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MACHINIC IMAGINATION A MENTAL ECOSYSTEM GENERATOR

PHILIPP DOMINIC SIEDLER

Doreen Bernath Alexandra Vougia


M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N CONTENT

Page 6-33 CHAPTER 1 MACHINIC IMAGINATION A MENTAL ECOSYSTEM GENERATOR DESIGN AS RESEARCH 1 DS 101A DESIGN CORE SEMINAR TERM 1 ROBERT STUART SMITH Page 34-85 CHAPTER 2 THE OBSCURE KNOWLEDGE BEHAVIOUR EXAMINING THE PROTO-SYSTEMIC DS 102X DESIGN CORE SEMINAR TERM 2 THEODORE SPYROPOULOS + RYAN DILLON Page 86-111 CHAPTER 3 TRAVELLING THOUGHT COMPUTATIONAL SPACE DESIGN AS RESEARCH 2 DS 102X DESIGN CORE SEMINAR TERM 2 ROBERT STUART-SMITH

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CHAPTER 1 MACHINIC IMAGINATION A MENTAL ECOSYSTEM GENERATOR


DESIGN AS RESEARCH 1 DS 101A DESIGN CORE SEMINAR TERM 1 ROBERT STUART-SMITH


M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N CONTENT

Page 6 Page 7 Page 8-9 Page 10-11

GLOSSARY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION

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ECOSYSTEM MATERIAL SPACE DIGITAL SPACE MENTAL SPACE NEW ECOSYSTEM CASE STUDIES CONCLUSION

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BIBLIOGRAPHY SECONDARY REFERENCES / VISUAL APPENDIX

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M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N GLOSSARY 1 Ecosystem A system, or a group of interconnected elements, formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment. 2 Element A fundamental, essential, or irreducible constituent of a composite entity. 3 Digital (Of signals or data) expressed as series of the digits 0 and 1, typically represented by values of a physical quantity such as voltage or magnetic polarization. 4 Mental Of or relating to intellectual as contrasted with emotional activity. 5 Medium The collective communication outlets or tools that are used to store and deliver information or data. 6 Progress Forward or onward movement. 7 Actor A person who does something or participates in something. 8 Imagination The ​ability to ​form ​pictures in the ​mind.

Ecosystem | Define Ecosystem at Dictionary.com [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://dictionary.reference.com/ browse/ecosystem (accessed 12.17.15). 2 element, n.d. . The Free Dictionary. 3digital - definition of digital in English from the Oxford dictionary [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/digital (accessed 12.17.15). 4 Definition of MENTAL [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://beta.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mental (accessed 12.17.15). 5 Progress | Define Progress at Dictionary.com [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ progress (accessed 12.17.15). 6 Actor dictionary definition | actor defined [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://www.yourdictionary.com/actor (accessed 12.17.15). 7 imagination Bedeutung im Cambridge Englisch Wörterbuch [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://dictionary.cambridge.org/de/worterbuch/englisch/imagination (accessed 12.17.15). 8 Medium, 2015. . Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Progress | Define Progress at Dictionary.com [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ progress (accessed 12.17.15). 1

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AADRL Design Core Seminar DS101A ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Dear reader, this is an acknowledgement to explain how this essay happened the way it did. First of all I have to thank Doreen for putting up with me and my constant chain of surprises and highly conflicting writings, stressing the extremes of the brief in a quite proper manner. As she framed it in the sense: “You surprised us every time, I’m used to it already, you better surprise me this time again”. I might have broken the rules and the idea of the synthesis course just a little bit, but if I see this in a kind of ecosystem where the synthesis core seminar brief as a parameter and the constant discourse with the subjects topic, the presentations, discussions and hard criticism formed or stimulated my mind to come up with an idea I am presenting in this paper. I am very happy about the whole story and how it turned out, and am eager to call it successful, because I have found a whole lot of passion in the subject of psychology and architecture in the framework of computational design. I hope I can use this outline or introduction for the following core seminar in term 2, to continue the research and thinking.

Philipp Dominic Siedler

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M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N ABSTRACT This paper is not exactly synthesising a bunch of comparable projects and building analysis, it rather is an idea driven approach for a blue print, a new design strategy driven by the physical, the digital and the mental world. The mental world, or also described as “Mental Space” is in the focus of attention though, because I think it is often overlooked and not integrated, just because of the lack of knowledge and strategy. Computers, hard facted driven design processes are very powerful, assessable tools, but real architecture, architecture for the human beings, can not exist without integrating soft facts triggering consciousness. Desire can not be suppressed, architecture needs to be for the human being and it’s physical and mental needs. It sounds very appealing to me to use great computational power, but still be able to integrate social and cultural motion, even more appealing though, if integrated in a highly sophisticated way so unpredictable solutions and output are generated, and even their multiplication. Chaos, noise and imperfection are organic phenomena, human, why not develop a ecosystem which is able to absorb a multitude of existing attributes, combine and align them in a way human nature is understood and translated them back into architecture?

In Figure 1 you can see a basic ecosystem with flexible, changeable parameters, or key factors as I will call them throughout the paper. In the centre the pentagon, in each corner one fundamental ecosystem attribute, to be switched by “rotating” the “cogwheel of attributes”. To be exact this diagram shows three ecosystems integrated into one strategy, but the multitude of combination possibilities counts 243. Page 14


AADRL Design Core Seminar DS101A FLEXIBLE ECOSYSTEM

Framework

Digital

Actor’s

Material

Communication

Mental

Material

Digital

Mental

Mental

Digital

Material

Output

Mental

Mental Digital

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Digital

Progress

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Figure 1 Page 15


M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N INTRODUCTION Planning in architecture is not to imagine without computational aid anymore, but can subjective human needs be met with code: zeros and ones? This paper compares three types of space typologies which emerge from collective ecosystem processes: 1. Material Space, 2. Digital Space and 3. Mental Space, and explores new design strategies by exchanging similar acting members of different ecosystems. The idea behind this is to integrate subjective soft facts rooted in the human brains consciousness, into an apparently rigid, calculated and hard facted information based design process. Each of the three ecosystems is split up into 5 fundamental parts, in order to compare them: framework, actors, communication, medium and progress. This exploration is supposed to come up with an approach for a new design strategy which focuses on the imagination and the world of thoughts of beings. Our world and for especially the world of architecture and the building industry aim, within the digital century, more and more for efficiency in cost, time and resources. Which is in our world today an obligation, just already to ensure the existence of future generations, and furthermore our descendants. Rapid prototyping and manufacturing are favoured, and indeed goals to be chased in order to succeed. The control over computational power, calculation capacity of super computers, the speed of information and change is basically gliding out of our hands, not to be understood or grasped by human beings. Because the complexity of the independent existence of those systems, network of parallel actions, outreaches our understanding and intelligence. Just already the biological ability of a human being, looking at the life cycle: how much time a human body needs to rest, defeat an illness, digest food, reflex, think and ultimately split a cell, does not allow to follow and keep up with such rapid change and progress of technology evolution. And even if we would be able to follow up on all the interaction, understanding correlations and influences, by the time we understood entirely new rules are created, dynamically changing maybe even fundamentally the game. In the future the development will increase exponentially - seems quite hopeless - but the only thing we can do is manipulate or modify this large ecosystem from the outside with small but drastic actions, coming up with entirely new thoughts, ideas and strategies. The first ecosystem, the “Material Space”, will be described with the help of a bee swarm and it’s hive. A system with extremely low value of intelligence in each actor, but a very high in the collective organisation and being. This part of the paper will be highly supported by Kevin Kelly’s mechanisms and ecosystems, but more specifically the chapter “Hive Mind” in “Out of Control: The new biology of machines”, and also “Swarm Intelligence: From Natural to Artificial Systems” by Eric Bonabeau, Guy Theraulaz and Marco Dorigo. Secondly the “Digital Space” is as it appears at first glance, in the perspective of collaborative organisation in the world wide web, but also all other electronic

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AADRL Design Core Seminar DS101A

devices communicating with the electric impulsive language of ones and zeros, supported by Steven Johnson’s “Desktop” chapter in “Interface Culture”, describing “chat rooms” and their members behaviours. Ultimately the user of the computer is the human being and so called “agents” working for the computer user: “pushing” and “pulling” desired information, and their relation. The third mechanism of ecosystems to be compared is the “Mental Space”, most literally the picture of thoughts, but also the brain as spacial network of connections, just like Henri Bergson and his “Matter and Memory” suggests, for neurons to pass through and initiate thought by electronic impulses, in the bigger complexer system generating ideas, and creativity, imagination. It is already very interesting to see how the “Mental Space” is in between and quite closely connected to the “Digital Space” because of the manner how it communicates, with electronic impulses, just like a computer, but at the same time it is a real world physical phenomenon. This is also reflected by the supporting literature for this part, which are two chapters called “Desktop” and “Bitmapping: An Introduction”, by Steven Johnson, with the idea of an “palace”, and also by Kevin Kelly’s “Out of Control”, describing a “memory palace”, like a place to store memories with objects, or small thoughts initializing, as memory fragments, a exponentially scalable almost forgotten story. As architects have to invent themselves every day, more and more it is not hard to anticipate that the role of an architect is becoming the role of an controller. An controller of elements and members of the global net of relations, not only in between the building development, but also correlations of social and cultural nature. Before taking on this challenge though it sounds appealing to first take a step back and look at the most basic ecosystems we inherit in ourselves, and then the intermediate systems we life in and deal with on a daily basis. Mastering the task of balancing the act of keeping up good research, pushing technology and fulfilling the purpose of a responsible, sensitive and caring designer to make our lives in our community better is and will be the profession of today’s and tomorrows architect. My personal interest lies in the perfection of optimization and efficiency, but in a very high responsible manner to create architecture for what it is here for, the human being and society. This idea for an design strategy process takes an endeavour finding out adjuvant “members” of machinic, digital and organic ecosystems and combines them into a new system with output of empowered scale, a multitude of the number of it’s members. Maybe Machinic Imagination.

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M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N ECOSYSTEM At this point it is probably appropriate to talk about ecosystems, how the definition is layed out and how to understand them: The principal description of dictionary.com states that an ecosystem is a group of connected elements “formed” by the way they “interact” with each other and their “environment”. An explanation by wikipedia.org describes a ecosystem as an “conjunction” by “living organisms” with the “non-living components” of their “environment”. The human body, a pond with it’s fish, plants and bacterial organisms, molecular chains within it’s element structure, to just name a few. It is easy to distinguish between different scale types of ecosystems, rather than between local and global: universe, sun system, atmosphere, earth globe, or just: forest, ant mound, ant-queen, ant-worker. Hierarchy and layers within an ecosystem are present but hard to distinguish in terms of quality. By layers I mean that most or maybe all ecosystems have smaller ecosystems within them, and each ecosystem is part of a greater logical consequence. Ending this by saying that there is not no interaction between “living organisms” and “non-living components”, absolutely everything effects everything across multiple layers and ecosystems, there might not even be evidence because the calculation of such an connection may exceed our ability of calculating and analysing. When complexity comes to such a point, unpredictability comes into play. There is a very nice little video on the web, explaining the story of a plastic spoon, from the beginning of the world and clashing planets to the end: a barbecue where the spoon is used to serve food, shows the described interlayering of ecosystems, called “Die Geschichte eines Löffels”, which means translated “The Story of a spoon” by Benjamin Borgerding and published by Greenpeace. If we just look at one of those ecosystems, or at least a part of it, of our daily life, maybe not the first thing but the most literal way of talking about ecosystems and cycles might be the recycling of our daily produced trash. How packaging is being produced and the way it gets to our house and back into the trash-can, how it gets recycled and dumped. The MIT Sense-able City Lab has recently published a project called “Urban Digestive Systems” in the book “Sentient City: ubiquitous computing, architecture, and the future of urban space” edited by Mark Shepard which concludes a bunch of sensors and a group of interested people from Seattle, invited to dump a piece of trash an track it, to see what ranges of distance their trash undertake before it gets finally deposited or recycled. But why am I bringing this up? To give an example to illustrate the high complexity of the ecosystems we life in and we are deeply interwoven in, and how hard it can be to just track an appearing and disappearing item like a piece of trash.

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Figure 2: Material Space, Bee Hive; Figure 3: Digital Space, Chat-room; Figure 4: Mental Space, Neuron Map Page 19


M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N MATERIAL SPACE An “Material Space” ecosystem could possibly be anything within the framework of the real world, with physical actor’s, not an image or an idea. Apart from ecosystems involving humans this example shows a swarm of bee’s being pictured into the framework explained in the Introduction. The “Framework” is the environment, the natural surrounding, the real world, the “Actor’s” acting or behaving within the framework are the bee’s, they interact as their “Communication” type with the “Medium” of a danced choreography. This collective phenomenon is categorized as a swarm “Progress”, and this surviving, reproducing and living strategy results in the bee’s “Hive”. Bee’s do not exactly have consciousness, at least not known, also a single bee roughly remembers fact for just about “six days”, as Kevin Kelly states in his book “Out of Control” in chapter “Hive Mind”1. So it is to say that the bee does not actually care about the architectural quality of the hive it is living in. Of course the hive needs to be stable, situated in a non-dangerous area, secure from any atmospheric condition, but that is not decided by the single bee itself, the process of assessing a site to build is evaluated by many “opinions”. Kevin Kelly describes a conversation between bee’s discussing a potential site to build like this: “Go there, it’s a nice place.” and as a danced response:”Yeah, it’s really nice.”1. This type of communication will run through the entire swarm of bee’s, like a chain reaction, till the great majority of the swarm is convinced and chose to build the hive structure at the discussed site. This is comparable to an iterative algorithmic feedback process or maybe even a two dimensional cellular automata, where decisions are made by if statements and actions according to the local neighbour of an agent, which just gives a true or false value. This correlations and interactions between the swarm’s bees are more or less easy comprehensible, but when it comes to the question how do they maintain the information and keep it updated, since a bees memory only reaches “six days”1, and also it is not like the swarm gets born in the same second and the bee’s appear all the sudden simultaneously, new bee’s join the swarm daily, how will they be informed to execute what ever their purpose inside the swarm is? There must be some sort of an system within the ecosystem of an bee hive, one which is not visible, some sort of a dynamic flow of information amongst the bee’s, not controllable nor calculateable, the only prove of this phenomenon is the fact that the memory capacity of a bee is multiplied by the number of the swarms members, at least “twice as long as the average bee lives”, says Kevin Kelly1. This means it would be appropriate to add another diagram for a parallel ecosystem and connect it to the communication and medium branch which would be under the title of “Behaviours”.

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AADRL Design Core Seminar DS101A BEE HIVE

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Real World Actor’s

Communication

Behaviour

Interact

Bee’s Hive

Swarm

Choreography

Progress

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Figure 5 Page 21


M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N DIGITAL SPACE A “Digital Space” is quite comparable to a “Bee Hive”, it’s just another nature, with different kind of rules and behaviour. As already mentioned in the “Material Space” partition. Also in this case there probably needs to be a further parallel diagram to illustrate a ecosystem of behaviour. This partition about the “Digital Space” does also not talk about the quality of interconnections within the ecosystem or how they are connected. Is it just that they rely strongly onto each other or are they actually manipulating and effecting their neighbouring key elements? Maybe there is even a sequence, or hierarchy amongst those elements. Also it is important to keep in mind that there is no digital ecosystem without the “User”, which in this case is already setup as the actor, but there are two types of users in this case, the actual controller who is located in-front of a computer or an interface, instructing the machine or device through commands, which are basically “Information”, like movement of the mouse courser and so manipulating the x and y position, or by typing in commands in form of letters and other values via the keyboard. The action of the “User” is then translated into electronic impulse, into a language of 1 and 0, where the sequence acts in a manner like a DNA string is read, just fluidly changing. This instructions may change the location of the user or member inside the machine or any instance inside the digital world, basically the digital image of the controlling human being. The progress of this operations can be categorized as conversation between the user in the real world and the machine executing commands. Another import fact to state is that of course there are “uncontrolled users” or “agent’s” how Steven Johnson calls them in his book “Interface Culture” in the chapter “Agents”2. Those agents are of course initialised by the user, but behave autonomously throughout, for example the internet, like in my example: the chat-room. Even though it is the same user, the location is to be differentiated. Therefor there should be just another ecosystem diagram: the human being. Talking about keeping this digital system alive, not to forget the source of power, electric energy, which is used to operate the machine or device, which I also hope to talk about in a future essay, because it would exceed the frame of this paper. The “Digital Space” example, which is in this case within the framework of the internet and to be more specific a chat-room. But not only as a Internal Relay Chat (IRC)3, but a spatial image of actual rooms on screen, which you could visit and walk through. This project was one of the earliest spatial communication software called “The Palace”, created in 1995 by Mark Jeffrie’s3. Again there comes another type of ecosystem into play because the actual members of the room group differently inside this digital space, Steven Johnson considers.

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AADRL Design Core Seminar DS101A CHAT-ROOM

Power

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WWW Actor’s

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Behaviour User

Inform Relation

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Figure 6 Page 23


M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N MENTAL SPACE The “Mental Space” is probably the hardest part to describe and frame, just because it is absolutely not habtically touchable or visible. Of course it has to be acknowledged that the “Brain” which I describe as the framework for this mental space example might be looked at, after the head is cut open, maybe even movement or notions of movement would be visible on a ultra wave scan monitor, impulses and stimulation be mapped onto screen of different partitions of the brain, but this is just the physical being of an organ. It is not even to say what the stimulation in an area means, just that it is stimulated, which lets me quickly draw a connection to the digital space where communication is also happening with electronic impulses, translated to the mental space, 0 is no stimulation and 1 is stimulation. Also Henri Bergson supports this statement: he says that an “...”image”...” is in “halfway between the “thing” and the “representation”...”, just like the thought of that “image” by a human beeing5, manipulated by experience and perception, or the image on the computers monitor, manipulated by it’s hardware and users command. A stimulation actually is a tiny electronic impulse inside the brain triggering a certain partition to connect to another. Communication inside the brain is done by bridging: connecting of different areas. The speed or satisfaction of a pathway gives a positive or negative feeling and rebuilds in accordance to our consciousness, basically asking itself: I used this connection path, was the outcome satisfactory? If yes: the pathway will be strengthened, if not: the pathway slowly builds back and the next time that pathway will be build elsewhere. This is also describing in a very simple way, what our memory space actually does: remembering a connecting pathway in relation to a positive or negative feeling, Henri Bergson describes it as “collecting” in “Time and Free Will”6. That is also why extremely positive experiences will always stay in our memory because their connecting key factor network is very strong. It is known that all the things we experience can not be remembered, but still are stored. To close the gap between memory and architecture I suggest the “Wunderkammer”. It is a room inside a antique museum typology, full of art, specimens and artefacts which seem chaotically organised, but the person who might collected them would be able to tell endless stories for each of this items. Stories which their quantity equals to a high multiplication by the number of items. Or the “memory palace”, which it’s ecosystem is illustrated in the diagram in Figure 7, described in “Interface Culture”, by Simonides of Ceos, a Greek poet from 556 – 468 BC, suggesting that: “stories turned into architecture”6. It could also be thought vis versa, an architecture with space triggering memories in the visitors brain and maybe even lost stories. Architecture or the memory palace vis versa as experienceable space to explore unique and personal memories.

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AADRL Design Core Seminar DS101A MEMORY PALACE

Framework

Brain Actor’s

Communication

Neurons

Connect Image

Memorize

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Figure 7 Page 25


M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N NEW ECOSYSTEM The idea for this experimental ecosystem generator was ultimately inspired by a story told in the “Hive Mind” chapter in “Out of Control” by Kevin Kelly:

“I remember a night in Taiwan twenty years ago. I was in the back of an open truck on a dirt road in the mountains. I had my jacket on; the hill air was cold. I was hitching a ride to arrive at a mountain peak by dawn. The truck was grinding up the steep, dark road while I looked up to the stars near the horizon. Suddenly a meteor zipped across low...”1 Not directly by the story, but by how Kevin Kelly describes that he experienced this “twenty years ago” in “Taiwan” and got reminded by a couple of words in combination, in this case for this story apparently those words where: “cold, bump, points of light...”1. So immediately two things crossed my mind: 1. If a story can be told with a higher complexity than the sum of it’s key words, which are in this case: cold, bump, points of light: it must be possible to use this phenomenon to create thinking processes. The correct key words have to be found and the relating experience has to be made. Considering two different characters, one is remembering a story, splitting this story up into it’s key word’s, those triggering the other character to remember a entirely different story of his life. 2. If a story can be split up into key words, will there be a entirely new story by changing one of the key words and assembling them back together to form the initial story. For example, exchange “bump” with “glide” an entirely new story can be created, same person, but on a sailing boat crossing the Indian sea, watching stars. The action does not change but the setup entirely changes. This machine, or artificial ecosystem interweaves various ecosystems, not as parallel systems, but as one main system, outputting the unpredictable unknown. What I suggest relies on a deep understanding of ecosystems to be manipulated and intertwined. Correlations, connections, processes and behaviour has to be understood in order to extract the essential key factors to reuse, by integrating or replacing them in other ecosystems, to give the system a new purpose and enable it to solve, different problems, or the initial problem, just in an other way. To enhance this diagram a third dimension might be added, to not only switch just one of five essential key factors, but also exchange one entire “cogwheel”, suggesting that the content for each wheel is within the same subject. The “cogwheels” in the diagram are different in size to show that different amounts of key factors might fit in a certain position of the ecosystem. Which of the key factors fits best is not to decide at first. At this stage of the machine the only thing missing is the ecosystems surrounding, basically the environment is not drawn out, just to keep it simple for now.

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?

Figure 8 Page 27


M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N CASE STUDIES There are a couple of artists and architects working with this kind of technique already: the use of ecosystems, maybe they even try to manipulate the key factors of the system, mostly though the actors or spectators are been manipulated. I can’t think of a project which actually generates ideas or answers formed by a question compiled by multiple different issues - but rather extracting information from life cycles and inform installations or building concepts. A deep understanding of the ecosystem to be analysed is still mandatory and to be respected. David Benjamin and Soo-in Yang for example came up with an idea to visualize different types of flows in cities. In their project in New York City, called Amphibious Envelopes, described in “Sentient City: Ubiquitous computing, architecture, and the future of urban space” by Mark Shepard8. The Hudson River and the East River surrounding Manhattan in the west and east, making their way through New York City, framing the daily life, but as a space they are rarely used by the average New York City citizen. Amphibious Envelopes uses this empty or unprogrammed spaces as a canvas for their flow visualisation through swimming buoys. Each buoy carries a LED light which has the ability to change in all gradients of colours. Connected to each other they swim just a couple of meters away from the riverside, to ensure that they will stay visible and be recognized as a field of lights, to the passengers on the river walk. The buoys have a couple of different abilities to assess conditions like the “presence of fish via sonar sensors” or “the Carbon Cycle and the health of the river”8. Again, this is an project to show or visualize unseen flows inside the city to advert that people may be reminded of subjective ecosystems they live in and not just the objective. Ultimately it might aim for raising peoples attention and so manipulating their minds so they change the way they live, even if the change is only in a micro scale, still a change, and therefor manipulation. A second case study I was thinking of is by the artist Peter Vogel from Germany. I visited his exhibition in early 2015 in the Museum Stuttgart, Kubus. Peter Vogel exhibited a set of different sculptures which reacted on the spectators movement, shadow or sound, the feedback of the machine was always different types of sound. For the sculpture shown in Figure 10 the spectator could also include rhythm by for example rhythmically waving their arm. This is very interesting for the machine or idea I came up with, because this sculptures are basically an overlapping of two ecosystems, the actor is the spectator, the communication happens by action, by the spectator and an feedback answer in form of sound, the framework is the real world even though the progress and translation of movement feedback in electronic impulse, sound. It is a mixture of an “Material Space” ecosystem and a “Digital Space”.

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Figure 9: Amphibious Architecture, installation on East River, 2009; Figure 10: Peter Vogel, Sound Sculpture Page 29


M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N CONCLUSION There are many issues with this mechanism I came up with, some of them I mentioned already in the leading chapters, but for especially topics like correlating behaviour and influences of environmental ecosystems, ecosystems of higher and lower hierarchy. Also to be considered is the fact that different people from different backgrounds and histories might understand key factors in a different way, translating existing ecosystems different than others. My thesis is that there are already infinite solutions for every issue we might cross, the only problem is that we don’t know how to stimulate our thoughts to find those solutions. At the end of the day it feels like it is a matter of teaching the brain to think differently, manipulate our own thoughts, or less drastic: In order to make this strategy work and produce sensful output, the mental work needed is quite excessive. Extracting essential key features from an existing ecosystem might be done by human, but combining them into one ecosystem or into an existing, comparing them and iterating through a set of combinations could be done by a computer. Assessing the outcome of each iteration is probably impossible, considering the high number of possibilities, and this is exactly the point where it gets interesting: traditional algorithmic design strategies suggest to refine the parameters in the beginning of the design process, if the parameters are chosen right and the needs of the issue understood the outcome might be quite successful. What I don’t like about this strategy is that the designer is limiting himself already right at the beginning, giving unpredictable solutions no room to flourish. Instead why not using an approach I suggest with my “Imagination Machine”, generating uncountable possible solutions (not to mention how successful a solution is) and then constraining them with filters to find out of this recourse the solution which best fits the issue. It is an evaluation and generating before the actual design process has even started, Let’s call this Phase Zero!

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“great change is inescapable when you first begin manipulating the world of your thoughts.� Amelie Mettenheimer

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M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N BIBLIOGRAPHY 1 Kevin Kelly, ‘Hive Mind’, in Out of Control: The New biology of machines (New York:1995) Kevin Kelly, ‘Machines with an Attitude’, in Out of Control: The New biology of machines (New York:1995) 2 Steven Johnson, ‘Agents’, in Interface Culture: How new Technology transforms the way we create and communicate (New York, 1997) 3 Steven Johnson, ‘The Desktop’, in Interface Culture: How new Technology transforms the way we create and communicate (New York, 1997) 4 Steven Johnson, ‘Bitmapping’, in Interface Culture: How new Technology transforms the way we create and communicate (New York, 1997) 5 Bergson Henri, ‘Introduction’, in Matter and Memory, translated by N.M. Paul and W.S. Palmer (New York: Zone Books, 1988) 6 Bergson Henri, Time and Free Will, translated by F.L. Pogson, London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. New York: Macmillan & Co., 1919. Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience, 1889. Deleuze Gilles, ‘Bergsonism’, translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, MIT Press; Reissue edition (9 Jan. 1991) 8 Sentient City: Ubiquitous computing, architecture, and the future of urban space, edited by Mark Shepard, copublished by The Architectural League of New York and The MIT Press (New York 2011)

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AADRL Design Core Seminar DS101A VISUAL APPENDIX / SECONDARY REFERENCES Bees-on-Honeycomb.gif (GIF-Grafik, 960  ×  540 Pixel) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://survivalofthehive.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Bees-onHoneycomb.gif (accessed 12.16.15). Die Geschichte eines Löffels [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://blog. greenpeace.de/artikel/plastik-plastik-plastik-wascht-eure-loeffel (accessed 12.16.15). digital-technology(1)_large.jpg (JPEG-Grafik, 660  ×  350 Pixel) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://info.shine.com/media/images/647/8647/digitaltechnology(1)_large.jpg (accessed 12.16.15). neuron-map.jpg (JPEG-Grafik, 1496  ×  1121 Pixel) [WWW Document], n.d. URL https://freeassociationdesign.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/neuron-map.jpg (accessed 12.16.15). Ahoy Anchovy! Amphibious Architecture lets citizens SMS fish (Wired UK) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-08/26/ amphibious-architecture (accessed 12.17.15).

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CHAPTER 2 THE OBSCURE KNOWLEDGE


BEHAVIOUR: EXAMINING THE PROTO-SYSTEMIC DS 102X DESIGN CORE SEMINAR TERM 2 THEODORE SPYROPOULOS + RYAN DILLON


THE OBSCURE KNOWLEDGE CONTENT

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GLOSSARY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION

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OF HUMAN PERCEPTION AN EXPERIMENT CONCLUSION

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BIBLIOGRAPHY SECONDARY REFERENCES / VISUAL APPENDIX

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THE OBSCURE KNOWLEDGE GLOSSARY 1 Element A fundamental, essential, or irreducible constituent of a composite entity. 2 Mental Of or relating to intellectual as contrasted with emotional activity. 3 Medium The collective communication outlets or tools that are used to store and deliver information or data. 4 Progress Forward or onward movement. 5 Imagination The ​ability to ​form ​pictures in the ​mind.

element, n.d. . The Free Dictionary. Definition of MENTAL [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://beta.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mental (accessed 12.17.15). 3 Medium, 2015. . Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 4 Progress | Define Progress at Dictionary.com [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ progress (accessed 12.17.15). 5 imagination Bedeutung im Cambridge Englisch Wörterbuch [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://dictionary.cambridge.org/de/worterbuch/englisch/imagination (accessed 12.17.15). 1 2

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AADRL Design Core Seminar DS102X ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Dear reader, this second chapter is thought initially even more drastic and radical, than the “Machinic Imagination�, I hope it is easy to follow my thoughts and that I am able to share the excitement about the topic with you. Philipp Dominic Siedler

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THE OBSCURE KNOWLEDGE ABSTRACT Information flow and therefore our daily information intake is one of the side effects of rapid growth of technology. Not all information is fulfilling its purpose: to acquaint us with the most honest and purest fact of the current state, be it news, or resarch papers, enhancing our knowledge. Today there are higher interests in the user of information technology. Desire and needs of consumers, which feeds back to a controlled channelling of information output, manipulating our perception of the real world by comparing it to a artificial world of information, showing us how our world should be. ‘The Obscure Knowledge’ is presenting another strategy to produce ideas and initiate creative processes by using this phenomenon and turning it around to the creative minds advantage of controlling information input and possibly being able to reinterpret and reconfigure the ingredients of information to generate new images. I will go through a variety of perception theory to support the way we understand information, memorize and integrate it in our minds. Furthermore I will de-construct ‘the image’ in our mind to understand how it was formed, using these fragments, ingredients of a thought, categorizing and cataloguing them to recall each to form a new thought. Finally I hope this is leading to a new strategy for the way we procedure and catalyse information, backfiring at the information intake overflow by taking advantage of it - a new information thinking for designers and creative thinking.

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THE OBSCURE KNOWLEDGE INTRODUCTION Technology essentially makes us able to access information, easier, faster and unrestricted, always and anywhere we are. Despite the quality of informations, vast amounts reach us through different channels day by day. Albeit we think by choice, the reality is: most of it is extremely well controlled and chosen by third party and ultimately the market. One side would say: great, I always get what I want, the other side feels betrayed and threatened in their privacy. We are able to always know what is happening around us, in the world and in our direct surrounding, what our ‘friends’ do and what the newest gossip is about, or at least a distilled image of that in pictures and written word. Open source and creative common enhances immensely our knowledge, skills and possibilities to do things, but there is still a grey sector of what we are actually looking for versus what we are meant to look at. Let’s pretend all the images and impressions we gain through out the day via all types of media and information technology are distorted, manipulated or shifted for another purpose then the actual information delivery: Day by day we are spending multiple hours looking at this ‘distorted’ information, which influences our own perception of things and the world. Ultimately we are always confronted to compare the ‘information’-world with the real world we live in, the world how it should be and the world how it is, emerges a need in us for something to change. Of course this is quite a problem for people who have to deal with real world problems, because the humanity starts to live in two worlds, the world of state and the world of desire. In my mind, the architects of our time is to understand real world problems and solve them in a most responsible manner. So how do we, us the architect, not confuse these two worlds and protect us from “garbage” information distorting and influencing our creative mind and perception? Or is it a matter of integrating the two worlds, real and image, to come up with suitable solutions? This paper introduces a strategy to turn the phenomenon of distorted information overflow around and use it for our advantage as designers and creative thinking, somewhere in between the real and the imagination realm. I am describing a solution to produce an artificial catalogue of information for ourselfs to chose from, as ingredients for new ideas, possibly to be reinterpreted, to re-form our own image, an approach of how to gain back power over our information intake and the amount of influence it has on our mind of thought.

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So how can we gain back power? Of course we could abandon all technology and cut down on information intake, leaving us to be off track and behind. Why not trying to deal with it and actively engage to make use of the unlimited amount of information. Let us take a step back and look at the situation from another perspective. Try to follow me on this thought: Imagine there is a blueprint so you could manipulate your brain, extend the complexity of your thoughts, feed the extended thought back and iterate the initial thought each time with different circumstances. You might think that this is how the brain and thinking process might work, you just don’t understand it. But think about it as a self influenceable and manipulatable thought circuit. What would you think about and how and why would you manipulate it? Further-on, think about your live, since you crawled out of your mothers womb, seeing the light on earth the first time, what have you experienced, what did you look at? You were gathering through watching, listening, tasting, smelling and touching a large amount of information to comprehend your surrounding and world you live in. What if these information would have been gathered and collected in your brain, not combined to the current state of mind, a blurry picture, but each single bit of information recallable in exact detail, pure in its nature not affected by an earlier picture or a thought possible related to it? The vast amount of information we gather day by day through the internet and all its media, almost no geographic boundaries, the daily life with its unique situations and interactions shape, subconsciously our picture and perception of the world, our direct surrounding, the people we live with and ourself. My first paper, ‘Machinic Imagination’ talks about ecosystems and it’s active members, each with its own agenda, keeping the system alive. As a new design and creativity strategy ‘Machinic Imagination’ is deployed by taking given ecosystems, categorizing their initiators and reconfiguring them to generate new outcomes and systems. Instead of using existing ecosystems, manipulating and deforming its members and reconfiguring them to design our own systems, ‘Obscure Knowledge’ is even more radically talking about taking a pure form of given initiators from our mind. By patterning this thoughts we can activate our creativity and enhance our combination abilities. We don’t have to analyse anything to understand given correlations, but use our brains “stock” of pictures, emotions and experiences. Taking a look at the human brains memory of real objects, their illustrations, and lived experiences and how our creativity and mind is able to combine images to create space we have never been to or experienced ourself. How about taking over the lead and deciding ourselfs how to manipulate and shape our perception, to lift up your mind and away from reality in order to generate new ideas, ultimately leading to a novel design processes.

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THE OBSCURE KNOWLEDGE OF HUMAN PERCEPTION The human body has five senses to perceive the world we live in: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. The online recourse of body language “Dimensions of Body Language”statest that the highest degree of sensational intensity has sight with 83%, followed by 11% by hearing, 3% by smell, 2% by touch and 1% by taste. Clearly vision is the most powerful influencer in our daily life. Vision is achieved by different types and grades of comparison, in the physical realm like our two eyes comparing each others sight to gain full spectrum of view. With our field of vision of 200 degree in horizontal direction and 135 degree in vertical direction, humans vision is counted under the category of binocular vision, because 120 degree of 200 in horizontal direction are overlapping, that is 150 degree of vision per eye horizontally and therefore only 30 degree of each eye are not overlapping. Also our minds perception and generation of images is done by comparing results and sensations of different senses. Comparing results of different senses to fully perceive reality. A combination of two or more senses can be multiplicated and result in very powerful stimulation: Soundtrack is a movies rise and fall, in terms of excitement. Also a variety of studies by John Locke1, George Berkeley2 and Jean Piaget3 showed that to understand an unknown object to its fullest, multiple senses in combination are necessary. This is proven by observation of infants early more linear learning phases, partitioned by time and so into different age stages, going through mainly sense driven phases to enhance the sensory capacities, and later on through phases of major motor ability or even combined, like the oral phase. Memorizing through vision: Brenda Murphy-Niederkorn4 states in her essay “Brain imaging identifies best memorization strategies, details differing parts of brain used in each - Visual study, word play among most effective memory techniques” on the Washington University in St. Louis - theSource web-page that also memorizing information is greatly enhanced by visual components, but furthermore by use of multiple senses and comparison understanding and great results in memorizing information are achieved. For example looking at visually supported information, speaking out loud what is shown, and so hearing what was said to reflect and compare what was seen in the first place to reconfirm the visual impression helps memorizing and therefore framing the image of a stimulated thought. So how do we know what things are? We compare them to things which might look, feel, smell, sound and taste the same, from a stock of images in our mind, connected in a complex network of memorized sensations. In fragments of seconds we know how a colour might taste, or smells, what shape a sound might take and or how texture might feel like because of our memory of sensations we experience over and over again, most likely always slightly different, possibly in a great variety of context and circumstance, shaping the image of one and the same thought into a blurry illustration of a thought in our mind.

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Figure 1: The Five Senses. Page 47


THE OBSCURE KNOWLEDGE AN EXPERIMENT To conclude the perception section it is important to note that this means that all thought and imagination is an interpretation of the real world, and that all experiences and new pictures just influence an existing image in our mind. Keeping this in mind: Is it now possible to imagine an entirely new thought at all? Every thought and every image we think about is already there, we just have to call it. Essentially after all we already have an outrageous amount of visual thought in our brain, we just need to know how to unlock and call the content. Before I continue I will make sure you can follow my thought by a little experiment. Just picture really quick your surrounding, lets say from large to small scale: What country are you in, what city, what neighbourhood, picture the building, the room, it’s windows and doors, the furniture, where you sit, the chair, possible plants, possibly holding a pen, with a mug of coffee next to you, reading through this paper, excited about the current read, but exhausted of reading papers, feeling a bit warm because the sun is shining unexpected warm through the window, spring is coming early, or just in time this year. Go on for yourself, listen to the sounds you hear, feel the temperature on your skin, are you sitting comfortable? How does the chair feel? How are your arms, legs and head? Are you restless or focused?... It is possible to go on and on, maybe you even realize something you haven’t initially. Very fast your own individual and unique story comes together. Every element of the story may be categorized differently, some more in the physical realm, some in the mental space, or combinations of both: objective circumstances and your surrounding, your personal well-being and comfort, but also emotions and thoughts you are experiencing and processing. Of course the various elements influence each other, and or even initiate each other, maybe the coffee caffeine inflates your vessels in combination with some good sound on your ears gives you some sort of drive which motivates you to go through at least ten more submissions in the next 3 hours. The network of influences in-between mental and physical driven excitement or sensation is extremely complex and probably not to grasp by human or machine, failing already at assessing and giving hard facted numeric count to emotions. But this is just prove how sophisticated our thought processes and so our brains neuron network is. Combination and comparison logic is clearly a strength of our mind, for especially the subconscious performance is not to underestimate5. Why not using this extremely powerful combination gift for a possible creative process? Of course this is probably part of our design process anyway, but we are not controlling it in a way we possibly could. So follow me on an other thought, the nature is the same of the experiment before with you situating yourself. Please read carefully the following instructions and turn over each page step by step.

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Figure 2: From global to local circumstances. Page 49


Imagine you are in Saint Petersburg, Russia. What does Saint Petersburg look like for you? Try to picture this as clear as possible.


For me Saint Petersburg looks like this.


Saint Petersburg, Russia. Imagine you are sitting in the green quartz room. How does this room look like for you? Try to picture this as clear as possible.


For me the green quartz room in Saint Petersburg looks like a combination of this two pictures.


Saint Petersburg, Russia. The green quartz room. Imagine you are sitting on a comfortable but firm arm chair. How does the chair look like for you? Try to picture this as clear as possible.


For me the arm chair looks about like the one represented in the picture.


Saint Petersburg, Russia. The green quartz room. Comfortable arm chair. Now imagine you are drinking whisky. What does the whisky taste like? What colour has the liquid? Try to picture this as clear as possible.


For me this is what the colour of the whisky is. In my glass there are even ice cubes, giving the glass a slight refreshing looking sweat.


Saint Petersburg, Russia. The green quartz room. Comfortable arm chair. Ice cold whisky. Now imagine the glass you are holding is a beautifully hand crafted blue whisky glass. How does it feel in your hand? How are the light reflections in the glass? Try to picture this as clear as possible.


For me this is what the blue whisky glass looks like - nice crystal sanded patterning.


Saint Petersburg, Russia. The green quartz room. Comfortable arm chair. Ice cold whisky. Blue crystal sanded glass.


You made it, thank you for making the effort. Now what is the point? Well, I guided you through a set of ‘elements’ asking you to imagine a couple of different circumstances, physical and mental nature. Even though you might have never been to Saint Petersburg, maybe not even to Russia, you might have never been to a whisky salon like the one illustrated above, maybe you are a vegetarian and you try to avoid things made out of leather, you hate the taste of whisky and anyway red is your favourite colour, but still after all the steps you have been through, slowly, step by step a quite exact picture in your mind was rendered. Am I right? - Great. Is it not absolutely fascinating to generate a vision you actually have never seen out of images, representations and memories stored in your brain anyway? Well, I think so! Now to just go one step further in this story and finish the experiment: Next page.


Same story: Saint Petersburg, Russia. The green quartz room. Comfortable arm chair. Ice cold whisky. Blue crystal sanded glass. But what happens if you exchange Saint Petersburg, Russia with...


...an island in the Caribbean. Island in the Caribbean. The green quartz room. Comfortable arm chair. Ice cold whisky. Blue crystal sanded glass. Despite the fact that you only exchanged one of the elements of our story, the entire setup changes drastically.


THE OBSCURE KNOWLEDGE AN EXPERIMENT You could probably do this experiment over and over again, visiting never visited places by combining different impressions of your past life. It is important to distinguish between the elements of the story, some have larger effects on the big picture than others. In the end of the experiment we just went through, a change of the surrounding makes a big difference, changing only the “blue crystal sanded glass” into another colour or the “arm chair” to a couch, makes almost no difference. At least that is true for the initial setup of the story. Thinking of the quality of the story, lets call it “the possibilities to continue”, the couch instead of the “arm chair” gives already another degree of stimulation, a couch not only seen as a different type of seat but also suggesting for multiple people to sit on, might stimulate the thought of another person joining the scene, sitting next to you on the couch, reading the New York Times. All the sudden in a very easy way new thoughts come into mind to continue the detailing of the scene. (Or at least this is how it appears to me). Ultimately there are probably infinite versions of this story. Even the lengths of the story is infinite. At least as deep as our mind, our imagination as limitation for thought. Two things are to mention at this point, there are factors regarding the picture and factors which are given by the observers perception, which is shaping the aspects of the image: The picture as element of a bigger story can be categorized into six various attributes: 1. The scale from large to small, 2. Rigid to flexible, 3. Usable to unusable, 4. Hierarchy in between elements, 5. Range of freedom for further stimulation and 6. The strength of effect, effecting the stimulation of the big picture. Given properties regarding the observer are, related to patterning and combination logic of the mind. To change the observers perspective, there are ways to manipulate the perception artificially, for example by looking at a certain type of picture, or travel to a country which is unknown. Manipulating perception is in general quite hard, because we don’t know what senses play together to come up with the image we actually have in our minds.

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M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N CONCLUSION This is a very simple and powerful way to generate images and stimulate creativity. Even though the example I was drawing is regarding to an actually story. I strongly believe in a design development phase including a variety of scenarios, and simulating possible actors. The mentioned strategy is a great way to simply iterate different scenarios, not only for you as an individuum but also as a group of people, I hope to make the connection in the next chapter of how to communicate the rendered thought. The only part which is missing, but unfortunately would break the frame is the part which describes how exactly excessive use of software and hardware, social media, networks and technology shape our perception and how we can get back in control over our vast amounts of input. A even more radical way would have been to suggest a idea strategy trying to use all five senses. A box or machine, delivering a thought by smell, taste, touch, sound and image, instead of using only 83% of the body’s visual perception, use the full 100%!

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M A C H I N I C I M A G I N AT I O N

1690).

1 Locke, J. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Basset, London, 2 Berkeley, G. An Essay Toward a New Theory of Vision (Pepyat, Dublin, 1709).

3 Piaget, J. The Origins of Intelligence (Norton, New York, 1952); The Construction of Reality (Basic, New York, 1954); Play, Dreams and Imitation in Childhood (Norton, New York, 1962). Age of Entanglement [WWW Document], 2016. . PubPub. URL http://jods. mitpress.mit.edu/pub/AgeOfEntanglement (accessed 3.23.16). Body Language - Seating Arrangements Where To Sit, And Why [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://westsidetoastmasters.com/resources/book_of_body_ language/chap17.html (accessed 3.23.16). 4 Brain imaging identifies best memorization strategies, details differing parts of brain used in each | The Source | Washington University in St. Louis [WWW Document], 2006. . The Source. URL https://source.wustl.edu/2006/08/brainimaging-identifies-best-memorization-strategies-details-differing-parts-of-brainused-in-each/ (accessed 3.24.16). 5 Ray Kurzweil, “This Singularity is Near” and “The Computational Capacity of the Human Brain” in the Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (New York, NY: Viking Press, 2005), pp. 21-31 and 122-141. Gonzalez, R., n.d. 10 Limits to Human Perception ... and How They Shape Your World [WWW Document]. io9. URL http://io9.com/5926643/10-fundamental-limitsto-human-perception----and-how-they-shape-your-world (accessed 3.23.16). Is Your Little One On Track? Childhood Development Stages, n.d. . Child Development Institute. Toddler - Preschooler Development & Parenting Tips (2 - 5 years), n.d. . Child Development Institute.

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Twitter, N.P., Facebook, N.P., Instagram, N.P., Dribble, N.P., Behance, N.P., Project, T., About, Blog, Kit, P., Jobs, Iconathon, Draft.LA, More, L., Pricing, App, M., Teams, Creators, Api, Support, Contact, Faq, Handbook, C., Use, T. of, Policy, P., Terms, C., n.d. Noun Project [WWW Document]. Noun Project. URL https:// thenounproject.com (accessed 3.24.16). Mitchell_WJT_Iconology_Image_Text_Ideology.pdf, n.d. Mossati, C., 2011. Macallan, Highland Park & Laphroaig Whisky Masterclass. Gourmantic. Nachtmann Whisky tumbler Traube cobalt blue [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://www.shop-spiegelau.com/nachtmann-whiskyglas-pur-traube-kobaltblau. html (accessed 3.24.16). sandals_royalcaribbean3.jpg (JPEG Image, 1440 × 1000 pixels) - Scaled (53%) [WWW Document], n.d. URL https://sharoncainetravel.com/media/k2/galleries/36/ sandals_royalcaribbean3.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). St._Petersburg_church.jpg (JPEG Image, 2200 × 2930 pixels) - Scaled (18%) [WWW Document], n.d. URL https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3c/ St._Petersburg_church.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). Download Wallpaper 3840x2400 Whiskey, Drink, Glasses, Table, Cube, Ice Ultra HD 4K HD Background [WWW Document], n.d. URL https://wallpaperscraft.com/ download/whiskey_drink_glasses_table_cube_ice_76627/3840x2400 (accessed 3.24.16). CH7.jpg (JPEG Image, 350  ×  490 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http:// thebodytemplebook.com/store/images/CH7.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). Leather Wing Chair Fttqva - ergonomic [WWW Document], n.d. URL http:// www.ergonomicchairreviews.info/leather-wing-chair/leather-wing-chair-fttqva/ (accessed 3.24.16). maxresdefault.jpg (JPEG Image, 1280  ×  720 pixels) - Scaled (74%) [WWW Document], n.d. URL https://i.ytimg.com/vi/mUaWWm_NPO4/maxresdefault.jpg (accessed 3.24.16).

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CHAPTER 3 TRAVELLING THOUGHT


COMPUTATIONAL SPACE DESIGN AS RESEARCH 2 DS 103X DESIGN CORE SEMINAR TERM 2 ROBERT STUART-SMITH


T R AV E L L I N G T H O U G H T CONTENT

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GLOSSARY ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION

Page 98-99 Page 100-101 Page 102-105 Page 106-107

BETWEEN PHYSICAL AND MENTAL AUGMENTATION WORKING AROUND THOUGHT INCEST THE IMAGINATION MATRIX CONCLUSION

Page 108 BIBLIOGRAPHY Page 109-111 SECONDARY REFERENCES / VISUAL APPENDIX

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T R AV E L L I N G T H O U G H T GLOSSARY 1 Element A fundamental, essential, or irreducible constituent of a composite entity. 2 Mental Of or relating to intellectual as contrasted with emotional activity. 3 Medium The collective communication outlets or tools that are used to store and deliver information or data. 4 Progress Forward or onward movement. 5 Imagination The ​ability to ​form ​pictures in the ​mind.

element, n.d. . The Free Dictionary. Definition of MENTAL [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://beta.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mental (accessed 12.17.15). 3 Medium, 2015. . Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 4 Progress | Define Progress at Dictionary.com [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ progress (accessed 12.17.15). 5 imagination Bedeutung im Cambridge Englisch Wörterbuch [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://dictionary.cambridge.org/de/worterbuch/englisch/imagination (accessed 12.17.15). 1 2

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T R AV E L L I N G T H O U G H T ABSTRACT Language and communication are key in most professions. Pictures or any other visual stimulations are preferably used to communicate ideas and thoughts. Even though our possibilities to produce rapidly powerful and appealing pictures and visualizations, I allege they are not understood as successful entirely. This is not about the choice of medium, rather the problem lies between culture and origin of the interlocutors. Using a thought generator as part of a design strategy, like described my first paper ‘Machinic Imagination’ or in my second paper ‘The Obscure Knowledge’ is one thing, not being able to communicate the outcome can be quite frustrating. This paper: ‘Traveling Thought’ will not exactly be about language, but rather about the medium in gerneral and how to collectively come up with a thought in the first place so communicating it is obsolete. I will present a strategy to collectively stimulate thoughts and ideas to come up with a generative big picture produced by a set of different people. This is not only to be seen as a tool to develop ideas, but also to enhance thoughts with all the background, experiences and knowledge of each member of the conversation to its fullest capacity and so multiplicates the intrinsicallity of the idea.

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T R AV E L L I N G T H O U G H T INTRODUCTION Referencing is common practice in the field of creative working, not only to bring a sketch to life, but also to support bringing it closer to reality, and lastly to situate the own ideas and thoughts in-between the existing. By the way, again a type of comparison, just like described in ‘The Obscure Knowledge’s chapter ‘Of Human Perception’: Comparing a sketch with the real world, to show that strengths and weaknesses are recognized and possibly treated within the own idea. Or just as prove of concept to show that the thought might be actually realized. Seems to be a natural habit according to human perception of vision. MIT Professor Mary Potter1 states in her Journal “Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics” that the eye just needs “13 milliseconds” to give the brain enough evidence for it to process and know what the image shows. She also says that the brain essentially compares “all day long” things we look at to things we know already. Even though the possibilities to create visual media have increased tremendously, images are often terribly misunderstood or misplaced. As described in the ‘Obscure Knowledge’ essay, limitless thought, discovering the unknown is exciting, but what is the thought worth if you can not share it or communicate it in the way you were thinking about it? In architecture, preferably the body of education focus lies more and more on the process than on the actual outcome or an image of a project, this is because the process and its little steps and thoughts behind them are to be explored and shaped. For especially in architecture this is of importance, since it is supposed to be a biographic shaping education. Attention to the process is also visible in many other professions outside the creative field, not only in education but also in practices. I always wondered why there is no such sophisticated theory or “building science” like in other science, for example: all natural sciences, as Philip Steadman states in “The Evolution of Designs: Biological Analogy in Architecture and the Applied Arts”. Architectural offices still seem to not spend enough time and effort on research. Only a few offices like OMA with their research group AMO, which is working in “areas beyond architecture”: “media, politics, renewable energy, technology, publishing, fashion”, or ZHA with their CODE-Group which addresses and applies “contemporary”, “locally relevant“ research. This two examples are actually wanting to figure out the fundament of matter within and beyond architecture. There for the thinking process in the initial state of design development, practiced in commercial offices, comes badly, which then results in “garbage spill urbanisation”, how Patrik Schumacher states it in Fluid Totality2.

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Figure 1: Eyes vision. Figure 2: Galaxy Soho - Zaha Hadid Architects. Page 97


T R AV E L L I N G T H O U G H T BETWEEN PHYSICAL AND MENTAL AUGMENTATION I absolutely understand the philosophy of the performing artist Stelios Arcadiou, Stelarc3. Not replacing existing parts of the body to expand its abilities, but augmenting technology to enable new ability. Also trying solve the humans biggest failure death, in biological terms, and conquer the quest of the infinite life sounds very radical and exciting to me. The most obvious thing in order to test out new boundaries of the human body, is clearly to literally stay in the physical realm and perform experimentation with your own flesh and bone. Limitations and boundaries are quite easy to reach in the human realm: we can only see a certain spectrum of light wave length, from 380 mm to 750 mm, our field of vision is clearly restricted, only up to “30 frames per second” are processable by the brain, human ears are only able to hear a sound domain “20 to 20,000 Hz” frequency, taste is already limited by the amount of “5000 taste buds”, the fastest human being runs at speed of 44.64 km/h, which is also world record. Engineering a third arm, like Sterlarc did in his project “Involuntary Body / Third Hand”, to do more tasks with your hands at the same time, or reach further. In his project “Exoskeleton”, he is extending his motive tract to a six legged spider-like apparatus, to enhance his body’s mobility and movement ability. Both projects are interesting because of the boundary they push: thinking about what the human body could be doing with augmented technology, but the only problem is, the world has to adapt to this new abilities, why would one want three hands if there are no activities which need three hands? What is still even more appealing to me is to augment new abilities to our brain, questioning the way we think and suggesting a new way of thinking, by using new patterns of thought networks. Both, as an individuum and also in collaboration with other individuals. The only problem is here that there is no empty canvas to begin with. A healthy human body is quite static parallel to its age. But the mind of an adult is quite packed with information, knowledge and experience. This still is no limitation, rather an advantage to be used in the strategy I suggest. Of course there must be limitations to our brains performative capacities: How fast we proceed information, inherit and recall memories, react to unexpected circumstances and situational stimuli. Akira Haraguchi for example memorizes “100,000 digits” after the number Pi in “16 hours”. Or how Ray Kurzweil4 would describe it in his book “The Singularity is Near - The Six Epoches”: Compared to machines, which are able to “remember billions of facts precisely and recall them instantly”, human intelligence is distinguished by their strong ability of “pattern-recognition”. To memorize “Billions of facts” by machines is quite a linear process and just a matter of actual data space, but to describe humans “pattern-recognition” is extremely complex if not impossible.

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Figure 3:Stelarcs Project - Involuntary Body/Third Hand. Page 99


T R AV E L L I N G T H O U G H T WORKING AROUND THOUGHT INCEST ‘Traveling Thought’ is a paper describing a strategy how to share complex thoughts with other people, in the most accurate and exact way. Which then helps your audience to give their input and influence your thinking. This is achieved not by written or spoken word, nor by drawing a diagram or picture. In fact I will investigate a strategy how to stimulate thinking as a group of different people. Places like the Architectural Association, School of Architecture in London, build upon such philosophy. Diversity in conversation is probably the most valuable stimulator. People from the absolute highest variation in knowledge, background and culture, sitting around one table thinking about one and the same thought. High variety of people initiates an equal variety of ideas. Why not using this extreme variation and possible utopic thinking to stimulate a common idea, rather than each of the participant of a conversation coming up with their own. As a result of collaborating minds, the group is coming up with ideas and thoughts of complexity not achieved by one human being, but still thought through as one thought. Each participant with in it’s own mind set and limitation of thought. This is part two of ‘Obscure Knowledge’. To know the unknown, sounds very convincing to me, imagining never seen things, in a complexity not able to be articulated in our spoken language, absolutely brilliant. If you cant describe the thought in written or spoken word, how will you be able to share it with other people and like-minded? In a way there is no other person in the world who might exactly understand your thoughts, ideas and perspective on things, because the story captured in one humans life makes us unique. There is no other person who has experienced the same things you did. And even if so your DNA, your internal biology made the inevitable difference. Your brain was stimulated differently, injecting a different amount of endorphins into your bodies system and therefore making the experience more or less intense and memorable. So after all your caught in your own mind and world of thought, just stimulating more of your own thoughts in higher complexities and depth - thought incest. The strategy for thought sharing I suggest is essentially a matrix of existing pictures. These pictures are chosen by the participants of a thought process conversation, how I will call it from now on. Different distinguished categories according to the needs of context and general brief of the task. At this point it is important to remember the scales of “elements” from the prior essay “The Obscure Knowledge” to be sorted into the matrix: First scaling from large to small, second from rigid to flexible, third from usable to unusable, forth the hierarchy between the elements, fifth the range of freedom to continue and sixth the strength of the elements effect. Each category can have infinite members.

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Figure 4: DNA chain. Page 101


T R AV E L L I N G T H O U G H T THE IMAGINATION MATRIX The first thing that needs to happen is the creation of the catalogue. A catalogue of all the visual media, where the participants can chose from. The catalogue essentially has two stages first: Each picture needs to be evaluated and graded in the six aspects I was mentioning before The grade range for each category is from 1 to 5 and there for the highest possible “Total Score”, or “Score of Sensation”, numbers 30 and the lowest 6. Let’s walk through the example of the story from “The Obscure Knowledge”: The first picture showing the little huts on an island in the Caribbean will get a score 3 in scale, because it is not exactly a continent or country, 1 towards rigidity, because you can’t exactly change anything about the situation of the island, it is there and there will be nothing erasing it, a 3 in usability, of course you can move around freely and use what ever is there, but really in bonds of the ocean surrounding the island, 5 in hierarchical level, the temperature, the geographic parameter and circumstances just have effect on everything, replacing the island possibly changes the entire story, a 4 for freedom for further stimulation, because anything could happen on the island, anybody could come visit with all kinds of transportation, the strength of effect is also scored with 4 because the island is quite an exotic place and gives constraints to what ever happens on the island. With a Total Score of 20, the Caribbean is quite high in sensation and might influence the global outcome of the story in a major way. The second picture, a leather arm chair will get a 1 in scale, since the domain is pretty much infinite, imagine the universe being the largest instance, and there for it needs to be scored in its means, a 2 in rigidity, the chair is quite rigid but also it’s flexible position or aesthetic do not really change anything in the story, the usability of the object is the purpose of the chair, so a 4 in usability, the hierarchical level is scored quite low, just 2, because it is possible to exchange the leather arm chair with any other object to sit on, the story is the same, the hierarchical level is also quite low, 2, because the scene could also happen without the chair, sitting or standing, but still the chair clearly is part of a certain flair, the freedom level is also at 2, because it is an object not to be changed, only one person can sit on it, there are two things to be done with it: sitting on it, or moving it around, the effect of the chair is fair with a score of 3, because not only the aesthetic but also the comfort and again the flair this specific chair is radiating is crucial for the scene it is in. All in all a Total Score 14 comes pretty realistic, it is a small object, but the use of it in the context of the Whisky drinking scene described in “The Obscure Knowledge” is important. I could go on and describe all the other pictures I have chosen to tell the story of you drinking Whisky in Saint Petersburg, in the green quartz room, seated in an armed leather chair. But I will leave this to my perception why I chose what score, the only thing important for you is the score at all.

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AADRL Design Core Seminar DS103X

Caribbean island Scaling from small to large rigid to flexible unusable to usable hirarchical level grade of freedom strength of effect Total Score: 20

1 2 3 4 5 < o > o < > < o > o > < o < > < o >

Green quartz room Scaling from small to large rigid to flexible unusable to usable hirarchical level grade of freedom strength of effect Total Score: 6

1 2 3 4 5 o < > o < > o < > o < > o < > o < >

Arm chair Scaling from small to large rigid to flexible unusable to usable hirarchical level grade of freedom strength of effect Total Score: 14

1 2 3 4 5 < o > o < > < o > o < > o < > < o >

Whisky Scaling from small to large rigid to flexible unusable to usable hirarchical level grade of freedom strength of effect Total Score: 10

1 2 3 4 5 < o > o < > < o > o < > o < > o < >

Blue crystal sanded glas Scaling from small to large rigid to flexible unusable to usable hirarchical level grade of freedom strength of effect Total Score: 10

1 2 3 4 5 < o > o < > < o > o < > o < > o < >

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T R AV E L L I N G T H O U G H T THE IMAGINATION MATRIX The second part of cataloguing the pictures is to sort them into the matrix. Preferably take the scale or the hierarchy “Score” and go from left to write, what ever you feel is important to you. Also as mentioned in the beginning: In this very small abstract example of my matrix I have chosen just a couple of pictures, which of course I have not graded yet, like the first step suggests. The quantity of pictures in the catalogue really can be infinite, the only thing to be ensured at the end of the two cataloguing procedures is that every participant of the “thought process conversation” has the same catalogue, with same pictures and the “Total Score” which comes with them from the first step. Of course the participant can be part of putting together the pictures and their scores, it might be quite a painful exercise initially, but slowly and steadily a larger and larger collection of pictures grows to a catalogue to be used in the future. In my example of the Imagination Matrix I used different types of pictures to show what is possible: In the first column I could have just taken pictures from an island in the Caribbean. In the second, I could have chosen only minerals and precious stones, in the family of a green quartz. It all depends on how close you want to narrow down the choice of pictures in the matrix already. Not the setup is clear: First of all we need to collect a certain set of pictures, chosen by the participants of the “thought process conversation”. These pictures need to be catalogued and graded in the six aspects mentioned in the beginning of this guide. According to the detailed break down of the “Total Score” they need to be filled into such a matrix, illustrated on the right. The participant will further discuss which of the pictures are appropriate in what position and why. The “Total Score” for each picture is a guide to not under-stimulate the configuration the outcome and so the idea or “big picture”. Since it is advisable to go from left to right, from large to small grain in order for the “Total Score”-Key to work, and there are six aspects to grade the pictures in scale between 1 and 5, the sum of the “Total Score” of the Pictures in the dark horizontal rectangle should try to reach 90. This also means that with the growth of the “Total Score”s number, the potential and stimulation of the final outcome increases. Of course there can be columns added on the right, but the “Total Score”-Key needs to be adjusted accordingly. Now imagine each of the participants chose on picture under the same brief for the first column, the variety of different perceptions is already integrated, and no opinion is abandoned. Every voice is heard equally and there can not be a lack or overflow of participation. No potential is overseen, the background and cultural different perception is in a very simple way brought to it’s fullest potential to be expressed, in an equal manner. Fair enough, this example is very close tied to tell a story, but really it is about communicating imagination through visual opinion equality.

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T R AV E L L I N G T H O U G H T CONCLUSION Team work and collaboration between the most different professions will be our future. Not only because the output of collaborating contrasting professions have interesting output, but because technology will more and more infiltrate our lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, this is unstoppable. As the world gets connected, trade streamlined, traveling around the globe easy and affordable we can not just think of one thing anymore, we have to start thinking beyond the traditional ways, beyond the already known and the common practice. Achieving this by being able to communicate even without language is part of the success story. Ultimately time is our most valuable attribute, so speed becomes more and more important. Our brain is extremely fast in absorbing and processing pictures and images, why not making more than use of that. Writing words and reading them takes a lot of time, I am suggesting a language of sensation of our most powerful partition of our brain, the visual cortex? The above strategy at least starts to stimulate that idea.

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T R AV E L L I N G T H O U G H T BIBLIOGRAPHY 1 Mary Potter, Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. 2015

2 University of Applied Arts Vienna, Fluid Totality, Studio Zaha Hadid 2000-

3 stelarc // bio notes [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://stelarc. org/?catID=20239 (accessed 3.24.16). stelarc // Exoskeleton [WWW org/?catID=20227 (accessed 3.23.16).

Document],

n.d.

URL

http://stelarc.

4 Ray Kurzweil, “This Singularity is Near” and “The Computational Capacity of the Human Brain” in the Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (New York, NY: Viking Press, 2005), pp. 21-31 and 122-141. Cecie Starr (2005). Biology: Concepts and Applications. Thomson Brooks/ Cole. ISBN 0-534-46226-X. Heffner, Henry; Heffner, Rickye (January 2007). “Hearing Ranges of Laboratory Animals”. American Association for Laboratory Animal Science 46 (1): 20. Retrieved 19 September 2014. USA.

Boron, W.F., E.L. Boulpaep. 2003. Medical Physiology. 1st ed. Elsevier Science

IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) Biomechanical Research Project: Berlin 2009 Bellos, Alex (2015-03-13). “He ate all the pi : Japanese man memorises π to 111,700 digits”. The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-08-14. The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil (2006-09-26) Philip Steadman, The Evolution of Designs: Biological Analogy in Architecture and the Applied Arts Band 5 von Cambridge urban and architectural studies AAVS | São Paulo 2016 [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://www.zha-codeeducation.org/ (accessed 3.23.16). AMO.NET America’s Multimedia Online (Human Eye Frames Per Second) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://amo.net/nt/02-21-01fps.html (accessed 3.23.16). Erwin Panofsky_ On the Problem of Describing and Interpreting Works of Visual Arts.pdf, n.d.

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Your brain really IS faster than you think: It takes just 13 milliseconds to see an image, scientists discover | Daily Mail Online [WWW Document], n.d. URL http:// www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2542583/Scientists-record-fastest-timehuman-image-takes-just-13-milliseconds.html (accessed 3.23.16). $_32.JPG (JPEG Image, 580  ×  828 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/ODI4WDU4MA==/z/AvQAAOSwoQ1Tnqu~/$_32.JPG?set_ id=880000500F (accessed 3.24.16). 10_0e66804e40589174ff8d0874009d7be4.jpg (JPEG Image, 550  ×  365 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://static.zoonar.de/img/www_repository4/5c/f4/ ef/10_0e66804e40589174ff8d0874009d7be4.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). 50a642f8b3fc4b46eb000066_galaxy-soho-zaha-hadid-architects-by-huftoncrow_zh_galaxy_soho_014.jpg (JPEG Image, 1204 × 1152 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://images.adsttc.com/media/images/5531/0771/e58e/cee0/0800/0125/ large_jpg/50a642f8b3fc4b46eb000066_galaxy-soho-zaha-hadid-architects-byhufton-crow_zh_galaxy_soho_014.jpg?1429276521 (accessed 3.24.16). 3019370-poster-1280-dna.jpg (JPEG Image, 1280  ×  720 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://a.fastcompany.net/multisite_files/fastcompany/ imagecache/1280/poster/2013/10/3019370-poster-1280-dna.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). a360-004-a-arm-chair.jpg (JPEG Image, 600 × 600 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://files.schnadig.com/photos/large/5221C88CC3177383/a360-004-aarm-chair.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). Alps.original.2102.jpg (JPEG Image, 6336 × 3336 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://static.thousandwonders.net/Alps.original.2102.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). Arnstadt-Kristall-venedig-k.jpg (JPEG Image, 300  ×  300 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://www.whiskyverkostung.com/wordpress/wp-content/ uploads/2013/07/Arnstadt-Kristall-venedig-k.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). Azurblau_Pigment.JPG (JPEG Image, 3888 × 2592 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ce/Azurblau_ Pigment.JPG (accessed 3.24.16). Bohemia-Cristal-Glas-Blumenmuster-rund-757472723--large.jpg (JPEG Image, 298 × 250 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://statics.exclusiveone.com/ exone/Bohemia-Cristal-Glas-Blumenmuster-rund-757472723--large.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). Brown-eyes-6.10.14.jpg (JPEG Image, 960  ×  640 pixels) [WWW Document],

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T R AV E L L I N G T H O U G H T VISUAL APPENDIX / SECONDARY REFERENCES n.d. URL http://discoveryeye.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/Brown-eyes-6.10.14.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). CH7.jpg (JPEG Image, 350  ×  490 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http:// thebodytemplebook.com/store/images/CH7.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). contemporary-armchairs-and-accent-chairs.jpg (JPEG Image, 478 × 640 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://st.hzcdn.com/simgs/f0e136d3006bbb15_4-8613/ contemporary-armchairs-and-accent-chairs.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). Field of view, 2016. . Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. louise-roe-crystal-glas-129.jpg (JPEG Image, 420  ×  243 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://d2m4p4v1jvbiq5.cloudfront.net/cdn/790702/media/ product/d67/louise-roe-crystal-glas-129.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). Meltzoff, A.N., Borton, R.W., 1979. Intermodal matching by human neonates. Nature 282, 403–404. doi:10.1038/282403a0 Noun Project Search [WWW Document], n.d. URL https://thenounproject. com/search/?q=pen (accessed 3.23.16). OMA OFFICE [WWW Document], n.d. . OMA. URL http://oma.eu/office (accessed 3.24.16). original_netherfield-upholstered-armchair.jpg (JPEG Image, 900  ×  899 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://cdn.notonthehighstreet.com/system/ product_images/images/000/765/498/original_netherfield-upholstered-armchair. jpg (accessed 3.24.16). p-277-curry-powder.jpg (JPEG Image, 1092 × 603 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://www.herbco.com/images/product/large/p-277-curry-powder.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). top_invisible.jpg (JPEG Image, 268 × 268 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://www.cocktailtimes.com/original/jose_clasico/top_invisible.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). UltraDNS Client Redirection Service [WWW Document], n.d. URL http:// springerlink.com/content/1943-3921/ (accessed 3.23.16).

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uto_urban_field_.jpg (JPEG Image, 1000  ×  1000 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://www.evolo.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/uto_urban_field_.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). welcherwein.jpg (JPEG Image, 550 × 366 pixels) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://www.galerieslafayette.de/files/2010/03/welcherwein.jpg (accessed 3.24.16). Wüste-Sahara.jpg (JPEG Image, 1200  ×  800 pixels) - Scaled (33%) [WWW Document], n.d. URL http://www.abenteurer.net/wp-content/uploads/ W%C3%BCste-Sahara.jpg (accessed 3.24.16).

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AADRL Machinic Imagination / A Mental Ecosystem Generator