In 1944, the celebrated physicist, Erwin Schrodinger,
famously asked, “What is Life?” Neither Schrodinger nor generations of
illustrious scientists after him have been able to satisfactorily answer this
question. What is generally agreed upon, however, is that being alive is about
being complex: forming, transforming, and maintaining a structural organization
that consists of multiple constituents arranged in specific orders and
patterns. The advances in the theory of complexity have come not just from
biologists, but also from architects and urban theorists. In this essay, I
discuss how theorists from both life and architectonic sciences have come to a
similar conclusion: that patterned and organized form ensures proper function
and, ultimately, life. I show how deviation from this principle in biology
leads to cancer and death; in architecture, the deviation allows the takeover
of mechanical and imagery-based building ideologies leading to dysfunctional
and ‘lifeless’ building and public spaces.
formation; polarity; multiscalarity; cancer; architecture.
Bhat, Ramray. "Understanding Complexity Through Pattern Languages in Biological and Man-made Architectures." Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 8, issue 2 (2014): 8-19.