Search This Blog

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Combined Response to Several Organic Comments


In principle I couldn't agree with you more, but to escape long standing habits of linear thinking in our culture we would need lots of true examples of organic thinking, and develop an awareness, motivation and technique. The surprise answer I come to is that architects are already quite good at it, but have not quite understood how their approach to design could be widely apply. (emphasis added)


1) Where are lots of true examples of organic thinking?

True examples of organic thinking abound. They attempt to reconcile multiple issues by coordinating multiple technical specialties to achieve a common goal. Organic thinking includes architecture, but architectural decisions are applied at the tactical level of development to achieve a special interest objective. Tactics win battles, not wars. Architectural tactics are not part of a strategic plan to reach an acknowledged public goal. They produce shelter, however, which is an essential component of any solution that attempts to establish a sustainable relationship between the Built and Natural Domains. The goal is a symbiotic future. Architecture can make a significant contribution when it decides to focus on the organic goals required to contribute. Talent won’t get us there until it becomes the knowledge required to repeat success.

I’ve just mentioned that architectural design is an essential element of any strategic plan for symbiotic survival, but it needs a benchmark language equal to the measurement, evaluation, debate, decision and direction required. This is why I’ve written Land Development Calculations, and attached forecasting software entitled, “Development Capacity Evaluation”. They do not replace architectural creativity. They give it a foundation for debate, accumulation of knowledge, strategic planning, goal definition and repetition of success that does not compromise our quality of life on the road to a symbiotic future. This language of Intensity can contribute to a sustainable future when it’s measurements are evaluated in the same way that blood pressure was converted from an idea to knowledge with research. The concept of blood pressure, however, did not compromise the creativity of Jonas Salk et al. It was simply part of the foundation that improved the profession’s credibility.

2) How can awareness, motivation and technique be developed?

This is a task for a group with a common goal. Motivation is stimulated by commitment and the group expands with opportunity. Technique develops around the language and strategic tools created to achieve a goal. This sounds ambiguous, so let me try to be more specific.

a) Awareness

Symbiotic awareness has already entered our subconscious through instinct and intuition. I’ve already mentioned that architects think in organic terms, but they have been primarily occupied with tactical achievement. Strategic success will begin with a language that is equal to the goal. The goal is strategic decisions that shelter the activities of growing populations within a symbiotic Built Domain. This is an expansion of tactical architecture and a step toward its strategic potential. My objective is to make you aware of the language and tools available. The public will only become aware of benefit if the profession decides to use them in pursuit of an expanded goal. 

b) Motivation

Motivation will remain in the hearts of idealists until language enables them to convince others of the message and effort required. This will require individual and organizational adaptation, but architects have the talent to translate organic thinking into symbiotic knowledge with the right language. There are no examples of symbiotic success, which is why adaptation, commitment and determination are required.

c) Technique

Technique evolves with language, tools, knowledge and research focused on a goal. Architects are conversant, but not fluent, in many technical languages; but deadlines often serve as a common benchmark vocabulary. Symbiotic policies will require strategic plans expressed in an advanced language. This is why I have suggested the language of Intensity and the tools of “Development Capacity Evaluation”.

3) How can the architectural approach to design be widely applied?

I just mentioned that I created the language of Intensity with this in mind, since it is the same question that started me on this journey. It will be up to you to decide if the language is an adequate addition to a design approach that must be widely applied before it can produce solutions to the problem of shelter for growing population activities within symbiotic limits that protect our quality of life. Study will require the determination to explore a new idea beyond the comfort zone of current commitment, and all designers in any endeavor know how difficult it is to expand from the refinement of an old idea with limited potential.


Creating a work of architecture requires a process, requires tools, requires training, requires learned and inherent skills. If I understand Mr. Hosack's term, then the process is and must be Organic. And always has been. Architects have never been Linear Thinkers. So what is the problem? Why do we create so much crap? Why are we not respected and valued by the "middle class" but revered by the "cultural elite"


I mentioned that architecture already involves organic thinking, but that it is applied at the tactical level to achieve a special interest objective. Tactics win battles, not wars. These tactics are not part of a strategic architectural plan to contribute to a goal that is an acknowledged public interest, such as design knowledge and decisions that focus on a sustainable relationship between the Built and Natural Domains.

The design process results in tactical achievement that can’t be repeated without equal talent. It does not focus on strategic knowledge that can be taught, accumulated, improved, inherited and applied by an entire profession in the public interest. Architecture presently serves a special interest that is rarely concerned with public benefit when it compromises profit or the non-profit bottom line. Architecture benefits the middle class in an abstract sense as shelter, but it is taken for granted. Appearance is appreciated or debated but is not a priority to a group that struggles to improve its daily life. The cultural elite may offer reverence (it’s debatable) but expect it to be a negotiated cost. This improves their bottom line with reverence a small price to pay.

No comments:

Post a Comment