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Pattern carries with it nearly infinite definitions and interpretations. Every field of study has its own way of claiming patterns. For designers, patterns have enjoyed a recent renaissance, no longer relegated to mere ephemeral decoration or determinate underlying order. Many contemporary projects have employed patterns, oscillating between expressive façade systems, structural diagrams, interior graphics, circulation plans, chaos and order. Beyond aesthetics, ‘pattern’ has expanded to include principles of ecology and complexity science. The project is grounded on the basis that ‘pattern’ and ‘patterning’ in multiple scales and uses plays an important role in a community’s resilience against the ecological principle of disturbance. In addition, it posits that pattern has the capacity to subvert disturbance into a useful process. This thesis acknowledges and appreciates the fact that pattern has demonstrated itself to be a versatile tool in many regards, including its ability to interface with randomness. The intention is to investigate the potential that modern patternthinking has as an alternative to current practices in architecture, urban design, and planning.
A l l Pa t t e r n E v e r y t h i n g Drew J McNamara
Masters of Architecture The University of Detroit Mercy|School of Architecture Arch 5100|5110|5200|5210
2011 - 2012
a. Introduction b. Defining Pattern c. Theories of Pattern d. A Relationship with Randomness e. Self Organizing Systems + Feedback f. Disturbance and Resiliency g. Planning h. Grounding: Base Closure as Disturbance
i. UIC Circle Campus j. The Casbah k. Santa Caterina Market l. Nakagin Capsule Tower m. Downsview Park
Noisette Site Analysis Design Experiments
n. Cosgrove [South] Site; Spatial o. McRitchie [Middle] Site; Programming p. Kinzer [North Site]; Microclimate
Conclusions Bibliography Contents
Pattern carries with it nearly infinite definitions and interpretations. Every field of study has its own way of claiming patterns. For designers, patterns have enjoyed a recent renaissance, no longer relegated to mere ephemeral decoration or determinate underlying order. Many contemporary projects have employed patterns, oscillating between expressive façade systems, structural diagrams, interior graphics, and circulation plans, all operating on multiple scales. This thesis acknowledges and appreciates the fact that pattern has demonstrated itself as a matter to be taken seriously. Its intention is to investigate the potential that modern pattern-thinking has as an alternative to current practices in architecture, urban design, and master planning.
same nature, a subject that will be further expanded.
Pattern is the foundation for this thesis and the lens through which further topics will be viewed. Therefore it is important to establish a simple foundation for what a pattern is. First is determining its basic components. Part of the reasoning for patterns previously being overlooked in the design profession as a serious design tool was the ambiguity of the term itself (Andersen and Salomon, 17) . Pattern can simultaneously refer to an ideal original and its endless copies, in addition to invoking a loose description of temporal and spatial repetition of objects or behaviors  . Within this repetition however, there is not necessarily any regular or welldefined symmetry (Isaacs) . Pattern consists not only of repetition, but redundancy. The variation of a pattern’s repetition and redundancy results in complex constructions, imbuing pattern with the capacity to distort, absorb, amplify, and fluctuate (Andersen and Salomon, 33) . The adaptable, dynamic character of pattern hints at the potential for generating complex urban designs of the
Over the last half century there have been numerous theories that address pattern with specificity. While the three presented here are not the only pattern theories from the last fifty years, they are the most relevant to the trajectory of this thesis. György Kepes argued for the congruence between process and pattern in nature, and identified a lack of such in the visual patterns of human-created landscape (Kepes, Thing Structure Pattern Process, 207) . Kepes states that patterns are the meeting-points of actions, a “…temporary boundary that both separates and connects the past and the future of the processes that trace it… process in patterns, pattern in process”  . Most importantly is the concept of moving past “thing-seeing” to “pattern-seeing” which favors interactions (Andersen and Salomon, 46) . This was an effort to assert a dynamic equilibrium, looking to nature for clarification on relations of order  .
Theories of Pattern
om bin ation
Christopher Alexander is undoubtedly the most well known of those listed. In his books The Timeless Way of Building and A Pattern Language , he similarly steers clear of patterns as “things”, instead recognizing each as a set of spatial, formal, and functional relationships (Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building, 247) . Alexander describes the act of building as a “…process in which space gets differentiated…a process of unfolding, like the evolution of an embryo, in which the whole precedes its parts...”  . The embryological model is such that the designer works to eliminate randomness and noise through a process of negative feedback (Andersen and Salomon, 60) . The purpose of such is to reduce change, maintaining the pattern’s function of explaining the randomness of the world  . However, Alexander does allude to the possibility of overlapping patterns in unpredictable ways, resulting in the generation of new and unforeseen relationships (Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building, 223) .
rfi n cia lity random e mo dular nois
DBACK E FEE TIV GA NE
NTI ATI ON
First Order First Order
Th The Patte
Gregory Bateson stands in somewhat of a contrast to Alexander, and to a lesser extent, Kepes. In Mind and Nature , Bateson states: “We have been trained to think of patterns…as fixed affairs...the right way to begin to think about the pattern which connects is to think of it as primarily...a dance of interacting parts and only secondarily pegged down by various sorts of physical limits and by those limits which organisms characteristically impose...”  This dance metaphor elucidates Bateson’s position opposite Alexander. For him randomness and noise are “…a necessity to be cultivated” (Andersen and Salomon, 58) . He accepts that “…the pattern may be changed or broken by addition, by repetition, by anything that will force…a new perception of it” (Bateson, 29). New patterns are established when deviations emerge in a fixed pattern, opening up to positive feedback, and allowing for information that will push it from a state of equilibrium. This is a model of evolution, learning, and accretion, functions of the base pattern’s repetition and redundancy against which new patterns can be read (Andersen and Salomon, 61) .
what could be rather than wha
learning | evolution
hird Order ern that Connects
predictability randomness repetition deviation
at should be
The relationship between pattern and randomness is such that any assumed dichotomy is dissolved, as demonstrated by Gregory Bateson. Randomness is an avenue to newness when allowed to interrupt a pattern, “…serving as both a point of departure for and a perturbation within…the random event forces the designer to re-interpret each outcome” (Verbeeck, 8) . Additionally, there exist complex objects and processes that have the appearance of being void of pattern, but do in fact contain patterns (Verbeeck, 7) . This is what is referred to as perceived randomness, where the knowledge of such underlying structure is simply not immediately available. Stephen Wolfram points out that every form or pattern in nature can be explained and generated from simple rules  . These are referred to as self-organizing systems, “…complex adaptive systems that have the ability to grow, order, and organize all by themselves” (Mehaffy and Salingaros) . 16
A Relationship with Randomness
An organization such as the flock is characterized by a loose structure which, by means of negative and positive feedback, is resilient to total dissolution. The flock’s behavior is not “ …a property of any individual bird, but rather emerges as a property of the group itself” (StraightDope.com) . Any individual can initiate movement, which then propagates to the rest of the flock by means of positive feedback. Jittery movement at take off is the result of the random movements by individuals which easily generates changes in the behavior of the flock, yet is quelled by means of negative feedback to establish a consensus. It is pertinent to expand on the topic of feedback which can be described as a pattern of organization (Lawley and Tompkins) . First it is important to note that the terms ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ are not an indication of each one’s desirability. Put simply “… either a change in the system is reinforced (positive), or a changed in the system is dampened” (CleanLanguage.co.uk) . Without negative feedback, a system would devolve into complete chaos, and without positive feedback, a system would become unresponsive to environmental changes. In fact, a system without feedback loops operating has no way of adapting to change and will eventually cease to survive. According to Lawley and Tompkins, the continued survival of a system with an interplay between positive and negative feedback will create the dynamic equilibrium Kepes referred to. 18
Self Organizing Systems + Feedback
disturbance as mistake
disturbance as information
way to begin to think about the pattern which to think of it as primarily...a dance of interacting nly secondarily pegged down by various sorts of
the known known
cyclical: regular dynamic
targeted: need based dynamic
indirect interventions succession
Feedback loops and adaptation do not exist in a vacuum; they are leveraged against an input. The ecological theory of disturbance serves to better understand the adaption of complex systems (such as a ecosystem, or city) and to perhaps even promote it. Similar to Verbeeck’s use of randomness as a means of creating newness in the design process, disturbance is a means of “…deflection of a community from some otherwise predictable successional path” (Pickett and White, 373) . Relatively infrequent events play an important role in shaping the structure of a community, with the result of the disturbance being a function of initial conditions  . Disturbance does not necessarily result in equilibrium and in some cases will cause a “flip” into an entirely new state (Lister, 41) . Instead, there exists a “shifting steady-state mosaic” , where a community is made of different patches, such as a forest comprised of clusters of trees that vary in age. A disturbance will kill a patch, at which point it starts over. In this way, the forest remains a forest, but the mosaic of patches is constantly shifting  . If disturbance is the input, then resilience is the adaptation. It is defined as the capacity of a system to recover from disturbance, by means of reorganization and return to a similar or different state than it was in before the event  . In ecosystems, the primary means of achieving resiliency and adaptation is biodiversity. This creates the potential for several different paths of reorganization  . Within ecosystems, diversity, complexity, and uncertainty are normal  .
no intervention succession
Disturbance and Resiliency
The discussion of disturbance and resiliency can be shifted to the built environment. There are several forms that disturbance can take on here, ranging between physical to non-physical, and controlled to uncontrolled. Another term for these might be predictable and unpredictable. Throughout history there has been much disturbance in the built environment, though very rarely is human disturbance cyclical. Much of it takes place in the form of a singular event such as the destruction of neighborhoods through the construction of highways or failure to meet projections of any sort. On occasion, there is no hope for recovery from a disturbance, leaving an area permanently fragmented with no way of gleaning any information from the event to develop a new pattern. Perhaps this is because there was a lack of patterning, and therefore a lack of a critical level of complexity that ecosystems boast. Achieving resiliency in the built environment is a matter of recognizing the complexity and unpredictability of both planetary ecosystems and human societies (Sterner, 70) . In the The Black Swan , Nassim Nicholas Taleb states that there is importance in limiting not the interactions between entities, but the size of them. It is necessary to have a diversified ecology so that risks (disturbances) are more frequent but less devastating (314) . This sentiment is similarly expressed by Mehaffy and Salingaros, who call for a strategy of adaptive design by means of self-organization, which is achieved by utilizing local rules on a small scale to generate large-scale complex order (Frontiers of Design Science: Self Organization) . True resiliency on the part of the built environment requires the implementation of repetition and redundancy, which may not always be most efficient, but will ensure survival and provide a point of departure after disturbance (Sterner, 70) . Maintaining tight feedback loops ensures the capacity of a system to readjust constantly, “…rather than returning to some fixed or equilibrium point after perturbation” (McGrath and Marshall, 50) . This concept invokes Gregory Bateson’s notion of pattern where randomness, for which the concept of disturbance can be substituted, is read against the backdrop of redundancy to serve as a departure point for a new trajectory, or new pattern.
predictable ‘known knowns’
‘unknown unknowns’ unpredictable
There is more than enough critique to go around when it comes to Modernist master planning and even current methods of planning. The research of this section is not meant to pile on to an already sizable rebuttal of such planning and design, but to critically understand what it is about these systems that have created environments that are non-resilient, non-adaptive, and lacking in the complexity that is afforded by patterns. Camillo Sitte identified three methods of city planning in his time; the grid iron, radial, and triangular systems (Collins and Collins, 229) . The major critique of the uncritical adoption of these street patterns is that all design was predicated on a purely technical platform. Sitte set this method against the inclusion of artistic principles in developing urban plans. Jane Jacobs was another proponent of the importance of artistic principles in “…illuminating the rich complexities…of urban structure” (Mehaffy and Salingaros) . Top-down emphasis on hierarchical traffic systems, division of functions in the city, and rejection of historical styles were staples of Modernist planning (Landscape Urbanism Appendix, xv) . This reflects “…a simplistic view of a city that negates its basic complexity” (N. A. Salingaros) . As was observed in the previous sections, “…the new city model needs to maintain a level of flexibility and adaptability” , which is deemed impossible because traditional deterministic models focus heavily on infrastructure that is “resource-intensive and time consuming to reorganize” . This either requires infrastructure that is more adaptable, or shifting the focus of a plan dramatically away from it (Temporal Mutability: Post-Structuralism and the
Indeterminate in the Discourse of Landscape Urbanism) . Furthermore, the fixed, rigid, spatial frame is not capable of containing the “…dynamic multiplicity of urban processes…” which have previously been identified as a key to resiliency (Corner, 26) .
It seems to follow that if a large top-down, centralized, one-fellswoop master plan or urban design is incapable of allowing the complexities of self organization to emerge as well as demonstrating resiliency to disturbance, that smaller, bottomup, de-centralized, phased plans must be the correct alternative. This type of ideal can be traced through the ideals of a multitude of projects, firms, and theories, starting with the mega-structure projects of Archigram and the Metabolists. Though Archigram claimed that 85% of their projects were buildable, they were in fact utopian (Kasugai) . Projects such as Plug-In city demonstrated a penchant for the design of cities as being in constant flux, imagined an alternate reality that would be possible if “….planners, governments, and architects were magically able to discard the mental impedimenta of the previous age…”  . The Metabolists, on the other hand, were “…intent on developing a philosophical system based on the concept of cyclical change…”  . Kenzo Tange, designer of the Tokyo Bay project, declared: “Limits can not be set on urban growth…”  . One of these projects was ever built, the Nakagin Capsule Tower. It has now fallen into disrepair, and not once were any of the capsules changed as was planned  . This stands as a caution that a patterning of literal repetitive changeable elements (albeit with little variation of said elements) does not presume adaptability. Economic viability of the project plays an important part in the actual implementation of such theories and methods of planning and design. In addition, the time taken to construct such megastructures would have been too long, falling out of fashion before they would even be completed. A similar critique may be applied to current master planning and urban design trends that set timelines up to fifteen years.
kenzo tange tokyo bay project ‘60
kisho kurokawa nakagin capsule tower ‘70 - ’72
ron herron walking city ‘64
peter cook blow-out village ‘66
arata osozaki clusters-in-the-air project ‘62 peter cook plug-in-city ‘64
peter cook plug-in-city: paddington east ‘66
aldo van eyck
alison + peter smithson
robin hood gardens ‘72
amsterdam orphanage ‘55 - ’60
golden lane competition ‘52
frankfurt - romerberg competition ‘63
free university of berlin ‘62 - ’72
Along a similar thread is the concept of the Mat-Building. Propagated by Team 10, mat building was the first attempt to “…incorporate the historical and typological study of urbanization patterns into the modernist discourse” (van den Heuvel, 40) . The strengths of Mat-Building lie in its position as a design strategy as opposed to a style, employing the use of repetitive elements to exhibit emergent behavior as a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts (Georgemaciunas.com) . Alison and Peter Smithson sought to “…adequately accommodate possible programmes and their future changes…creating an architectural space which offers leeway…for occupation by spontaneously emerging patterns of living” (van den Heuvel, 42) . The Smithsons understood the city as a heterogeneous space defined by non-linear interactions (42) . This certainly puts them in stark contrast with many of their Modernist brethren, yet aligns them closely with Archigram and Metabolists. Each developed the idea of permanent frameworks that could play host to the “changing possibilities of inhabitation” (Luna, 7) . In terms of patterns, it is possible to understand the pixilated, horizontal framework of mat building as a base pattern, able to adapt and act as background to the more dynamic patterning of program. The overlap of these patterns is what gives way to the emergence of complex behavior, and more closely positions it to the workings of a resilient ecosystem. Stan Allen takes Mat-Building a step further, into the contemporary realm of Mat Urbanism. In his essay “Mat Urbanism: The Thick 2-D”, Allen describes Mat Urbanism in a way that overlaps the language used in this thesis to discuss patterns. This is observable in states such as: Out of a fundamentally regular system (building, rational), a high degree of variation is achieved through local adjustment, and through the activation of void spaces within the fixed fabric (121).
Allen describes an “…overall intensity based on repetition and accumulation…” (122). This statement draws comparison to the Bateson theory of pattern. Allen then poses a critical question: If mat building represents a reworking of the spatial patterns of the traditional city as they emerge over time, how can the new patterns of the contemporary city be woven into contemporary urbanism? (124) The role of the designer is to create conditions under which “… unanticipated spatial characteristics…” may emerge from the reaction of designed elements to the indeterminate future (126) . From a disturbance standpoint, the indeterminate future harbors disruptive forces which the designer must anticipate so that a new course may be charted for the designed elements, that while not anticipated, maintains a resilience and continuity. addition, Allen adds the concept of field conditions, of which can be overlapped to create a moiré. The moiré is the combination of repetitive and regular elements that produces complex behaviors and serves as a method of studying the disturbances which can be created from[within]individual repetitive elements (Luna 22) . Intertwined with the study of Mat Urbanism is that of Landscape Urbanism. James Corner, in his essay “Terra Fluxus” for Charles Waldheim’s Landscape Urbanism Reader , sets Landscape Urbanism apart from both Modernist and New Urbanist methodologies. He quotes David Harvey has stating that “…both fail because of the presupposition that spatial order can control history and process” (28) . This declares the shift of focus on form to an understanding of process, or “how things work in space and time” (29) . Shifting this focus requires acknowledgement that “…apparently incoherent or complex conditions that one might initially mistake for random…can, in fact, shown to be highly structured entities…” (29) . Kepes had anticipated the shift from “thing-seeing” to “pattern-seeing” or “process-seeing”.
Landscape Urbanism demonstrates the importance of process. Ecological, economic, social and political processes continue ad infinitum, at multiple scales, placing the design in a perpetual state of “becoming” . The above mentioned processes can be patterned onto a site, becoming its infrastructure, one of Corner’s three “surface strategies” (Landscape Urbanism Appendix, vii) . The strategies (demarcation, infrastructure, adaptation) establish new conditions for future development (vii) . In Bateson’s terms, these processes are information. According to his principles, “…no new order or pattern can be created without information” (Mind and Nature, 45). Similarly, the “processes and flows” of the site are rearranged to form new interrelationships with the potential for “…stirring new relationships on the site” (Landscape Urbanism Appendix, vii) . These strategies of Landscape Urbanism are ways to engage with the dynamic complexity of the site, and the city. Process Urbanism is a recent “-ism” that has recently sprung up, related very closely to Landscape Urbanism. It is a straightforward approach, stating that “since society is dynamic, the planning of our cities needs to be dynamic too” , calling for urban planning that is “permanently adjustable” (Process Urbanism: The City as Artificial Ecosystem) . It is a rejection of master planning, instead opting for a model based on recognition and knowledge rather than belief. Process Urbanism seeks to foster more unpredictable urban planning, allowing the “urban ecosystem” to regulate itself. There is acknowledgement that planning for the unexpected is necessary, “…for exactly that which we do not yet know will happen…” A strategy for allowing smaller “collapses” or disturbances to happen is proposed, so that a major collapse is prevented.
marine corps air station el toro santa ana, ca. 4,682 acres
What is posited from the study of these theories of planning and design is the necessary use of pattern so as to better engage the complexity of the built and natural environments. The world operates as a patterning of processes, from which emerges dynamic behaviors that cannot be predicted. This unpredictability lends itself to the richness of life. However, rigid planning efforts that do not account for processes, dynamism, emergence, resilience, and adaption by way of a complete lack of patterning, drain the designed environment of the richness. In attempting to negate complexity, the full potential of a site is also negated. Military base closure provides the grounding for this thesis by interpreting closure as a disturbance on the local community. The intention is to also question the large scale pattern of base redevelopment, and through pattern analysis and recognition, develop a new way to study abandoned military bases so as to best invigorate them for civilian use. As stated by Barbara Bronstien, after the Cold War ended, Congress formed a commission to make closure and realignment recommendations through the Base
Grounding: Base Closure as Disturbance
portsmouth naval shipyard portsmouth, me. 4,150 jobs
philly navy yard philadelphia, pa. 1200 acres ellsworth a.f.b. box elder, s.d. 3,852 jobs
fort monmouth red bank, n.j. 5,272 jobs
brooks a.f.b. san antonia, tx 2,923 jobs
fort mcpherson atlanta, ga 4,141 jobs
Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. The most recent round of closures took place in 2011. As one can imagine, “The loss of related jobs, and efforts to replace them and to implement a viable base reuse plan, can pose significant challenges for affected communities” (Cowan & Gonzales, Military Base Closures: Socioeconomic Impacts). In addition, a community generally has a small window of opportunity to acquire the land from the government, establish an authority to qualify for funding, not to mention the daunting prospect of luring potential businesses to help fill the void left by the sudden loss of jobs. This sort of disturbance is reflective of that seen in ecological systems, where the structure, dominance, and predictable successional path is flipped on its head. The study of Base Closure through patterning will provide a community with the tools and analysis necessary to adjust its current stagnant course so that complexity and unpredictability can become dominant in a site that the public had not had access to for some time.
cultiva near west side, chicago, illinois, usa
As a simple preface, the case studies featured in this section have all dealt with pattern, process, planning, and disturbance to some degree. Thinking through each situation continues the conversation of the aforementioned ideas and theories. Walter Netsch’s Circle Campus at UIC serves as an example of the danger in presuming growth. In the early to mid 1960’s, neighborhoods were cleared to make room for the new campus. Netsch employed his ‘Field Theory’, using simple grids rotated on top of each other to create new complex geometries (Jones) . It was touted as providing, “...programmatic and structural flexibility in that it was used as an open-ended design system” (Felsen, and Dunn). Yet, the buildings that this process created are now described as maze-like. Experiences such as this hint that the true potential for pattern, when uncritically adopted (as opposed to adapted), will go unrealized. While most of Netsch’s original design has been taken down, such as elevated pathways and his amphitheatre plaza, there is important lessons and information that can be gleaned from the project (Jones) . The first is the creation of complexity from the interaction of simple parts acted upon by simple geometric operations [such as rotation]. Additionally, while the campus showed little resiliency or adaptability, Netsch recognized the power of the ‘chance encounter’. He acknowledges that what happens between classes may sometimes be more important that what happens during class (Jones) . Believing as much, he left plenty of space for these interactions to occur, though one can argue that the scale of the spaces left much to be desired. Proximity, adaptation, and foresight are all important lessons to be drawn from the Circle Campus at UIC.
rotated square moire
mobility of students ating the in-between
complexity from simplicity
UIC Circle Campus
loose framework aggregation | adaptation | evolution
algiers, algeria, africa
A second example of planning, or lack thereof, is separated from Chicago by 4600 miles. Much can be distilled from the Casbah. First is a similar lesson learned from UIC, in that complexity can be generated from simplicity. More specifically, the interaction of simple parts. The plan of the Casbah can be understood as a complex aggregate of many simple, residential structures. The loose framework of the streets, as well as the distinct boundary between the more informal Casbah and the formally planned city, serve as limitations (Gilbert) . The process that developed the Casbah can be likened to that which lends structural cohesion to the flock, but in reverse. On the macro-scale there is unpredictability and apparent randomness, where as on the micro-scale there is strong intentionality and rich interaction in close proximity. However, the Casbah also elucidates the hazard of analysis from the sky. It would be easy to assume that if one wanted to replicate the texture of this place, they would design a plan which looked like the Casbah. What is important to realize is that the complex plan of the Casbah is an indeterminate ‘ouput’ of the more rich, albeit relatively simple, interactions between people occurring on the ground, or what can be referred to here as ‘input’. Of course, there is some give in this statement, considering that the plan does lend some richness to the experience, and thus has an affects the interaction between people. This calls into question the causality of pattern. Are they manufactured, or grown through patterning of processes ala Gyorgy Kepes. Does it propagate on its own, and if not, what measure of control does the designer have?
2005 1268-1835 1848
1997 administration demo correction construction
contemporary pattern ciutat vella, barcelona, spain
variation of repetition
market stalls bar
restaurant archaelogical site self-serve trading loading/unloading
elderly housing recycling delivery parking
Enric Miralles’ and Benedetta Tagliabue’s renovation of the Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona collapses the scale of the case studies somewhat. Though physically constrained to the limits of a building, the two designers have recognized processes and patterns of development that are detrimental to progress. In their words ...“the projects starts by criticising the actual planning and proposes a model that allows for adaption to the area’s complexity” (mirallestagliabue.com). Inserting a new process of development may serve the role of the ‘disturbance’, flipping the state and structure of the area, doing so by administering and amplifying the existing by meshing it with the new. They advocate ,“Planning rules which contemplate something more than the street width and the building height.” Architecturally speaking, Stan Allen points out that, “Instead of clearing and ordering the site, the architects respect the raucous mix of activities typical of the city center” (Mat Urbanism: The Thick 2-D, 121). A large roof and local variation of the repetitive stalls gathers the many disparate activities and programs, and allows for interactions to emerge on their own.
Santa Caterina Market
The Nakagin Capsule Tower serves as the smallest scale study of the set. The tower is congruent in several ways with the conceptual tenets of pattern previously stated. The central core serves as a determinate base pattern, over which an indeterminate pattern of capsules is placed. The actual form and aesthetic of the building is dependent on the maintenance of the capsules. As they need to be replaced or removed or updated, the secondary pattern changes. It is more or less a random process. Or at least would have been. None of the capsules were ever replaced or even maintained very well (Ouroussoff). Understanding the cause for this is necessary for realizing the potential for pattern, when considered as part-to-whole relationships. First, as with Walter Netsch’s UIC campus, there was a error in foresight. While for the campus it was simply the amount of people, with the tower it was the assumption that the processes generating the building would come to pass [the removal and updating of the capsules]. Another issue is that of variety and variation. The capsule tower has a single form that is repeated and varied. Yet, there is no actual variety in the pieces themselves. A variety of capsules may have provided the tower with a resilience to the disturbance that was the change in ownership the capsules experienced. While the first generation of Nakagin-dwellers were passionate, those that inherited them were not, thus letting the tower fall into major disrepair. Here, it appears, that simplicity failed to generate a rich, complex mixture. 44
Nakagin Capsule Tower
base pattern | determined secondary pattern | indeterminate
repetition variation variety ?
downsview park toronto central business district 11 mi
Downsview Park in Toronto’s suburbs serves as the most relevant case study, encapsulating issues of base closure, redevelopment, pattern, process, and the resolution of order/chaos, determinacy/ indeterminacy. Originally the space was known as Canadian Forces Base Downsview, from 1947 to 1996. In the same year as its closing, 572 of the 644 acre base was transferred to Parc Downsview Park Inc. In 1999 a competition was held for the design of an urban park on the former military base (del Guayo). 46
public school post-war suburb
bombardier aerospace memorial park downsview airport
Corner + Allen
entries for Downsview Park International Design Competition [’99] woody areas in black; meadowlands in gray OMA | TREE CITY [winner]
The datum threading the five finalist projects is the philosophical and physical concept of frameworks (Blum). The primary intention behind frameworks is the interaction between a site structure, and looseness that allows for flexible growth over time (del Guayo). In other words, conditions are established for minimal control to maintain flexibility, while maintaining identity and logic (del Guayo). The language used to describe the competition, the entries, and the frameworks themselves runs parallel to that of Andersen and Salomon in The Patterns of Architecture. As with pattern, when using frameworks the designer runs the risk of falling into one of two traps. Either the project will lose its adaptability to new circumstances [read disturbance], or it will lose its organization and legibility [the absolute minimum repetition, redundancy, or structure to recognize a pattern] (del Guayo). It is possible to read frameworks as analogous to patterns, or even as patterns themselves. Similar to pattern, a framework can accommodate many functions and processes within the same structure. As such, frameworks and patterns may accurately be described as protean. 49
natural infrastructure network
The winning entry in the Downsview Park competition was OMA’s Tree City. As stated by the firm, “...landscape elements will be planted incrementally over time as funding permits, gradually building up the park’s mass into a flexible patchwork of planted clusters separated by open undesignated areas” (oma.eu). The project proposed three phases that would continue long term, as evidenced by the graphic on this page. However, closer inspection of this statement reveals the inherent risk that this strategy entails. There is much left up to the future, and it should be noted as it was with the UIC project, a future that might not come to pass. In fact, there is not a “...clear articulating element or any rigid component in the whole plan” (del Guayo). Downsview Park elucidates the difficulty in designing and actually implementing flexible, adaptable development. Tree City made a strong gesture toward materializing Kepes’ “pattern and process” manifesto. The merits of the project lie in the acknowledgement of process driving the pattern of development on site. Additionally, the ability create a minimum of structure (base pattern) and then fine tuning by the designer on a local level (deviation) takes advantage of what pattern is capable of. 50
site + soil prep pathway construction cluster landscaping
flexible planting clusters
Currently the project is being headed up by Bruce Mau, who worked with OMA on the original design. The image on the far right demonstrates the balance between determinate program that generates revenue [thus making the project easier to sell], and the original urban park concept. This may be saying something about the extent to which landscape, pattern, frameworks can be used as catalysts for the propagation of larger scale patterns. EMBT’s market renovation recognized the need for some sort of static, programmatic element. Perhaps the shortcoming of Tree City also lay in its heavy use of graphic design and diagram as a method to communicate what most people might read as a plan. As stated earlier, pattern, like frameworks, may accommodate more information than its simplicity may let on. Thus, to tap into pattern’s full potential, it is necessary to consider the experience of pattern beyond the visual senses. In other words, pattern may begin as visual, but it need not be anchored in that realm.
Noisette Site Analysis
North Charleston, South Carolina has the distinction of being home to a portion of the former Charleston Naval Shipyard. Earlier uses of the land included plantations, standard fare for the lowcountry. In 1901 the shipyard began operation, closing in 1996 as part of BRAC. This was the first event in a long, drawn out saga for the area that continues even to this day. Given its location, history, current situation, contrast in building pattern, and peculiar plan, the site makes for an interesting and fitting location to being experimenting. When the base closed, the City of North Charleston made a deal with the Noisette Company. In exchange for a 340 acre section of land (dubbed Noisette, after the company and the creek), the company would develop a 3000 acre master plan (The City of North Charleston) . The focus of the plan was sustainability, incorporating feedback from many community meetings. Unfortunately for North Charleston, the plan never came to fruition. A majority of Noisette’s land was foreclosed on, being sold off in pieces. As of the time of this writing, the future of Noisette is still in the air, although the spirit for in the initial plan and promise is still alive with the citizens, taking great strides to make the most out of the site (Behre) .
noisette charleston 7 mi
park circle noisette creek industrial
daniel island cooper river
noisette reserve amtrak
high school I-26
cmmc detyens ship yard st charles place north park village clemson conservation center
rleston, south carolina
The original master plan that was to be enacted raises some poignant questions. First, there is the question of scale and in turn flexibility, or adaptability. When a plan of this magnitude goes year after year with little progress, is it possible to make changes without having to reconsider the entire plan? Second is the actual pattern of the plan. Is this an appropriate form, considering the somewhat ad-hoc plan that the original base took shape with? Is this the pattern that ‘sustainability’ propagates? Or is this no different than deciding to simply recreate the Casbah because of the type of experience the city is intended to engender? Drawing from other case study lessons is it possible to create a complex, varied environment by amplifying the patterns that already exist on site? This is not to say that there are not perfectly valid merits for this sort of development. Yet, for a site that had experienced a disturbance such as base closure, was it wise to consider a determinate plan that required a large investment of resources? The remainder of this project serves not as a corrective measure for the apparent shortcomings of the original plan [though to be fair, considering the timing of the project, not all the blame can be placed on form, or the plan, or the planner]. Conversely, the intention is develop alternate futures for Noisette, taking to heart Gregory Bateson’s wisdom that “Nothing comes of Nothing” . 58
30 30 10 20
10 10 10 10 30 20 10
20 20 10
proposed master planning and plan noisette comany master phasing
figure ground rail roads + topography rail
2004 - 2008 2009 - 2013 2014 - 2018+
currentcurrent zoning zoning industrial general business residential multi-family mobile home oak-pine lowland forest freshwater marsh tidal marsh
ground cover ground cover
hurricane surge levels
site ows site flows
flickr data wind water material
site organization 62
Noisette Creek Watershed
Storm Surge Levels 1020 Kinzer Flood Plain
2575 McRitchie 2585 McRitchie
Bldg No. 32
site selection 63
The first step in working towards an appropriate grounds on which to perform design testing was basic site analysis. Identifying current development trends on site was an important consideration. Noisette has an abundance of three story, narrow buildings with their short side to the street and the rest extending into a deep plot. These storehouses are restored and in-filled with new business. There are other buildings on site of higher architectural quality that used to serve as officer housing. These buildings go through the same restoration process. Another process ongoing in Noisette is conservation, particularly of the Noisette Creek. North Charleston has identified the need to protect and restore the Noisette Creek and its salt marsh habitat. The Noisette Creek itself serves as great inspiration in terms of a patterned process that results in a rich, lively environment. This will be expanded upon in the next section. With those processes and patterns identified, it becomes easier to assess those sites within the Noisette footprint that do not match or lend themselves to easy categorization. The question then is how to handle the design of these sites so that they attain a strong partto-whole relationship with the rest of the site, but do not simply uncritically adopt the same pattern that the rest of Noisette is 64
experiencing. To ensure that the new sites being developed have a relation to the rest of the site, an underlying conceptual structure was drawn up according to the buildings and lines already existing on site. There is no readily apparent order to the site, possessing a decidedly suburban density. However, if the original failed master plan is in the least bit any sort of indication as to what the site should be [or wants, or even needs] in the interim, forcing a dense, ‘urban’ pattern is not a solution. Resiliency and complexity grow from simplicity, small pieces aggregating, and evolution.
P R I VAT E
To preface this section, note that the experiments and designs are not meant to read as a corrective measure for the previously discussed master plan put forth by the Noisette Company. Rather, these three sites, all located along the major route of Noisette Boulevard, serve as alternate ways to develop a military base that has gone through the closure process. The experiments were designed simultaneously, though there is evidence of some crosspollination of ideas. The first design begins with the assumption that the social structure of the Noisette site had changed from a strict hierarchy during its military life, to a horizontal network once the military presence had left. As pointed out by Nina-Marie Lister in her piece “Sustainable Large Parks: Ecological Design or Designer Ecology?” , the road to resilience is paved with information. The more information is present during a situation, the greater the number of possible outcomes, revealing the possibility of responding appropriately to a disturbance. Information and knowledge is passed through social networks, and occasionally, important connections are made during the course of a chance encounter. Walter Netsch had assumed as much, designing space for these interactions to occur. Currently Noisette has an abundance of private space 68
C 4 5 6
1 2 3
S U R FA C E
Cosgrove [South] Site
open space public space
disturbance + shifting states
programmatic/spatial patter ns
1C 4D 2D 5B 4D
4C 3D 2A 6A 6C 1C 6B 5B 1C 1A 5D 6A 3C 4A 2A 3A 2C 4A 6A 5C 1A 5B 5D 5C 4B 4D 1A 4C 5D 6A 2D 2D 1B 2A 5C 4A 3C 3D 5A 6D 2C 4C 4B
5B 1B 1A 1C 5B 2D 1B 1A 6D 4D 5B 2D 6D 6A 1B 2C 3B 5B 1A 3B 2C 4D 5C 6A 1A 5B
3C 5A 2B 1B 2D 2C 2B 4A
PUBLIC OPEN SPACE 1 PRIVATE OPEN SPACE 2 OPEN OPEN SPACE 3 OPEN ENCLOSED SPACE 4 PRIVATE ENCLOSED SPACE 5 PUBLIC ENCLOSED SPACE 6
3 1 6 5 4 2
1 3 6 4
A B C D
1. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 6C 6B 5B 5D 5C 4B 4D 6A 2A 2C 6A 1C 5B 1C 1A 5D 6A 3C 4A 3A 2A 5C
2B 4B 4D
1B 5B 5D 4C
6B 5B 4D 5C
5B 5D 2A 1A 1A 3A 3A 6A 6A 2A
4B 4D 2A 1A 1C 1A 3A 3A 6A
3A 6A 3C
5A 6A 1A
4A 2A 3A
5A 1A 6A
4A 3A 2A
5A 6A 1A 4C
4A 2A 3A
5A 1A 6A
4A 3A 2A
5A 6A 1A
4A 2A 3A
5A 1A 6A 5C
1. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 6C 6B 5B 5D 5C 4B 4D 6A 2A 2C 6A 1C 5B 1C 1A 5D 6A 3C 4A 3A 2A 5C 1A 1A 4C 5D 6A 4A 3D 2D 1B 2A 5C 4A 3C 3D 5A 6D 4C 4B 2D 2C 4C 3C 5B 6A 3B 1A 4D 1C 1B 1A 1C 5B 2D 2D 6A 2C 5B 2D 5C 1B 1A 6D 5B 4D 6D 1B 3B 5B 2B 5B 2C 4D 5B 5C 6A 1A 2B 1C 4D 3C 5A 5C 4A 2B 2D 1B 3B 2C
2B 4B 4D
1B 5B 5D 4C
6B 5B 4D 5C
5B 5D 2A 1A 1A 3A 3A 6A 6A 2A
4B 4D 2A 1A 1C 1A 3A 3A 6A
3A 6A 3C
with very little actual open or public space, assuming that chance encounters happen most often in the public space of a city or community. Therefore it would follow that encouraging a more varied mix, or a tighter pattern, of private, open and public space would only be of benefit to the invisible, social networks that engender a community with the quality of resiliency. This idea will also appear in the experiment on the northern most site. The method of investigating the above ideas as through the meshing of pattern and randomness. Attempting to create a productive relationship between these two concepts is a worthwhile endeavor. Their overlay creates opportunity of response, learning, and adaptation. When there is an apparently random element introduced into a pattern, the order that seemed to compose the pattern’s structure dissolves. The foundation, or input, must be reconsidered. Interestingly enough, the random arrangement of the spatial situations began to form congruent spaces of the same situation. A final layer used to experiment on this site was the subversion of disturbance into a design tool. Proactively employing disturbance to conceptually change the structure of the site offers the opportunity to create a pattern of process. Where the actual arrangement of spatial situations is random, developed by rolling dice, there is indeed a legible pattern. The tabulated data above can be used as a schedule, so each flip may be anticipated by the community. The actual structure of the space to enable the ‘flips’ of each state may be impermanent or easily changeable.
5A 6A 1A
4A 2A 3A
5A 1A 6A
4A 3A 2A
5A 6A 1A 4C
4A 2A 3A
5A 1A 6A
4A 3A 2A
5A 6A 1A
4A 2A 3A
5A 1A 6A 5C
3A 3A 5C
2A 2A 4C
4D 2A 5A 1A 4A 3A 5A 6D 1D 3B 1A 3A 6A 2A 6B 1A 4C 5A 4A 5A 4A 5A 6C 6D 4A 5A 4A 2D 5C 5B 1D 1C 5C 6C 4B 2A 1A 6B 3A 6A 2A 5D 3C 3B 3A 6A 2A 1A 6B 3A 3C 4B 1D 1D 2A 1A 3A 6A 2A 1C 4B 1D 4C 3B 3A 6A 2A 2D 4B 5D 2D 3B 6B 4B 1B 4B 6B 2B 5B 3B 5B 1C 5D 4B 5B 4C 2A 3A 1A 6A 1B 3A 2A 6A 1A 2A 3A 3B 3C 5D 6C 4A 5A 4A 5A 4A 4C 5A 4A 1B 1D 3B 6B 6B 2B 1C 5A 4A 5A 3B 4A 5A 1A 6A 5B 1A 6B 3A 6A 5B 1A 5B 6A 1A 3A 6A 5B 2A 2B 3A 6A 1A 4B 5A 4A 5A 4A 3A 6A 4A 5A 1A 4A
5D 3A 5A 2D 3D 2B 6A 2A 1A 3A 6A 4A 5A 1A 4A
4D 3A 5A 1D 6D 1B 6A 5C
2D 4A 1D 5A 4A 5A
1D 4A 3D 4C 5B 4B 6D 3C 4C 2C 4B 5B 2A 1A 3A 3B 3A 6A 2A 5D 6C 2B 1B 3A 6A 2A 6C 4B 5B 6D 6D 6A 2A 1A 3A 3C 4B 5B 6D 5C 2B 1B 3A 6A 2A 3D 4B 5B 5D 3D 2B 1B 4B 6B 4B 1B 3B 5B 2B 5B 3C
3D 3D 3A
5D 5B 5C
6A 1A 6B
3A 2A 2B 6C
5A 2B 6D
3D 2B 1B
1B 3B 3C
1C 4D 2D 5B 4D
4C 3D 2A 6A 6C 1C 6B 5B 1C 5C 1A 5B 1A 4C 5D 6A 2D 2D 1B 2A 5C 4A 3C 3D 5A 4A 3A 4A 6D 2C 4C 4B
6 5B 3C 2C 4D 5C 6A 1A 5B 5A 2B 1B 2D 2C 2B 3B 5B 4A 3B 5C 2C 3C 1B 3A 5B 5B 3A 1A 4C 1B
1B 1A 1C 5B 2D
1A 6D 4D 5B 2D 6D 6A 1B 2C
5D 1A 5C 5D PUBLIC OPEN SPACE 6A 4B PRIVATE OPEN SPACE 3C 4D OPEN OPEN SPACE 6A OPEN ENCLOSED SPACE PRIVATE ENCLOSED SPACE PUBLIC ENCLOSED SPACE 2A 2C
3C 5B 3B
3A 3C 5 3A 4D 4C PUBLIC OPEN SPACE 4D 2A 4B PRIVATE OPEN SPACE 6C 5D OPEN OPEN SPACE
OPEN ENCLOSED SPACE 2A PRIVATE ENCLOSED SPACE PUBLIC ENCLOSED SPACE 1A
after 0 cycles
1C 4D 2D 5B 4D 3A 5C
4C 3D 2A 6C 1C 6B 3A 5B 5D 5C 4B 4D 2A 1A 5B 1C 3A 5D 2A 3C 5A 6A 2C 5A 3A 4C 5D 2A 1A 5C 2D 2D 1B 1A 5C 5A 3C 3D 4A 6D 2C 4C 4B
3 5B 3C 4A 2C 4D 5C 2A 3A 5B 2B 1B 2D 2C 2B 4B 5D 5C 5B 4D 1A 3A 4B 1C 6A 5D 1A 3C 5A 3B 5C 6C 1C 2B 6A 6A 1A
1B 3A 1C 5B 2D
1B 3A 6D 4D 5B 2D 6D 2A 1B 2C
3C 5B 3B
3B 5B 3A
after 1 cycle
AFTER 1 CYCLE
3C 5D 1D 5B 5D
5C 6D 4B 1D 1D 6B 1A 4C 5A 6C 6D 4A 5A 6A 5A 2D 1C 5C
5B 6B 3A 3C 5B 1D 6B 1C 3A 2D 5D 5B 1D 2D 2A 6B 1C 2B 5B 3A 2B 5D 4C 2A 3A 5B
6C 4A 3B 6B 1D 1C 3B 5A
3A 3A 5C 4D 6A
PUBLIC OPEN SPACE PRIVATE OPEN SPACE OPEN OPEN SPACE OPEN ENCLOSED SPACE PRIVATE ENCLOSED SPACE PUBLIC ENCLOSED SPACE
1 3 6 4
A B C D
after 6 cycles
AFTER 6 CYCLES
1C 4D 2D 4B 4D
4C 3D 5B 2D 2D 3B 3A 5C 4A 3C 3D 5A 4A 2A 4A 6D 2C 4C
4B 3B 6A 1C 4B 2D 3B 2C 6A 6D 4D 4B 2D 6D 1A 3B 2C 6B 4B 6A 6B 4D 5C 1A 6A 4B
3C 5A 1B 3B 2D 2C 1B 4A
6A 6A 4C 5D 1A
after 3 cycles
AFTER 3 CYCLES
The grounding of this design experiment is the application of defined program as a means of providing some determinate o dr o me structure to the site, but also the pattern of use of each program. Additionally, each program has potential resilience, where the to r Center site ati c Center can still be productive in terms of a landscape, even if the expected users of the site never show.
eplex y i ng FieldA visitor center [housed in the northern building] and learning landscape, a velodrome, an aquatics center [partially located e Pa t h
within the southern building], a playing field, and a cinema comprise the site’s program. Overlaid are two simple landscape patterns generated from the previously mentioned underlying ‘structure’ of the site. This landscaping pattern was modified on a local level with simple geometric operations such as rotation, tessellation, and reflection. Another landscaping pattern was overlaid, located specifically with the base landscape pattern. The purpose of such a pattern is to create new water drainage patterns on site in an attempt to promote indeterminate plant growth. As new program is implemented on site, the new growth could create soft boundaries and divisions. The faceted landscape has use as seating for those visiting from Storehouse Row or the West Yard Lofts to the south. 74
McRitchie [Middle] Site
f r o n t Park
AQ UAT I C C E N T E R
V I S I TO R C E N T E R
Here the program is plotted out with the corresponding, anticipated pattern of activity. Using program behavior and user clustering as a means to design a site ensures that there are overlaps in activity and thus increasing the opportunities that people have to interact. 78
The Noisette Creek benefits from a daily flooding cycle due to tidal forces. This ensures that nutrients are deposited on a regular basis, creating a rich ecosystem (Amigos de Bolsa Chica) . It also highlights the importance or potential in employing a pattern of processes on site. This site could be flooded occasionally, again subverting disturbance to take advantage of its unexpected outcomes. As the patterned landscape erodes, new conditions may emerge, enabling the people using the site to determine its new uses.
Shown here is a section of the landscape and all the information or variation that can be loaded into it as a result of its repetitive and redundant structure. Starting on the left is simple hardscape, draining into a permeable surface. This piece of landscape is constructed rather than formed. Future structures on site can be accounted for ahead of time so as to ensure the continuity of the original use and programming. The landscape can be allowed to erode or uncovered to reveal the piers as needed. Lastly, the ridges of the faceted landscape can be embedded with a more determinate drainage system, creating a new pattern of determinate and indeterminate water flow and thus new plantings as seeds and nutrients are deposited.
A Relationship with Randomness
LOCAL GLOBAL MICRO MACRO HUMIDITY WAT E R SHADE WIND S U R FA C E
Pattern can communicate much more than just a visual or an aesthetic. Continuing points made on the last experiment, pattern can be loaded with many forms of information, or be utilized in several ways, all while retaining its identity and structure. This experiment picks up on those notions as well as incorporating the public/private/open spatial pattern present in the first experiment. In addition, pattern is called up on to alter the microclimate of the site, a pertinent task considering the sweltering climate of North Charleston. The diagram shown on this page is essentially a map that describes how one might design for an intended result that they cannot necessarily guarantee the emergence of. For example, behavior in and of itself cannot be designed. However, behavior is the output of some other input, and so on. Eventually the chain leads back to what a designer actually can design. Occasionally, as evidenced by the diagram, there are some non-linear connections. In the instance occurring in the middle of the diagram, because of the overlaps between the initial inputs, the design of private, public and open space may inherently affect the microclimate. If the design intention were simply private, public, and open space, then the alteration of the microclimate is unforeseen. 84
VOLUME COLOR R E F L E C TA N C E PLANTING
W H AT A D E S I G N E R C A N E M P LOY TO I N C R E A S E THE PROBABILITY OF THE INTENDED OUTPUT
LOCAL MICRO MACRO PROXIMITY VOLUME MAINTENANCE S U R FA C E
Kinzer [North] Site
W H AT A D E S I G N E R I N T E N D S TO I N F LU E N C E B U T C A N N OT G UA R A N T E E T H E E M E R G E N C E O F
P R I VAT E S PAC E P U B L I C S PAC E O P E N S PAC E
SOCIAL NETWORK BEHAVIOR ACTIVITY INTERACTION
INPUT OUTPUT INPUT OUTPUT
M I C R O C L I M AT E
These three diagrams illustrate the process from intended new microclimate pattern [purple coolest, red warmest]. The underlying structure is used once again, this time populated with a distinct pattern of hexagons. The shape of the hexagons mesh well with base pattern, as well as offering a way of methodically transversing the site, covering the site in two directions at once, without overly inefficient zigzagging caused by the right angles of a strict grid pattern. Finally, the pattern is modified on a local level, altering the ground plane, creating a canopy to tie all the buildings on the site into a coherent structure, the use of mist and humidity to delineate between private, public, and opens space, the inclusion of water features to induce evaporative cooling on a small scale, trees and plantings, and varying levels of surface permeability, and color. 88
Altering a single ground plane into a pattern of layers creates an above/below condition to separate private space for employees working on site. The general public has a place that uses pattern to reach all their senses. This strategy refuses to categorically exclude these two groups of people from each other, continuing the gradation, mixing and blending that in part defines the site’s conceptual identity. 89
Recalling previous observations about the general pattern of development by way of renovating long, rectangular structures facing the street, this experiment proposes an alternative way to infuse the buildings with new energy. As there is not currently an even somewhat desirable street condition to plug into, and seeing as this site is on axis with a residential neighborhood, the businesses are in-filled across the short axis of the building, still enabling the 40’ x 80’ dimension seen in many stores of downtown Charleston. In this way, a macro pattern is accounted for, but deviated from by local adjustment. This creates a unique situation that is nonetheless legible when compared with the rest of the development happening at Noisette.
This thesis process was meant to be an investigation, an exploration, a questioning, and a testing. As a result of the scientific nature through which the process was carried out, it is pertinent to discuss the conclusion in terms of limitations of the experiments, thoughts, and theories. Throughout the year, skepticism has become the operative word, as every answer has provided two more questions. The primary limitation of the project is the blatant and inherent [literal] ‘top-down’ analysis. Heavy use of mapping and plan gave limited emphasis of what pattern may mean for the ground conditions, elevation, and sectional quality of space. Generally, heavy mapping and plan analysis tends to turn a project into an exercise in graphic design as opposed to what may actually function properly. There are several questions that must be put forth. For example, what is the extent or importance that geometry and shape play in the employment of patterns? Questions of causality come to light. Are patterns a cause, an effect, both, or neither? This is a necessary question so as to avoid misled or misguided attempts at critically using pattern in design. Firsthand experience also led to the realization that overstatement or overemphasis on the visual or geometry itself may lead to arguments of the invalidation of pattern. There could be nothing worse for a designer attempting to prove that pattern, something that is vague, ubiquitous, and at time consumed in stylistic fads, actually matters and must be taken seriously if some pressing issues in planning and architecture are to be addressed. Notably that of resiliency and the turning away from large, one-off master plans.
This is not to say that pattern is the be-all end-all solution for all architectural and planning issues. In fact, as elucidated in the experiments, it may serve well enough as a method of analysis. However, it should be not be relegated to the sidelines as simply a way of discovering order of the chaotic and often times frenetic built environments. Pattern has proven itself to be capable of embracing randomness and chaos, tempering it with repetition and redundancy
BREAD AND CIRCUSES WISDOM OF THE INCREMENTAL INPUT OUTPUT ?
we design the input [process], not the output [result]. FUTURES ASSUMPTIONS PRESUMPTIONS PRESUPPOSITIONS PREDICTIONS PROJECTIONS this may be said to be indeterminate, but what might be discovered is that some inputs have determined outputs. ? some processes are determinate in that they will lead to a consisten output, or a pattern. EX: WOLFRAM’S CELLULAR AUTOMATA the designer and design may hope for the emergence of a particular pattern [behavior, etc.], but cannot predict nor guarantee its permanent or existence as intended. PROACTIVE REACTIVE a feedback loop must be implemented so that the designer and design receive information that allows for determination of the error that is leading to the unintended result.
butterfly effect...small variations input lead to amplified variations we can track forwards, but cannot decipher backwards.
meaning, we can follow an input to see what its effect on output is we cannot disect the output and discover what small input led to i existence.
employing patterns in design ensures that complexity is present at all scales.
there are patterns that emerge, and patterns that are designed. patterns can be designed as the final output, or used as the origin input. the question remains is whether processes can be patterne and if so, what is their output? is the feedback loop not a process
the designer and design may adjust to correct the unintended result. or they may use this information to anticipate new behaviors, always in an effort to be proactive and not merely reactive. it is a horizontal feedback system, rather than a vertical one. this may eventually lead the original design and designer so far from the original that it is hardly recognizable, yet still the result of a simple system acting in a recursive manner.
do we design the wave? the dune? the cracked desert ground? or do we design the processes that these patterns emerge from? does gyorgy kepes’ quoted phrase, “pattern in process, process in pattern” have any sort of directionality? meaning, can we design the process for the pattern to emerge, but can we also use patterns to generate process?
open frameworks in which program, activity, etc. expands into or the framework which allows the making of individual decisions. “pattern being the organization into which something expands”
Beginning A Long Reflection Process...
ons in output
ut is, but to its
ACTION proactive model
PROJECTION futures model BUILT UNBUILT
nt ACTION reactive model REACTION RESPONSE ACTION reactive model REACTION RESPONSE
d. riginal erned ess pattern?
? or ?
this opens the discussion of so-called “top down” and “bottom up” planning and urban processes.
occasionally it seems planning becomes an exercise in graphic design. however, some very thoughfully planned cities in history have been relatively successful. amsterdam is an example of this. in this case, it may be determined that too much emphasis has been given to the ‘look’ or ‘form’ of the plan, and not enough on the activity, elevation, section, etc.
large scale change in a short amount of time is undesirable. enormous master planning (ie noisette) can be likened to the ecological principle of disturbance. widespread change at once the disrputs the structure, population, among many other factors, in a short period of time.
Alexander, Christopher. The Timeless Way of Building. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. Alexander, Christopher, et al. A Pattern Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977. Allen, Stan. “Mat Urbanism: The Thick 2-D.” (2009): 118-127. Amigos de Bolsa Chica. “Bolsa Chica: A Tidal Salt Marsh.” 2010. Amigos de Bolsa Chica. 30 November 2011 <http://www.amigosdebolsachica.org/birdsandscience.htm#tidal%20salt%20marsh>. Andersen, Paul and David Salomon. The Architecture of Patterns. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2010. Bateson, Gregory. Mind and Nature. New York: E.P Dutton, 1979. . Behre, Robert. “Noisette at 10 years: City seeing transformation, but future of old Navy base unclear.” The Post and Courier 22 Mar. 2011. 16 Nov. 2011 <http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/mar/22/noisette-at-10-years/>. Blum, Andrew. “Downsview Park (Metropolis Mag).” 01 January 2004. AndrewBlum.Net. 19 November 2011 <http://www.andrewblum.net/typepad/2004/01/downsview_park_.html>. Bronstein, Barbara. “Military Base Reuse.” July 1997. CCIM Institute. 16 November 2011 <http://www.ccim.com/cire-magazine/articles/military-base-reuse>. City of North Charleston. North Charleston. 2011. 1 December 2011 <http://www.northcharleston.org/>. Collins, George R. and Christiane Crasemann Collins. Camillo Sitte: The Birth of Modern City Planning. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1986. Corner, James. “Terra Fluxus.” Waldheim, Charles. The Landscape Urbanism Reader. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. 21-33. EMBT. Projects: Santa Caterina Market Renovation. 2005. 24 October 2011 <http://www.mirallestagliabue.com/project_media.asp?id=59&idd=1204>. Felsen, Martin, and Sarah Dunn. “Walter Netsch: Field Theory.” Chicago Architecture: Histories, Revisions, Alternatives. Ed. Charles Waldheim, Ed. Katerina Ruedi Ray and Ed. . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. Print.
Gilbert, Dennis. “The Casbah in Context: World Heritage Site Under Threat.” 1 April 2010. The Architectural Review. 2011 October 24 <http://www.architectural-review.com/essays/the-casbah-in-context-world-heritage-site-under-threat/5217947.article>. Guayo, Patricia Martin del. “Downsview Park Toronto: Frameworks as Design.” 21 June 2011. Ecosistema Urbano. 19 November 2011 <http://ecosistemaurbano.org/english/downsview-park-toronto-frameworks-as-design/>. Isaacs, Allison. Self-Organizing Architecture: Design Through Form Finding Methods. MA thesis. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2008. privately published, 2008. Web. <http://smartech.gatech.edu/handle/1853/22603?show=full>. Jones, William Goodrich. “Some Fields Are in the City.” A Talk for the Chicago Literary Club. The Chicago Literary Club. Chicago. 28 March 2005. Lecture. Kepes, Gyorgy. “Thing Structure Pattern Process.” Kepes, Gyorgy. The New Landscape in Art and Science. Chicago: Paul Theobald and Co., 1956. 204-207. Kowarik, Ingo and Stefan Körner. Wild Urban Woodlands: New Perspectives for Urban Forestry. Diagram. Berlin: Springer, 2005. Krawczyk, Robert J. Architectural Interpretation of Cellular Automata. Essay. Chicago: Illinois Institute of Technology, 2002. Lister, Nina-Marie. “Sustainable Large Parks: Ecological Design or Designer Ecology?” Czerniak, Julia and George Hargreaves. Large Parks. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007. 24-57. Martin, Patricia. “Revisiting Downsview Park Toronto.” 7 September 2010. Martin Del Guayo; Architecture and Urbanism. 20 November 2011 <http://sites.google.com/site/martindelguayo/internal-blog/revisitingdownsviewparktoronto>. Mercado, Sarah. Algiers. 01 November 2011 <http://www.macalester.edu/courses/geog261/smercado/index.html>. OMA. “Downsview Park, Canada, Toronto, 2000.” OMA. 17 November 2011 <http://www.oma.eu>. Parc Downsview Park. Downsview Park. 2011. 18 November 2011 <http://www.downsviewpark.ca/eng/index.shtml>. Pickett, S.T.A. and P White. “Patch Dynamics: A Synthesis.” Pickett, S.T.A. and P White. The Ecology of Natural Disturbance and Patch .S. .S. Dynamics. San Diego: Academic Press, 1985. 371-385.
Process Urbanism: The City as Artificial Ecosystem. 30 November 2011 <http://processurbanism.com/project.html>. Salingaros, Nikos A. “Complexity and Urban Coherence.” Journal of Urban Design (2000): 291-316. Salingaros, Nikos, et al. A Theory of Architecture. Solingen: Umbau-Verlag, 2006. Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. New York: Random House, Inc., 2010. Tompkins, Penny and James Lawley. “Feedback Loops.” 2011. The Clean Collection. 29 November 2011 <http://www.cleanlanguage.co.uk/articles/articles/227/1/Feedback-loops/Page1.html>. Ulam, Stanislaw. “Patterns of Growth of Figures: Mathematical Aspects.” Kepes, Gyorgy. Module, Proportion, Symmetry, Rhythm. New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1966. 64-102. Waddington, C.H. “The Modular Principle and Biological Form.” Kepes, Gyorgy. Module, Proportion, Symmetry, Rhythm. New York: George Braziller, 1966. 20-38. Waldheim, Charles. “Landscape as Urbanism.” Waldheim, Charles. The Landscape Urbanism Reader. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. 35-53. Verbeeck, Kenny. Randomness as a Generative Principle in Art and Architecture. MA thesis. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 2006. MIT Libraries. Web. 6 June 2011.
008-009 spiral shell_http://blogs.bgsu.edu/artc3110georgea/2009/09/02/30/spiral-shell/ zebra stripe_http://ec1cw.blogspot.com/2010/07/zebra-stripes.html chinchero weaving_http://photobucket.com/arlenezimmerly atelier manferdini, clad cuts dress_http://www.archnewsnow.com/ security envelope_http://flickr.com/josephking convection cells_http://kgroesner.de/ belousov zhabotinsky reaction_http://flickr.com/stephenwmorris white disks 1, bridget riley, 1964_ http://www.op-art.co.uk/op-art-gallery/bridget-riley/white-disks-1 owen jones, designs for tiles, 1849_ http://vam.ac.uk/images/image/31298-popup.html sunflower_ http://jech.bmj.com/content/58/9/734.full cracked earth_http://cgtextures.com/ 010-011 anatomical drawing 1_http://svpow.files.wordpress.com/ anatomical drawing 2_http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/L%27Encyclopedie/ dune_http://thornburghphoto.blogspot.com/2011/07/072411-great-sand-dunes-national-park.html original: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roswellsgirl/ leaf +insect_http://bris.ac.uk cracked earth_http://cgtextures.com/ 012-013 studies of embryos, da vinci_http://en.wikipedia.org/ original: http://www.lucnix.be/v/divers/Leonardo_DA_VINCI/Da_Vinci_Bxl_89_Luc_Viatour.jpg.html anatomical drawing 1_http://svpow.files.wordpress.com/ 014-015 crab_http://etc.usf.edu/ lobster_http://graphicsfairy_blogspot_com/ skeleton_http://arthursclipart.org/ horse_ http://photobucket.com_jakobrevision
022-023 davison freeway construction_http://flickr.com/rllayman/ housing demo_http://asunews.astate.edu/ campus overlay_http://berkeley.edu/ fibre optic trench_ http://esands.com/ network_http://sysctl.org/ captiol_ http://mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.files.wordpress.com/ 1927 mississippi flood_ http://wikipedia.org/ detroit house_ http://rubylee1776_files.wordpress.com/ dubai_http://imresolt.com/ iphone_http://iphonedevelopmenttutorial._org economic projections_http://www.speaker.gov/blog/?postid=256652 empty classroom_http://images.ourontario.ca 023-024 daniel burnham_http://urbanroamer.files.wordpress.com/ baron haussmann_http://glamourapartments.org/ le corbusier_http://42ndblackwatch1881.wordpress.com/ aldo van eyck_ http://team10online.org/ alison and peter smithson _http://open2.net/ andres duany_ http://news.beloblog.com/ christopher alexander_ http://trialx.com jane jacobs_ http://urbanplanning21stcenury.blog.com/ elizabeth plater-zyberk_http://miami21.org/ robert moses_http://nndb.com/ mies van der rohe_http://britannica.com/ 026-027 tokyo bay project, aerial_http://dprbcn.wordpress.com/ tokyo bay project, model_http://architecturalmoleskine.blogspot.com/ walking city_http://lagraphicdesign.wordpress.com/ blow-out village_ http://archigram.westminster.ac.uk/ plug-in city, plan _http://archigram.westminster.ac.uk/ plug-in city, section_ http://archigram.westminster.ac.uk/ clusters-in-the-air-project_ http://microlivingjohnna.blogspot.com/ nakagin capsule tower_ http://metalocus.es/ 105
028-029 amsterdam orphanage, plan_http://cleandesign05.co.uk/ amsterdam orphanage, axo_http://users.tce.rmit.edu.au/ amsterdam orphanage, elevation_http://mimoa.eu/ robin hood gardens, plan_http://archdaily.com/ robin hood gardens, corridor_http://cleandesign05.co.uk/ robin hood gardens, elevation_http://centeroftheworld.wordpress.com/ garden lane competition, axo_http://m38x.tumblr.com/ garden lane competition, plan_ http://archiflux.wordpress.com/ frankfurt-romerberg competition_ http://vitruvius.fr/ caen-herouville_ http://archined.nl/ free university of berlin, model_http://tudelft-architecture.nl/ free university of berlin, plan_http://at1patios.files.wordpress.com/ 032-033 diagram adapted from New York Times graphic, original from Department of Defense marine corps air station, el toro_ http://www.defenseimagery.mil/ brooks air force base_http://sanantonio.gov/planning/ fort mcpherson_http://homesinatlanta.wordpress.com/ fort monmouth_http://usmilitary.com/ 036-037 nakagin capsule tower, construction_http://sellingtokyo.wordpress.com/ nakagin capsule tower, detail_see page 26-27 image credits nakagin capsule tower, context_http://sellingtokyo.wordpress.com/ santa caterina market, roof detail_http://archidose.blogspot.com/ santa caterina market, interior_http://barcelonaturisme.com/ santa caterina market, aerial_http://bozar.be uic circle campus, original site_http://uic.edu/depts/oaa/walkingtour/ uic circle campus, plan_http://uic.edu/depts/oaa/walkingtour/ uic circle campus, aerial_uic.edu/depts/oaa/walkingtour/ the casbah, roof_http://www.nytimes.com; Marc Garanger the casbah, aerial_http://thefunambulistdotnet.wordpress.com/ the casbah, map_http://blackmaps.wordpress.com/
Image Credits, Cont.
038-039 perspective_http://uic.edu/depts/oaa/walkingtour/ axo_see page 36-37 image credits aerial_http://uic.edu/depts/oaa/walkingtour/ picketing_http://uic.edu/depts/oaa/walkingtour/ site aerial_see page 36-37 image credits plan_http://uic.edu/depts/oaa/walkingtour/ model making_http://uic.edu/depts/oaa/walkingtour/ walkway_http://uic.edu/depts/oaa/walkingtour/ 040-041 site aerial_google earth site aerial, zoom_google earth rooftop field_http://flickr.com/gbatistini/ street perspective_http://architectural-review.com/ floor plan_http://design.epfl.ch/ 042-043 monastery_http://monestirs.cat/ original market_http://w110.bcn.cat/ original market, interior_http://w110.bcn.cat/ renovated floor plan_http://mirallestagliabue.com/ renovated interior_http://flickr.com/leonl original market, facade_http://w110.bcn.cat/ monastery, floor plan_http://monestirs.cat/ 044-045 wide section_http://cse.polyu.edu/ nakagin capsule tower, construction_see page 36-37 image credits short section_http://cse.polyu.edu/ floor plan_http://cse.polyu.edu/ capsule detail_see page 36-37 image credits
046-047 toronto, aerial_google earth downsview, aerial_google earth 048-049 competition diagrams_http://heenamistry.blogspot.com/ tree city, model_http://houzine.jugong.co.kr/ tree city, diagram_http://houzine.jugong.co.kr/ 052-053 bruce mau plan for downsview_http://downsviewpark.ca/ 054-055 west yard lofts_http://navyyardsc_com noisette creek, high tide_http://michauxconservancy.wordpress.com/ noisette creek, low tide_http://michauxconservancy.wordpress.com/ storehouse row_http://navyyardsc.wordpress.com/ callie’s biscuits, former medical officer’s quarters _http://navyyardsc.wordpress.com/ powerhouse restoration_http://navyyardsc.wordpress.com/ tracks_http://navyyardsc.wordpress.com/ riverfront park_http://navyyardsc.wordpress.com/ 056-057 north charleston, aerial_google earth noisette, aerial_google earth 059-063 north charleston figure ground_Clemson University Restoration Institute; Sara Hekmatfar, Christian Provencher, and Avril Fabian 062-063 building images_http://anchorcommercial.net/ site axo_google maps
Image Credits, Cont.
064-065 building perspectives_google earth street view 068-069 site panoramic_google earth street view building image_http://anchorcommercial.net/