A Lecture on the Christopher Alexander’s books The Nature of Order. by Antonio Caperna

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...I believe that there is, at the root of our trouble in the sphere of art and architecture, a fundamental mistake caused by a certain conception of the nature of matter, the nature of the universe. More precisely, I believe that the mistake and confusion in our picture of the art of building has come from our conception of what matter is.

The present conception of matter, and the opposing one which I shall try to put in its place, may both be summarized by the nature of order. Our idea of matter is essentially governed by our idea of order. What matter is, is governed by our idea of how space can be arranged; and that in turn is governed by our idea of how orderly arrangement in space creates matter. So it is the nature of order which lies at the root of the problem in architecture. Hence the title of this book.
- The Nature of Order, p. 8

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A Lecture on the Christopher Alexander’s books The Nature of Order. by Antonio Caperna

  1. 1. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING A Lecture on the Christopher Alexander’s booksAlexander s books THE NATURE OF ORDER Byy Dr. Antonio Caperna, PhD www.biourbanism.org antonio.caperna@biourbanism.org The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  2. 2. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING CONTENTS  The nature of “Order” The nature of Order  Wholeness  Centers  15 Geometrical Properties 15 Geometrical Properties The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  3. 3. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING A new vision of Architecture To make buildings which have lif d f d dlife and profound order The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  4. 4. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING A new vision of Architecture “I have tried to construct a coherent picture of life oncoherent picture of life on earth, which makes sense of these matters and gives usthese matters, and gives us something to live for, and worth living for”worth living for The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  5. 5. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING …”a new view of ourselves in relation to the world. This view ultimately nourishes (and if accepted, could become the foundationcould become the foundation of) a new kind of hope — a hope that is all the morehope that is all the more profound because it links together knowledge from philosophy, science, and religion, and helps us to experience the wholenessexperience the wholeness of the whole” The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  6. 6. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING lifelife The 20th Century scientific conception of life as i ( b h d itorganism (any carbon-oxygen-hydrogen-nitrogen system) Is a virus, a forest alive?, The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  7. 7. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Each thing – regardless of what it is – has some degree of lifesome degree of life This conceptionThis conception  has scientific evidence  has a solid basis in math and physics of the space has a solid basis in math and physics of the space  furnish us a single coherent conception of the world The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  8. 8. THE NATURE OF ORDER ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING THE NATURE OF ORDER What exactly do we mean by order? “order” that it is able to help us create life in a building Order as mechanical order How things work as Order as product of generative computable processHow things work as mechanism process A d f i thiAn order of a growing thing in which one system UNFOLDS continuously to form another The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  9. 9. O d t d d b i t ti ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Order as any system produced by interacting generative morphological rules (e.g. biological order, an order of a growing thing in which one system unfold continuously to form another; t t l f th ki d d fi d b Ch k i lstructural grammars of the kinds defined by Chomsky are a special cases of this kind of order – see Chomsky N., Structural linguistics) The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD Alan Turing, The chemical basis of Morphogenesis
  10. 10. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING A NEW VISION OF ARCHITECTURE Order as new relationship between function and ornament. There is no difference between functional order andThere is no difference between functional order and ornamental order. They are different aspect of a single kind of order The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  11. 11. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Order that exists in a leaf or in a Mozart symphony A harmonious coherence with fills us and touches us This order can’t be represented as a machine The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  12. 12. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING WHOLENESS AND ITSWHOLENESS, AND ITS BUILDING BLOCKS: THE CENTERSTHE CENTERS The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  13. 13. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING What is wholeness?at s o e ess The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  14. 14. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING A phenomenon has been observed in artifacts. It b ll d “lif ” “ h l ”may be called “life” or “wholeness.” This quality has been noticed in certain works of t tif t b ildi bli tart, artifacts, buildings, public space, rooms, parts of buildings, and in a wide range of other human tif tartifacts The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  15. 15. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING AN INTUITIVE MODEL OF WHOLENESS WHOLENESS AND VALUE A S A NECESSARY PART OF ANY COMPLEX SYSTEM AN INTUITIVE MODEL OF WHOLENESS AS A RECURSIVE STRUCTURESTRUCTURE The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  16. 16. That the thing we recognize as the "gestalt’ of a figure ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING That the thing we recognize as the gestalt of a figure, the pattern of flows in a hydrodynamic field, the "something" about an individual human face whichsomething about an individual human face which seems like that person’s wholeness, and which we recognize instantly is in each case a describablerecognize instantly, is – in each case -- a describable mathematical structure. However, there was no then-existing mathematical structure I knew of, which was able to capture thisp "something" or which could embody it. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  17. 17. AN INTUITIVE MODEL OF WHOLENESS ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING AN INTUITIVE MODEL OF WHOLENESS wholeness is crucial issue The wholeness is that global structure which pays attention to, and captures, the relative strength of different parts of the system, paying attention both to the way they are nested in one another, and how the pattern of strength varies ith th tiwith the nesting. … As a result of experiments I conducted at the Center for Cognitive Studies atAs a result of experiments I conducted at the Center for Cognitive Studies at Harvard in the early 1960s, I became convinced that wholeness, "the wholeness we see," is a real, well-defined structure, not merely a cognitive impressionimpression. That the thing we recognize as the "gestalt’ of a figure, the pattern of flows in a hydrodynamic field, the "something" about an individual human face which seems like that person’s wholeness, and which we recognize instantly, is – in each case -- a describable mathematical structure. However, there was no then-existing mathematical structure I knew of, whicho e e , t e e as o t e e st g at e at ca st uctu e e o , c was able to capture this "something" or which could embody it. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  18. 18. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING THE IDEA OF WHOLENESS Cosmology - Mach's Principle: gravitational constant G is a function of all the matter existing in the universe Ecology - James Lovelock: Gaia….. A planet as a single organism Medicine - J. S. Haldane’s explanation of the impossibility of drowning any definite boundary around an organism showed that there is an inseparable quality in which organism and environment are bound together and exist asquality in which organism and environment are bound together and exist as a whole The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  19. 19. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING WHOLENESS “Einstein revealed that we do not live in a universe with discrete, physical objects separated by dead space. The Universe is one indivisible, dynamic whole in which energy and matter are so deeply entangled it is impossible to consider them as independent” The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  20. 20. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING PHYSICAL MODEL OF WHOLENESS Sequential-digital: Reading the strips left to right The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  21. 21. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING The primary entities of which thep y wholeness structure is built are centers, centers that become activated in the space as a result of the configuration as a whole.g The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  22. 22. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING CentersCenters The crux of this matter is this:The crux of this matter is this: a CENTER is a kind of entity which can only be defined in term of other centers. The idea of a center cannot be defined in terms of any other primitive entities except centersof any other primitive entities except centers. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  23. 23. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Centers In math such concept is called recursively (see R.L. Goodstein, “Recursive number theory: a development of a recursive arithmetic in a logis free equation calculus”)arithmetic in a logis free equation calculus ) In The Power of Centers, Rudolf Arnheim use the centers as th f d t l b ildi bl k f lif h lthe fundamental building block of life or wholeness Centers as foundation of R.J. Boscovich theory’s of mattery (A Theory of Natural Philosophy) The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  24. 24. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING The Power of Centers, R. Arnheim In the d namic sense aIn the dynamic sense, a center is a focus of energy from which the vector radiatefrom which the vector radiate into the environment. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  25. 25. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Center as a field A scalar field such as temperature or pressuretemperature or pressure, where intensity of the field is graphically representedis graphically represented by intensity of the color. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD In physics, a scalar is a simple physical quantity (e.g. mass, temperature, etc.)
  26. 26. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Center as a field Each part of the field points in some direction, towards some otherEach part of the field points in some direction, towards some other centers. Here we see wholeness, not merely as a nested system of centers but as an ordered system in which the way that different centers and sub centersan ordered system in which the way that different centers and sub-centers help each other creates the field effect. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  27. 27. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Each Center is a field of other centers (recursive definition of centers)definition of centers) There are no ultimate elementary components ofThere are no ultimate elementary components of the field, except the centers themselves This is the foundation of living structure The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  28. 28. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING LIVING CENTERS (LC) Physical system that has geometrical characters able to support and favourish activities. Living center as organized field force Restoration of Latent od dameged centersClassification g 15 geometrical proprieties (*)  Patterns  Living Centers  Latent  D d Damaged The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  29. 29. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Quality of life seems to be correlated with the repeated appearance ofwith the repeated appearance of fifteen geometric properties—or geomet ical in a iants that appeageometrical invariants—that appear throughout the object’s configuration The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  30. 30. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING “The fifteen properties are the ways in which living centers can support otherwhich living centers can support other living centers. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  31. 31. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING geometric properties ll li i t t i d d ll “ d” t t…all living structure — indeed all “good” structure would be composed of these fifteen fundamental tiproperties … these properties were not confined to buildings and works of art. They are equally visible in nature create life and coherence as configurations unfold The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  32. 32. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING A. Fifteen fundamental properties  Morphological features that resonate with the human sensesthe human senses  Found in man-made form and structure  I d d t f lt i d i Independent of culture, period, or region — something innate  Also present in natural forms and objects
  33. 33. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING 1. LEVELS OF SCALE is the way that a strong center is made stronger partly by smaller strong centers contained in it, and partly by its larger strong centers which contain itstrong centers which contain it.. 2. STRONG CENTERS defines the way that a strong center requires a spatial field-like effect, created by other centers, as the primary source of it t thits strength 3. BOUNDARIES is the way in which the field-like effect of a center is strengthened by the creation of a ring-like center, made of smaller centers which surround and intensify the first. The boundary also unites the center with the centers beyond it, thus strengthening it further. 4. ALTERNATING REPETITION is the way in which centers arey strengthened when they repeat, by the insertion of other centers between the repeating ones. 5. POSITIVE SPACE is the way that a given center must draw its strength,5. POSITIVE SPACE is the way that a given center must draw its strength, in part, from the strength of other centers immediately adjacent to it in space. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  34. 34. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING 6. GOOD SHAPE is the way that the strength of a given center depends on its actual shape, and the way this effect requires that even the shape, its boundary, and the space around it are made up of strong centers.y p p g 7. LOCAL SYMMETRIES is the way that the intensity of a given center is increased by the extent to which other smaller centers which it contains are themselves arranged in locally symmetrical groups.are themselves arranged in locally symmetrical groups. 8. DEEP INTERLOCK AND AMBIGUITY is the way in which the intensity of a given center can be increased when it is attached to nearby strong centers through a third set of strong centers that ambiguously belong tocenters, through a third set of strong centers that ambiguously belong to both. 9. CONTRAST is the way that a center is strengthened by the sharpness of the distinction between its character and the character of surroundingof the distinction between its character and the character of surrounding centers. 10. ROUGHNESS is the way that the field effect of a given center draws i h il f i l i i i h i h dits strength, necessarily, from irregularities in the sizes, shapes, and arrangements of other nearby centers. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  35. 35. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING 11. GRADIENTS is the way a center is strengthened by a graded series of different-sized centers which then "point" to the new center and intensify its field effect. 12. ECHOES is the way that the strength of a given center depends on similarities of angle and orientation and systems of centers forming characteristic angles thus forming larger centers, among the centers itcharacteristic angles thus forming larger centers, among the centers it contains. 13. THE VOID is the way that the intensity of every center depends on the existence of a still place--an empty center--somewhere in its fieldexistence of a still place--an empty center--somewhere in its field. 14. SIMPLICITY AND INNER CALM is the way the strength of a center depends on its simplicity--on the process of reducing the number of different centers which exist in it while increasing the strength of these centers tocenters which exist in it, while increasing the strength of these centers to make them weigh more. 15. NON-SEPARATENESS is the way the life and strength of a center is d hl i i di i i h bl i h h hmerged smoothly-sometimes even indistinguishably--with the centers that form its surroundings. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  36. 36. LEVELS OF SCALE ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING LEVELS OF SCALE When a configuration contains centers, these centers are associated withthese centers are associated with centers at a range of sizes that occur at well-marked levels of scale. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  37. 37. b ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Y = Y0 Mb where Y is a variable such as metabolic rate or life span, Y0 is a normalization constant, and b is a scaling exponent. This equation happen in fractal structure and this law are ubiquitousq pp q in nature. In “Scaling laws in cognitive sciences” scholars have demonstrate that the scaling laws pervade neural, behavioral and linguistic activities suggesting the existence of processes or patternslinguistic activities suggesting the existence of processes or patterns that are repeated across scales of analysis. “Scaling laws in cognitive sciences” (Kello C T Brown G D A Ferrer i Cancho RScaling laws in cognitive sciences (Kello, C. T., Brown, G. D. A., Ferrer-i-Cancho, R., Holden, G., Linkenkaer-Hansen, K., Rhodes, T. & Van Orden, G. C., 2010), The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  38. 38. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING What does this mean?What does this mean? The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  39. 39.  F t l lik t k ff ti l d lif ith dditi l f th ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING  Fractal-like networks effectively endow life with an additional fourth spatial dimension  The quarter-power scaling law is pervasive in biology  Organisms have evolved hierarchical branching networks thatg g terminate in size-invariant units, such as capillaries, leaves, mitochondria, and oxidase molecules. Natural selection has tended to maximize both metabolic capacity, by maximizing the scaling of exchange surface areas,metabolic capacity, by maximizing the scaling of exchange surface areas, and internal efficiency, by minimizing the scaling of transport distances and times  These design principles are independent of detailed dynamics and explicit models and should apply to virtually all organisms Source:Source: The Fourth Dimension of Life: Fractal Geometry and Allometric Scaling of Organisms, Geoffrey B. West, James H. Brown, Brian J. Enquist The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  40. 40. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING They represent a link between physicsbetween physics, biology andgy psychology, and join human species tohuman species to other species The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  41. 41. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING fractal configuration and scale constants concur to create  comfortable (psychological, neurophysiologically)  beautiful (aesthetically and harmonically) and beautiful (aesthetically and harmonically) and  highly connected environment  support the life and furnish a deep sustainabilitysupport the life and furnish a deep sustainability The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  42. 42. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  43. 43. Alexander originally established the ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Alexander originally established the scaling hierarchy phenomenologically by measuring internal subdivisions in buildings, man-made artifacts, natural structures, and biological forms. He propose for the scaling factor k as being somewhere between 2 and 3 (Alexander, 1996). "The small scale is connected to the large scale through a hierarchy of intermediate scales with scaling factorintermediate scales with scaling factor roughly equal to e = 2.7“ (Salingaros Jo rnal of Architect ral and Planning(Salingaros, Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, volume 15 (1998), pages 283-293) The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  44. 44. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING STRONG CENTERS … in general, in any system where one C forms, as t t istructure-preserving transformation, other smaller C will then emerge will beC will then emerge, will be intensify and themselves strengthened in just such a way that by virtue of their position and arrangements th i t if th fi t Cthey intensify the first C. This causes the field effect around the first Caround the first C The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  45. 45. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING STRONG CENTERS Great Mosque at Kairouan Tunisia Like levels of scale, the concept of a strong center is recursive; it does not refer to someone grand center, but to the fact that at a great variety of scales, in a thing which is alive, we can feel the The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD Great Mosque at Kairouan, Tunisia presence of a center, and that it is this multiplicity of different centers, at different levels, which engages us.
  46. 46. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Strong centers play a key role by creating a focal points in the city 61 SMALL PUBLIC SQUARES61 .SMALL PUBLIC SQUARES 126 SOMETHING ROUGHLY IN THE MIDDLE The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  47. 47. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING  Each “center” ties a substantial region of space together coherentlyof space together coherently  Each center combines surrounding t d b d i t fcenters and boundaries to focus  Centers support each other on every Centers support each other on every scale — recursive hierarchical property
  48. 48. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING BOUNDARIES is the way in which theis the way in which the field-like effect of a center is strengthened by the creation of a ring-like center, made of smaller centers which surround andcenters which surround and intensify the first. boundary unites and separate The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  49. 49. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING BOUNDARIES Th I i th i t d d it hThe Iwan is north-oriented and as it has no outside wall, shady, cool, high space, fit for reception is created. This type of space is also an intermediary space Iwan such as traditional spaces for houses from arid climate regions The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD the iwan entrance to the Taj Mahal in Agra
  50. 50. ALTERNATING ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING ALTERNATING REPETITION fWhen repetition of similar centers occurs in a coherent system, the centers typically alternate with acenters typically alternate with a second system of centers, thus forming a double system ofg y centers with a beat or rhythmic alternation, from the positive b t th titispace between the repetitions. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  51. 51. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING ALTERNATING REPETITION The relation between centersThe relation between centers can be intensified by the use of repetition The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  52. 52. ALTERNATING REPETITIONALTERNATING REPETITION City country fingers The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD Oslo (Norway)
  53. 53. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2012: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN DESIGN The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  54. 54. NON ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING NON ALTERNATING REPETITION The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  55. 55. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING POSITIVE SPACE In coherent systems every bit of space is coherent, well shaped; and the space between coherent bits of space are also coherent and well-shaped. Positive space in the cell The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD Positive space in the cell structure of wood issue
  56. 56. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Refers to Gestalt psychology  Ties into the basis of human perceptionp p  Convexity plays a major role in defining an object or a space (area or volume)object or a space (area or volume)  Mathematical plus psychological reasons  Strongly applicable to the spaces we inhabit  Threat felt from objects sticking out The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  57. 57. A td i iti h ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING An outdoor space is positive when it has a distinct and definite shape  it has been shaped over the time by people it has been shaped over the time by people  it has therefore taken a definite, cared for shape with meaning and purpose  Every bit of space is very intensely useful  There is NO leftover waste space which in not useful The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  58. 58. POSITIVE SPACE ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING POSITIVE SPACE Another way of defining the difference between "Positive" and "negative" outdoorbetween Positive and negative outdoor spaces is by their degree of enclosure and th i d f ittheir degree of convexity. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  59. 59. POSITIVE SPACE d f it ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING POSITIVE SPACE - degree of convexity space is non-convex when space is convex when a linespace is non-convex, when some lines joining two points lie at least partly outside the space p joining any two points inside the space itself lies totally inside the space. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD p
  60. 60. POSITIVE SPACE ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING POSITIVE SPACE degree of enclosure Positive spaces are partly enclosed and the "virtual" area which seems to exist is convex. Negative spaces are so poorly defined that you cannot really tell where their boundaries arc, and to the extent that you can tell, the shapes are non-convex. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  61. 61. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING POSITIVE SPACE Camillo Sitte, in City Planning According to Artistic Principles shows that the successful spaces - those which are greatly used and enjoyed - have two properties: - partly enclosed; - they are open to one another, so that each one leads into the next. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  62. 62. POSITIVE SPACE ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING POSITIVE SPACE People feel comfortable in spaces which are "Positive" and use these spaces;use these spaces; people feel relatively uncomfortable in spaces which are "negative" and such spaces tend to remain unused. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  63. 63. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  64. 64. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING POSITIVE SPACE partly enclosed Transform this . . . . . . to this. And when an existing open space is too enclosed, it may be possible, y p to break a hole through the building to open the space up. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  65. 65. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING GOOD SHAPE This describes a particular,This describes a particular, coherent quality of the particular shapes that occur in or around a coherent center. ginkgo_leaf The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  66. 66. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Alexander gives a partial list of required properties for both “good shape” and the elements that make up a “good shape”: 1. High degree of internal symmetries. 2. Bilateral symmetry (almost always).2. Bilateral symmetry (almost always). 3. A well-marked center (not necessarily at the geometric middle). 4. The spaces it creates next to it are also positive (positive space). 5 It is very strongly distinct from what surrounds it5. It is very strongly distinct from what surrounds it. 6. It is relatively compact (i.e., not very different in overall outline from something between 1:1 and 1:2 – exceptions may go as high as 1:4, but almost never higher)almost never higher). 7. It has closure, a feeling of being closed and complete. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  67. 67. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING 121 PATH SHAPE 122 BUILDING FRONTS The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  68. 68. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING LOCAL SYMMETRIESSYMMETRIES Strong centers often have strong symmetries within them; these local parts of space with strong symmetries are typically strong centers, too. This The plan of Alhambra: the plan is a marvel of centers formed in a strong centers, too. This feature binds together smaller centers within the whole further creating The plan of Alhambra: the plan is a marvel of centers formed in a thousand combinations, and yet with beautiful symmetrical order at every point in space. (Source: Alexander, Christopher. The Nature of Order) whole, further creating coherence. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  69. 69. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Symmetries within hierarchy  Within universal scaling, symmetries must act on every scaleon every scale  “Symmetry” does not mean overall symmetry, as is usually envisionedas is usually envisioned  We have multiple sub-symmetries acting within larger symmetrieswithin larger symmetries  Hierarchically nested symmetries The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  70. 70. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING OVERALL + LOCAL SYMMETRIES it is not the overall symmetry of a design or large symmetries that support strong centers and that contribute coherence to the overall designg g Zeppelinfiled by Albert Speer: brutal overall symmetry of a very simple minded type but The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD very simple-minded type, but few local symmetries.
  71. 71. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING OVERALL SYMMETRIES Detroit Renaissance Center (Skidmore, Owings & Marril et al.) “perfect symmetry is often ap y y mark of death in things, The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  72. 72. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING DEEP INTERLOCK AND AMBIGUITY This property containsThis property contains the interrelation between two or morebetween two or more C which react on each other to create a newother to create a new unit. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  73. 73. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING DEEP INTERLOCK AND AMBIGUITY  Another strong way of connecting  Forms interpenetrate to link together  Analogy comes from fractals where Analogy comes from fractals, where lines tend to fill portions of space, and f ith tisurfaces grow with accretions  Abrupt transition does not bind Abrupt transition does not bind The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  74. 74. DEEP INTERLOCK AND AMBIGUITY ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING DEEP INTERLOCK AND AMBIGUITY The ambiguity between indoors and outdoors in a building is crucial social reason arcades create an ambiguous territory between the public world and the The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD g y p private world, and so make buildings friendly.
  75. 75. DEEP INTERLOCK AND AMBIGUITY ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING DEEP INTERLOCK AND AMBIGUITY Arcade Propertiesp - as place that is partly inside the building it must contain th h t f th i idthe character of the inside - as a territory which is also apart from the public world itapart from the public world, it must be felt as an extension of the building interior andg therefore covered - Arcades don't work if the d f th ili tedges of the ceiling are too high The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  76. 76. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING DEEP INTERLOCK AND AMBIGUITY d h h h h b ldArcades which pass through buildings. the effect of the arcade can bethe effect of the arcade can be increased if the paths open to the public pass right through the building. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  77. 77. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING CONTRAST Unity can only be created from distinctness. The difference between opposite gives birth to “something” The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  78. 78. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING CONTRAST “Life cannot occur without differentiation. Unity can only be created from distinctness ”created from distinctness. Badia Fiesolana (sec. XII) Contrast of rough and smooth, dark and light, solid and void are all working togrther The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD g g
  79. 79. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Contrast is necessary:  To establish distinct subunits  To distinguish between adjoining units  To provide figure-ground symmetry of To provide figure ground symmetry of opposites  False transparency reduces contrast False transparency reduces contrast  Reduced contrast weakens design The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  80. 80. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Space under an arcadeSpace under an arcade versus open street space Weak spaces: inside versus outside a glass curtain wallg — no contrast The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  81. 81. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING GRADIENTS This quality play a large role throughout nature In a river, we have gradient of turbulence In an electric field, the field - strength varies with distance from the charge, forming a gradient of The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD g , g g intensity
  82. 82. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING GRADIENTS A gradient is a mediator,g , which slowly changes of appearance in a certain direction and with adirection and with a certain regularity. One quality changes slowly across space, and becomes another.” The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  83. 83. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Gradients = transitionsGradients transitions — sometimes we should not quantize form into discrete pieces but need to change it graduallydiscrete pieces, but need to change it gradually  Getting away from uniformity Getting away from uniformity  Urban transect: city to countryside  I t i bli t i t Interior spaces: public to private The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  84. 84. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING GRADIENTS Doge’s palace. Venice. Complex gradients Golden Gate showing gradients in the bays, steelwork, and gusset platesplates The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  85. 85. ROUGHNESS ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING ROUGHNESS Roughness or irregularity appear pervasively in natural tsystems. It is the result of the interplay between well defined order and the constraints of three dimensional spacethe constraints of three dimensional space In real life, living things are not always in ultimate accuracyalways in ultimate accuracy… they have a “morphological roughness”morphological roughness The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  86. 86. ROUGHNESS ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING ROUGHNESS Persian bowl showing thePersian bowl showing the roughness in the beautiful drawing of the ornaments; they vary in size, position, orientation, and according to he space formed byhe space formed by neighboring ornaments, and so make the space perfectlyso make the space perfectly harmonious. (Source: Alexander, Christopher. The Nature of Order) The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  87. 87. ROUGHNESS ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING ROUGHNESS The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD Piazza Navona
  88. 88. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Many different manifestations of roughnessMany different manifestations of roughness — all positive!  1. Fractal structure goes all the way down in l thi i thscales — nothing is smooth  2. Relaxation of strict geometry to allow imperfections — more tolerant  3. Ornament can be interpreted as “roughness” in a smooth geometry The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  89. 89. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Roughness and symmetry breaking So-called “imperfections” differentiateSo called imperfections differentiate repeated units to make them similar b id i l h d i d ilbut not identical — hand-painted tiles Symmetry breaking (approximate)Symmetry breaking (approximate) prevents informational collapse Deliberate roughness in repetition The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  90. 90. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Roughness and adaptation Sustainability implies adaptation L l diti t hLocal conditions create roughness — breaks regularity and perfect symmetry The whole changes according to its context thus it becomes uniquecontext thus it becomes unique Hierarchy: sustainability; adaptivity; uniqueness; roughness The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  91. 91. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING ECHOES Within coherent configurationsWithin coherent configurations there are often deep underlying similarities or familysimilarities or family resemblances among the elements. These similarities are often characterized by typical angles, and typical curves, so that they generate what appear to be d l l t d t tdeeply related structures, sometimes so deep that everything seems to be relatedeverything seems to be related. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  92. 92. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING The relation between echoing elements in a larger whole can be the result of a transformation by mathematical aspects like translation scaling and rotation or a combination of them astranslation, scaling and rotation or a combination of them as shown in figure Impossibile visualizzare l'immagine. La memoria del computer potrebbe essere insufficiente per aprire l'immagine oppure l'immagine potrebbe essere danneggiata. Riavviare il computer e aprire di nuovo il file. Se viene visualizzata di nuovo la x rossa, potrebbe essere necessario eliminare l'immagine e inserirla di nuovo. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  93. 93. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Two types of echoes:  1. Translational symmetry — similar forms found on the same scale but at a distancefound on the same scale but at a distance  2. Scaling symmetry — similar forms exist at different scalesat different scales All natural fractals obey fractal similarity — not exactly similar when magnified, but onlyexactly similar when magnified, but only “echoes” The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  94. 94. THE VOID ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING THE VOID Correspond to the fact that differentiation of minor system almost always occurs in relation to the “quiet” of some larger and more stable system. The smaller structure tend to appear around the edge ofThe smaller structure tend to appear around the edge of larger and more homogeneous structure. … void will occur in complex systems to maintain their wholeness appearsto maintain their wholeness, appears in the most general models of fractal geometry. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  95. 95. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING In the most profound centers th t h f t h lthat have perfect wholeness, there is often at the heart of the structure a void that isthe structure a void that is large, undifferentiated, like water, infinite in depth, surrounded by and contrasted with the clutter of th t t d f b i llthe structure and fabric all around it The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  96. 96. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING SIMPLICITY AND INNER CALM. Every structural feature that is unnecessary has been removed, so that the remaining structure has slowness, majesty quietnessmajesty, quietness. Everything superfluous has gonegone Nova Scotia. Source: www.natureoforder.com The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  97. 97. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Simplicity in nature  Never actually “simple” in the sense of being minimalistbeing minimalist  “Simple” in nature means extremely complex but highly coherentcomplex but highly coherent  A system appears “simple” to us b it i f t th f ibecause it is so perfect; the form is seamless The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  98. 98. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING SIMPLICITY AND INNER CALM Green streets Pools and streams L illLow sill The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  99. 99. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING NON-SEPARATENESS Wh h l i li i t i it b i t ith thWhen a whole is a living center, we experience it as being at one with the world around it, not separate from it. This means that when not-separateness exists, visible strands of continuity of line, angle, shape, and form, connect the inside of a living center with the parts of the world beyond that center, so that it is, ultimately, impossible to draw a line separating the two. The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  100. 100. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Achieving coherence  Coherence is an emergent property — not present in the individualnot present in the individual components  In a larger coherent whole no piece can In a larger coherent whole, no piece can be taken away  D iti i ith b i Decomposition is neither obvious, nor possible The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  101. 101. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Measure of coherence When every component is cooperating to give a coherent whole, nothing looksgive a coherent whole, nothing looks separate, nothing draws attention This is the goal of adaptive design The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  102. 102. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Extending outside  Not-separateness goes beyond internal coherencecoherence  The whole connects to its environment  Connects with everything beyond itself  Try as much as possible to generate Try as much as possible to generate large-scale coherence The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  103. 103. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING NON-SEPARATENESS Old people everywhere Connected buildings C t d lConnected play The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  104. 104. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Conclusion Alexander’s 15 fundamental properties are an incredibly essentialproperties are an incredibly essential set of practical design tools Arguments based on mathematics, physics chemistry and biologyphysics, chemistry, and biology Architects have to accept them as i l d idi li iuniversal, deciding on stylistic reasons whether to follow them or not The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  105. 105. ISB SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: NEUROERGONOMICS AND URBAN PLACEMAKING Conclusion (cont.) Traditional practitioners intuitively recognize some of the 15 properties asrecognize some of the 15 properties as part of their own design method Yet, some are unknown to them Now put together into a coherent setNow put together into a coherent set I find it more useful to introduce them after having derived basic design rules The Nature of Order, by Antonio Caperna PhD
  106. 106. References Alexander, Christopher (2000) The Nature of Order (New York, Oxford University Press). (in press) Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M., Jacobson, M., Fiksdahl-King, I. and Angel, S. (1977) A Pattern Language (New York, Oxford University Press).g g ( , y ) Alexander, C., Neis, H., Anninou, A. and King, I. (1987) A New Theory of Urban Design (New York, Oxford University Press). Batty, Michael and Longley, Paul (1994) Fractal Cities (London, Academic Press). Bovill, Carl (1996) Fractal Geometry in Architecture and Design (Boston, Birkhäuser)., ( ) y g ( , ) Salingaros, Nikos A. (1995) "The Laws of Architecture from a Physicist's Perspective", Physics Essays, Vol. 8 pp. 638-643. Salingaros, Nikos A. (1998) "Theory of the Urban Web", Journal of Urban Design, Vol. 3 pp. 53-71. [Earlier version published electronically by Resource for Urban Design Information in 1997[ p y y g Salingaros, Nikos A. (1999) "Urban Space and its Information Field", Journal of Urban Design, Vol. 4 pp. 29-49. Salingaros, Nikos A. (2000) "Structure of Pattern Languages", Architectural Research Quarterly, Vol. 4 pp. 149-161.pp Salingaros, Nikos A. and West, Bruce J. (1999) "A Universal Rule for the Distribution of Sizes", Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Vol. 26 pp. 909-923. Caperna A., Introduction to The Pattern Language, www.archimagazine.com Caperna A., ICT per un Progetto Urbano Sostenibile, www.tesionline.itp p g http://www.biourbanism.org http://www.pism.uniroma3.it
  107. 107. SHORT CV Antonio Caperna actual research deals with application of the last scientific development, such as fractals, complexity theory, evolutionary biology and physics for a human‐oriented architecture and urbanism. He is expert at the Portuguese Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education - A3ES, Head of the International Society of Biourbanism, Associated Editor of International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR), member of scientific council of Space and FORM / przestrzeń i FORMA, co-editor of Journal of Biourbanism, and member of several professional bodies. Antonio’s recent publications include the chapter “Biourbanism as new framework for smart cities study” in “GIS and smart cities”, and several papaers such as “Complexity and Biourbanism. Thermodynamical Architectural and Urban Models integrated in Modern Geographic Mapping,” (2012), “Biourbanism Principles. Design for a human built environment” (2012), and “Peer to Peer Urbanism” (2011). Antonio Caperna PhD | antoniocaperna@gmail.com

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