Postindustrial architecture,  dynamic complexity, and the emerging principles of strategic design

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Postindustrial architecture, dynamic complexity, and the emerging principles of strategic design

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1. postindustrial architecture, dynamic complexity, and the emerging principles of strategic design Leonard Bachman University of Houston [email protected] This paper is an overview, a sort of pilot episode of a larger project towards a book manuscript. So to condense the book to a paper down to 15 minutes I have distilled some of the content and condensed the title. The short description of this as research is an argument from recent history asserting that strategic design will become a second thread of architecture which will be tantamount to the existing first thread of physical design.This paper is an overview, a sort of pilot episode of a larger project towards a book manuscript. So to condense the book to a paper down to 15 minutes I have distilled some of the content and condensed the title. The short description of this as research is an argument from recent history asserting that strategic design will become a second thread of architecture which will be tantamount to the existing first thread of physical design.

2. 2 Speaking of compressed, this is Salvador Dali’s RAPHAELESQUE HEAD EXPLODING… also known as “your brain on architecture” It illustrates some questions of, and provides a model for talking about, the holistic mind of architecture… The holistic mind as it emerges from two separate design hemispheres. Those two hemispheres are physical design and strategic design… As research then, this project begins with a descriptive question about the architectural consequences of postindustrial knowledge society and the parallel knowledge evolution of cybernetics, systems thinking, chaos, complexity theory, and indeterminate problems… and which brings us full circle back to the Head Exploding… The proposition is that strategic design is becoming tantamount to physical design. The second order question then, is how do these two hemispheres of design merge to create mindful architecture.Speaking of compressed, this is Salvador Dali’s RAPHAELESQUE HEAD EXPLODING… also known as “your brain on architecture” It illustrates some questions of, and provides a model for talking about, the holistic mind of architecture… The holistic mind as it emerges from two separate design hemispheres. Those two hemispheres are physical design and strategic design… As research then, this project begins with a descriptive question about the architectural consequences of postindustrial knowledge society and the parallel knowledge evolution of cybernetics, systems thinking, chaos, complexity theory, and indeterminate problems… and which brings us full circle back to the Head Exploding… The proposition is that strategic design is becoming tantamount to physical design. The second order question then, is how do these two hemispheres of design merge to create mindful architecture.

3. 3 The Postindustrial Turning Point Information Society Knowledge Capital Knowledge Workers Rust Belt Cities Globalization Future Shock Systems Theory Complexity Science Designing the Future Information Age, Globalization, Knowledge Workers, Future Shock, Systems Thinking, Scenario Planning… This transition started in the 1950’s when more people were employed in the creation of value through information than in the creation of value through production of goods. The two aspects of this part of the history are knowledge manipulation as a means of producing value, and knowledge feedback as a means of integrating the true complexity of problems.Information Age, Globalization, Knowledge Workers, Future Shock, Systems Thinking, Scenario Planning… This transition started in the 1950’s when more people were employed in the creation of value through information than in the creation of value through production of goods. The two aspects of this part of the history are knowledge manipulation as a means of producing value, and knowledge feedback as a means of integrating the true complexity of problems.

4. 4 Tipping Point The pivot point for architecture seems to be 1969, when strategic begins to emerge as a second thread of architecture rather than an assortment of supporting activities peripheral to physical design. I place this book, Problem Seeking, right at the pivot hinge because everything before seems to be about a linear industrial model and everything afterward seems to be about knowledge feedback models. It is admittedly an artificial point in time whereas the event has been, as is, continuous.The pivot point for architecture seems to be 1969, when strategic begins to emerge as a second thread of architecture rather than an assortment of supporting activities peripheral to physical design. I place this book, Problem Seeking, right at the pivot hinge because everything before seems to be about a linear industrial model and everything afterward seems to be about knowledge feedback models. It is admittedly an artificial point in time whereas the event has been, as is, continuous.

5. 5 Evolutionary manifestations as evidenced in architectural practice and education… we might highlight this list by mentioning the underlying transitions such as what Geddes and Olmsted called paleotechnic to neotechnic, or linear throughput to cyclical feedback. We might also understand this as a transition from observable mechanistic local effects to invisible scale global interaction and from cost to value. I outline these in the paper.Evolutionary manifestations as evidenced in architectural practice and education… we might highlight this list by mentioning the underlying transitions such as what Geddes and Olmsted called paleotechnic to neotechnic, or linear throughput to cyclical feedback. We might also understand this as a transition from observable mechanistic local effects to invisible scale global interaction and from cost to value. I outline these in the paper.

6. 6 PHYSICAL DESIGN Mainstay of what is typically meant by architectural design… Captures sublime experience of form, materiality and spatial immersion How architecture manifests materiality and space, Zen, Dasein Immediacy STRATEGIC DESIGN “Other” activities typically given secondary role in design critique: planning, programming, sustainability, constructability, serviceability, robustness… How architecture manifests intelligence Foresight Operationalizing the Terms Physical design is the embodiment of a Zen-like immersion in the immediate experience of space and material. Strategic design on the other hand is about how architecture manifests intelligent foresight. This is critical because we confusing the two spheres by expecting foresight to deliver immediacy or meaningful experience to be sustainable and robust. Accountability of service, validity of intent, and attribution of value are hopelessly misplaced. It is also critical because we have to understand how integrate the two spheres to achieve holistic and systemic architecture in every sense of the word. And to keep our head from exploding. Physical design is the embodiment of a Zen-like immersion in the immediate experience of space and material. Strategic design on the other hand is about how architecture manifests intelligent foresight. This is critical because we confusing the two spheres by expecting foresight to deliver immediacy or meaningful experience to be sustainable and robust. Accountability of service, validity of intent, and attribution of value are hopelessly misplaced. It is also critical because we have to understand how integrate the two spheres to achieve holistic and systemic architecture in every sense of the word. And to keep our head from exploding.

7. 7 Next, I’d like to offer a few conceptual models for discussing architecture as a complex synthesis between physical and strategic design. First is that of the brain and the mind. By analogy, neither the left brain nor the right brain are half of your mind. They are each only half of a biological organ. The mind emerges out of complex interaction of the two brain hemispheres. And so it is with architecture: Neither physical design or strategic design alone is sufficient, neither is even half of architecture. But precisely because they are inseparable and deeply interrelated, architecture emerges… mindful architecture. So the analogy of left brain + right brain, or rational + intuitive, or sensing + feeling, or deductive + inductive, or however you want to imagine the complimentary halves, applies to the mind of architecture in the familiar Gestalt of the integrated whole is more than the sum of its constituent parts, and so it is, I contend, with architectural thinking in the physical + strategic aspects of design. We will turn to the question of how the hemispheres are mediated in just a minute.Next, I’d like to offer a few conceptual models for discussing architecture as a complex synthesis between physical and strategic design. First is that of the brain and the mind. By analogy, neither the left brain nor the right brain are half of your mind. They are each only half of a biological organ. The mind emerges out of complex interaction of the two brain hemispheres. And so it is with architecture: Neither physical design or strategic design alone is sufficient, neither is even half of architecture. But precisely because they are inseparable and deeply interrelated, architecture emerges… mindful architecture. So the analogy of left brain + right brain, or rational + intuitive, or sensing + feeling, or deductive + inductive, or however you want to imagine the complimentary halves, applies to the mind of architecture in the familiar Gestalt of the integrated whole is more than the sum of its constituent parts, and so it is, I contend, with architectural thinking in the physical + strategic aspects of design. We will turn to the question of how the hemispheres are mediated in just a minute.

8. 8 Frankenstein A machine, not a system Lacking the synergy of a whole All the right pieces, but none of the transcendent complexity A walking machine, not an animated organism To distinguish the integrated whole of a mind as more than the sum of its lobes, think of Frankenstein as a mechanical assembly of all the right pieces without the complex feedback awareness of a soul. At the level of architecture this differs from Mary Shelly’s vision of technophobia versus Buck Fuller’s technophilia because it places techne and artifice on the same level. My thesis is not about the machine lacking a soul; it is about the difference between assembly and animation, between symptom and system, and between gesture and embrace. We must embrace complexity. Focusing on either half of architecture, the physical or the strategic, is equally reductionist and mechanistic. Animation is in the complexity, interactions and feedback. To distinguish the integrated whole of a mind as more than the sum of its lobes, think of Frankenstein as a mechanical assembly of all the right pieces without the complex feedback awareness of a soul. At the level of architecture this differs from Mary Shelly’s vision of technophobia versus Buck Fuller’s technophilia because it places techne and artifice on the same level. My thesis is not about the machine lacking a soul; it is about the difference between assembly and animation, between symptom and system, and between gesture and embrace. We must embrace complexity. Focusing on either half of architecture, the physical or the strategic, is equally reductionist and mechanistic. Animation is in the complexity, interactions and feedback.

9. 9 Double Helix DNA of Design So, rather than the conventional notion of architectural design as a single thread of right brained physical design as the mainstream activity surrounded by peripheral and supporting activities of programming, planning, sustainability and so forth; this DNA model suggests that the strategic thread and the physical thread are intertwined and form a complete structure of complimentary, interrelated, parts. And from the complex interaction of their relations, the self-organizing higher order of mind emerges. So, rather than the conventional notion of architectural design as a single thread of right brained physical design as the mainstream activity surrounded by peripheral and supporting activities of programming, planning, sustainability and so forth; this DNA model suggests that the strategic thread and the physical thread are intertwined and form a complete structure of complimentary, interrelated, parts. And from the complex interaction of their relations, the self-organizing higher order of mind emerges.

10. 10 Complex Systems in Other Domains Cybernetics- complex, indeterminate, wicked Management- organization & information studies Physics- chaos, non-linear, emergent order Biology- ecological systems, self ordering systems Agriculture- organic production Medicine- holistic healing, health maintenance Psychology- industrial organization Relevance… well, a good many other disciplines and pursuits have already adopted a complex non-linear systems model of thinking. It was the mathematician Stanislaw Ulam, who commented that calling chaos theory "nonlinear science" is “like defining the bulk of zoology by calling it the study of ‘non-elephant animals’.” His point, clearly, was that the vast majority of natural phenomena are nonlinear… with physically evident, local scale, mechanistic, linear causality being the exception.Relevance… well, a good many other disciplines and pursuits have already adopted a complex non-linear systems model of thinking. It was the mathematician Stanislaw Ulam, who commented that calling chaos theory "nonlinear science" is “like defining the bulk of zoology by calling it the study of ‘non-elephant animals’.” His point, clearly, was that the vast majority of natural phenomena are nonlinear… with physically evident, local scale, mechanistic, linear causality being the exception.

11. 11 Embracing Complexity “Today functional problems are becoming less simple all the time. But designers rarely confess their inability to solve them. Instead, when a designer does not understand a problem clearly enough to find the order it really calls for; he falls back on some arbitrarily chosen formal order. The problem, because of its complexity, remains unsolved.” Christopher Alexander, Notes on the Synthesis of Form (1964) “First the medium of architecture must be re-examined if the increased scope of our architecture as well as the complexity of its goals are to be expressed. Simplified or superficially complex forms will not work.... Second, the growing complexities of our functional problems must be acknowledged.” Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966) "I admire the dazzling manual skill acquired by the students through their instruction at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. . . . I recognize the elegance, which guides the solutions of plan, facade, and section. But, I should like to see intelligence dominating elegance and not being disregarded." Le Corbusier, When the Cathedrals Were White (1947) If you saw the February issue of JAE themed as 1966: Forty Years After, you might have read Peter Lawrence’s piece on complexity as originating in the writing of Jane Jacobs and Robert Venturi. Again, that ties back to the 1969 tipping point.If you saw the February issue of JAE themed as 1966: Forty Years After, you might have read Peter Lawrence’s piece on complexity as originating in the writing of Jane Jacobs and Robert Venturi. Again, that ties back to the 1969 tipping point.

12. Application and Practice Relevance Evidence Scope Next, I’d like to support the relevance of this philosophical assertion with some brick and mortar evidence…Next, I’d like to support the relevance of this philosophical assertion with some brick and mortar evidence…

13. 13 Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, 1986 Evidence of the relevance… In the evolving postindustrial way of creating value and approaching projects there are an increasing number of strategic questions that must be answered before the traditionally ennobled role of physical design can begin. These questions and their answers have radical influence on physical design. Take HKSB as an extreme example.Evidence of the relevance… In the evolving postindustrial way of creating value and approaching projects there are an increasing number of strategic questions that must be answered before the traditionally ennobled role of physical design can begin. These questions and their answers have radical influence on physical design. Take HKSB as an extreme example.

14. 14 Design must satisfy feng shui master

15. 15 Munich Olympic Stadium, Gunter Behnisch and Partners with Frei Otto, 1972 Inspirational Flows Solar Form Luminous Form Aerodynamic Form Hydrological Form Structural Form People Sightlines One idea of a complex, nonlinear, self-organizing system is that of a networked set of flows, such as a traffic system or a library system. The flow might be that of materials, or people, or information, or other stream, but it is always an organized network. Architecture usually trivializes the notion of system as a reference to hardware, such as the plumbing system, but we can easily think of structure as an organized flow of forces in static equilibrium or an HVAC system as a flow of thermal energy in thermal equilibrium. The architectural notion of intelligent form as the channeling of flow is hardly a new idea. Norberg-Schultz (1965, and there is that date again) laid out some understanding of the building form as a set of organized flows with his concept of “filters, barriers, and switches.” This fits closely with the “organized flow” principle of Systems Theory such as you read in Churchman (1968). In 1994, John Tilman Lyle called it “using form to channel flow” and at about the same time, Steven Groak was writing about the building a set of dynamic flows through reservoirs, conduits, capacitors, and barriers. Here we see architectural evidence of these ideas manifested in the 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium.One idea of a complex, nonlinear, self-organizing system is that of a networked set of flows, such as a traffic system or a library system. The flow might be that of materials, or people, or information, or other stream, but it is always an organized network. Architecture usually trivializes the notion of system as a reference to hardware, such as the plumbing system, but we can easily think of structure as an organized flow of forces in static equilibrium or an HVAC system as a flow of thermal energy in thermal equilibrium. The architectural notion of intelligent form as the channeling of flow is hardly a new idea. Norberg-Schultz (1965, and there is that date again) laid out some understanding of the building form as a set of organized flows with his concept of “filters, barriers, and switches.” This fits closely with the “organized flow” principle of Systems Theory such as you read in Churchman (1968). In 1994, John Tilman Lyle called it “using form to channel flow” and at about the same time, Steven Groak was writing about the building a set of dynamic flows through reservoirs, conduits, capacitors, and barriers. Here we see architectural evidence of these ideas manifested in the 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium.

16. 16 Other Strategic Lobes LEED and Sustainability Cx- Continuous Commissioning POE- Post Occupancy Evaluation BAS- Automation and Intelligent Buildings TQM- Total Building Quality Management BSA- Building Systems Assessment Intelligent “Knowledge Based” Design Agile Buildings- flexible, adaptable… Scenario Planning Value Engineering There are a great many other strategic aspects of design. In each of these bulleted here you can think of the design feedback that they create, how they relate to flow, how they inform and inspire physical design, and how they animate a work of architecture through complex interactionThere are a great many other strategic aspects of design. In each of these bulleted here you can think of the design feedback that they create, how they relate to flow, how they inform and inspire physical design, and how they animate a work of architecture through complex interaction

17. 17 Distribution of Services To reconstitute the design process then in a linear way for representation sake, we can take the initiation point of physical design as a baseline and show how making strategic design an institutionalized part of the process leads to a much more systemic process and holistic result. There are other implications too, such as the increasing prevalence of projects where a design architect does one element of the work and a project architect of record does the other part. That might be a strategic design versus physical design separation. There are also new parties in here, such as commissioning agents, occupational psychologists, and value engineers.To reconstitute the design process then in a linear way for representation sake, we can take the initiation point of physical design as a baseline and show how making strategic design an institutionalized part of the process leads to a much more systemic process and holistic result. There are other implications too, such as the increasing prevalence of projects where a design architect does one element of the work and a project architect of record does the other part. That might be a strategic design versus physical design separation. There are also new parties in here, such as commissioning agents, occupational psychologists, and value engineers.

18. Fusion and Con-fusion Questions of attribution Distinctions of intention Integral frameworks How do physical design and strategic design merge into mindful architecture? How might their confusion be avoided? How might they be integral?How do physical design and strategic design merge into mindful architecture? How might their confusion be avoided? How might they be integral?

19. 19 Hermeneutics (Gadamer 1975) My second order question wondered about the corpus callosum that connects the left and right hemispheres of architectural thinking to provide a complex neural mind. The first such bridge is that of Hermeneutics, which evolved from Hermes, the messenger from Olympus; to the reading of biblical text; to the philosophy of interpretation. As philosophy. hermeneutics involves a cybernetic feedback learning dynamic powered by centripetal and centrifugal forces: observe, postulate, try, learn, and repeat… As Gadamer put it, hermeneutics can also involve a conversation between apparently conflicting ideas (such as physical and strategic ones) where resolution begins with the notion that “neither party is wrong, but neither are either of them complete.” Equally important in the hermeneutic cycle of feedback is an oscillation of scale from ox neck to rat tail, or from global to local, macro to micro… all of which is to say, from the mechanical to the complexMy second order question wondered about the corpus callosum that connects the left and right hemispheres of architectural thinking to provide a complex neural mind. The first such bridge is that of Hermeneutics, which evolved from Hermes, the messenger from Olympus; to the reading of biblical text; to the philosophy of interpretation. As philosophy. hermeneutics involves a cybernetic feedback learning dynamic powered by centripetal and centrifugal forces: observe, postulate, try, learn, and repeat… As Gadamer put it, hermeneutics can also involve a conversation between apparently conflicting ideas (such as physical and strategic ones) where resolution begins with the notion that “neither party is wrong, but neither are either of them complete.” Equally important in the hermeneutic cycle of feedback is an oscillation of scale from ox neck to rat tail, or from global to local, macro to micro… all of which is to say, from the mechanical to the complex

20. 20 Why Hermeneutics? Adductive basis of hermeneutics which is already native to design thought, Oscillating engine of expansion and contraction in design between “Why not?” and “So what?” thinking, Implicit nature of design knowledge wherein understanding and interpretation are superior to empirical fact, Pluralistic perspectives that designers maintain about what is good architecture, Divergent perspectives of multiple stakeholders involved in architectural projects, Multiple scales of overarching order at the macro inductive scale and integrity of individual details at the deductive micro scale, Indeterminate or “wicked” nature of design in which there can be no linear or procedural recipe for solution, Cybernetic nature of information feedback systems in complex problems of design, Principles of natural teleology, which cybernetics and Aristotle describe as the Final Cause and, Incomplete nature of knowledge and finite limits of human understanding in any complex problem, conditions leading to Herbert Simon’s description of “satisficing” as the good-enough solution in favor of the perfect one. In the paper I try to articulate the connection of hermeneutic thinking to the propositional, iterative, opportunistic, and indeterminate basis of design. No time today.In the paper I try to articulate the connection of hermeneutic thinking to the propositional, iterative, opportunistic, and indeterminate basis of design. No time today.

21. 21 Aesthetics “Aesthetic consideration conveys the interdependence of our sense of beauty and our intellectual understanding.” Roger Scrutton (1979) “The ontological function of the beautiful is to bridge the chasm between the ideal and the real.” Hans Georg Gadamer (1967) After hermeneutics, the second bridge between the sphere of physical design and the sphere of strategic design is that of aesthetics, defined here as the intellectual appreciation and understanding of beauty, not the quality of beauty itself. So here aesthetics is a bridge from the rational to the sublime, from the thinking hemisphere to the thinking lobe, from the strategic to the physical.After hermeneutics, the second bridge between the sphere of physical design and the sphere of strategic design is that of aesthetics, defined here as the intellectual appreciation and understanding of beauty, not the quality of beauty itself. So here aesthetics is a bridge from the rational to the sublime, from the thinking hemisphere to the thinking lobe, from the strategic to the physical.

22. 22 Intellectual Beauty The final nerve bundle in the connective corpus callosum of mindful design is that of intellectual beauty, which differs from physical beauty in its direct appeal to the intellect. Keats and Shelly would add that not only is “truth beauty and beauty truth,” but also that the search for truth is itself driven by aesthetic motivations. Coleridge distinguished this as the difference between imagination and fancy.The final nerve bundle in the connective corpus callosum of mindful design is that of intellectual beauty, which differs from physical beauty in its direct appeal to the intellect. Keats and Shelly would add that not only is “truth beauty and beauty truth,” but also that the search for truth is itself driven by aesthetic motivations. Coleridge distinguished this as the difference between imagination and fancy.

23. 23 Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development, J. T. Lyle, 1994 Letting Nature do the work (biocentric) Considering Nature as Both Model and Context Aggregating, Not Isolating (systems) Seeking Optimum Levels for Multiple Functions Matching technology to the needs Using Information to Replace Power (cybernetics) Providing Multiple Pathways Seeking Common Solutions to Disparate Problems Managing Storage as a Key to Sustainability Shaping Form to Guide Flow (biomorphic) Shaping Form to Manifest Process Prioritizing for Sustainability For me, the most architecturally relevant set of principles for sustainable design are those of the late John Tilman Lyle. I took them as a beginning model for postulating what the core principles of strategic design might be.For me, the most architecturally relevant set of principles for sustainable design are those of the late John Tilman Lyle. I took them as a beginning model for postulating what the core principles of strategic design might be.

24. 24 Mobilizing Complexity Seeking Complexity- the strange attractor Revealing Complexity- messes and wicked problems Embracing Complexity- the unique essence Mapping Complexity- territory of the problem space Scoping Complexity- prospects and scenarios Mining Complexity- tools and techniques Mobilizing Complexity- attribution, validation, and accountability… My co-author in the book project is Kurt Neubek, FAIA, who is a managing partner and strategic planner at PageSoutherlandPage. Our working title is MAPPING COMPLEXITY… How does one make sense out of complexity? To mobilize complexity we must first embrace it as fundamental to design. Then we can abandon the illusion of having the power to tame it and get along with riding the current. Do not try to “fix” or solve complexity. Seek out the deep complexity of the problem. Reveal the interrelated factors. Embrace the uniqueness of the predicament. Define the parameters of opportunity. Envision scenarios of the outcome. Use appropriate tools to dig at different aspects of the problem. And finally, mobilize the strategy into action and manage how it is followed through.My co-author in the book project is Kurt Neubek, FAIA, who is a managing partner and strategic planner at PageSoutherlandPage. Our working title is MAPPING COMPLEXITY… How does one make sense out of complexity? To mobilize complexity we must first embrace it as fundamental to design. Then we can abandon the illusion of having the power to tame it and get along with riding the current. Do not try to “fix” or solve complexity. Seek out the deep complexity of the problem. Reveal the interrelated factors. Embrace the uniqueness of the predicament. Define the parameters of opportunity. Envision scenarios of the outcome. Use appropriate tools to dig at different aspects of the problem. And finally, mobilize the strategy into action and manage how it is followed through.

25. 25 Questions? A problem is half-solved if properly stated. [John Dewey] Well begun is half done. [Aristotle] When one knows what to do, there is only little time one needs for doing it. It is only when one does not know what to do that it takes so much time. And to know what to do is the secret of it all. [Louis Kahn] I hope your heads are exploding with questions?I hope your heads are exploding with questions?

26. 26 AN ARGUMENT FOR THE SECOND THREAD OF DESIGN Postindustrial Transitions Linear production to knowledge capital Mechanistic simplicity to pluralistic complexity Relevance and Application Evidence Practice Scope Fusion and Con-fusion Hermeneutics Aesthetics Intellectual Beauty Operational Principles Email me for a download link of this presentation: [email protected]

27. 27 Principles of Strategic Design Embrace complexity Identify uniqueness Cycle between global interactions of interrelated effects and local action of immediate reality Separate the known, the unknowable, and the ambiguous as three regions of knowledge Focus on the ambiguous Plan future scenarios (Fuller) Consider a building as a set of flows (Groák) Distinguish systemic solutions from symptomatic ones Differentiate radical influences from secondary ones Unify strategic and physical aspects into complete mindfulness Understand the mission components Distinguish between facts, opinions, and ideas Seek collaborative discourse Beware of hidden agendas Adapt benchmarks from relevant existing projects Find the drivers Using Lyle as an inspirational framework and model then, and without trying to codify anything, here is a propositional set of principles for operationalizing strategic design… at least as a conversational starting point. There is nothing particularly original about these items as the list is compiled from those “other” disparate design activities of strategic planning, programming, scenario mapping, systems theory, and so forth. I have tried to set them in the framework of architecture. They are roughly ordered here from the abstract to the procedural. Using Lyle as an inspirational framework and model then, and without trying to codify anything, here is a propositional set of principles for operationalizing strategic design… at least as a conversational starting point. There is nothing particularly original about these items as the list is compiled from those “other” disparate design activities of strategic planning, programming, scenario mapping, systems theory, and so forth. I have tried to set them in the framework of architecture. They are roughly ordered here from the abstract to the procedural.

28. 28 The tree farm and the forest To reinforce the systems analogy, a tree farm is a machine for making lumber. It constantly requires more input of fertilizer and pesticides to produce less and less output of product. Its parts are not interdependent and if the machine is perturbed, perhaps by lightning, it will not rebound. The forest system on the other hand requires no input, is deeply and dependently interrelated, and is so robust that it would restore itself even if eradicated by fire.To reinforce the systems analogy, a tree farm is a machine for making lumber. It constantly requires more input of fertilizer and pesticides to produce less and less output of product. Its parts are not interdependent and if the machine is perturbed, perhaps by lightning, it will not rebound. The forest system on the other hand requires no input, is deeply and dependently interrelated, and is so robust that it would restore itself even if eradicated by fire.

29. 29 As a quick note, dynamic systems complexity needs to be differentiated from detailed complexity. Dynamic complexity involves deep interaction, self-emergent order, and corrective feedback loops. Detailed complexity is just a complicated set of mechanistic variables that comes with large data sets.As a quick note, dynamic systems complexity needs to be differentiated from detailed complexity. Dynamic complexity involves deep interaction, self-emergent order, and corrective feedback loops. Detailed complexity is just a complicated set of mechanistic variables that comes with large data sets.

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