and-respond’ processes. City life will always exist on the edge of chaos, but representations of energy flows are an achievable priority. The strength of The Wild City is that its researchers have 'grown' a catalogue of processes and change mechanisms from the ground up, based on streetlevel research over a number of years. The interactions between non-regulated processes (street traders moving into spaces vacated by defunct official businesses) and existing city fabrics (the green market, or a department store) are fascinating. And in my view, the main point of the project has been to deliver tools for perceiving 'actors' and 'forces' that previously did not figure (so to speak) in urban design notations. If I have a reservation (or a wish for a next step) it is that all process representations could be made visceral, in order to develop not just an understanding but a feeling of how complex urban flows and processes work. Sense-and-respond The purpose of systems literacy is to enable action, rather than watching from outside, and to develop a shared vision of what might be done together, and how. Our dilemma is that evolution operates without prior knowledge of what is to come, that is, without design. The point is to re-discover intentionality and learn--once we can read them--how to shape emergent processes. A first step here is learning how to think backwards from a desired outcome. To identify the things that need fixing, and to foster creativity in the search for new questions, we can become expert at 'backcasting', developing future scenarios and tracking consequences retroactively, from then to now. On that backwards road, we can develop the capacity to spot opportunities at the junctures between physical and virtual networks, and to imagine relationships and connections where none existed before, in much the same way as processes are visualized in The Wild City. How best might we use design scenarios of desirable futures as the basis for real-world interventions to 'steer' complex urban transformations? How shall we connect an understanding of urban genetics with real-time actions to nudge 'self' organizing systems in a desired direction? Understanding emergent behavior, how shall we develop strategies to 'steer' it? Beyond the artificial I will respond to these questions first with a negative. The answer does not lie in the development of autonomous or so-called intelligent design tools, such as genetic algorithms and cellular automata. The Artificial Intelligence (AI)) community has shown that it is feasible to design self-generating codes that have the capacity to plot the lines of complex shapes, such as a boat hull. The proposition was that 'intelligent', generative design tools might help architects and designers design the processes or codes, the 'rules of the game' or 'shape grammars' by which forms are generated, rather

than the end product itself in detail. One researcher, John Fraser (then at the Architectural Association in London) said that this means designing the overall system;"you design the rules, rather than the actual individual stylistic detail of the product". With his synthetic world Tierra, the software researcher Tom Ray looked at autonomous digital evolution in a different way. In Tierra, Ray observed the incredibly dynamic evolution of self-replicating program strings, basically virus-like structures, that he had 'seeded' in this synthetic environment. The complexity produced by such viruses far exceeded the think-then-do capacities of human designers. The software designer of the future, Tom Ray speculated, would be like a hunter in this jungle, searching for program strings possessing desirable characteristics for a particular application or context back in the real world. But neither shape-generating algorithms, nor selfreplicating software viruses, are appropriate for the continuous intervention in continuously evolving urban systems. There are at least three reasons for this. First, urban processes are not shapes. Second, self-replicating software does not allow for senseand-respond feedback. Third, intelligent design tools are just that: tools. They can and do exist independently of the physical and social context without which a sense-and-respond design process is impossible. In biology, the influence on a process of geographic or regional environment is described as choronomic. Choronomy adds value; a lack of context destroys it. Extremely Agile The irony is that while real-world place-and-thing designers have been flirting with AI and evolutionary design processes, the most advanced software designers, who call themselves Extreme Programmers, are headed in the opposite direction, back towards human-steered design. Extreme Programmers prefer to do it, rather than watch it. They have come to value individuals, and interactions among them, over abstract processes and tools. They find it more important to engage directly with working software than to labor at the design of self-organizing systems. These principles are the basis of a new movement in software called The Agile Alliance. The Agile movement, and Extreme Programmers, are not anti-methodology. They want to restore a balance. "We embrace modeling, but not in order to file some diagram in a dusty corporate repository. We embrace documentation, but not hundreds of pages of never-maintained and rarely-used tomes. We plan, but recognize the limits of planning in a turbulent environment". Flowing to a conclusion We've filled the world with complex systems and technologies - on top of the natural ones that were already here, and social/cultural systems ones that evolved over thousands of years. For a while we were told these systems were 'out of control' - too complex to understand, let alone to shape, or redirect. But 'out of control' is an ideology, not a fact. There is something we can do. It's called design, the "first signal of human intention". Our intentions – for social quality, for sustainability, for play - will remain wishful until we complete the transition from designing on the world to designing

in the world. Natural, human and industrial systems are all around us – they are not below, outside, or above us. This new subject-object relationship in design entails a shift from a concern with objects and appearances, towards a focus on enhanced perceptions of complex processes - and their continuous optimisation. Think of ‘world’ as a verb, not a noun. Think of rowing the boat, not just drawing it. A second transition is from designing for people to designing with us. The reason is that anyone using a system - responding to it, interacting with it, feeding back into it - changes it. People are described as users, or consumers – but we need to think of them as actors. Complex Technical Systems – be they physical, or virtual, or both - are shaped, continuously, by all the people who use them. Our business models in design also have to change. The idea of a self-contained design project – of signing off, when a design is finished - make no sense in a world whose systems don’t stop changing. Design’s project-based business model is like a water company that delivers a bucket of water to your door and pronounces its mission accomplished. Design is a service utility, not a manufacturing process. I imagine a design economy based on service contracts such as those already used in management consultancy. As designers, our role therefore evolves from shaping, to steering from being the ‘authors’ of a finished work, into facilitators who help people act more intelligently, in a more designminded way, in the systems they live in. It’s a kind of deontic street theatre in which the regisseurdesigner contributes questions, proposals and design concepts, but not finished scripts.

Green market, evolution model, page ‘game of life’

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