Saturday, April 27, 2013

Symbiotic Knowledge


I am working on a series of equations involving design topics that combine to produce levels of shelter intensity among buildings, within neighborhoods, and throughout cities. The value assigned to each topic represents a design decision. An equation collects these decisions and predicts the intensity implied. Intensity in turn falls within a range beginning with sprawl and ending with over-development. When equations are not written and parameters are not assigned to each value, the outcome is completely unpredictable. This is where we are today as we promiscuously consume our source of life.

The key terms are equations, topics, and values. They are meant to support talent and improve its persuasive ability by focusing on site plan and building mass relationships that produce levels of intensity. Values assigned to topics within an equation represent architectural design decisions. Acceptable parameters represent city design decisions. Persuasive parameters will require an evaluation of the options. Parameter decisions will define desirable shelter intensity options within the limits of a Built Domain that protects its source of life, the Natural Domain.

At the present time equations do not exist. Random topics are scattered throughout zoning ordinances without mathematical coordination; and values are often copied from other ordinances or enacted from limited experience. The result has been over-development, sprawl, and economic decline with occasional success that is rarely attributed to the prevailing ordinance or plan.

We have been searching for additional knowledge and I believe it begins with intensity. We cannot live without shelter for all of our activities; but its expanding presence threatens our source of life. Restricting expansion for growing populations will increase the intensity of shelter provided and threaten the quality of life introduced. It is a design problem requiring decisions that cannot be addressed with the current tools and research available, in my opinion.  

Improvement will begin with an understanding of the topics, relationships, and optional decisions defined by the equations of intensity. I hope this will contribute to a Symbiotic Period of design. It will be required to adapt once again to the voice heard by intuition, answered by imagination, and memorized by those seeking knowledge.