Design Research Seminar (Sparkman)

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Lexicon 5

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URBANISM is an ongoing project. It is a process that manifests our collective imaginations in place. Therefore, cities represent society’s shifting obsessions, ambitions, and ideologies. Cities are resilient organisms that aggregate over time. Through our persistent engagement with the city, each generation leaves a layer upon the city to be interpreted by successive generations.
mineralization/petrification (n) – urbanism as a geologic process of excavating the ground (or preconditions of the site) to create “civilizing terrains,” and “common grounds,” the framework of the city.
William Morrish, Civilizing Terrains: Mountains, Mounds, and Mesas (San Francisco: William Stout, 1989), 1-2.
“About eight thousand years ago, human populations began mineralizing again when they developed an urban exoskeleton: bricks of sundried clay became building materials for their homes, which in turn surrounded and were surrounded by stone monuments and defensive walls. This exoskeleton served a purpose similar to its internal counterpart: to control the movement of human flesh in and out of a town’s walls. The urban exoskeleton also regulated the movement of many other things: luxury objects, news, and food…Thus, the urban infrastructure may be said to perform, for tightly packed populations of humans, the same function of motion control that our bones do in relation to our fleshy parts. And, in both cases, adding minerals to the mix resulted in a fantastic combinatorial explosion.” in Manuel de Landa, A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (Brooklyn: Zone Books, 1997), 24-6.
emergence (n) – the study of systems that exhibit bottom-up organization. As it pertains to the city, simple rules and interactions (spatial practices) generate complex forms and fabric.
Steven Johnson, Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software (New York: Scribner, 2001), 73-4.
collage (v) – to assume the role of a “bricoleur,” operating within a realm of ceaseless fragmentation, collision, superimposition, and contamination of successive social spaces; to perceive preceding generations as a virtual collage underpinning the city’s current fabric.
Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter, Collage City (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1978), 102-3.

Written by csparkman

October 14, 2011 at 12:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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