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PROSPERITY CONSULTING GROUP

Architect – Engineer - Planner

18501 Vidora Dr. #A Rowland Hts, Ca 91748

www.e-Architect.us

www.e-Engineer.us

www.e-Planner.us

PROSPERITY CONSULTING GROUP

Architect – Engineer - Planner

18501 Vidora Dr. #A Rowland Hts, Ca 91748

www.e-Architect.us

www.e-Engineer.us

www.e-Planner.us

Prosperity Consulting Group 2005, All rights Reserved Prosperity Consulting Group 2005.

Architectural Practice
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Association for Preservation Technology (APT)
California Preservation Foundation
California State Historical Building Code (SHBC)
California State Office of Historic Preservation
National Park Service and Preservation Incentives
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Save America's Treasures
The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation US/ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites, U.S. Committee)
Emergent Models of Architectural Practice
The idea that innovation, whether scientific, technological, or architectural, is a by-product of
artistic chance or a result of singular genius can no longer be sustained in the 21 stcentury. Complexity theory reveals that innovation-- the creation of the new-- is the direct result of bottom-up evolutionary processes. Science knows this; industry is learning. Architecture is just beginning to engage the concept.
In order to move into this space of innovation, architects will have to accept the value of multiplicity and dynamic feedback over the retrograde nature of authority. They will have to accept that architecture might not be about essences and theoretical positions, but rather about exchanges of techniques, expertises and materialities in multiple industries. They will have to accept that the architecture is no longer a heroic center, but one micro-intelligence among many. They will have to let go and begin to love the swarm.
Through the ambient exchange of technologies and tools, members of new collectives may find themselves suddenly more agile and resilient, not only through their expanded network, but also through their own learning and transformation in the process. For architectural practice, what is at stake is more than a reorganization of heirarchies in architectural organizations, but rather the birth of an entirely revolutionary way of thinking about the production of ideas in general.
Parts and Wholes
Architectural practice has mutated and flowed between various identities for centuries, moving toward and away from engineering, toward and away from construction, becoming sometimes more specialized (focused on parts), and sometimes more convergent (focused on wholes).
Renaissance architects sought to distance themselves from the building and engineering trades and instead associated themselves with the culture of taste. Their work exemplifies this limitation as much as it reflects the historicist ideals of the Renaissance itself. It is flat and decorative, concerned with orders and proportions in elevation rather than with dynamic, intensive forces. Modern architects reassociated themselves with issues of performance and new materials. Nevertheless, they often assembled technical experts in a heirarchy designed to serve the social and formal ideals of their architecture, such as transparency. Postmodern architects in the 1980s reverted to a Renaissance mode of mannerist designing and the attendant lack of interest in processes and material complexity. These models of practice are either conflicted or exclusive. They are part of a lineage of dematerialization and atomic thinking, where layers of engineering, materials, and processes remain striated, and always reducible into their parts.
Gothic architects operated in a more integrated, smooth way. They were involved in all of the building disciplines of the time simultaneously. The point of departure for a Gothic building was more than a set of proportions or elevations, it was the scientific and technical behavior of structures and properties of materials. Parameters were dynamic and performative rather than compositional. Moreover, Gothic architects were versed in the evolution of structures to the point that they regularily pre-visualized the consequences of solutions and fed this information back into the design process at the front end. As their ambitions repeatedly reached the limits of the materials and engineering of the time, innovations (mutations) in this evolutionary process became as important to success as self- regulation.
While the Gothic architect had expertise is several fields at once, and was able to fold them together into coherent wholes, contemporary architects finds themselves navigating in an ocean of expertises and interests too numerous and different to unify. The Gothic all-in-one model becomes impossible to sustain. New models of practice therefore might be based on
dynamic organizations in which entities can operate both independently and in collectives at the same time-- that is, as parts and as wholes. Parts, which are more specialized than wholes, can rarely evolve or become innovative on their own, just as a single neuron in the human brain can never have a thought. Evolution occurs in the system.
Perhaps the best way to frame this discussion is through the phenomenon of emergence. Discovered in the 1970s, emergence offers a new precision to the study of evolution, complexity and the ‘new’, and it appears to be strangely applicable to a huge range of disciplines and scales, from the micro-biological to the macro-economical. It forces us to reconsider the pervasive atomic, collage-based view of the world, which is concerned with parts, even parts in seemingly complex arrangements. An emergent organization exhibits behaviors or has properties which are not predictable by observing any of the behaviors or properties of its constituent parts. That is, the emergent whole always exceeds its parts qualitatively. The beautiful coherence and dynamics of a swarm of bees can never be traced back to the behavior of a single bee.
One of the clearest examples of an emergent phenomenon, that is, of the moment where an organization of parts becomes a new whole with divergent behavioral patterns, can be found in the cellular slime mold. This organism, originally stumbled upon by the ancient Greeks in their furvor to categorize everything into flora or fauna, behaves sometimes as a plant and sometimes as an animal, depending on environmental conditions. When food is available (decaying wood,etc.), the slime mold organizes into a single, multicellular blobby organism and becomes carnivorous, but when food is scarce, it breaks down into a swarm of single- celled organisms which take on the form of stalks and begin to photosynthesize. This process of not just transforming in degree but in kind is keenly relevant to the discussion of new forms of practice, and in particular, to the creation of emergent networks.
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