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a small scale analysis
N. Sala
Accademia di Architettura, Università della Svizzera Italiana,
Switzerland
Abstract
For many centuries, architecture found inspiration in Euclidean geometry and
Euclidean shapes (bricks, boards), and it is no surprise that the buildings have
Euclidean aspects. Nature is fractal and complex, and nature has influenced the
architecture in different cultures and in different periods. Complexity is the
property of a realworld system that is manifest in the inability of any one
formalism being adequate to capture all its properties. The complexity is also the
theory of how emergent organisation may be achieved by the interaction with
components pushed far from equilibrium (by increasing matter, information, or
energy) to the threshold between order and disorder (chaos). This threshold is
where the system often interacts in a new nonlinear way. Modern architects
study the complexity and the fractal geometry to create a new kind of buildings
or to understand the problems connected to the urban growth. The aim of this
paper is to present an approach that studies the complexity applied in the small
scale in architecture.
Keywords: complexity, strange attractor, nonlinear architecture, fractal
geometry, selfsimilarity, boxcounting dimension.
1 Introduction
In arts and architecture it is usual to search the presence of mathematical and
geometrical components. For example, the golden ratio, the symmetry, the
tessellations, the Fibonacci’s sequence, and the Euclidean geometry [1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
6, 7, 8]. We can also observe the architecture using a different point of view, for
example we can find some complex or fractal components that are present in the
buildings or in the projects [8, 9, 10, 11, 12].
Design and Nature II, M. W. Collins & C. A. Brebbia (Editors)
© 2004 WIT Press, www.witpress.com, ISBN 1853127213
C
O
M =
The complexity is the most difficult area of chaos, and it describes the
complex motion and the dynamics of sensitive systems. The chaos reveals a
hidden fractal order underlying all seemingly chaotic events. The complexity can
occur in natural and manmade systems, as well as in meteorological systems,
human beings and social structures. Complex dynamical systems may be very
small or very large, and in some complex systems small and large components
exist in cooperative way. The complexity can also be called the “edge of chaos”,
it is connected to the fractal geometry, and it can also inspire an aesthetic sense.
In fact, in the 1930’s the mathematician George Birkhoff (18841944) proposed
a measure of beauty defined as:
(1)
whereby M stands for “aesthetic measure” (or beauty), O for order and C for
complexity. This measure suggests the idea that beauty has something to do with
order and complexity.
The complexity and the fractal geometry appear in architecture because it
observes and reproduces the patterns present in the nature.
Robert Venturi affirms, in his book entitled Complexity and contradiction in
architecture (1992): “The recognition of complexity in architecture does not
negate what Louis Kahn has called “the desire for simplicity”. But aesthetic
simplicity which is a satisfaction to the mind derives, when valid and profound,
from inner complexity” [9, p. 17].
Our complex analysis in architecture has been divided in two parts:
• on a small scale analysis (e.g., to determine the complex components present
in the building shape);
• On a large scale analysis (e.g., to study the urban growth and the urban
development, or to analyse the organisation of the landscape).
In this paper we will present a small scale analysis that we have organised in
three points:
1. the “strange attractors” used, for example, by the architect Peter Anders in
the interior of his loft apartment. He has designed his loft using a complex
point of view. The loft’s visual lines create a paradoxical sense of both
infinitude and repetition, fragmentation and unity, like the stranger
attractors;
2. the complexity in the buildings (e.g., the complex surfaces and the complex
textures in the works of Franck Owen Gehry and in the projects realised by
Paolo Portoghesi);
3. the boxcounting dimension of a design, to determine its degree of
complexity (for example applied to the Mesoamerican architecture and to
the modern architecture).
In our study the process qualities that emerge spontaneously are the attractor
formations, the nonlinear architecture, and the fractal patterns.
Design and Nature II, M. W. Collins & C. A. Brebbia (Editors)
© 2004 WIT Press, www.witpress.com, ISBN 1853127213
36 Design and Nature II
2 The strange attractors
To define an attractor is not simple. Tsonis gives the definition of attractors as “a
limit set that collects trajectories” [13].
There are four kinds of attractors, where the first three attractors are not
associated with chaos theory because they are fixed attractors. We have:
1. Point attractor, for example a pendulum swinging back and forth and
eventually stopping at a point. This kind of attractor may come as a point, in
which case, it gives a steady state where it is not possible other changes.
2. Periodic attractor, that reproduces processes that repeat themselves (for
example, to add a mainspring to the pendulum to compensate for friction
and the pendulum now has a limited cycle in its phase space).
3. Torus attractor, mathematically the torus is depicted in the shape of a large
donut or bagel. The torus attractor naturally arises whenever quasiperiodic
motion is encountered in a dissipative dynamical system.
4. Strange attractor, it deals with the threebody problem of stability. The
strange attractor shows processes that are stable, confined and yet never do
the same thing twice. The strange attractor can take an infinite number of
different forms. One classical strange attractor is the “Lorenz attractor” that
is used for the weather forecast.
Chaos is based on the concept of strange attractor [14]. The flow of the water
is governed by dynamic and chaotic laws. The various kinds of flow represent
different patterns to which the flow is attracted. Figure 1 shows a painting that
contains a study on the movements of the water, where there are in evidence
some attractors. This painting has been realised by Leonardo da Vinci (1452
1519) that was one of many artists across the centuries inspired by the mysteries
of turbulence [15, p. 66].
Figure 1: Da Vinci’s painting dedicated to the water movements.
Design and Nature II, M. W. Collins & C. A. Brebbia (Editors)
© 2004 WIT Press, www.witpress.com, ISBN 1853127213
Design and Nature II 37
We can analyse the complex components in architecture observing the small
scale, for example to examine the presence of strange attractors in a plan. The
architect Peter Anders, fascinated by the chaos and fractal theory, has conceived
the interior of his loft apartment in the shape of a “strange attractor” (see
figure 2) [16, p. 173]. The visual lines create a paradoxical sense, like the
stranger attractors, for the presence of the repetition, fragmentation and unity
[16].
Figure 2: Peter Anders’ loft: it contains some “strange attractor”.
3 The complexity in the buildings
A new kind of architecture was born by the complexity: nonlinear architecture
[10]. To research the complexity in the buildings, we can observe the complex
textures (e.g., in Gehry’s works) and the complex surfaces (e.g., in the Gehry’s
or Portoghesi’s projects) derived by the observation of the nature, and the natural
phenomena.
Frank Owen Gehry is one of the most inventive and pioneering architects
working today. He has used the complexity and the fractal geometry in his recent
works. Since his fish lamps of 1983, Gehry has applied the property of the self
similarity to realise the complex textures of his buildings. The selfsimilarity is a
fractal geometry’s property that permits to an object to repeat its shape in
Design and Nature II, M. W. Collins & C. A. Brebbia (Editors)
© 2004 WIT Press, www.witpress.com, ISBN 1853127213
38 Design and Nature II
different scales. This is evident observing the metal shingle, repeated in
different scales, that covers the Vitra Headquarters (19891992), and the
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (19921997). Figure 3 shows the skin of a snake,
where it is clear the complexity and the selfsimilarity. The figure 4 illustrates a
portion of the Guggenheim Museum’s skin. The analogy with the nature is
fascinating.
Figure 3: The skin of the snakes is selfsimilar.
Figure 4: Frank O. Gehry has used the selfsimilarity to realise the skin of
the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (19921997).
Italian architect Paolo Portoghesi, inspired by the chaotic movements
connected to the gas or liquid motion, has realised the Hotel Savoia (19921996)
in Rimini (Italy) that contains smoothed surfaces inspired by the wave motion as
a metaphor of the sea (shown in figure 5). The hotel is situated on the Adriatic
[17]. Figure 6 illustrates a particular of the model of Hotel Savoia.
Design and Nature II, M. W. Collins & C. A. Brebbia (Editors)
© 2004 WIT Press, www.witpress.com, ISBN 1853127213
Design and Nature II 39
Figure 5: The wave motion is an example of complex system.
Figure 6: Portoghesi’s Hotel Savoia (Rimini, Italy).
Portoghesi has used the fractal geometry, in particular the selfsimilarity, in
the Casa Baldi, Rome (1959), in the Villa Papanice, Rome (1966), and in the
Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque in Rome (1975) [18]. His more notable
works include Casa Andreis a Sandriglia, Rieti (1964), the Istituto Tecnico
Industriale, Aquila (1969), the Chiesa della Sacra Famiglia in Fratte, Salerno
(1969), the City Library and Social Center, Avezzano (1970), the Royal Palace
Design and Nature II, M. W. Collins & C. A. Brebbia (Editors)
© 2004 WIT Press, www.witpress.com, ISBN 1853127213
40 Design and Nature II
(
(
(
¸
(
¸



.

\




.

\




.

\




.

\

−
−
=
1
1
log
2
1
log
))]
1
( log( ))
2
( [log(
s
N
s
N
s N s N
b
D
of Amman, Jordan (1973) and the Urban Planning Scheme and International
Airport for Khartoum, Sudan (1973).
Gehry and Portoghesi have developed a nonlinear architecture in conscious
way.
4 The boxcounting dimension
The boxcounting dimension is connected to the problem of determining the
fractal dimension of a complex twodimensional image. It is defined as the
exponent D
b
in the relationship:
b
D
d
1
(d) N ≈ (2)
where N(d) is the number of boxes of linear size d, necessary to cover a data set
of points distributed in a twodimensional plane. The basis of this method is that,
for objects that are Euclidean, equation (2) defines their dimension. One needs a
number of boxes proportional to 1/d to cover a set of points lying on a smooth
line, proportional to 1/d
2
to cover a set of points evenly distributed on a plane,
and so on. Applying the logarithms to the equation (2) we obtain: N(d) ≈ −D
b
log(d).
The boxcounting dimension can be produced using this iterative procedure:
• superimpose a grid of square boxes over the image (the grid size as given as
s
1
);
• count the number of boxes that contain some of the image ( N(s
1
) );
• repeat this procedure, changing (s
1
), to smaller grid size (s
2
);
• count the resulting number of boxes that contain the image ( N(s
2
) );
• repeat this procedures changing s to smaller and smaller grid sizes.
The boxcounting dimension is defined by:
(3)
where 1/s is the number of boxes across the bottom of the grid.
We can apply the boxcounting dimension in architecture, too. It is calculated
by counting the number of boxes that contain lines from the drawing inside
them. Next figure 7 illustrates the box count for the elevation of a Frank Llyod
Wright’s building (Robie House, 1909) [19, p. 122]. Table 1 contains the number
of boxes counted, the number of boxes across the bottom of the grid, and the grid
size. The boxcounting dimension of Robie House, calculated using (3), is a
value between 1.441 and 1.485.
To determine the degree of the complexity in the Mesoamerican arts and
architecture, BurkleElizondo et al. have collected more than a hundred of
Design and Nature II, M. W. Collins & C. A. Brebbia (Editors)
© 2004 WIT Press, www.witpress.com, ISBN 1853127213
Design and Nature II 41
images of Mesoamerican artistic and architectural works by reviewing literature
on archeology [20, 21, 22]. All these images have been digitized using a Printer
CopierScanner (Hewlett Packard
®
, Model LaserJet 1100A) and saved in bitmap
(*.bmp) format on a Personal Computer (Hewlett Packard
®
, Model Pavilion
6651). Thereafter, these images were analyzed with the program Benoit
®
,
version 1.3 in order to calculate Box (D
b
), Information (D
i
), and Mass
dimensions (D
M
), and their respective standard errors and intercepts on loglog
plots. It was taken under consideration that the information dimension differs
from the box dimension, because its boxes contains more points. For all the cases
the fractal dimension values were high from a D
b
= 1.803±0.023 for the left and
superior side of the “Vase of seven gods”, to a D
M
= 2.492±0.195 for the left side
of the “Door to underworld of the Temple 11, platform” at Copán.
Figure 7: Boxcounting method applied to Wright’s Robie House.
Table 1: Number of boxes counted, the number of boxes across the bottom
of the grid, and the grid size.
Box count Grid size Grid dimension
16 8 24 feet
50 16 12 feet
140 32 6 feet
380 64 3 feet
The degree of complexity found in the Mesoamerican buildings can be
explained if we remember the basis of Mesoamerican Cosmo vision, and the idea
how the Universe works, that have influenced this architecture [22].
5 Conclusions
The complexity paradigm has developed two different traditions: one in
architecture, another in science. In this work we have described only an approach
where the complexity has been analysed using three different points of view:
Design and Nature II, M. W. Collins & C. A. Brebbia (Editors)
© 2004 WIT Press, www.witpress.com, ISBN 1853127213
42 Design and Nature II
1. to search the “strange attractors” in a plan,
2. to find the complex components in the buildings,
3. to determine the degree of complexity in a building (using the boxcounting
dimension).
The examples described in the points 1 and 2 introduce the concept of non
linear architecture. Nonlinear architecture has influenced Peter Eisenman’s
Aroff Center in Cincinnati, Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and
Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Extension to the Berlin Museum. All three buildings
were partly generated by nonlinear methods.
The complexity in architecture is also connected to the concept of
contradiction, as Robert Venturi affirms: “I like complexity and contradiction in
architecture. I do not like the incoherence or arbitrariness of incompetent
architecture not the precious intricacies of picturesqueness or impressionism.
Instead, I speak of a complex and contradictory architecture based on the
richness and ambiguity of modern experience, including that experience which is
inherent in art. Everywhere, except in architecture, complexity and contradiction
have been acknowledged, from Gödel’s proof of ultimate inconsistency in
mathematics to T.S. Eliot’s analysis of “difficult” poetry and Joseph Albers’
definition of the paradoxical quality of painting” [9, p. 16].
The complexity paradigm in architecture, based on the science of complexity,
has reached maturity, and it will influence the architecture of this new
millennium.
References
[1] Ghyka M., The Geometry of Art and Life, Dover Publications, USA,
1977.
[2] Blackwell, W., Geometry in Architecture, John Wiley & Sons, London,
1984.
[3] Manna, F., Le chiavi magiche dell'universo, Liguori Editore, Napoli,
1988.
[4] Hargittai , I. & Hargittai, M., Symmetry: A Unifying Concept, Random
House, New York , 1996.
[5] Patruno, L., Castel del Monte il mistero di Federico. Specchio n. 90, pp.
132149, 1997.
[6] Albeverio, S. & Sala, N., Note al corso di Matematica dell’Accademia,
part I and II, University Press.Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio –
Università della Svizzera italiana, Mendrisio, 1998.
[7] Dunlap R.A., The Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Numbers, World
Scientific, Singapore, 1998.
[8] Sala, N. & Cappellato, G., Viaggio matematico nell’arte e
nell’architettura, Franco Angeli, Milano, 2003.
[9] Venturi, R., Complexity and contradiction in architecture, The Museum
of Modern Art, New York, 1992.
[10] Jencks, C., Complexity definition and nature’s complexity, Architectural
Design, n. 129, pp. 810, 1998.
Design and Nature II, M. W. Collins & C. A. Brebbia (Editors)
© 2004 WIT Press, www.witpress.com, ISBN 1853127213
Design and Nature II 43
[11] Eaton, L.K., Fractal Geometry in the Late Work of Frank Llyod Wright:
the Palmer House. Nexus II: Architecture and Mathematics, ed. K.
Williams, Edizioni Dell’Erba, Fucecchio, pp. 23  38, 1998.
[12] Sala, N., The presence of the Self Similarity in Architecture: Some
examples. Emergent Nature, M.M. Novak (ed.), World Scientific,
Singapore, pp. 273 – 283, 2002.
[13] Tsonis, A.A., Chaos: From Theory to Applications, Plenum Press, New
York, 1992.
[14] Peitgen, H.O., Hurgens H. & Saupe, D., Chaos and Fractals: New
Frontiers of Science, SpringerVerlag, New York, 1992.
[15] Fivaz, R., L’ordre et la volupté, Press Polytechniques Romandes,
Lausanne, 1988.
[16] Briggs, J., Fractals the patterns of chaos, Thames and Hudson, London,
1992.
[17] Portoghesi, P., Natura e Architettura, Skira, Milano, 1999 (English
version: Nature and Architecture, Skira, Milano, 2000).
[18] Sala, N. & Cappellato, G., Architetture della complessità, Franco Angeli,
Milano, 2004 (in print).
[19] Bovill, C., Fractal Geometry in Architecture and Design, Birkhäuser,
Boston, 1996.
[20] BurkleElizondo, G. & CepedaValdéz R., Do The Artistic and
Architectural Works Have Fractal Dimension? Emergent Nature, M.M.
Novak (ed.), World Scientific, Singapore, pp. 431432, 2002.
[21] BurkleElizondo, R., Sala, N. & CepedaValdéz, R., Complexity in the
Mesoamerican artistic and Architectural Works, Programme and
Abstracts International Nonlinear Sciences Conference (Research and
Applications in the Life Sciences), Vienna, Austria, p. 18, 2003.
[22] BurkleElizondo, R., Sala, N. & CepedaValdéz, R., Geometric And
Complex Analyses Of Maya Architecture: Some Examples. Nexus V:
Architecture and Mathematics, ed. K. Williams K., Edizioni Dell’Erba,
Fucecchio, 2004 (in print).
Design and Nature II, M. W. Collins & C. A. Brebbia (Editors)
© 2004 WIT Press, www.witpress.com, ISBN 1853127213
44 Design and Nature II
The loft’s visual lines create a paradoxical sense of both infinitude and repetition. when valid and profound. But aesthetic simplicity which is a satisfaction to the mind derives. Our complex analysis in architecture has been divided in two parts: • on a small scale analysis (e. the “strange attractors” used. Complex dynamical systems may be very small or very large. fragmentation and unity. to study the urban growth and the urban development. as well as in meteorological systems. In this paper we will present a small scale analysis that we have organised in three points: 1.36 Design and Nature II The complexity is the most difficult area of chaos. to determine its degree of complexity (for example applied to the Mesoamerican architecture and to the modern architecture). from inner complexity” [9. This measure suggests the idea that beauty has something to do with order and complexity. A.. or to analyse the organisation of the landscape). p. to determine the complex components present in the building shape).witpress. The chaos reveals a hidden fractal order underlying all seemingly chaotic events. ISBN 1853127213 .g. The complexity can occur in natural and manmade systems. In our study the process qualities that emerge spontaneously are the attractor formations. human beings and social structures. In fact. the complex surfaces and the complex textures in the works of Franck Owen Gehry and in the projects realised by Paolo Portoghesi). 3. in his book entitled Complexity and contradiction in architecture (1992): “The recognition of complexity in architecture does not negate what Louis Kahn has called “the desire for simplicity”. and it describes the complex motion and the dynamics of sensitive systems. The complexity and the fractal geometry appear in architecture because it observes and reproduces the patterns present in the nature.. • On a large scale analysis (e. the nonlinear architecture.g. M. O for order and C for complexity. for example. Brebbia (Editors) © 2004 WIT Press.com. W. 2. Collins & C. in the 1930’s the mathematician George Birkhoff (18841944) proposed a measure of beauty defined as: M= O C (1) whereby M stands for “aesthetic measure” (or beauty). like the stranger attractors. by the architect Peter Anders in the interior of his loft apartment. and it can also inspire an aesthetic sense. www. 17]. Design and Nature II. Robert Venturi affirms. and in some complex systems small and large components exist in cooperative way. The complexity can also be called the “edge of chaos”. and the fractal patterns.. He has designed his loft using a complex point of view. the complexity in the buildings (e. the boxcounting dimension of a design. it is connected to the fractal geometry.g.
This kind of attractor may come as a point. Periodic attractor. Chaos is based on the concept of strange attractor [14]. The flow of the water is governed by dynamic and chaotic laws. Design and Nature II. The strange attractor shows processes that are stable. mathematically the torus is depicted in the shape of a large donut or bagel. to add a mainspring to the pendulum to compensate for friction and the pendulum now has a limited cycle in its phase space). Torus attractor. There are four kinds of attractors.Design and Nature II 37 2 The strange attractors To define an attractor is not simple. Figure 1: Da Vinci’s painting dedicated to the water movements. W. 2. The strange attractor can take an infinite number of different forms. Tsonis gives the definition of attractors as “a limit set that collects trajectories” [13].com. Brebbia (Editors) © 2004 WIT Press. Collins & C. A. Point attractor. it gives a steady state where it is not possible other changes. M. where there are in evidence some attractors. The torus attractor naturally arises whenever quasiperiodic motion is encountered in a dissipative dynamical system. 3. where the first three attractors are not associated with chaos theory because they are fixed attractors. p. The various kinds of flow represent different patterns to which the flow is attracted. in which case. it deals with the threebody problem of stability. Strange attractor.witpress. One classical strange attractor is the “Lorenz attractor” that is used for the weather forecast. that reproduces processes that repeat themselves (for example. ISBN 1853127213 . This painting has been realised by Leonardo da Vinci (14521519) that was one of many artists across the centuries inspired by the mysteries of turbulence [15. www. Figure 1 shows a painting that contains a study on the movements of the water. for example a pendulum swinging back and forth and eventually stopping at a point. 66]. confined and yet never do the same thing twice. We have: 1. 4.
Figure 2: Peter Anders’ loft: it contains some “strange attractor”. for the presence of the repetition. fragmentation and unity [16].. in the Gehry’s or Portoghesi’s projects) derived by the observation of the nature.g. M. and the natural phenomena. like the stranger attractors. The architect Peter Anders. To research the complexity in the buildings.com. He has used the complexity and the fractal geometry in his recent works. for example to examine the presence of strange attractors in a plan. 173]. in Gehry’s works) and the complex surfaces (e. ISBN 1853127213 . Gehry has applied the property of the selfsimilarity to realise the complex textures of his buildings. The visual lines create a paradoxical sense. Brebbia (Editors) © 2004 WIT Press. Since his fish lamps of 1983. www. 3 The complexity in the buildings A new kind of architecture was born by the complexity: nonlinear architecture [10]. A. we can observe the complex textures (e. p. W.38 Design and Nature II We can analyse the complex components in architecture observing the small scale.witpress. Collins & C.g. The selfsimilarity is a fractal geometry’s property that permits to an object to repeat its shape in Design and Nature II. Frank Owen Gehry is one of the most inventive and pioneering architects working today. has conceived the interior of his loft apartment in the shape of a “strange attractor” (see figure 2) [16.. fascinated by the chaos and fractal theory.
ISBN 1853127213 . A. that covers the Vitra Headquarters (19891992).witpress. Figure 4: Frank O. This is evident observing the metal shingle. M.com. Figure 3: The skin of the snakes is selfsimilar. Figure 3 shows the skin of a snake. The hotel is situated on the Adriatic [17]. Bilbao (19921997). and the Guggenheim Museum. Design and Nature II. has realised the Hotel Savoia (19921996) in Rimini (Italy) that contains smoothed surfaces inspired by the wave motion as a metaphor of the sea (shown in figure 5). Italian architect Paolo Portoghesi. Bilbao (19921997). where it is clear the complexity and the selfsimilarity. W. Collins & C. www. Gehry has used the selfsimilarity to realise the skin of the Guggenheim Museum. The figure 4 illustrates a portion of the Guggenheim Museum’s skin.Design and Nature II 39 different scales. repeated in different scales. Brebbia (Editors) © 2004 WIT Press. Figure 6 illustrates a particular of the model of Hotel Savoia. inspired by the chaotic movements connected to the gas or liquid motion. The analogy with the nature is fascinating.
Avezzano (1970). the City Library and Social Center. Rome (1966). Collins & C.witpress. Aquila (1969). the Chiesa della Sacra Famiglia in Fratte. A.40 Design and Nature II Figure 5: The wave motion is an example of complex system. Rome (1959).com. Portoghesi has used the fractal geometry. the Royal Palace Design and Nature II. Italy). ISBN 1853127213 . W. www. in particular the selfsimilarity. Rieti (1964). and in the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque in Rome (1975) [18]. Figure 6: Portoghesi’s Hotel Savoia (Rimini. M. His more notable works include Casa Andreis a Sandriglia. in the Villa Papanice. Salerno (1969). in the Casa Baldi. the Istituto Tecnico Industriale. Brebbia (Editors) © 2004 WIT Press.
Applying the logarithms to the equation (2) we obtain: N(d) ≈ −Db log(d). We can apply the boxcounting dimension in architecture.441 and 1. ISBN 1853127213 . 4 The boxcounting dimension The boxcounting dimension is connected to the problem of determining the fractal dimension of a complex twodimensional image. Brebbia (Editors) © 2004 WIT Press. and so on. • repeat this procedures changing s to smaller and smaller grid sizes. p. Sudan (1973). The basis of this method is that. changing (s1). • count the resulting number of boxes that contain the image ( N(s2) ). It is defined as the exponent Db in the relationship: 1 N(d) ≈ D d b (2) where N(d) is the number of boxes of linear size d. The boxcounting dimension of Robie House. 122]. to smaller grid size (s2). The boxcounting dimension is defined by: [log( N ( s )) − log( N ( s ))] 2 1 − log N 1 s 1 D = b log N 1 s 2 (3) where 1/s is the number of boxes across the bottom of the grid. • count the number of boxes that contain some of the image ( N(s1) ). W.485. Jordan (1973) and the Urban Planning Scheme and International Airport for Khartoum.Design and Nature II 41 of Amman. Gehry and Portoghesi have developed a nonlinear architecture in conscious way. BurkleElizondo et al. To determine the degree of the complexity in the Mesoamerican arts and architecture. and the grid size. necessary to cover a data set of points distributed in a twodimensional plane. calculated using (3). www. • repeat this procedure. the number of boxes across the bottom of the grid. Table 1 contains the number of boxes counted. It is calculated by counting the number of boxes that contain lines from the drawing inside them.witpress. for objects that are Euclidean. M. One needs a number of boxes proportional to 1/d to cover a set of points lying on a smooth line. too. equation (2) defines their dimension.com. proportional to 1/d2 to cover a set of points evenly distributed on a plane. A. Collins & C. The boxcounting dimension can be produced using this iterative procedure: • superimpose a grid of square boxes over the image (the grid size as given as s1). have collected more than a hundred of Design and Nature II. 1909) [19. is a value between 1. Next figure 7 illustrates the box count for the elevation of a Frank Llyod Wright’s building (Robie House.
It was taken under consideration that the information dimension differs from the box dimension.492±0. ISBN 1853127213 .witpress. because its boxes contains more points. www. and their respective standard errors and intercepts on loglog plots.42 Design and Nature II images of Mesoamerican artistic and architectural works by reviewing literature on archeology [20.bmp) format on a Personal Computer (Hewlett Packard®. 21. In this work we have described only an approach where the complexity has been analysed using three different points of view: Design and Nature II.195 for the left side of the “Door to underworld of the Temple 11. Thereafter. Brebbia (Editors) © 2004 WIT Press. Model Pavilion 6651). Information (Di). Box count 16 50 140 380 Grid size 8 16 32 64 Grid dimension 24 feet 12 feet 6 feet 3 feet The degree of complexity found in the Mesoamerican buildings can be explained if we remember the basis of Mesoamerican Cosmo vision. platform” at Copán. and the idea how the Universe works. 5 Conclusions The complexity paradigm has developed two different traditions: one in architecture. these images were analyzed with the program Benoit®. another in science. the number of boxes across the bottom of the grid. All these images have been digitized using a PrinterCopierScanner (Hewlett Packard®.803±0. W.com.3 in order to calculate Box (Db). Model LaserJet 1100A) and saved in bitmap (*. version 1.023 for the left and superior side of the “Vase of seven gods”. to a DM = 2. M. that have influenced this architecture [22]. A. Collins & C. Figure 7: Table 1: Boxcounting method applied to Wright’s Robie House. For all the cases the fractal dimension values were high from a Db = 1. Number of boxes counted. and Mass dimensions (DM). 22]. and the grid size.
W. Complexity and contradiction in architecture. p. A. Brebbia (Editors) © 2004 WIT Press.Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio – Università della Svizzera italiana. Geometry in Architecture. 2. 1998.. 1996. Instead. The Museum of Modern Art. Symmetry: A Unifying Concept. pp. I speak of a complex and contradictory architecture based on the richness and ambiguity of modern experience. 129. Nonlinear architecture has influenced Peter Eisenman’s Aroff Center in Cincinnati. from Gödel’s proof of ultimate inconsistency in mathematics to T. Liguori Editore. 1988. Design and Nature II. and it will influence the architecture of this new millennium.witpress.A.. 1998.. has reached maturity. Patruno. I do not like the incoherence or arbitrariness of incompetent architecture not the precious intricacies of picturesqueness or impressionism. World Scientific. Dunlap R.Design and Nature II 43 1. I. The Geometry of Art and Life. & Sala. Franco Angeli.. Architectural Design.com. 1977. 1984. Castel del Monte il mistero di Federico. Venturi. Blackwell. Hargittai . Napoli.. C. Singapore. 132149. F. N. Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Extension to the Berlin Museum. L.. pp. 2003. 1997. Sala.. N. 3. New York . complexity and contradiction have been acknowledged.. Collins & C.. Manna. 16]. 810. ISBN 1853127213 . Viaggio matematico nell’arte e nell’architettura. Milano. Everywhere. part I and II. as Robert Venturi affirms: “I like complexity and contradiction in architecture.S. M. John Wiley & Sons. G. Jencks. 1998.. The complexity in architecture is also connected to the concept of contradiction. New York. except in architecture. www. Note al corso di Matematica dell’Accademia. 1992. Dover Publications. The complexity paradigm in architecture. Mendrisio. References [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] Ghyka M. Complexity definition and nature’s complexity. The Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Numbers. M. Le chiavi magiche dell'universo. to search the “strange attractors” in a plan. R. W. including that experience which is inherent in art. to determine the degree of complexity in a building (using the boxcounting dimension). The examples described in the points 1 and 2 introduce the concept of nonlinear architecture. All three buildings were partly generated by nonlinear methods. University Press. S. 90. to find the complex components in the buildings. n. & Hargittai. Albeverio. Eliot’s analysis of “difficult” poetry and Joseph Albers’ definition of the paradoxical quality of painting” [9. Random House. Specchio n. based on the science of complexity. & Cappellato. USA. London.
273 – 283. R. N. Franco Angeli. & Cappellato. & CepedaValdéz. [22] Design and Nature II. Geometric And Complex Analyses Of Maya Architecture: Some Examples. Fucecchio. K. BurkleElizondo. P. Sala. Milano. Fivaz. Do The Artistic and Architectural Works Have Fractal Dimension? Emergent Nature. Novak (ed. Emergent Nature. Milano. Chaos: From Theory to Applications.. J.).44 Design and Nature II [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] Eaton. 2003. 2000). Fucecchio. H. 1998. 1988.. R. C. Skira. Press Polytechniques Romandes. & CepedaValdéz. Chaos and Fractals: New Frontiers of Science.M. 2002. R. Tsonis. 2004 (in print).. M. & CepedaValdéz R. Edizioni Dell’Erba. L’ordre et la volupté. SpringerVerlag.A. Architetture della complessità.. ISBN 1853127213 .. 2002. Natura e Architettura. Bovill.. 1992. Thames and Hudson. Edizioni Dell’Erba. Peitgen. Lausanne. A.. ed.. Austria. 1992. pp. Nexus V: Architecture and Mathematics. The presence of the Self. Fractal Geometry in the Late Work of Frank Llyod Wright: the Palmer House. Skira.K. Plenum Press.witpress. www. Sala.. Collins & C. Fractal Geometry in Architecture and Design.38. Brebbia (Editors) © 2004 WIT Press.Similarity in Architecture: Some examples. World Scientific. Portoghesi. A. New York. 431432. Birkhäuser. New York. Complexity in the Mesoamerican artistic and Architectural Works. BurkleElizondo. M. D. L. World Scientific. Williams K. G. 2004 (in print). p. N... Sala. Nexus II: Architecture and Mathematics.O. Milano. Programme and Abstracts International Nonlinear Sciences Conference (Research and Applications in the Life Sciences). 23 . Fractals the patterns of chaos. G.. N. Novak (ed. 1999 (English version: Nature and Architecture. & Saupe. pp. R. M. London. pp.). ed. Singapore. Boston.com. Singapore. R. Vienna. Sala. W. Hurgens H. BurkleElizondo. Briggs.. 1996.. K. 18. Williams... 1992.M. N.
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