PUARL Conference 2013 Proceedings

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2013 International PUARL Conference

B AT T L E for the

LIFE and BEAUTY of the EARTH Edited by Hans Joachim Neis, Gabriel A Brown, & Greg Bryant



A Publication of the Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory

What is PUARL?

The Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory

Who We Are The Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory is devoted to the study of urban architecture and urban design locally in Portland, regionally in cities of the Northwest and the Pacific Coast of the United States as well as internationally, specifically in Europe and Asia. The main purpose of PUARL is to conduct and promote activities in urban architecture research and urban design research that help to improve the quality of buildings and the city: We attempt to integrate wholeness and sustainability into the architectural and urban design process by conducting basic and applied research throughout the Portland region (and also other parts of the nation and the world) in urban morphologies, urban building typologies, and urban processes for civic groups, public agencies, professional firms, and development interests. The Portland Urban Architecture Research Lab (PUARL) is part of the architecture department and the College of Architecture and Allied Arts at the University of Oregon in Eugene and Portland.

Urban Morphology and Urban Patterns

We investigate urban morphological structures and patterns that enhance sustainability and environmental quality at the urban scale, including street networks, block and neighborhood layouts, transportation and land use systems, and urban landscapes.

Urban Building Typologies and Patterns

We investigate building types and patterns that contribute to greater densities and decreased vehicle use with a focus on urban housing, mixed-use buildings, and other typologies located in the central city, inner city neighborhoods, and at the urban/rural boundary.

Urban Process and Generative Processes

We investigate processes that enhance our understanding of the emerging structure of the city and help us create urban places in an incremental and participatory manner in support of wholeness and urban sustainability.

Urban Ecology and Urban L andscapes

We investigate landscape and ecological systems and processes, and ways in which these can inform and enhance urban structure, and function, at the building or site, neighborhood and city scale. PUARL started as a research arm of the Portland Urban Architecture Program in 2007. With the opening of the new building facilities in the Portland Whitestag Block in 2008, the School of Architecture and Allied Arts A&AA intended to broaden and expand research activities in Portland. The PUARL currently provides design assistance and consulting services to community organizations and municipalities in Portland and the region. Projects include the Portland Urban Architecture Atlas, and the two successfully concluded Tigard Center and Corridor urban design research projects. PUARL includes Portland architecture faculty as well as faculty members from Eugene and outside researchers including Dr. Hajo Neis (director), Howard Davis, Jim Pettinari, Don Genasci, Gabriel Brown, Christine Theodoropoulos, Frances Bronet (dean), Lloyd Lindley, and others. Every two years PUARL conducts an International Conference that focuses on issues of wholeness and sustainability in cities and urban buildings. For the last two conferences we focused on city and urban development and on new developments in the overall Pattern Language Approach. Dr. Hajo Neis, Associate Professor, Director of PUARL puarl.uoregon.edu

board of advisors: Sara Ishikawa Murray Silverstein Max Jacobson Ingrid King

2013 International PUARL Conference

Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth Conference Proceedings

Edited by Hans Joachim Neis, Gabriel A Brown, & Greg Bryant, Tomoki Furukawazono

This conference was presented by the Portland Urban Architecture Research Lab and organized by Hajo Neis, Howard Davis, Gabriel Brown, Annie Ledbury & Srivarshini Balaji



The PUARL Press, 70 NW Couch St., Portland, OR 97219 Visit the PUARL’s website at: puarl.uoregon.edu Š 2014 by The PUARL Press. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher. First Edition: September 2014 ISBN 978 0 9844438 1 9

This book is available for purchase on Amazon.com. Also available from PUARL Press are the 2009 PUARL Symposium Journal: Current Challenges for Patterns, Pattern Languages, & Sustainability, and the 2011 PUARL Conference Proceedings: Generative Process, Patterns, and the Urban Challenge.

Table of Contents Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth


Introduction to the Conference Themes Hajo Neis, Director of PUARL

The 2013 PUARL

13 At the Conference

Conference 17 Conference Contributors and Abstracts

Part I: Inclusive Urbanism & the Ecosystem

29 T. H. Mawson’s Civic Art and the

Fight for the Lovable City Robert Walsh

of Cities 41 Contingent Urbanism oAgency in (re)making contemporary places B.D. Wortham-Galvin

51 Old Town/Chinatown: The Fringe at Portland’s Center Working on a Portland Development Problem Hajo Neis, Howard Davis, and Gabriel Brown

57 Panel Discussion: Technology & the Designer’s Role

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65 Designs for the Global South

Part II: Building

A Primary School for Busia, Uganda

Production for a

Michael Garrison

More Beautiful & Resilient World

69 The Resilient Existence of External Perforated Solar

Screens In Islamic Architectural Environments Ayesha Batool

Part III: (Re)generative & Emergent

77 Gatemaker Christopher Alexander’s dialogue with the computer industry Greg Bryant

Processes 91 The Surprising Power, Vitality, and Potentiality of

Examining the “Dark Side” The Collaborative Production of the Restraining Voices AntiPattern Language in an Educational Setting Douglas Schuler and Justin Wagaman

100 University of Oregon Portland Graduate Thesis Work:

(Re)Generative Design Conclusion & Thanks

103 Critical Comments and Outlook Hajo Neis

107 Special Thanks


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ta bl e of con t en t s



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Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth The 2013 International PUARL Conference



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Introduction to the Conference Themes BATTLE FOR THE LIFE AND BEAUTY OF THE EARTH

by Hajo Neis Director of PUARL, University of Oregon Portland

Good evening, Welcome to the Conference, Welcome to the Fall 2013 Third International PUARL Conference here at the University of Oregon in Portland. It is a real pleasure for me to welcome you all, many of you for the third time, to this special conference: honored guests, friends, students, colleagues, and participants who made it from abroad, from Europe, the Middle East, Far East, Japan, South America as well as from a number of cities and universities in the US. Welcome also from the College of Architecture and Allied Arts, or A&AA, in the name of our dean Frances Bronet and our chair Judith Sheine. Both Frances and Judith have other obligations this evening and are not in attendance, although they wish they could be. However, they wish us a very successful conference and all of you a good experience here in Portland. I also would like to announce that Professor Christopher Alexander will not be able to attend. Because of health reasons,he needs to stay at home in West Sussex, South of London. When I last met with him in August of this year, he wished us positive progress at the conference, a lot of fun, especially in the Halloween season. My name is Hajo Neis, I am the director of the Portland Architecture Programs. I am your host, together with the Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory Team, and the PUARL Advisory Board, as well as the Collaborative of Inclusive Urbanism CIU, and, let’s not forget the students from the Human Context Class, the Urban Architecture Studio, and the Thesis Studio Design Seminar.1 I am also the director of the Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory or PUARL that conducts this conference, and the conference chair. Before we come to the main event of the evening, and the introduction of our guest of honor, Professor Johann Jessen from the Technical University in Stuttgart, who will deliver the PUARL Lecture this year, I would like to give a brief introduction to the main topics of the conference. This should help us to better understand the agenda, its main purpose and what we expect from the conference lectures.

First, let me introduce you to the title of the conference: Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth. As we all know, this title is borrowed from a recent book by Chris Alexander, Maggie Moore Alexander, and myself, Hans Joachim Neis.2 I would like to make a few points, using quotations, about the main contents and message of this book, and ask the question how this theme might relate to our three conference topics: Inclusive Urbanism, Building Production for a Beautiful World, (Re)Generative and Emergent Processes. “The purpose of all architecture, the purpose of its spatial-geometric organization, is to provide opportunities for life-giving situations. The central issue of architecture, and its central purpose, is to create those configurations and social situations, which provide encouragement and support for lifegiving comfort and profound satisfaction – sometimes excitement – so that one experiences life as worth living. When this purpose is forgotten or abandoned, then there is indeed no architecture to speak of.” 3 “In any environment we build - building, room, garden, neighborhood – always what matters most of all is that each part of this environment intensifies life. We mean that it intensifies human life, animal life, emotional life, the life of storms, the life of wild grasses, the life of fish in a stream, the life of human kindness in a rough place, where it may not be easy to find.4 And one more quote: “Achieving this vision will require an intensive lengthy global Battle between two production systems, System-B, the dominant production system today, seeks to profit from development and produces structures, through unfeeling mechanical procedures that destroy opportunities for joy and human satisfaction. System-A, the alternative, allows meaning to be built-up progressively by benign, modest steps in the careful nurturing of our physical world.” 5 And now quotes from reviews of the book. William M. Hamilton from the Wall Street Journal writes: “Things are falling apart - all the goodness in man’s creation – and have been since 1900 and the dawn of modernity, Alexander states in his new book, The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth….



It is hard to argue that environments are increasingly sterile, as Alexander says, and rarely nourishing, rarely places for “happiness, excitement, romance, content, love.” But A Pattern Language’s delicately observed, deftly reasoned, poetically presented alternative to the sleek cynicism of modern architecture has turned to the offense, attacking with the aggressive, take no prisoner posture of Battle. It is no longer enough to take the high road, the book’s fight mongering stance suggests. You have to bulldoze the low road too. If you get pushed, as one of the protagonists of the book literally is, you push back.” 6 And another reviewer Michael Mehaffy writes, “It joins other cautionary books of recent years – Jane Jacobs’ Dark Age Ahead comes to mind, warning that indeed we have a choice, and indeed a struggle, if we want to avert an unfolding planetary disaster. The choice is between a more beautiful, more humane, more sustainable basis for design, or a continuation of the status quo – a default option that looks increasingly untenable.” 7 And here is a quote by the authors of the Battle book, reasoning why we cannot be content with the status quo anymore, and why we need to take a strong position and vision for the future of the built environment and its civilization: “The creativity of society, and the creativity of the environment, and the way we build it, are not minor issues. They are fundamental. They go to the health and freedom of society, and to the capacity for society and environment, to bring a valued and enchanting life to its inhabitants. To bring such a civilization into being, we must arrive at a new state of affairs, in which the world’s societies are able to create and re-create a healthy atmosphere, environment, buildings and outdoor places which hold our thoughts together. Places that give us a coherent picture of the world, from which we obtain nourishment, spiritual and material. We must build a civilization in which individuals are able to like themselves, to heal themselves, and to love one another in generosity.Without that how will we ever be able to give ourselves, all of us, and our children, and their children, a good and worthwhile life?” 8 What is being presented here is a large vision about the future of architecture, the environment, social life, and beauty that not many people would oppose or argue with. And combined with the large-scale environmental problems that we have in the world, here we find a rather optimistic picture of our future. The difficult question is, how we can get to such a positive future? and why do we have to fight about it? I should point out that the project did not start out


as an intention for a Battle. This is something that I have never talked about in a public lecture, until the BATTLE book was published. It is reasonable then to ask the question why a book about this topic and project was published 27 years after its architectural project was completed in its first main phase, and about 30 years after the project was started. There may be several answers to this question, and some of them are quite relevant for our conference. Here I want to offer you one main reason why this book took so much time to be finalized and published: The original title of the book for this project was quite opposite of the final book title. Originally, the book manuscript was called “The Ordinary Way.” And the subtitle of the book was: The Story of Building the New Eishin University in Tokyo.” There is no mention of battle, or conflict between System A and System B. There is just the very simple title “The Ordinary Way.” It is also relevant to note that the original title does not include the word “design”. The word design is only included in the table of contents. Already here we may detect the intention of not only designing but, more importantly, also building the project ourselves. And we may speculate that the seeds of the battle were already included in this seemingly harmless working title ‘The Ordinary Way.’ It is this topic of direct production of life and beauty that relates directly to our second theme and session of the conference: Building Production for a more Beautiful and Resilient World. Let me read to you the first two paragraphs of the Introduction to “The Ordinary Way.” “The new Eishin University, is a university, entirely dedicated to the problem of the community and local autonomy. It is founded on the simple belief that one great period of human society just ended, and that another is now beginning. What they may call the modern age, began at about the end of the fifteenth century. We believe that it has ended about 1980, and that in the last part of the 20th century, and the beginning of the 21st century, an entirely new age will be created. A new age, in which new methods of production, and new human relationships will form the basis of society, is now about to begin. One of the central ideas in the formation of this new age, is the idea of local autonomy, and local control. This idea may be summarized in the German word “Gemeinschaft.” It is also summarized by the old meaning of

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the Russian “soviet” even though this word has been entirely destroyed by its connection with 20th century Russian communism; and it is described to some degree by the English word community. All these concepts refer to a type of human group, in which personal relations, and personal identification of people within society, form the basic interaction and also, most important form the definition of the individual self.” 10 Starting with these very idealistic and progressive ideas about a new age and a new society as indicated in this early text, it was certainly rather difficult to adjust and deal with a more harsh but necessary reality of a Battle. And I should know because I was the responsible executive/project architect in Tokyo, who had to fight many of these battles on the ground. Dealing with the part of the project that involved conflict became quite consuming and certainly delayed the project and also the conception and completion of the book considerably. Changing and working with the new title of the book became a major issue for a quarter of a century, and this does not only include the main title but the subtitle as well. Until about the year 2000, the title was simply: BATTLE. And the subtitle was: The History of a crucial clash between World System A and World System B. But during the long decade ending last year, the world has changed considerably. The title of the book has been adapted to address the issues and problems of our time and is now appropriately titled: Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth. When we look at all the books and book titles that Alexander and his colleagues have produced since the early sixties, it is clear that ‘The Ordinary Way’ title is consistent with the rest of the CES (Center for Environmental Structure) series. The new book, Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth, does not quite fit into this series of books, which discuss scientific topics, humanistic attitude, design innovations, progressive methods in design, and planning and construction for the built environment. The question then may be permitted, whether or not this book marks a new attitude and direction in the work of CES and its associated organizations, and companies, or if it is an aberration, an outlier? Does this book contribute to a larger agenda that not only addresses architecture and urban design but also the plight of our built environment, the pollution of our oceans, the large loss of animal and plant life, and carbon emissions and greenhouse effects that have started to destroy life on earth as we know it? And how does it address what to do about these larger problems? Illustr: The Ordinary Way and Battle

In some way we have to accept and understand that both aspects of ‘ The Ordinary Way’ and ‘Battle’ are two sides of the same coin, and both aspects are reflected in the actual project in Japan. But it is also true that we were striving for the ordinary way in designing and building this project. The project in which this Battle was fought is the Eishin College and High School Campus at the outskirts of Tokyo. And while the flags in the field of the first illustration, may suggest a Battle that was fought, the rest of the illustrations show more of an Ordinary Way, and a building production for a more beautiful and ordinary world. Illustr: Former Chapter 24 These illustrations take me one more time to the Battle book, and another dimension that I have not yet discussed publicly. . We have not really mentioned nor talked about the subtitle of the book: A Struggle Between Two World-Systems. These two world systems are described as System A and System B, and they play a major role in the book and the project. As I critiqued at the beginning: “System-B, the dominant production system today, seeks to profit from development and produces structures through unfeeling mechanical procedures that destroy opportunities for joy and human satisfaction. System-A, the Alternative, allows meaning to be build up progressively by benign, modest steps in the careful nurturing of our physical world.” 11 It is here that I need to mention the unpublished chapter 24, which did not make it into the final version of the book. It is called: ‘Large-Scale Building Production: Unification of the Human System and the Physical System.’ This chapter starts to deal explicitly with System A and System B in the making of the built environment now and in the future, and it gives some hope for a possible combination or recombination of the two opposing systems in a dialectical fashion. Here I will quote the beginning two paragraphs of the unpublished chapter: Quote: “OUR AIM IN THIS CHAPTER: System A, by itself, cannot make high volume, high speed construction when needed. System B can do it and has demonstrated it in many places. System B by itself, cannot lavish the finesse and subtlety which makes it possible to generate the finely adapted buildings and spaces which make life worth living, and comfort the human heart. System A can do it and has demonstrated it for millennia. It must surely be clear, by now, that we need to make a combination of A and B, a combined system, which maintains the best of two worlds, in production, and yet it does it in such a way as to avoid making the horrible mistakes we have seen, in abundance, in the shortcomings of new environments, built



under System B conditions in the twentieth century.” 12 Despite the relevance of this passage, the chapter was not included, probably because we did not exactly believe in it, or maybe we were not quite ready yet for such a step. This means that more research is needed in the area of large scale building production, or “Creation Production for a Living World”. In fact Christopher Alexander and I have started work on a project that we call: Practical Action – Types of Production that will generate Living and Beautiful Environments.13 Now, let us not forget PUARL, the Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory and its work and vision in this context. While PUARL is perceived as a Portland based laboratory that deals with urban architecture and urban projects within Portland and other West Coast cities, it is also true that PUARL continues the Pattern Language tradition and the overall Pattern Language approach as part of its mission. PUARL research and creative work can be summarized through the essential principles that are part of what I call ‘The Overall Pattern Language’ approach that we are working with and incorporate in our research and urban design projects. Please note that pattern and pattern language is not the only principle in a long list of principles, meta-principles, and techniques. But please also note, pattern is not the only principle in this long list. In fact, patterns make for about 5-8 percent of our work. Many more priciples can actually be found in the opus magnus of Chris Alexander, ‘The Nature of Oder,’ and other publications by CES and related or independent authors.14 A list of topics and research and planning projects, gives an overview of practice and research that we have been working on for about five years, during which time A&AA has moved to the new White Stag building from the Yamhill building, both in downtown Portland. New projects include research on ‘Patterns and Sustainability as well as Resilience in Tsunami situation’ and ‘Creation Production for a Living World.’ Overall we have four sessions in this conference, three main sessions and the PUARL lecture session tonight. The first main session is on Inclusive Urbanism tomorrow morning. This session will be introduced by the keynote lecture of Professor Howard Davis, who leads the Collaborative for Inclusive Urbanism CIU,15 which also doubles as a PUARL partner in this year’s conference. INCLUSIVE URBANISM & THE ECOSYSTEMS OF CITIES


‘Understanding of urban environments must begin with the understanding that they are most successful when they represent diverse and resilient ecosystems. The urban challenge of this age must include questions about social equity and urban inclusivity. How can we promote diversity and enfranchise underrepresented groups in the ecology and processes of cities?’ Here is a quote from the Collaborative for Inclusive Urbanism, “The role of the city is to provide the contexts that invite people to realize their social, personal, and economic aspirations. This invitation should be available to all.” The second main session on Saturday afternoon focuses on: BUILDING PRODUCTION FOR A MORE BEAUTIFUL & RESILIENT WORLD If cities themselves are the organic product of human need, what is the process by which the production of the physical structures of buildings, neighborhoods, parks, and urban landscapes support and augment urban life? What are the building processes that create neighborhoods, urban landscapes, and buildings that are alive and resilient within themselves and that support those all-important intangibles of life and beauty – the life worth living? Papers in this category will address the question of how we produce life-supporting buildings, complexes, neighborhoods and communities for all people, especially the 93% of the world. This main theme session will be introduced by keynote speakers Professor Stephen Duff and Professor Sergio Pelleroni. Finally, the third session focuses on (re)generative design and emergent processes. (RE)GENERATIVE AND EMERGENT PROCESSES Strong ecosystems form a complex and complete web of relationships that emerge and change over time. Generative analysis explores the world as an emergent process at several levels of scale and with regard to different modes, and regenerative analysis does the same for recurring cycles of growth and re-growth. These modes include elements of, but are not limited to, physical, artistic, musical, and sociocultural as well as economic themes. Here we ask: how can (re)generative and emergent processes, as well as (re)generative (urban) design, help to solve some of the current world wide urban challenges that we face in our cities, neighborhoods, streets parks, and urban landscapes around the globe?

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What are the methods, ideologies, and vocabularies that can support the creation of built environments that are complex, complete, diverse, resilient, beautiful, and emergent over time? This session will be introduced by keynote speaker Professor Masami Kobayashi from Japan. The final keynote lecture will be delivered by Professor Peter Baumgartner from the University of Krems in Austria. Peter will also talk about an initiative for a new kind of pattern conference series in Europe that might be organized in an alternating repetition format with our own PUARL Conference in the US: one year in Europe, one year in the US. As a part of my introduction, I would like to include my current students and their thesis studio work of the last two years, which focuses on natural disasters and catastrophic human failures. As ‘pars pro toto,’ I am showing you only one project out of more than 50 excellent projects. The selected project was developed by Nadja Kasko for the devastated town of Ishinomaki in the Tohoku region in Japan, North of Tokyo, and part of the Fukushima region. When we visited Ishinomaki in December of 2012, I was very pleased to find a large part of her design for Ishinomaki exhibited on a building wall in the middle of the town center that was not devastated by this powerful tsunami. Nadja had a big impact on the public discussion of how to deal with rebuilding the devastated ocean areas. She is very much respected by the town’s people for putting her passion into this work and trying to help the people in Ishinomaki with her architectural and urban regenerative design. There is a new generation of students who understand the recent large-scale catastrophes that have taken place throughout the world and are willing to focus their energy on designing remedies and solutions.. This new generation is very promising in ideas and attitude of pragmatic idealism, and I feel privileged to be working with them. Finally, I would like to hand over to my very competent and creative students who are in charge of many aspects of this conference including panel discussions, organization and introduction of the speakers, and exhibition of works. The first student speaker will introduce my colleague Johann Jessen from the Technical University of Stuttgart in Germany who will deliver the PUARL lecture and talk about a topic that may be closely related to the theme of Inclusive Urbanism: It is called ‘Re-urbanization’, and it covers German cities and American examples.16 Johann and I know each other from when we were both students in Darmstadt, him one or two years ahead of me. But let me hand over to our wonderful students who will do a much better job of in-

troduction than I possibly can do. Thank you. NOTES: 1. The Conference Advisory Board consists of original authors of the seminal book publication A Pattern Language. Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, and Ingrid King are the current members of the Board. 2. Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth, Oxford University Press, 2012. 3. Ibid., p.2 4. Ibid., p.115 5. Ibid., 6. William M. Hamilton, “A Pattern of Abuse,” Architects NeawsPaper, https://archpaper.com/2012/08/a-patternof-abuse/ 7. Michael Mehaffy, David Seamon and others also wrote book reviews. 8. Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth, Oxford University Press, 2012, p.11 9. Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, Ferdinand v. Toennies und Max Weber 10. The Ordinary Way, Book manuscript, 1983, Introduction 11. Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth, Oxford University Press, cover jacket 12. Unpublished chapter of Battle Manuscript 13. Extension of the ‘Battle’ book. 2014 14. Christopher Alexander. The Nature of Order, NY. Oxford 2002-2005.http://www.inclusiveurbanism.org/ 15. “Re-urbanization,” lecture and researchof Johann Jessen, University of Stutgart.




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At the 2013 International PUARL Conference Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth

2013 International PUARL Conference Schedule Date/Time Presented by: Title Friday 1500-1600 PSAC Walking Tour 1630-1700 PSAC Building Tour 1700-2000 PUARL Reception 1745 Michael Suskin Musical Welcome 1800-1810 UO/PUARL Welcome 1810-1830 Hajo Neis Introduction to PUARL & Conference Themes 1830-1930 Johann Jessen PUARL Lecture: Challenges for Reurbanization in German Cities 1930-2000 Johann Jessen, Susan Ingham (?), etc Panel Discussion 1 Saturday Session A: Inclusive Urbanism & the Ecosystem of Cities 900-940 Howard Davis KN - Makers in Cities: the Architecture of Urban Production 940-1000 Davis, etc. Panel Discussion 2 1000-1025 Michael Garrison Two Primary Schools in Central East Africa Based on Indigenous Sustainable Design 1025-1050 Greg Bryant Referendum on Urban Life: A City Stops Development-As-Usual 1050-1115 Michael Tavel The Culture of Sustainable Urbanism 1115-1140 Robert Walsh The Lovable City: Thomas Mawson’s Civic Art (1911) Applied to Contemporary Urbanism 1140-1205 Regan Greenhill 7@ Public Amenities in Barcelona’s 22@ Information District 1205-1230 B.D.Wortham-Galvin Contingent Urbanism: when tactics are the strategy 1230-1255 Gabriel Brown, Howard Davis, Hajo Neis Old Town/Chinatown Research and Studio 1255-1325 Session A Presenters Panel Discussion 3

Session B: Building Production for a More Beautiful & Resilient World 1430-1455 Stephen Duff KN - Significant Details: Design & Construction Processes in Four Design-Build Apprenticeship Projects at the University of Oregon 1455-1520 Sergio Palleroni KN - Public Interest Design 1520-1540 Duff & Palleroni, etc. Panel Discussion 4 1540-1605 Aysun Ozkose Ecological Homes for a More Beautiful & Resilient World 1605-1630 Kyriakos Pontikis Eco-Humane Design 1630-1655 Yodan Rofe Emergent Spatial Order as a Basis for Future Development: the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev, Israel. 1655-1720 Ayesha Batool The Resilient Existence of External Perforated Solar Screens In Islamic Architectural Environments 1720-1745 Tom Kubala Toward Carbon Neutral Operation 1745-1815 Session B Presenters Panel Discussion 5 1830 Drinks/No Host Dinner

Professor Don Corner of the University of Oregon presents the PUARL Keynote address to open the conference.

at t he 2013 in t er n at ion a l pua r l confer enc e


Doug Schuler engages conference attendees in a collaborative pattern-based game

Sunday Session C: (Re)generative and Emergent Processes 900-940 Masami Kobayashi KN - Fukushima Workshop Summer 2013 940-1000 Kobayashi, etc. Panel Discussion 6 1000-1025 Michael Mehaffy Changing the “Operating System for Growth:” Diversity, Resilience, Beauty 1025-1050 Greg Bryant Christopher Alexander’s Dialogue with the Computer Industry 1050-1115 Doug Schuler The Surprising Power, Vitality, and Potentiality of Examining the “Dark Side:” The Collaborative Production of an Anti-Pattern Language in an Educational Setting 1115-1140 Takuma Ono (Re)generative and Emergent Processes 1140-1205 James Miller Resilience Found Through Human Processes in Post-Disaster Haiti 1205-1230 Takashi Iba The Generative Films Covering Three Generations of Pattern Languages 1230-1255 Yodan Rofe & Kyriakos Pontikis Sketching a Sustainable Form Language for a Neighborhood 1255-1330 Ross Chapin Pocket Neighborhoods and the Scale of Sociability 1330-1355 Peter Baumgartner KN:Patterns in Education and Architecture 1355-1425 Session C Presenters Panel Discussion 7 1425-1440 Hajo Neis Closing Remarks & Future Outlook


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Conference Abstracts & Contributors PUARL Lecture: Challenges for Reurbanization in German Cities Johann Jessen Abstract:

About: Johann Jessen, born in 1949, has been a professor of Local and Regional Planning at the Institute of Urban Planning and Urban Design of the University of Stuttgart since 1992. From 1983 to 1991, he was lecturer at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Oldenburg where he earned his doctorate and his habilitation. He has a diploma in Architecture and Urban Planning from the Technical University of Darmstadt. His research concentrates on social aspects of urban development and on urban planning methods. He has published and edited several books and many scientific articles on metropolitan strategies in Europe, urban regeneration, mixed use developments, and new scenario techniques in urban planning and related topics. Current research projects include international comparative research on processes of re-ubanism in the US and Europe and on innovation processes in urban planning. His research projects have been funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation), the Wüstenrot Foundation and Federal and State ministries. He is an elected member of the Board of Deutsche Akademie für Städtebau und Landesplanung (German National Academy of Urban and Regional Planning, DASL) and member of the Akademie für Raumforschung (German National Academy for Spatial Research, ARL). He is also a member of the editorial board of the planning research journal “FORUM Stadt“ and the online planning journal “www.planen-neudenken.de“

Keynote - Makers in Cities: the Architecture of Urban Production Howard Davis Abstract:

About: Professor Howard Davis researches the social frameworks within which buildings are built as a path to the

improvement of the built world as a whole. Through design studios, lecture courses, and seminars that examine architectural contexts of culture and place, with a focus on the social and cultural sustainability of cities and urban districts, his students view architecture as strongly anchored in the world of people and society. Howard Davis’s current work on sustainable cities deals with the relationships between urban morphology, building typology and the emergence of new, post-industrial forms of the urban economy. The first stage of this research is being published in the book “Living Over the Store,” a cross-cultural, historical and contemporary account of buildings that combine commercial and residential uses. With new work in Portland and Guangzhou, China, Davis is examining the idea of resilient urban morphologies, asking the question “How can the physical form of cities accommodate the needs of migrant and low-income groups, and of people engaged in contemporary, regenerative businesses, in ways that are sustainable?” This work, which will expand to London, Tokyo and other cities in the next two years, is giving students the opportunity to engage critical topics in contemporary urbanism in international as well as North American contexts.

Two Primary Schools in Central East Africa Based on Indigenous Sustainable Design Michael Garrison

Abstract: Texas Impact Design (TID) a graduate student group at the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin working with Dr. Donna Gunn, Executive Director of Africa’s Promise Village School in rural Tanzania and Robin Young of SMILE Africa and Hope 4 Kids International in rural Uganda has developed two new primary schools based on the principles of indigenous sustainable design in Africa. In the summer of 2012 TID traveled to Africa to begin the work on these schools. This paper will present the designs and the design process for both these schools in Africa. In both these schools the design was driven by local cir-

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cumstances such as the orientation of the site, the villagers living conditions, their construction skills, access to local materials, and with the timeless building traditions of, shading verandas, natural ventilation, daylighting, and the capture and storage of rainwater. In the new schools children and residents of the village are educated in crop production; water from the capture of rainwater allows them to irrigate and increase crop yields and revenue from the sale of excess crops is used to sustain the schools. For TID the goal of the school projects is about sustainable design and not dependency. Therefore it is imperative that the young members of the villages mix the sand and grasses, which become building blocks, dig the foundation and carry the rocks to fill the trenches. The women and older children assist in stacking the brick and carry food and water to the workers. The entire village is part of the project so that the culture of the people are embedded in the school. About: Professor Michael Garrison is currently active in the design and construction of sustainable buildings. He has served as the faculty sponsor of the 2002, 2005, and 2007 Solar Decathlon competitions administered by the U.S. Department of Energy. He is currently principal investigator for a Zero Net Energy highrise tower for Shreveport, Louisiana, sponsored by Community Renewal International. Garrison’s research has received numerous grants and awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Renewable Energy Lab, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Foundation, Texas Energy Advisory Council, Texas Energy and Natural Resources Advisory Council, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and Austin Energy’s Green Building Program. Professor Garrison is the author of a number of publications including Passive Solar Homes for Texas (1982) and Building Envelopes, with Randall Stout (NCARB 2004). He is past chair of the Resource Management Commission for the City of Austin, a founding member of the Texas Solar Energy Society, and research fellow of the UT Center for Sustainable Development.

Referendum on Urban Life: A Cit y Stops Development-As-Usual Greg Bryant

Abstract: In 2007, voters in Eugene, Oregon defeated a City request for expanded Urban Renewal authority. On deck was a $180 million private development, which expected City government support. The development would obliter-


ate a four-block section in the heart of downtown, create a modern “Lifestyle Mall”, and provide a windfall for neglectful large landholders. Typically, a city’s government doesn’t need to request such authority from citizens, but they were challenged by small businesses and non-profits under threat of destruction. The primary instigator of the resistance was a popular community non-profit dancehall, the Tango Center, built within an old farmer’s market building, by organizers intimately familiar with The Nature of Order and A Pattern Language. The Tango Center’s pattern is “specialty community centers”, a community education and economic revitalization strategy worth knowing. Another lesson for any architect or planner who wants to push for life in the urban fabric: become a developer and a community organizer. The resistance launched by the Tango Center led to a massive public debate on the topic of development, and to the vote on City loans for bad development. After the vote, the City could only fund much smaller projects, and the neglectful large landholders sold their property, at a loss, to multiple small landholders. Six years later, there’s a palpable triumph of small-scale localism in downtown Eugene. This is one of the few times in modern US history where a major non-inclusive Urban Renewal project was stopped on principle by the general public. Let’s look at how it was done. About: Born in New York City, Greg Bryant moved to Eugene with his mom when he was 13. “Eugene was known as the greener Berkeley,” he says. “We heard about Eugene at the Quaker meeting house.” Bryant started computer programming at age 14, studied computer science at the UO, and spent the early 1980s in Silicon Valley, working for Intel and several startup companies. Returning to Eugene in ’86, he got into appropriate-technology activism. “I started a magazine called Rain and co-founded the Center for Alternative Transport,” he notes. In the late ’90s, Bryant had an open-source Linux demo project called Workspot that employed 50 people in Palo Alto before the dot-com crash brought it down. Once again back in Eugene, he and his new bride, Olga, were looking to start a special-purpose community center. “We started dancing tango in 2002,” he says. “We opened the Tango Center in 2003.” Located in the historic West Broadway building that housed Eugene’s 1929-55 indoor Farmer’s Market, the TC revitalized nightlife in downtown Eugene. “Eugene has more people per capita dancing tango than any other place in the world,” says Bryant, “including Buenos Aires.” The Tango Center was a critical part of saving downtown Eugene. In cooperation with many colleagues, a 2007 ballot measure stopped the city from funding the destruction with

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‘Urban Renewal’ funding. Although the Tango Center shut down with much publicity in 2009, the building was sold to a different non-profit, which is preserving the building.

The Culture of Sustainable Urbanism Michael Tavel

Abstract: The sustainable urbanism movement has considered the form of cities, the technology of cities, and metrics of evaluation. Landscape urbanists, and members of the Building Process Alliance, have explored the process by which ecologically complex and beautiful environments emerge over time. But sustainability is not by itself a technology, a morphology, a process, a policy, or a thing. Sustainability is a relationship that people have with natural resources. Sustainability is a practice. The challenge of sustainable urbanism regards how emergent sustainable practices are coupled with the forms, technologies, and processes of 21st century sustainable cities. This is not cultural change made necessary by the threat of apocalypse. It is a creative opportunity. Historically, cultures modified their relationship with resources in response to both scarcity and surplus. Culture, in a sense, is a way of making a particular relationship with natural resources desirable. In the era of industrialization and cheap energy; however, people became increasingly detached from their relationship with resources. During this time, specialized designers and planners addressed the environmental problems of cities via a succession of paradigms, each a critique and an assault on the paradigm that came before. What is needed now is an inclusive and broad minded approach that incorporates ideas and vocabularies from many paradigms in order to address the full complexity of the emergence of increasingly sustainable cities. The actors who will create these cities include everybody, and the object of sustainable urban thinking should be to support the ongoing emergence of sustainable urban cultures. About: Michael Tavel, AIA, is a fourth generation Coloradoan. He studied fine arts and civil/structural engineering as an undergraduate and interned as an architect in New York City before receiving a masters degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. He won the top prizes in architectural design at Berkeley including a oneyear traveling fellowship. Michael also worked for three internationally known architects: Mark Mack in San Francisco, Christopher Alexander in Berkeley, and Heinz Tesar in Vienna before returning to Colorado in 1991 to teach in the graduate school of the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado.

The Lovable Cit y: Thomas Mawson’s Civic Art (1911) Applied to Contemporary Urbanism Robert Walsh

Abstract: Englishman Thomas Hayton Mawson (18611933) is widely regarded as one of the most important landscape architects and urban designers of the Edwardian Era. In addition to completing commissions throughout Europe and North America, Mawson wrote books and delivered traveling lectures to promote his vision of a more inclusive, vibrant and human urbanism. Having grown up in poverty yet eventually serving as a designer for wealthy patrons, Mawson saw public space and public recreation as opportunities for redeveloping a sense of community identity for a society polarized between rich and poor. Although Mawson’s work was eclipsed by the advent of Modernist architecture, Modernist planning and the emergence of suburban sprawl, many of his ideas nevertheless anticipated concepts later explored by Jane Jacobs and many others. Mawson made use of slide comparisons demonstrating how some urban settings had more life than others; he identified key principles, such as the importance of windows overlooking the street. He proposed larger scale urban networks of public pathways and parks, tree lined boulevards, pedestrian waterfronts and public squares. He also explored detailed principles for designing everything from streetlights to fountains, streetscapes and buildings. In his book The Civic Art (1911) Mawson spoke of a profound feeling, a spirit motivating his work that he was at a loss to put into words. A lecture transcript from this time shows that he eventually came to express this as “the lovable city.” The concept of a lovable city, as opposed to a merely livable city, has interesting implications that continue to resonate. Drawing from contemporary examples from Portland, San Francisco, Vancouver BC, and Detroit this paper will examine some of the ways that the insights of Thomas Mawson have continuing relevance to challenges many urban communities face today. About: Robert Walsh’s architectural practice has been based primarily on single family and multifamily residential design, but says his interests are shifting towards larger scale mixed use urban redevelopment. His work focuses on emerging trends in urban architecture and place-making at three levels of scale: urban development, individual buildings and structural technologies. Walsh is interested in working with developers, designers, planners and academic colleagues in

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devising new strategies of contextually appropriate creative architectural and urban design.

7@ Public Amenities in Barcelona’s 22@ Information District Regan Greenhill

Abstract: This research investigates the lack of community centers in the 22@ information technologies district within the otherwise dense network of community centers and other social facilities in the city of Barcelona. The recent plan to redevelop the 22@ District from an industrial neighborhood into a mixed-use community designates 10% of redeveloped land for 7@ - amenities that support productive technological uses of the 22@ district but also include community support spaces for residents, 10% for open space, 10% for housing, and 70% for @ activities – technology and information related business spaces. Comparable to other districts within Barcelona the 22@ district currently has various 7@ amenities that provide services supporting both residents and workers; for instance within a particular five block range in the 22@ district the 7@ amenities present include an educational facility, a cultural center, and a technology support space. Does the separation of specific services that are typically housed in one community center function as effectively when they are housed in various spaces throughout the 22@ district? The research will utilize first and second hand data collection including a site visit to Barcelona and a subsequent design investigation for new social services using contemporary technological modes of social connectivity through public spaces. About: Regan Greenhill is a current Bachelor of Architecture student at the University of Oregon in her fourth year of study. During the winter 2012 term, Ms. Greenhill participated in an independent study of the 22@ District advised by Philip Speranza. Ms. Greenhill’s research on the implementation of 7@ was featured at the 2012 Student Research Symposium for Independent Study. Ms. Greenhill is also the current president of the American Institute of Architecture Students chapter at the University of Oregon.

Contingent Urbanism: When Tactics are the Strategy B.D. Wortham-Galvin

Abstract: This presentation will use the term contingent urbanism to discuss how ordinary people are engaged in


making place. This discussion of participatory urban design will: describe the context from which it emerged in the United States in the 21st, define the term in its current relationship to social media as precipitated by the Occupy Movement, and describe a set of specific case studies of contingent urban design in order to raise questions about this type of urbanism’s role in the making of place in the twenty-first century and how it might facilitate top-down processes of designing built environments. Contingent urbanism often starts as a cause for equality based on a systematic ignorance of inequalities. Does the “participatory turn” within contingent leave these inequalities intact? Does it exacerbate them? What does the advocacy of popular participation by planning authorities, urban policy strategists, and designers mean? Why is participation encouraged, and who is doing the encouragement? Can the notion be opened up by asking: participation by whom, where, and to do what? And how to respond to a frustrating understanding that the promises of equality implicit in every participatory act are recurrently compromised by inequality between those who stage the participatory process and those who are invited to participate? About: Assistant professor B.D. Wortham-Galvin teaches design and humanities for the PSU School of Architecture. She has a Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Architecture from MIT. Wortham-Galvin also has Master’s degrees in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and in Architecture from the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on how theories of cultural sustainability and the everyday can be applied to the design and stewardship of an adaptable built environment. She brings to PSU her nonprofit organization, Urban Dialogues, Inc., which won the 2009 Outstanding Project of the Year Award from the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area Program for its community design work on the Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She is currently working with the neighborhoods of Rosewood and Parkrose and the Willamette West Chapter for Humanity. She recently published “Making the Familiar Strange: Understanding Design Practice as Cultural Practice” in The Urban Wisdom of Jane Jacobs, ed. Sonia Hart (Routledge, 2012).

Old Town/Chinatown Research and Studio Gabriel Brown, Howard Davis, Hajo Neis

Abstract: Can an edge exist in the very center? Portland, Oregon, is divided into quadrants by two entities. The Willamette River splits Portland east from west and Burnside Street bisects Portland north from south. At the very heart of Portland, where these two cross, in the shadow of Portland’s

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downtown, is a place called Old Town/Chinatown. Here, surrounded by successful urban fabric is a place removed. OTCTJT is located at the Northern edge of downtown Portland, forming a considerable edge to the CBD and commercial zone. The main downtown Boulevard like street called Burnside, bisects the downtown right at the edge of OTCTJT and downtown proper, reinforcing the edge and boundary condition of OTCTJT. On each side of Burnside the urban grid moves in a different angle, emphasizing further the difference between the two areas. OTCTJT formed as the oldest part of the city, founded in 1844, now finds itself as the least developed area of downtown. Originally developed by Eastern and European influence, it was largely occupied by Japanese immigrants forming what was then known as Japan Town. Japanese immigrants had to abandon Japantown in 1942 because of war related new laws. Consequently Chinese merchants moved in from across Burnside forming what is now known as Old Town/ Chinatown OTCT. At the end of the twentieth century this area also started to include a sizable homeless population, with a number of homeless shelters in old buildings but also some new facilities. In a few locations also housing started to be built in very limited capacity. More recently research, educational and aid organizations began to make a push towards the waterfront in this area, starting to create a research and higher educational complex. In the current downtown planning efforts, The Portland Plan 2035, by the City of Portland and related stakeholders such as the University of Oregon, OTCTJT is singled out as one of three urban edge areas to focus on for detailed study and development (the other two areas are in the SW and SE respectively). Current research and urban design efforts at the University of Oregon Portland Architecture Department concentrate on questions of development potential within the OTCTJT area in terms of socio-economic-spatial facts and issues, as well as urban and architectural designs tests based on such potential. The paper will end with detailed design proposals and a new digital tool for development calculations, based on the understanding of inclusive urbanism and trying to solve a development problem in Portland. About: Gabriel Brown - Gabriel is an emerging professional in Portland, Oregon specializing in issues relating to the urban environment and their effect on human well-being. A Texas native, he received his Bachelor’s of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University focusing on traditional building materials & sustainable construction and minoring

in Art & Architectural History. After graduation, he attended the University of Oregon in Portland where he studied mixeduse development, sustainable urbanism, and planning policy. He received his Masters of Architecture in 2009. His work includes redevelopment concepts for Old Town/ Chinatown, mixed-use infill, and urban design, and he has published the papers “EcoPattern Districts,” based on the City of Portland’s EcoDistrict proposal, and “Pressure Patterns,” an analysis of incentives relating to development in blighted historic districts. His professional work includes sustainable urban home renovations in New York City and Austin, TX for D+Form Studios. He also teaches courses in digital modelling and fabrication at Oregon College of Art & Craft and continues his research on Portland’s urban environment for the University of Oregon. Hans Joachim “Hajo” Neis - Professor Neis is an Associate Professor at the University of Oregon and Director or the Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory. Professor Neis teaches urban architecture and urban theory with emphasis on city building, the art of building, and urban structures integration. He has previously taught at the University of California, Frankfurt University, the Prince of Wales Urban Design Task Force, and the Technical University of Dresden. His main interest in research includes the question of quality and value in architecture and urban structure and the question of process and processes which create quality in buildings and the urban fabric. As a practicing and licensed architect and planner for over 25 years, he heads his own architecture office, Hajo Neis and Associates (HNA) in Berkeley, with projects in the US, Japan, and Germany. He is also a member of the renowned Center for Environmental Structure, CES, in Berkeley. Dr. Neis has published in English, German, Japanese and Greek Journals, and he is also a coauthor of several books: A New Theory of Urban Design, Oxford University Press, 1987; Schule des Sehens, Fachhochschulverlag, Frankfurt, 2000; and Battle, Oxford University Press (forthcoming). While on sabbatical in 2010, Professor Neis retained research appointments at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, and Meiji University in Tokyo, Japan.

Keynote - Significant Details: Design & Construction Processes in Four DesignBuild Apprenticeship Projects at the Universit y of Oregon Stephen Duff

Abstract: In the proposed paper, the design and construc-

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tion process of four projects that were undertaken as part of the Design Build Apprenticeship (DBA) program at the University of Oregon will be presented: two canvas-walled woodframed Cabañas at Pioneer Pacific Camp in British Columbia, the Silver Falls State Park registration building, the University of Oregon Mill Race Kiln Shed, and the Elwood Coffee Kiosk (un-built) for Granville Island in Vancouver, BC. The paper will provide an overview of the history and evolving design of each project, with an emphasis on how key aspects and significant details of each project were identified, and the ways in which they subsequently played a role in the unfolding order and emerging feeling character of the buildings. The importance of design judgments, the timing and sequence of design decisions, and the use of mock-ups and other simulations will be discussed. The construction the buildings will be described and illustrated, focusing on key construction methods and processes that enabled the realization of the more significant details in each project. In parallel to a description of the buildings themselves will be an account of the educational intent and methods of the Design Build Apprenticeship program, and how the projects were used as educational laboratories for students at the University of Oregon, from initial conception, through schematic design and design development in studio, and on into the construction and completion of the projects. About: Associate Professor Stephen Duff ’s principal interests in architecture concern how buildings are made, particularly how structure, construction assemblies, and materials relate to the spatial and aesthetic qualities of buildings. He teaches courses in architectural design, structural behavior and structural design, and a theory seminar called The Craft of Design. He is also a member of the UO Center for Housing Innovation Duff runs a design-build program at the University of Oregon and teaches courses that involve students in the entire building process—from design and engineering to detailing and construction—of timber-frame structures. He and his students are completing a heavy-timber kiln shed for the UO Department of Art, and he previously directed students in the design and construction of the Silver Falls State Park Registration Building for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and tent platforms and cabins for Pioneer Pacific Camp on Thetis Island in British Columbia—a project that received a national design award in 1997. He is regularly involved in overseas study programs and has established a non-profit organization that will offer a program in architecture and urban


design called Studio at Sea, scheduled to commence in the Mediterranean that started in the summer of 2009.

Keynote - Public Interest Design Sergio Palleroni Abstract:

About: Sergio Palleroni is an architect, co-founder and Director of the BaSiC Initiative, and a Professor and Fellow of the new Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices at Portland State University. Sergio earned his professional BArch from the University of Oregon and his MSArch in History Theory & Criticism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has worked on housing and community development in the developing world since the 1970’s, including founding the BaSiC Initiative, a service learning program, in 1986. The Initiative to date has completed the design and construction of more than 95 distinct projects in regions ranging from Southern India, Central Africa, Mexico and SE Asia to Native American communities in the US and Latin America. Palleroni’s professional awards include: the AIA/ACSA National Education Award, the NCARB National Education Award, the US Green Building Council 1st National Education Award, the US National Design Awards’ Special Jury Commendation, the Interior Design Hall of Fame, the Smithsonian’s First Artist Fellowships in Residence, and Humana Fellowship. In 2011 he, David Perkes, Roberta Feldman and Bryan Bell were awarded the Latrobe Prize by the Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, the highest academic prize given by the profession in the US. Sergio is the first Director of the new Center for Public Interest Design (CPID) at Portland State University which promotes public interest design as an educational priority.

Ecological Homes for a More Beautiful & Resilient World Aysun Ozkose

Abstract: The terrible 1999 Marmara earthquake in Northwestern Turkey showed that Ottoman timber-frame houses survived better than more modern types of construction. Earthquake-resistant timber-framed construction methods and techniques may become the only way forward. This is vital, to restore Turkey`s rich architectural heritage whilst building safely for the future. Concentrating on two areas in Bursa –the Marmara earthquake region, and the World Heritage city of Safranbolu, we will look at timber-framed construction techniques, materi-

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als and methods. These utilize the properties of vernacular architecture, including earthquake resistance, reversibility, recyclable and energy efficient materials with their capacity in forming healthy living environments and their ecological aspects. This paper will present:

• The features and sustainability of vernacular architecture in Turkey;

• ’Neo-Vernacular’’ approaches to contemporary architec-

ture to create an ecological environment in Turkey ‘’by using traditional Vernacular Architectural Elements. These include sustainable and recyclable materials, energy effıcient technologies and eco-friendly design. This is in response to the demand from people for a more organic and healthy way of living in the World Heritage city of Safranbolu and the former capital city of the Ottoman Empire, Bursa; and • The methodology from conception to the completed construction of relatively different modern houses, that aim to integrate the design principles of : ecological building materials, environmentally sensible construction techniques, and integration into the modern Anatolian landscape of contemporary architectural requirements. About: Dr. Aysun Özköse completed her university education in Architecture in 1983, her Master’s Degree in City and Regional planning in 1985 and a Doctorate Degree in Architecture in 1995 in Ankara ,Turkey. Between 1981 and 1987 she worked in several architectural offices, and from 1987 to 1993 she worked on the documentation and protection of cultural heritage in many cities in Turkey as an architect in the Ministry of Culture. Among these works was the restoration of the former Gendarme Building in Antalya and was awarded “The Best Application” by the Chamber of Architects. She completed restoration courses in 1989 organized by CECTI and in 1991 organized by ICCROM in Italy. She contributed to the protection of the city of Safranbolu with more than 40 projects and applications. Among them, the Old Cevheroğulları Houses of Restoration were rewarded by local government and nominated to the Ağa Han Awards. More than 35 of her various studies, research initiatives, projects and applications which focus on the preservation of cultural heritage and restoration have been published. From 1992 until today, she has been working in the Safranbolu Fethi Toker Faculty of Arts and Design as lecturer,

department head, director, and assistant dean. Her current research includes a comparison of Muslim and non-Muslim houses; architecture, life-style and memory in historic Ottoman towns; architectural and social analysis and restoration problems of old public baths (world wide); and conservation management planning of World Heritage Cities. Her current projects include the restoration and adaptive re-use project of a 1000 sq. m. 16th century Ottoman Bath in the old Greek Quarter of Safranbolu, Turkey. She also teaches courses in Conservation of Historical Buildings and Restoration Techniques, Adaptive Re-use of Historical Buildings, Traditional Building Materials and Construction Techniques, Vernacular Architecture Surveys, Urban Conservation and the History of Urbanism, as well as Architectural Design Studios.

Eco-Humane Design Kyriakos Pontikis

Abstract: Our planet faces many environmental problems such as climate change; destruction of habitats; pollution of water, air and land; depletion of natural resources; and weakening of cultural identities and building traditions. In response to solving most of these environmental problems and creating more sustainable developments, design professions have developed green building and design. This model aims to create buildings, systems and products which minimize harmful effects on human health and the environment. It focuses primarily on green materials, technology, engineering, and production. Green design is very progressive and of great importance, but is considered by many as one sided because it primarily focuses on technical aspects of buildings. It has been criticized as using too much technological gadgetry and a “one size fits all” focus at the expense of a more holistic approach to sustainable design. There is another model of design – the humane one – where environments support and enhance human wholeness. This design approach aims to create responsive and livable environments and structures where people feel comfortable and have feelings of ownership and belonging. In order for a more holistic sustainable development to take place, both of these design tracks need to be integrated. Eco-humane Design (EhD), a term coined by Dr. Kyriakos Pontikis, integrates both design tracks in an effort to create holistic sustainable design. EhD is the integration of humane design with green design and aims to create buildings, systems and products which sustain and regenerate nature while preserving and enhancing human health and well-being. EhD is a design model and philosophy which cares about people and the environ-

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ment and includes issues of environmental, social, economic, technological, and cultural sustainability. EhD uses nature and living traditions as mentors and is governed by principles such as: 1) Spirit and beauty; 2) User participation; 3) Context and culture; 4) Ordering design principles; 5) Life-creating process; 6) Art of Making; 7) Sustainable Production; and 8) Living color. This paper will present the EhD framework and its principles and show building examples where it was applied to various degrees, discussing successes, shortcomings, problems and challenges. The paper concludes with findings and future implications of this design method. About: Kyriakos Pontikis’ work focuses on pattern languages, form languages, generative design, and sustainable building and design. In this talk, Kyriakos will discuss the idea of Eco-Humane Design. This is a conceptual framework he developed which unifies ecological design with humane design in an effort to create sustainable and livable environments and communities. Kyriakos Pontikis is a Professor of Interior Design at California State University, Northridge. He is an architect and interior designer with over twenty years of professional practice. During his career he has designed and built over fifty building projects in the United States and Europe. His work grew out of association with Christopher Alexander while obtaining his doctorate from Berkeley. Through research grants and coursework, Kyriakos engages his students in community service learning projects while also providing design services to public and private schools in Los Angeles, various CSUN Colleges and Centers, and to non-profit organizations such as MEND, Habitat for Humanity, and Pacoima Beautiful. In addition to his success as a practicing architect, Kyriakos founded the Habitat for Humanity CSUN Chapter, is a founding member of the CSUN Campus Green Core team, and is a founding member and steering committee member of the international organizations BPA (Building Process Alliance) and INTBAU USA (International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism).

Architectural Ornament in Haitian Culture Christopher Robin Andrews

Abstract: Herein we will spend some time looking at the decorative elements of Haitian Architecture, including identifying the elements, their configuration and their variety, and then some thoughts on how they have been employed symbolically as well as “functionally”. This subject is an unexplored country and hopefully will inspire other folks to in-


vestigate and add to this knowledge, and indeed to the further growth and development of Haitian architectural culture. This study looks at: • Architectural decoration mainly as it relates to the Galri (the porch) and its various elements, and the Lakou (couryard) as these are the principal loci of Kreyol environmental culture; • Color, as this is a critical element in Haitian visual traditions; • The Gingerbreads and their ornaments, those grand houses of the early part of the 20th century, which by many, including this author, are considered to be the signature and highest achievements of Haitian Kreyol architecture; • The traditional Ti-kay, the humble small house of the ordinary Haitian, and its most recent manifestation in the “Bidonville”, the informal urban settlements, where numerous Haitians live today; and • Veve, the decoration associated with Vodun, the Haitian religion, and its relation to architectural ornament. About: Christopher Andrews is an architect and town planner as well as an Architecture Instructor with the University of San Francisco, Department of Architecture and Community Design. Christopher has three decades of experience as an architect and planner. He is the sole proprietor of a practice in Oakland CA, with a focus on environmentally sustainable and contextually and culturally appropriate design. He has also worked with several internationally renowned architects and design firms, including Dan Solomon and Christopher Alexander, and designed scores of residential, medium scaled commercial, community and urban design projects, several of which have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Progressive Architecture, WoodenBoat Magazine, and Competitions Magazine. Over the last half year as part of his work as an instructor in the University of San Francisco Program of Architecture & Community Design he has been researching and documenting vernacular architecture and environmental development in Haiti, especially focusing on Creole innovations and their connection to African, European and American culture Seven years ago he established his company “Classical Carpets,” which works with weavers in Turkey and Azerbaijan to revive 14th-16th century Anatolian carpet patterns, using authentic and environmentally sustainable techniques and materials, including handspun wool and natural dyes.

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The Resilient Existence of External Perforated Solar Screens In Islamic Architectural Environments Ayesha Batool

Abstract: This paper aims at understanding the role of society, culture and religion in the evolution of an architectural element, such as the solar screen in hot arid climates. By exploring the physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a region, it is revealed that, something, which appears to be ornamental, is deeply rooted in the societal values weaving through the urban fabric. Shading of windows reduces the cooling loads and energy consumption of the buildings. As light filters through wooden, stucco or marble screens and patterned colored glass windows, it projects further patterns on the surfaces behind and beneath, an evanescent and everchanging overlay of colors and shadows. The range of effects in urban façade and architecture achieved through the variation of light screens is extraordinary. Offering limited privacy, occasionally these screens encourage telling glances and gentle whispers. As the screen is adopted in ranging sociocultural settings, it is modified in appearance while retaining subtle, yet inherent mathematical qualities. About: Ayesha Batool is currently a Master of Architecture Student at the University of Oregon as a Fulbright Scholar 2012-2014, Pakistan. She is also the Projects Director and Architect of Mian Muhammad Bukhsh Trust. This non-profit organization works in the education and health sectors in Pakistan with a focus on community development in the rural areas.

Toward Carbon Neutral Operation Tom Kubala

Abstract: Completed in 2007, the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center was the first building recognized by LEED as net-zero and carbon neutral in operation. A testament to the environmental philosophies of its namesake, the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center demonstrates a commitment to “Land Ethic” and to future generations through its regenerative role in the relationship between people and land. In this talk, Tom Kubala will describe his studio’s use of pattern writing as a means of exploring the contextual and programmatic needs of the Center. Tom’s studio has utilized Christopher Alexander’s pattern writing approach as a means of communicating with clients on a diverse array of projects, and as a way of achieving Wholeness between building and environment. About: Tom Kubala, based in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, is principal architect and co-founder at the Kubala Washatko

Architects, Inc. Established in 1980, TKWA has realized a wide range of projects from nature and interpretive centers, historic and adaptive reuse, to museums and cultural centers. Tom plays a fundamental role in each phase of these projects, from early schematics to final drawings. The work of TKWA has earned over 90 state and national design awards, including an AIA firm award in 2006. When not at his home office in Wisconsin, Tom may be found traveling the country to deliver lectures on topics such as Wholeness Based Design and High Performance Buildings.

Keynote - Fukushima Workshop Summer 2013 Masami Kobayashi Abstract:

About: Professor Masami Kobayashi was born in Tokyo in 1948 and brought up in Niigata. Kobayashi received a Ph.D. of Engineering in Architecture from University of Tokyo in Japan, a Master of Design Studies at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University in USA, and a Master and Bachelor of Engineering in Architecture from the University of Tokyo in Japan. He specializes in Natural Disaster and Human Settlement. He is also Principal of Archi-Media Architects & Associates. While he is a teaching scholar at the Meiji University he is also an active architect/urban designer. He was awarded “2007 Award of Architectural Institute of Japan “, as a group, for the “Preservation & Restoration of International House of Japan” project, and he was also awarded “Highest Prize of the Design Award of “Japan Society of Civil Engineering”, for the Kakamigahara Park project in 2008. Masami as an ongoing relationship with the University of Oregon in Portland through a series of lectures and student charette exchanges on the development of the Oldtown Chinatown areas. In 2011 he gave a lecture on “Reconstruction Efforts for Japan’s Earthquake Disaster.” He maintains a conviction that there needs to be a stronger relationship in student’s education of the theory and the practical experience connected to the real society.

Changing the “Operating System for Growth:” Diversit y, Resilience, Beaut y Michael Mehaffy

Abstract: As Christopher Alexander notes in the book Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth, we are faced with a failing “operating system for growth” – producing unsustainable, non-resilient forms of settlement around the globe. How can we respond to this alarming situation? What are the ideas,

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strategies and tools that can reverse a process of chaotic, unsustainable growth, and produce more diverse, resilient and beautiful habitat? The first task is to examine the defective elements of the current form-generating system – its emphasis on segregation, standardization, monocultures, and linear processes. The second task is to assess the various theories that point the way to reform: resilience theory, complex adaptive systems theory, the work of Jane Jacobs on diversity and self-organization, Christopher Alexander on “A city is not a tree” and others. The third task is to identify specific tools and toolkits that can be applied to replace existing aspects of the operating system, and produce healthier growth. The author points to concrete examples of progress in Portland and elsewhere, as support for a hopeful conclusion. About: Michael Mehaffy is a researcher and periodic visiting professor, fellow or instructor at five graduate schools in four countries; on the editorial boards of three international journals in sustainable urban development; developer or codeveloper of three leading curricula in sustainable development; and a consultant on leading international projects for governments, businesses and NGOs.

Christopher Alex ander’s Dialogue with the Computer Industry Greg Bryant

Abstract: Alexander’s writings on architecture have influenced computing for around 50 years. But let’s focus upon an important period: the first dotcom boom. Computer industry interest in A Pattern Language reached unprecedented levels, and opportunities arose to address the deeper issues described in The Nature of Order. During this period, one computer tool that Alexander and I produced, with digerati sponsorship, was Gatemaker. With it, we intended to address the lack of feeling and coherence in most computer-assisted design. It’s also intended for use by any human being, with or without any kind of training. It produced encouraging results in testing. Unfortunately, the successful aspects of the program, created with great care, were dismissed by the industrialists, for reasons that underpin modern engineering and business. Today, instead of computer products inspired by the gentle sensibility of The Nature of Order, we have an industry focussed intently upon hyper-stimulating consumers to maximize profit. But it’s never too late to improve the situation. Let’s look again at those aspects of Gatemaker, and some subsequent projects, that we need to push for, if we hope to nudge computing’s interaction with the built environment back in the right direction. Particularly, I’ll focus on methods


for presenting sequences, the range of their coherence-inducing effects, and the nurturing of structure-preserving actions that are harmonious with goals, the environment and previous actions.

The Surprising Power, Vitalit y, and Potentialit y of Ex amining the “Dark Side:” The Collaborative Production of an Anti-Pattern L anguage in an Educational Setting Doug Schuler

Abstract: During our study of patterns and pattern languages (via A Pattern Language and Liberating Voices) in our Social Imagination and Civic Intelligence program a student who was intrigued by the prevalence of ignorance in society, suggested that we as a class should develop an anti-pattern language. While it wasn’t exactly clear what that meant, we undertook this as a collaborative class project the following quarter. The theme of the project was to probe and present the antithesis of “civic intelligence.” The name, “How to Destroy the World and Make Life a Living Hell for Most People in the Process”, that appeared on the original assignment sheet was somewhat tongue-in-cheek but, unfortunately, in many cases isn’t too far off the mark . Of course the basic idea is that by analyzing the processes described in the anti-patterns we can think about ways to intervene. To create a first draft of this language within the 10 week quarter, we went through a process that proceeded incrementally and according to the needs of the time. We generated lots of possible patterns, convened small and large discussions, contributed to the project Wiki, and, finally, arranged, grouped, and categorized the anti-patterns. Ultimately we identified three fundamental anti-patterns, Civic Ignorance, Violence, and Environmental Degradation, and over 35 others, ordered from biggest to smallest, as with both of our model pattern languages. At this time we are getting ready for the next three phases: (1) refining the first draft; (2) exploring and designing uses; and (3) using the pattern language in a variety of ways. Although we did not set out to create a paper, test hypotheses, or create anything for the ages, we did set out with a mission. The mission was exploring the idea of anti-patterns to see what we could learn and the answer thus far is that we learned a lot — and not just about the content of subject matter. For one thing we learned that creating a pattern language can be an excellent collaborative project pedagogically. (It is especially useful in a educational endeavor that focuses on civic intelligence!) For one thing we were gratified to learn that a workable pattern language was created col-

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laboratively over a 10 week period — a testament to the form. Also, as the title of this paper suggests, we (students and faculty) were very impressed, both with the results of our work — the patterns themselves — but with the progress we had made, the spirit we had as a team, and our collective creativity. We were also surprised at our results and the most surprising outcome was the fact that although we focused on the “dark side”, it was a liberating experience. More on that will appear in the final paper. We have started refining the results of the first phase; and this should lead into more insights into the connections between the patterns, and perhaps help us identify new ones. We are also beginning to formulate intriguing hypotheses regarding the nature of “anti-patterns”, including their creative and generative uses for social and environmental amelioration. About: Although Doug’s educational background focused on computer science, he has spent much of his career looking at the opportunities and risks of information and communication systems in the social realm. In his international presentations he focuses on democratic, equitable, and sustainable uses of technology. Locally, Doug co-founded the Seattle Community Network, an all-volunteer, free public access computer network. In 2008 Doug was awarded a Safeco Community Hero award. Doug is a faculty member at The Evergreen State College, teaching “Public Thinking and Public Health” and “Global Citizenship.” He is the author of “New Community Networks,” and coeditor of seven books. Doug is former chair of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, a public-interest organization concerned about the impact of computers on society.

(Re)generative and Emergent Processes Takuma Ono

Abstract: As we enter unchartered territory of climate change, and a possible burst through the climate tipping threshold, humanity would need to rely on macro-scale design to consciously self-guide the evolution of the biosphere. In this scenario, ecological urbanists will have three important roles: first, to problematize emergent issues at regional and global scales, second, to use inclusive. and trans-disciplinary thinking, and third, to actively participate in technology forecasting. Furthermore, while riskmitigation strategies such as energy conservation and restoration have their own merits, transformational adaptations are becoming key to surviving accelerated change. Dredge Economies is this new strain of macro-design that

imagines a transformational relationship between the anthropologic, biologic, and geologic; it imagines a way to confront the adverse effects of dredging while still acknowledging the role of containerization in a global economy; it looks at large patterns/trends and imagines cultivating the field conditions of the harbor in anticipation of change, with the intention of making net positive impacts over time; it imagines a soft landing; but fundamentally, it imagines a designed process for balancing the human condition with the evolutionary time scale of the biosphere. Knowing where collaboration is needed and speculating on the types of technologies that may be involved is becoming evermore critical for imagining our ecologic and economic future. Dredging—as economy, environment, geopolitical agent, and social paradigm—will be a case study to speculate what it means to consciously self-guide the evolution of the biosphere. About:

Resilience Found Through Human Processes in Post-Disaster Haiti James Miller

Abstract: The Haitian settlement pattern known as the lakou is the physical manifestation of human processes that have formed and adapted through generations. Known historically as an autonomous structure the lakou is a spatial manifestation of the familial social structure and takes the form of a courtyard or compound. The study shows the importance of the lakou through the analysis of post-disaster temporary settlements, showing that through their own devices endogenous inhabitants create the lakou in post-disaster temporary settlements. The methodology was qualitative through interviews, observations, and site mapping of four separate self-settled post-disaster settlements. Qualitative coding was used to uncover the emergent themes. This study establishes the importance of the lakou in community vibrancy and demonstrates how the lakou adds to the resilience of the survivors living in such settlements. The unprecedented transformation of the lakou from a kinship based settlement pattern to a more inclusive non-familial pattern points to the importance of this spatial and social manifestation in the development of community in a settlement. The study demonstrates not only the resilience of the lakou but also the changing, inclusive nature of the lakou system, knowledge that should be used to influence planning procedures in Haiti. This resiliency factor can potentially be used to turn a post-disaster settlement into a successful permanent settlement. Furthermore, the study can be helpful in understanding how to mitigate conflict between post-disaster

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settlements and their host community. About: James P Miller, is a graduate from Notre Dame with a B.Arch, and graduated with his Masters of Architecture from the University of Oregon in 2013. He has received numerous academic awards including the Anthony Wong Scholarship for Research in Sustainable Design, and the University of Oregon Promising Scholar Award. Miller uses a triple-bottom line approach to his research and innovative design projects. His Master’s thesis was on the role of vernacular architecture in post-disaster reconstruction in Haiti. Based in Eugene Oregon, Miller now works at Brett Schulz Architecture as a project manager. In the future he hopes to continue researching climate change in the role of the informal sector.

Making a Movie: A Pattern L anguage Takashi Iba Abstract:

About: Takashi Iba is an Associate Professor at Faculty of Policy Management as well as Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University. Dr. Iba explores the art and science of “creation”, covering creativity of human, organization, society, and nature. His fundamental question is how the emergence of something new is possible. He tackles the problem with the combinational approach of systems theory, methodology, and computational science. He proposes a new theory about creation, Creative Systems Theory, based on the studies of autopoiesis and complex systems, and also provides pattern languages as a supporting media for creation. His students and he made Learning Patterns, a pattern language for creative learning, and Presentation Patterns, a pattern language for creative presentations. Furthermore, he explores the underlying mechanisms of spontaneous order and diversity with using a computer simulation and network analysis. He authored the national best-selling scientific textbook, Introduction to Complex Systems: An Adventure to the Frontier of Knowledge (NTT Publishers, 1998, in Japanese), while a master student. The book has attained a sale of twenty thousand copies, and he received Keio University President Award (1998). He also authored Social Systems Theory (Keio University Press, 2011, in Japenese), Frontiers of Evolutionary Economics (Nihon Hyoronsha, 2004, in Japanese), and Frontiers of Policy Management IV (Keio University Press, 2003, in Japanese).


Sketching a Sustainable Form L anguage for a Neighborhood Yodan Rofe & Kyriakos Pontikis

Abstract: A Pattern Language (Alexander et al. 1977) focuses primarily on the functional and social aspects of design. It does not pay much attention to the form, geometry and shapes of urban spaces and buildings which are critical determinants of people’s well-being. Alexander and his associates, feeling this void, devoted decades to addressing these issues in subsequent work (Alexander, 2002-2005, Alexander, Neis & Moore, 2012). After years in which architecture has been preoccupied mainly with creating ever extravagant and striking images, there has been a return in recent years to more social and environmental concerns, as evidenced mostly by the resurgence of Green Building. However, most contemporary form languages are still mostly image-based rather than connected to place or simple human reality. Thus they prevent the creation of living environments and structures. Therefore, there is a need to further research and develop form languages which can tie together advances in green technology and sustainable building practices, and the patterns of humane environments as exemplified by many traditional built areas. This will create both humane and sustainable environments fit for the 21st century. This paper will present a recent effort by the authors to develop an early version of “A sustainable form language and its application to a desert environment”. This research effort took place through an intensive graduate seminar class offered by the authors at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. The paper consists of four parts: 1) Theoretical background; 2) “A sustainable form language for a neighborhood”; 3) Preliminary neighborhood design based on the language; 4) Findings and assessment of this work. The paper concludes by outlining the potential of this emerging design method and thoughts about its further development. About: Yodan Rofè is an architect and holds a Ph.D. degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. His research interests include Neighborhoods in Urban Theory and City Planning practice, Cognition and Feeling in the Built Environment, Urban Space and Street Design, and the connection between Transportation and Land Use. Together with Allan Jacobs and Elizabeth Macdonald he has written The Boulevard Book: History, Evolution, Design of Multiway Boulevards published in 2002 by MIT Press. From 1999 to 2003 Rofè was Head of Urban Design at Israel’s Ministry of Housing. In that capacity he was responsible for supervising the planning of new urban neighborhoods

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throughout the country, created and coordinated the sustainable development program of the Chief Architect Department, and initiated the rewriting of Israel’s Urban Street Design Guidelines as a joint project of the Ministries of Housing and Transportation. In 2004 he founded, together with Irit Solzi and Dror Gershon, the Movement for Israeli Urbanism (MIU), inspired by the CNU, the CEU and ideas for Urban Renaissance in the UK. Yodan was program coordinator of MIU’s three congresses, and is responsible for preparing its charter and its “planning and urban design tool-kit.”

Pocket Neighborhoods and the Scale of Sociabilit y Ross Chapin

Abstract: Alexander’s first of fifteen properties of living form is Levels of Scale. Ross Chapin’s work spans a spectrum of scale from the dining table to the wider neighborhood, and his pocket neighborhoods expand on a scale that is missing in most development (conventional as well as progressive, suburban as well as urban) — an intermediate scale between the private home and the public block. In this talk, Ross will offer his thoughts on why this scale is a keystone to the health, safety and vitality of communities. He will touch on the importance of the continuum of scale — if any level of scale is missing, there is a significant tear in social fabric — so easy to miss because our siloed professions and trades. And he will show scale-linking patterns and detail examples of patterns from his work at various levels of scale.

Abstract: Univ. Prof. Dr. Peter Baumgartner’s talk will explore the practical difficulties of communicating experiental knowledge between experts and novices and among peers. Most life-long knowledge, garnered from experience, is tacit and cannot be communicated easily with spoken language. Reporting on the work of philosophers and psychologists about this phenomen, he will describe how a pattern language might contribute to overcoming these communication problems. About: Peter Baumgartner was born 1953 in Vienna, Austria. His research and teaching experience includes work with the Austrian government, the Universidad Autónoma de Mexico, the Institute of Cognitive Studies at UC- Berkeley, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft St. Augustin in Germany, and many other prestigious European universities. Baumgartner currently serves as full professor for Technology-Enhanced Learning and Multimedia at Danube University Krems in Austria, the first European university specialised in continuing education. He is the head of the Department of Interactive Media and Educational Technology. Since 1992 Peter Baumgartner has focused his research work on learning theory, e-Learning scenarios and blended learning arrangements, distance education, didactics and teacher training, strategies for the organizational implementation of e-Learning and evaluation methodology. Translated titles of Baumgartner’s major published books include Taxonomy of Teaching Methods – A Plea for Educational Diversity, 2011, and Showcase of Learning – A Collection of Patterns to work with E-Portfolios, 2012.

About: Ross Chapin, FAIA, is an architect and author based on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle, WA. Over the last 15 years, he has designed and partnered in developing six pocket neighborhoods in the Puget Sound region—small groupings of homes around a shared commons—and has designed dozens of communities for other developers across the US, Canada and the UK. Many of these pioneering developments have received international media coverage, professional peer review and national design awards, including AIA Housing Committee Awards in 2005, 2007 and 2009. Ross’s book, Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small Scale Community in a Large Scale World (Taunton Press), has received wide acclaim, including a full-page review in USA Today, listing on Wall Street Journal’s Top Ten House & Home Books and as one of Planetizen’s Top Ten Urban Planning & Design Books of 2012.

Patterns in Education and Architecture Peter Baumgartner C onfer enc e A b s t r ac t s & C on t r ibu tor s



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C onfer enc e A b s t r ac t s & C on t r ibu tor s



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Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth Part I: Inclusive Urbanism & the Ecosystem of Cities


T.H. Mawson’s Civic Art & the Fight for the Lovable City by Robert Walsh


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Introduction At the most recent PUARL symposium we were challenged to present work that shed light on city-making and architecture while addressing several themes inspired by the recently published book The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth: A Struggle Between Two World-Systems by Christopher Alexander, 2012. This book presents the contentious process that ultimately produced the Eishin Campus, a remarkable, beautiful and well-enjoyed complex of high school and college buildings in Saitama, Japan. During the project the architects and the contractors became opponents, setting them at cross purposes while nevertheless attempting to complete this extensive project. The book illuminates the struggles of a group of teachers and designers who wanted to make a new school campus that could sustain the well-being of their learning community, a struggle made very difficult by the larger mechanistic and profit-oriented building culture in which they were required to operate. Battle presents the ensuing disputes and conflicts as a collision between two incompatible world views and argues that such a difficult process is inevitable when different factions are governed by fundamentally different and perhaps incompatible values. Nevertheless an award-winning project was completed. Battle recounts this complex process from the perspective of Christopher Alexander, the principal architect who inspired the project, and from the perspective of Hajo Neis, the project architect who had overseen construction during the years it took to realize the project. I had previously helped to edit an early draft of Battle when it was in development in 1991 and the victory was still freshly won. It is with considerable interest that I revisit this material now and consider its lasting significance in relation to the work of other designers. The PUARL conference also raised a number of additional issues confronting us today, including the difficulties arising from increasing economic inequality, and the challenge of making cities sustainable in an era during which urbanization is expanding, during an era of rapid technological progress. In considering what to contribute to the PUARL conference, I realized that in my own recent research into the history of the urban development of Vancouver BC I had encountered the work of a kindred spirit who had struggled a hundred years ago on issues very similar to those which were raised by the challenge of completing the Eishin Campus. By revisiting this earlier work a new perspective becomes available, shedding fresh light on the Battle project and the larger

issues this work confronted. This earlier project was ultimately a failure, however, and by examining the missteps that derailed this earlier project, new insight into the success of the effort to produce the Eishin campus becomes apparent. T. H. Mawson: a Biographical Overview At the height of his career landscape architect and city planner Thomas Hayton Mawson (1861-1933) was running three offices, one in Vancouver BC and two more in England, traveling 20,000 miles a year by train and ship to deliver lectures, to design projects for wealthy clients, and to promote the emerging discipline of City Planning. T. H. Mawson, as he was more commonly known, was the author of several successful books that trace the outline of his career as he progressed from being a garden designer, to becoming a highly respected landscape architect, and finally developing into an urban master planner. This paper concerns a contentious project by Mawson that occurred at the pinnacle of his career, yet to properly understand this work it is essential to understand Mawson’s background and how he worked his way out of poverty to eventually become one of the world’s leading landscape architects. T. H. Mawson came from humble origins. Growing up in rural Lancashire, England, he was forced to drop out of school at the age of twelve to earn money for his family, working in construction when his father became ill. Mawson nevertheless had an insatiable appetite for learning and maintained the attitude of an eager student throughout his prolific and diverse career. He developed an early interest in botany and horticulture, borrowing books from friends and neighbors to study these subjects in the evenings. At the age of fifteen he persuaded his two younger brothers to raise money for their family by planting an extensive fruit tree orchard. While they succeeded in completing the arduous labor of getting the trees established, the project ended in disaster because he failed to account for the time needed before the newly planted trees would begin producing fruit in sufficient quantities to make the venture profitable (Mawson, 1928). T. H. Mawson was just sixteen when his father died; as the oldest of three sons he became the main financial support for his family of six, including his mother his brothers and his two sisters. In 1879, at the age of eighteen he moved to London, an industrial city which he found crowded, polluted and depressing. Capitalizing on his experience with the orchard, he secured employment at a large plant nursery, and then found work for his brothers at other nearby plant nurseries. Mawson worked long days doing menial labor as a nurseryman; he spent his evenings sketching plants, studying their care and

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development (Mawson, 1928). In his early twenties, Mawson became passionately interested in becoming a garden designer, teaching himself the principles of garden design from magazines and books. At the time, a fierce battle was raging in the world of English garden design; the field was divided into two opposing camps. One group argued that garden design ought to be strictly geometric; the opposing group insisted upon a more naturalistic approach. Mawson studied each methodology and learned its particular principles and techniques, but instead of choosing sides in the ongoing struggle he developed a hybrid approach of his own that drew freely from each tradition as needed (Mawson, 1928). Perhaps it was his status as an outsider, unaffiliated with any formal school of design that enabled Mawson to appreciate the merits on all sides while informing his own broader approach? In any case, his open and inclusive approach was a strategy that he would continue to embrace as the scope and complexity of his career progressed. After getting married at the age of 25, T. H. Mawson returned to London from his honeymoon to discover that the job he had been promised as Garden Designer and Partner at a prosperous plant nursery had fallen through, apparently due to concern by management over his apparent youth. He was offered instead a chance to return to the more menial job of nurseryman, an offer which he immediately rejected. Ever aware of the changing technology of the times, Mawson recognized that train lines would soon be extending out into the rural landscape of his childhood, so in perhaps the boldest gamble of his career, he relocated his entire family back to rural Lancashire with a plan to start two new businesses: a plant nursery to be run by his brothers and a garden design business that he would run. In theory he would design gardens and his brothers would then supply the plants and other materials needed to implement these projects. This plan however proved only partially successful: his garden design business began to thrive, but the nursery business, Lakeland Nursery eventually closed. Eventually his landscape design business would grow to operate out of three separate offices, one in Lancashire, one in London, and finally a third branch in Vancouver, British Columbia (Mawson, 1928).

Figure 1: From left to right, top to bottom: T.H. Mawson; Plan of Gardens at Graythwaite Hall; 1909 Garden design for Andrew Carnegie (Mawson, 1911; Trellis at Hampstead Heath (Waymark, 2009).


By securing clients and winning design competitions, Mawson’s garden design practice grew. He began designing increasingly larger and more complex projects that included public parks, commercial housing developments and the grounds of large estates; accordingly he came to see himself as a landscape architect (Mawson 1928). This outpouring of work resulted in his first and ultimately most successful book: The Art and Craft of Garden Making (1900). It is important to understand that the gardens T.H. Mawson was designing were, in many cases, vast estates with a diverse range of features, including: auxiliary structures, trellised pathways, water features, lawns, wooded areas and complex planting arrangements (see figure 1). To explain the concepts explored in his book T.H. Mawson relied heavily on illustrations, sometimes including hypothetical good and bad examples, in addition to photographs and illustrations of actual projects (see figure 2).

Figure 2: How not to plant, and how to plant a landscape from the Art and Craft of Garden Design (Mawson 1900). Notice how in the second image (Sketch No.8.) the placement and scale of the plantings creates a richer experience for the viewer as they move through the landscape, defining a linked series of spaces. Smokestacks and chimneys visible in the left hand image have been screened from view; the distant picturesque structures have become landmarks, features that draw one through the composition. Even at this stage of his career it is evident that T.H. Mawson was concerned with design as a way to improve human experience in relationship to larger urban settings.

Civic Art: studies in town planning, parks, boulevards, and open spaces (1911) During the first decade of the 20th century, T. H. Mawson turned his attention to the design of urban space, just as city planning was emerging as a distinct discipline. Mawson once again expanded the scope of his work by seeking out and absorbing diverse expert perspectives before producing his own attempts at a new synthesis, combining ideas drawn freely from all available traditions. In making the jump from landscape architect to city planner, T. H. Mawson studied the work of Camillo Sitte; Mawson also spoke and corresponded with leading city planning theorists of his day, including: Daniel Burnham, Charles Mulford Robinson, and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. Mawson was intrigued by the City Beautiful Move-

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ment advocated in America by Burnham and others; with its emphasis on boulevards and grand civic spaces this visually impressive approach was consistent with Mawson’s geometric sense of order, yet expressed at a larger scale. At the same time he was also involved in the Garden City Movement taking form in England, which appealed to Mawson because of the emphasis this approach placed on effective landscape design as an integrated element of the urban fabric (see figure 3).

Figure 3: Two geometric strategies on Mawson’s urban design work. At left: diagram of an ideal traffic configuration proposed by T.H. Mawson in his master plan for the City of Calgary (Mawson, 1913). At right: Mawson’s design for Thornton Hough (Mawson, 1911, 49). Note: the circle divided into eight parts would reappear throughout Mawson’s work, at all scales; his diagrammatic design represents a more geometrically appealing version of the Garden City ideal. As the Thornton Hough plan shows, Mawson was also capable of working in a more organic mode. Traveling throughout Europe and North America to pursue landscape design commissions, T.H. Mawson made a point of studying the great urban spaces these travels made available to him. He continued to have an affinity for garden spaces and manicured estates, but he also kept an open mind, for example admiring the dramatic skyline of New York City when he first sailed into this city in 1905: At this date the rising mass of “skyscrapers,” now grown into a perfect mountain of masonry, gave a unique first impression of New York, especially by night, when outlined with myriads of insular light. With insular British contempt I had regarded “skyscrapers” as monstrosities. I now began to see that they represented a new and necessary phase of construction, which possessed imaginative and scholarly potentialities. It is interesting to me to realize that so long ago I could cut adrift from English conceptions of art to the extent of studying new forms of architectural expression with an open mind. Thomas H. Mawson. (1928).119. T. H. Mawson absorbed this diverse information about cities, synthesizing this into a comprehensive approach to urban design which he summarized in a magnificent and profusely illustrated book, Civic Art: studies in town planning, parks, boulevards, and open spaces (Mawson, 1911). T. H. Mawson relied on an overwhelmingly visual approach, focused on shaping public space and the relationship of urban

streetscapes to local landmarks as they would be experienced by pedestrians. While the Civic Art is largely a summary of ideas he had learned from others or from his work as a landscape architect, its friendly tone and astute insights established Mawson’s reputation as a city planning expert, securing him a variety of major commissions in Europe and North America, and invitations to lecture resulting in tours across the United States and Canada. At times Mawson’s advice becomes highly technical, yet the goal is always to achieve a positive visual effect. For example, he devotes twelve pages to the topic of the effective care and cultivation of street trees, beginning with a description of effective planting strategies, expounding in detail on why it is necessary for each municipality to establish its own tree nursery to ensure adequate results. Mawson explains that an effectively planted street will use trees of the same age and species to eventually produce a unified leafy canopy over the entire street. To achieve these results trees need to be of the same age, as well as the same species. Meanwhile, to ensure that street trees grow effectively in the challenging conditions required of street trees, during nursery-based cultivation the trees are to be dug up, rotated and replanted repeatedly to develop a compact root structure. These pragmatic considerations were best met by establishing a local municipal plant nursery dedicated to this task (see figure 4).

Figure 4: Street trees in Vancouver’s West End, and at English Bay (Robert Walsh, 2012, 2009). Note: it is not absolutely certain that these trees were planted due to the influence of T.H. Mawson. However, It is known that Vancouver first adopted a Street Tree ordinance in 1913, during the time Mawson was active in Vancouver; the extensive Street Tree program continues to apply planting and cultivation strategies matching those recommended by Mawson in 1911.

The entirety of urban spatial experience was of interest to T.H. Mawson. He understood that roads had to accommodate street cars, vehicles and pedestrians, and so he included in Civic Art elevation views demonstrating how to produce appealing results. The importance of the experience of urban space to Mawson is evident if we compare one of his street section views with a similar drawing from the Harland Bartholomew 1929 Plan for Vancouver: In Mawson’s plans trees and pedestrians are represented in vivid detail, while the building facades on each side define the street as a volumetric spatial experience. Mawson has also taken into account the practical implications

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of the need to board streetcars, including a boarding area in the center of the roadway. None of these humanizing details are in evidence in the later Harland Bartholomew drawing, which is primarily focused on efficiently accommodating vehicular traffic (see figure 5).

Figure 5: Detail Street Section Diagrams. Above: a T. H. Mawson image from the Civic Art (1911). Below: a Harland Bartholomew image from his Vancouver Plan (1929). Although by 1911 T. H. Mawson was serving the needs of wealthy clients and governments, he never forgot his humble origins or how his work might serve the needs of ordinary people. Mawson saw the creation of effective civic spaces as an integral part of creating a functioning society, and he maintained an active interest in how park designs could provide recreation and relief from the drudgery of factory work that was common in his time. I often wish that some philanthropist would get his heart warmed to the sight I once saw in Victoria Park, London, which skirts the congested East End. It was a few minutes to five - the evening bathing hour- and ranged round the large pond were hundreds of boys and men waiting, or rather, straining the moments, until the bell should ring for the plunge. Almost before the first stroke of the bell could vibrate, the youngsters, who had every garment ready for slipping off, were tumbling head over heels into the cool water, and in less than a minute it became a seething mass of buoyant life and hilarity, a delightful interlude of brightness in the dull, sordid conditions under which young life labors in these hives of activity and toil. Now that we possess the power, it is to be hoped that the people collectively, and wealthy citizens individually, will combine to endow posterity with ample breathing and recreation areas. T.H. Mawson (1911), 79. The Lovable City T. H. Mawson was competing with other planning theories that were emerging at the time, including a more mechanistic, functionalist approach to planning that made efficiency the primary objective. This presented difficulties for Mawson. While it is fairly easy to devise an economic rationale for an approach promising increased efficiency, Mawson struggled to find an adequate intellectual foundation for his experien-


tial, artistically motivated approach. He argued that an effective city plan represented the city you would like to live in, a vision that could be realized gradually over time, as resources became available, yet why this was necessary was harder to specify. In his book the Civic Art he attempted to articulate a view that well developed civic space embodied a special feeling or characteristic, a spirit that was evident, but which he could not quite put into words. Eventually T.H. Mawson came to express his concept of successful urbanism through something he began to refer to in lectures as “the lovable city” (Mawson 1913, 1916). Whether this was a concept he developed or once again had borrowed is not clear from surviving records; the fact that this phrase appears in his lectures but not in his books or articles is an indication that he perhaps remained ambivalent about the use and meaning of this term. At first consideration, the concept of a lovable city seems possibly too cute, subjective or sentimental to be taken seriously. While the currently fashionable terms livability, sustainability, and walkability are taken seriously, Mawson’s terminology nevertheless aspires towards something more significant, if also somewhat elusive. A livable city is an environment which provides for its residents their necessary physical requirements, and if this is done adequately then the city is successful, at least in mechanistic terms. The concept of the lovable city suggests something potentially more complex: a city that people are able to care about and develop a relationship with the city; a lovable city becomes a city that people belong to and also give back to, a place for which people develop an abiding affinity.

Figure 6: Two slides from the lectures of T.H. Mawson (1912). The first slide bears the caption: “Disfigurements in Churchgate,” while the second reads “Bye-Law street in Bolton.” Both images are meant to illustrate undesirable urban conditions. In the first case the view of the cathedral is obstructed while in the second case the lack of windows facing the street is noted for the resulting sense of hostility this provokes. The two images shown above are reproductions of slides T.H. Mawson used in his lectures to explain Civic Art (see figure 6). The first slide shows the detrimental impact on pedestrian experience resulting from a building protruding into the streetscape and obstructing the view of the cathedral in the background, anticipating arguments made several decades later by the British Townscape authors, in an effort to encour-

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age designers to appreciate the impact on the larger urban structure of localized acts of construction. The second image shows the negative results that occur when a housing development turns its back to the street by choosing not to include doors or windows directly looking out onto the street. Mawson is clearly anticipating one of the more popular arguments made by Jane Jacobs that buildings facing onto the street provide “eyes on the street” which help to ensure public safety. While it may be difficult or perhaps undesirable to try to explicitly define what a lovable city should look like, since this would tend to encourage copying instead of finding new locally relevant solutions, it is nevertheless instructive to consider negative examples such as those shown by Mawson, where this elusive quality seems to be largely absent. In essence these two examples display a lack of caring about the impact that an act of building had on the larger city and its nearby occupants; the result is that for that corner of the city, at least, the urban setting has moved further away from this ideal of the lovable city. Obviously the concept of the lovable city is likely for some people to provoke skepticism or even offense: love is a subjective and highly personal concept and therefore not easily approachable as a serious quantifiable measure of urban performance. Nevertheless, the concept of a lovable city defines an attitude, a goal towards which an entire community might work together to the benefit of all, even if this actually means different things to each person or each community. It speaks of personal and shared aspirations, of cities that matter in how they are experienced and cared for by their citizens. In the abstract this all may sound fairly agreeable, but putting these ideals into practice is another matter. When T. H. Mawson attempted to bring this ideal to the City of Vancouver British Columbia in 1912, his lectures were well-received. However, he would encounter resistance from the very same people who had invited him to come to their city, when he attempted to undertake a significant design commission on their behalf. T. H. Mawson and the battle of Stanley Park In considering the relevance of T. H. Mawson’s work to the Eishin Campus project described in Battle, the project which bears the greatest similarity to the Japan campus is Mawson’s attempt to realize a new master plan for the City of Vancouver British Columbia in 1912. Both projects followed from the publication of popular comprehensive books on urban place-making, describing principles for realizing an experiential, humanistic vision of urban settings. In the case of the

Eishin Campus, the opportunity for Alexander to secure the commission followed from the vision of successful architecture and urban design he had articulated in A Pattern Language (Alexander, 1977). For Mawson, the book was The Civic Art (Mawson, 1911). There are additional noteworthy similarities. Both design projects took place in foreign countries, with local building customs and cultural traditions initially somewhat unfamiliar to the designers. Both projects proposed extensive complexes, incorporating buildings, pathways and outdoor spaces. An artificial lake features prominently in both schemes. And both projects were conceived with a noble purpose of structuring an environment to enhance the lives of the diverse communities each served. Perhaps most significantly, as in the case of the Eishin Campus, in Mawson’s project an intense ideologically motivated fight broke out that threatened the success of the entire project. Before exploring the conclusions that can be drawn from comparing these two projects, Mawson’s project and the unique circumstances in Vancouver BC that impacted his work are explored here in detail. The story of the Eishin Campus by Alexander and Neis will be reviewed in less depth, due to space constraints and to avoid needlessly duplicating other material from this conference. For a more thorough treatment of the Eishin project, readers are advised to also consult The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth: A Struggle Between Two World-Systems (Alexander, 2012). Four designs for Coal Harbor and Stanley Park: During 1912, at the invitation of the Canadian government, T.H. Mawson traveled throughout Canada to deliver a series of lectures intended to “stir up an interest in civic betterment” (Waymark, 2009, 141). He saw opportunity in the rapidly expanding but unimaginatively planned Canadian cities, many of which had been laid out by major railroad interests, including Vancouver. Mawson especially was interested in being hired to develop a master plan for the capital of Canada, Ottawa, but while he did not in the end secure this commission, he nevertheless was hired to develop a master plan for the Canadian city of Calgary in Alberta, and he also developed other encouraging leads, resulting in a variety of public and private commissions in Canada and the United States (Waymark, 2009).

Figure 7: 1911 Map of Stanley Park (City of Vancouver Archives). An invitation by the Vancouver BC Parks Board to deliver lectures, and the promise of a significant design commission,

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brought T.H. Mawson to Vancouver in 1912. Mawson was then hired by this powerful Board to develop several designs for Coal Harbor and Stanley Park. It was Mawson’s second oldest son, John, who traveled to Vancouver first and established a seven-man branch office of Thomas H. Mawson & Sons. This office became the base of operations for the firm’s subsequent activities throughout Canada. In addition to the work on Stanley Park, and the Calgary Master Plan, T.H. Mawson and his staff completed a wide variety of projects working out of the Vancouver office. He helped design four new college campuses in Canada, including the newly established University of British Columbia. Mawson also eventually would complete additional private and public commissions in several western and central Canadian cities, including Victoria, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Regina, as well as the grounds for the Banff National Park (Mawson, 1928; McDonald, 1984; Waymark, 2009) .

Figure 8: Detail: Bird’s eye-view illustration of Vancouver from a 1911 real estate advertisement (Hayes, 2012, 241). Originally a small mill town that had grown under the influence of the Canada Pacific Railway, by 1911 Vancouver had become a thriving industrial city with a population of 100,401, a dramatic increase over its 1901 population of 26,313. Both False Creek and the waterfront along the Burrard inlet were dominated by numerous lumber milling operations, whose refuse burners produced a large volume of smoke, carried further eastward by the prevailing wind (see figure 8). Most families in Vancouver continued to live in wood frame houses and apartment buildings, in a moderately dense pattern of development served by an extensive network of electric streetcars, however, in the Downtown the density of construction was increasing and buildings were getting taller, and tall masonryclad steel framed office towers were proliferating (Hardwick, 1974). Business leaders in Vancouver had reason to believe in 1912 that the pattern of growth and relative prosperity that they were experiencing would increase further, due to the anticipated benefits of the soon to be completed Panama Canal. Although Vancouver was initially established as the western terminus of the Canada Pacific Railway, in many respects it had remained a remote and distant outpost, cut off from the eastern Canadian metropolises by the Rocky Mountains and the vast open prairies. No Canadian roads linked Vancouver to the eastern portions of Canada and to journey there by boat involved sailing all the way around the end of South America.


The completion of the Panama Canal promised to change this isolation by opening up new shipping routes, thereby enabling Vancouver based shipping to deliver timber and Canadian agricultural products to customers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. With the completion of the Panama Canal, Vancouver would also become the new midpoint on a sea route linking Britain to Asia. These changes were expected to result in continued rapid growth in Vancouver, sparking interest in the emerging field of town planning as a source of solutions to evident problems arising in this rapidly developing industrial city (Van Nus, 1975; Ward, 1999). Culturally and physically, Vancouver in 1912 was a city divided. The local economy depended heavily on immigrant labor, yet the city was polarized between rich and poor, British and non-British. Living safely upwind of the heavily polluting timber mills were the affluent executives associated with railroads and other industries, typically white people of British ancestry. Living downwind of the factories were the families of mill workers, dock workers and fishermen in the sprawling, smoke-shrouded Strathcona district, part of Vancouver’s East End. Strathcona was an ethnically diverse district with different neighborhoods that were inhabited by Japanese, Chinese, Black, Italian, and Eastern European working class families, as well as impoverished families of British ancestry. Local laws prohibited Chinese residents from voting or from practicing law or medicine. Occasionally riots broke out in Chinatown when rampaging whites vandalized Chinese businesses. Selective enforcement of the law meanwhile encouraged businesses catering to drugs, gambling or prostitution to locate in Strathcona, making it Vancouver’s Sin City. Meanwhile, poorly conceived zoning standards allowed industrial operations to flourish throughout this densely developed residential area, making local pollution even worse. To the thousands of families living in difficult conditions downwind of the timber mills, Stanley Park became an important weekend oasis due to its strategic location upwind of the smokestacks, and its promise of access to fresh air and open green space.

Figure 9: Bridge across Coal Harbor to Stanley Park, 1898 (City of Vancouver Archives). When T.H. Mawson began working on the redesign of Coal Harbor and the entry to Stanley Park, the main access to the park was across a wooden bridge that crossed over a portion of Coal Harbor (see figure 9). Access to the park was limited by the topography and lax maintenance; the tidal flats over which

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the entry bridge passed were known for their foul odors, and the bridge itself was slowly deteriorating (McDonald, 1984). The offending odors may have had several causes including: industrial pollution from nearby mills, sewage that was still being dumped in the vicinity (Andrews, 1990), and organic material exposed at low tide. Coal Harbor was not a scenic asset to be enjoyed, but an obstacle to be traversed en route to arriving at the desirable park spaces on the other side. This reality is reflected in the solutions Mawson eventually devised for the park. Vancouver’s working class families wanted to see at least part of the park space developed for recreational purposes, including athletics fields, a stadium and more; this desire for new sports facilities also reflected the growing popularity of recreational sports. Meanwhile, the more affluent members of Vancouver society, many of whom still resided in the nearby West End, were opposed to the creation of sports fields or other forms of public entertainment; instead they wanted to see the park remain a naturalistic forest preserve, its use restricted. At the time, only the wealthy had access to vehicles that enabled them to enjoy the more remote areas of the park. Blue collar families, who had to travel for miles to reach the park entry, did not venture far from Coal Harbor, resulting in complaints of crowding by people unable to even find a convenient patch of grass to sit down on for a picnic (McDonald, 1984). The clear divide between the different factions lead the Parks Board to request three different schemes from T.H. Mawson. Mawson developed three solutions, but then went a step further, proposing a fourth solution, meant to satisfy the competing interests of all concerned in a single design. The first scheme proposed filling in the tidal flats at Coal Harbor and using this for sports fields. For working class families, who wanted improved access to the park and more park space dedicated to recreational pursuits, this solution was appealing. In the Parks Board election of 1913, the candidate who had strongly advocated this approach, H. W. Owen, gained the largest number of votes, indicating strong public support for this solution. Nevertheless Mawson was not enthusiastic about eliminating the lagoon completely. Although he mentions it in his 1913 article about Coal Harbor, he does not even include an illustration of this option (Mawson, 1913). Mawson wanted to transform the concentration of human activity that was centered at this place and to simply fill in Coal Harbor would have erased the potential for creating a grand civic event, discarding a feature he saw as an asset. The next three schemes that Mawson produced have sev-

eral features in common: they each have converted the tidal flats at Coal Harbor into a freshwater lake, at the same time establishing a causeway linking the entry to Coal Harbor with Stanley Park. Each of these schemes features a continuous waterfront promenade flanked by strategically placed street trees. In each scheme the central waterfront promenade is then surrounded by an outer loop intended to accommodate an electric street car line linking Stanley Park to Georgia Street, and presumably Strathcona. The second of Mawson’s schemes proposed maintaining the natural contours of the Coal Harbor tidal flats, while converting it into a lake. Additional embellishments include two artificial Islands that would have been developed to provide visual focal points. For his third scheme, Mawson pursued a strategy in which the man-made lake is notably asymmetrical, yet more rounded. Monumental new buildings have been added and Mawson appears to be exploring the possibility of using the lake not as the center of attention, but as the foreground to the grand museum intended for a site on the far shore. A pair of artificial islands are still present in this scheme, but instead of locating one of these islands as the visual terminus of the long axis down Georgia Street, as had been done in the prior scheme, this time the islands are split by the axis terminating at the forecourt plaza to the museum (see figure 10).

Figure 10: Alternative schemes for Coal Harbor. Left: Second Option (Mawson, 1912, City of Vancouver Archives). Third alternative plan for Coal Harbor (Mawson, 1913). In his fourth plan, the unsolicited design, T. H. Mawson combined elements from his three prior schemes, while converting the tidal flats into a large circular lake with a tall column and a statue to be placed at the center. This elaborate park design attempts to include something for everyone: a large stadium, a restaurant, a museum, several playgrounds, additional recreational sports facilities, an extensive network of paths, and a zoo with outdoor exhibits. In an apparent bid to also satisfy Vancouver’s wealthy elites, the majority of Stanley Park was designated as undeveloped area that was to remain forested (Mawson, 1913) (see figure 11). T.H. Mawson’s fourth scheme was accepted by the Parks Board as the design it would pursue. From a tactical standpoint, producing this additional unsolicited scheme gave Mawson more of a free hand while at the same time provided the Parks Board with a viable alternative solution without having to choose sides between designs favored competing factions. By presenting this fourth scheme as an inspiration combining

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elements drawn from the other three proposals, Mawson created the impression that this design was an improvement over the three earlier schemes, while in theory sidestepping the different goals that had divided the city. Whether this design was his intended plan all along remains open to conjecture. This final scheme, more than the other three, seems to most closely reflect other Mawson designs, including the use of a central circular element divided into eight pie shaped segments, his reliance on symmetry and the use of long axial arrangements. In the center of the lake was to be an immense column some sixty feet tall, topped by a huge statue of British explorer Captain George Vancouver. He then further elaborated on this design, extending a grand boulevard that traversed most of the city, crossing a new public plaza downtown before terminating at the train terminal. He proudly proclaimed that this civic master plan evoked a sense of civic grandeur that rivaled the great public boulevards and monuments of Paris (Mawson, 1913).

Figure 11: Site plan for Coal Harbor and Stanley Park. (Mawson, 1928). A battle quickly lost T.H. Mawson’s plan for Coal Harbor was officially accepted by the Vancouver Parks Board, yet public reception of this proposal was decidedly mixed. Mawson characterized his scheme as a “great composition in which ordered balance and symmetry predominate, the great museum which closes the axial line down George Street being supported on the cross axis by the restaurant on the east and the stadium on the west, the forest providing a unique background to whole, and a highly effective setting for the architectural features.” (Mawson, 1913, p 10). Others however, saw things differently. One local newspaper report indicated that the local City Beautiful Association had come out against Mawson’s scheme, calling it a “vulgarization” and a “desecration” of Stanley Park. The chairman of the association, FC Wade compared the circular lake unflatteringly to “an immense manhole cover.” However, it was the introduction of the stadium that seemed to offend the most, resulting in claims that the City Beautiful Association would go so far as to pursue a lawsuit against Mawson, if this were needed to stop it (The Daily Province, 20, December, 1912; in Waymark, 2008, 145). The first step towards implementing Mawson’s scheme was establishing an accurate cost estimate and here the project immediately ran into problems. The cost of the stadium was estimated at $800,000, a monumental sum at the time, made


worse by a sudden and precipitous economic slump that, in the end, persisted until the conclusion of the First World War. Faced with financial constraints the city decided to instead pursue a more modest approach at Coal Harbor. A simplified version of an earlier Mawson scheme was implemented, using the same general configuration as the existing ocean inlet. A causeway was constructed where the wooden bridge crossing Coal Harbor had been, creating a modest lake now known as the Lost Lagoon . Pedestrian pathways were constructed but no electric streetcar line, or other significant embellishments, were added. (Steele, 1993). Today the Lost Lagoon is a pleasant if quiet place, a retreat from the more active areas of the park and the nearby city, and not the dramatic center of civic activity that T.H. Mawson had imagined it would become (see figure 12). Despite the economic downturn, T.H. Mawson was still hired in 1914 by the City of Vancouver to design several modest projects at Stanley Park, most notably a lighthouse, caretaker’s cottage and the surrounding landscape at Brockton Point, located at the eastern end of the park (see figure 13). Mawson evidently expected high standards for the stone workmanship for this project, based upon British standards instead of local standards, and as a result the stone mason for this work apparently went broke. Although the caretaker’s cottage has since been demolished, the lighthouse is now a protected heritage landmark, providing an attractive and popular vantage point from which to view the mountains, surrounding scenery, and the city skyline (Justice 2009). Many of the civic functions proposed by T.H. Mawson for the Coal Harbor scheme would eventually be constructed elsewhere in Vancouver, including the Stadium and the Museum. Meanwhile, Stanley Park continues to be a popular and wellused public destination containing sports fields, the Vancouver Aquarium, restaurants and other public amenities. Forest has grown back to cover most of the park, which continues to be widely enjoyed. Few traces of T.H. Mawson’s grand civic design however are in evidence today; T.H. Mawson’s battle for Stanley Park ended in defeat.

Figure 12: Stanley Park and Brockton Point Lighthouse (Google Earth image 2011).

Figure 13: Historical Postcard: Brockton Point Lighthouse (City of Vancouver Archives). Discussion: a battle won and a battle lost

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Figure14: Eishin Campus, Saitama, Japan (Bing 3d image, 2014). The battle over the Eishin School described in the book Battle should ultimately be considered a success: the project was completed and many of the positive characteristics embodied in the original design were realized in the completed project (see figure 14). Today it continues to be well-used and enjoyed. The opponents in this battle were not the usual ones one might expect on a substantial development project: there were no local neighbors objecting to the project, no greedy developers or bankers or narrow-minded government bureaucrats attempting to sabotage the project for their own reasons, at least not to a significant degree. Instead this was a case in which the architect and the builders became opponents even as they both attempted to realize the project in accordance with their own divergent values and methods. And yet the result in the end was success, whereas in the case of T.H. Mawson’s Coal Harbour Plan, the result in the end was failure. What accounts for this difference in outcomes? One difference is that T.H. Mawson attempted to devise a solution that would please everyone, while failing to the adequately appreciate the actual power dynamics at work in Vancouver. On one level he encountered biting criticisms of the design itself and objections to the projected costs. Undoubtedly these issues could have been better managed from the outset, by securing the approval of key constituents before unveiling his design, and by considering cost implications from the outset. Furthermore, Mawson seems to have had profoundly unrealistic expectations of just what was feasible; to imagine this design being implemented today perhaps seems plausible, but to devote the required public resources needed to complete it when Vancouver was a working class city of 100,000 residents seems a stretch. Setting these concerns aside, T.H. Mawson seems to have failed to grasp that he was unlikely to win the necessary support of the nearby affluent families so long as they perceived his effort as encroaching upon their exclusive carriage grounds. Perhaps he would have fared better had he proposed naming the major structures and features after the powerful local families, thereby linking the success of his design to their elevated prestige? Or perhaps he could have held back on the addition of the stadium, museum, and zoo, while discretely providing space for sports and picnicking, and designating a carriage grounds with a separate entrance? Instead he tried to promote his scheme by making flattering comparisons to the great civic spaces he had seen in Europe, while failing to realize how little this meant to his audience.

Mawson also appears to have made the considerable mistake of concluding that his work was done once his initial design was accepted, when he ought to have understood this as merely the beginning of the arduous task of bringing his monumental design to fruition. In contrast to this, Alexander began the process of developing the Eishin Campus by conducting extensive, in-depth interviews with students, teachers and administrators. He developed the design to meet their needs, within the limitations of the budget they had established. He also understood from the outset that the success of the project would require the dedicated involvement of his team throughout the arduous process of realizing the finished project. Although this more involved approach did not prevent disputes or disagreements from occurring, it nevertheless ensured that as the project progressed the architect and his team remained attuned to the needs and aspirations of their clients (Alexander, 2012). Another key difference between Alexander’s Eishin School and Mawson’s work in Vancouver, was the approach each took towards the use of local building traditions and local building materials. Alexander and his associates spent considerable effort getting to know their clients and the users; they also hired skilled local craftsmen to teach them the local building language, and they developed a deep appreciation for the local building traditions, materials and building forms (Alexander, 2012). The resulting composition is wonderfully harmonious with the local setting, while the form language of the buildings is sympathetic to local traditions. The artificial lake at Eishin feels like a natural response to the landscape, as does the layout of the buildings and pathways. In contrast to this, Mawson continued to design structures and features for Vancouver in a largely stone-based, Classical idiom, despite the fact that Vancouver at the time was a world leader in timber production. Mawson accordingly encountered budget problems arising from his impractical proposals. Had he taken a more locally-oriented approach, his design would have been perhaps more relaxed, requiring a less drastic intervention, using materials that would be more available, affordable, and easier to maintain. Mawson’s circular “manhole cover” of a lake feels forced and unnatural, made even worse by its peculiar central column. One essential conclusion therefore is that Mawson ran into problems because his design imposed external ideals, drawn from his own irrelevant European experiences. Alexander, meanwhile produced a far more promising design by using his skill to evoke from the clients and context insights he used as

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inspiration for a locally-appropriate design. This distinction is also important in explaining how Mawson’s clients became his opponents, while Alexander’s clients became steadfast allies. Another difference between the two projects concerns the key issue of implementation. Realistically, Mawson had several advantages when it came to implementing his vision: he spoke the language, he had an office established on location and he had a long track record of completed projects. In comparison, Alexander was not fluent in Japanese, and while he had completed individual buildings at that point in his career, he had not built a project of this scale or complexity. Yet Alexander had one important asset that Mawson seems to have lacked: he had a dedicated and talented project architect who maintained a continuous presence on the project jobsite from start to finish. This project architect at the Eishin Campus was, of course, Hajo Neis. As the Eishin project moved forward, Hajo continued to apply pressure to ensure that the ideals embodied in the design were realized in the final project. While these efforts were not always successful, to a large degree his efforts proved effective. Battle describes how after a demanding day on the jobsite, he and his worthy opponents would often go out drinking together, developing a sense of mutual respect in the process. Even as they occasionally locked horns on the jobsite, Hajo managed to transcend the battle and maintain a sense of progress and perhaps even common purpose that kept the project moving forward (Alexander, 2012). In comparison, T. H. Mawson’s son John Mawson , who was running the Vancouver office in 1913, by his own admission was a difficult man to get along with (Miller, 2000). And he was not an experienced architect, but a landscape designer interested in planning policies. Ordinarily T.H. Mawson and his son should have been able to anticipate the budget problems that eventually sunk his stadium project, but this appears to have caught them both off-guard. Similarly, T.H. Mawson should have sought the approval of his most important patrons before unveiling his unsolicited fourth design. In a way, this fourth proposal approach backfired for Mawson; by demonstrating that a simpler, less extravagant design could also work well, he in effect divided his support for his proposed designs, and once divided, it became impossible to reunite all parties in pursuit of a single shared vision. Conclusion: the ongoing battle to sustain a more humane environment The story of T.H. Mawson and his failed attempt to improve Stanley Park and Vancouver raises additional broader


issues concerning the ambitious and potentially transformative agenda at the heart of Christopher Alexander’s body of work. A Pattern Language is sometimes regarded as a critique of modernist architecture, as a reaction against the dominant paradigm that defined architecture and urban planning from about 1920 – 1970. Yet the suggestion that this alternative approach represents a “timeless way of building” (Alexander, 1979) raises an obvious question: if this way was indeed timeless, why wasn’t this happening previously? Perhaps it actually was, and this has simply been forgotten. The work of T. H. Mawson does have a great deal in common with Alexander’s later work, and these similarities support the conclusion that Alexander’s work is not only a reaction against modernism, but also an effort to reconnect the discipline to design values, perceptions and methods that have a longer tradition. Rather than redirecting the field of architecture to pursue an entirely new direction, it might be fair, therefore, to view Alexander’s work as a lifelong effort to get architecture back on track, after it had perhaps lost its way. If T.H. Mawson were alive and practicing today, I suspect he would find much to admire in Alexander’s Eishin project, as well as the vision of architecture and meaning that Alexander has articulated in his books. Mawson also would not stop there, and this distinction is critical. Instead of joining the battle, Mawson would in all likelihood do what he always had done when confronted with competing perspectives: he would try to find a path forward that took advantage of the strengths of each approach to produce something new. Battle in the end may sometimes be unavoidable, but the career of Thomas Mawson suggests that sometimes the battle might be won by absorbing the strengths of the opposition and then proceeding. His failure at Stanley Park demonstrates that this strategy does not guarantee success; transcending the battle nevertheless represents a viable option worth exploring further. In the end, T.H. Mawson seems to have been motivated by a noble intention consistent with the values later expressed by Christopher Alexander in A Pattern Language, The Nature of Order, and The Timeless Way of Building. It also might be argued that the battle which sunk Mawson’s effort at Stanley Park was a battle between his generous view of a lovable city where everyone matters, pitted against an alternative worldview, in which the city is controlled by a small elite group. Is this really so terribly different from the conflict portrayed in Battle, in which one side is striving to produce a humane result that improves the world for all, while the other side is apparently motivated by the limited objective of maximizing profits? In this respect, Mawson can perhaps be considered a somewhat tragic

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figure whose noble intentions were eclipsed by the onslaught of modernity, despite his efforts to give that emerging new reality a more humane face. These issues continue to be important today as our planet becomes increasingly urbanized and our population more economically polarized. Judging by the success of the more recent battle for the Eishin campus, this more humane view of architecture, this struggle for a more lovable city is still important and worth pursuing, as we face the unfolding urban challenges of our own time.

References: Alexander, C. Neis, H. Alexander, M. (2012). The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth: A Struggle Between Two World-Systems, Oxford University Press. Alexander, C. et al. (1977). A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction, Oxford University Press. Alexander, Christopher (2006) The Nature of Order (Volumes 1-4), Berkeley, California. Center for Environmental Structure . Alexander, Christopher (1979) The Timeless Way of Building, Oxford University Press. Andrews, Margaret (1990). “Sanitary Conveniences and the Retreat of the Frontier: Vancouver, 1886-1926.” Vancouver BC: BC Studies, no. 87. Bartholomew, H. (1929). A Plan for the City of Vancouver including Point Grey and South Vancouver and a General Plan of the Region. Vancouver: Town Planning Commission. Gutstein, Donald. (1975). Vancouver Ltd. Vancouver BC: Lorimer Press, Hardwick, Walter. (1974). Vancouver, Don Mills, Ontario: Collier-Macmillan Canada, Ltd. Hayes, Derek. (2012). British Columbia: A New Historical Atlas. Vancouver BC: Douglas & McIntyre, Ltd. Hayes, Derek. (2005). Historical Atlas of Vancouver & the Lower Fraser Valley. Vancouver BC: Douglas & McIntyre, Ltd. Hodge, Gerald. (1985). “The Roots of Canadian Planning,” Journal of the American Planning Association, 51:1, 8 – 22 Justice, Clive. (2009). “Reflecting on T.H. Mawson.” Sitelines. BC Society of Landscape Architects. August, 9 -11. MacDonald, Norbert. (1973). “A Critical Growth Cycle for Vancouver, 1900-1914.” BC Studies. No 17.

Mawson, Thomas H, (1928). The Life and Work of an English Landscape Architect, New York: Scribners and Sons. Mawson, Thomas H, (1917) Imperial obligation; industrial villages for partially disabled soldiers and sailors. London: Richards. Mawson, Thomas H, (1914). Calgary : a preliminary scheme for controlling the economic growth of the city / published under the auspices of the City Planning Commission of Calgary (Alberta). London, New York: T.H. Mawson & Sons, city planning experts. Mawson, Thomas H, (1913). “Vancouver, City of Optimists,” Town Planning Review, 4:1, 7-12. Mawson, Thomas H, (1911). Civic art; studies in town planning, parks, boulevards, and open spaces. London: B. T. Batsford; New York: C. Scribner’s sons Mawson, Thomas H, (August 1911). telegram transcript, New York Times. Mawson, Thomas H, (1900). The Art and Craft of Garden Making. London: B.T. Batsford. Mawson, Thomas H, and Robert Atkinson, (1910). Bolton (Lancashire): a study in town planning and civic art. 1910. Mawson, Thomas H, and Vivian, Henry. (1912). Two notable addresses on town planning and housing. Printed by the Calgary City Planning Commission. McDonald, Robert, (1984). “’Holy Retreat’ or ‘Practical Breathing Spot’?: Class Perceptions of Vancouver’s Stanley Park, 1910-1913” Canadian Historical Review, LXV. 2, 127153. Miller, Caroline L. (2000). Town Planning in New Zealand 1900-1933: the Emergent Years. Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Peterson, Jon. (2003). The Birth of City Planning in the United States 1840-1917, The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. Robinson, Charles Mulford, (1903). Modern Civic Art, or the City Made Beautiful. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Steele, Mike, (1993). Vancouver’s Famous Stanley Park: The Year-Round Playground. Vancouver, Heritage House. Stetler, Gilbert. (2000). “Rethinking the Significance of the City Beautiful Idea” in Urban Planning in a Changing World, Freestone, R. (ed.) London. Van Nus, W. (1975) “The Fate of City Beautiful Thought in

T. H . M aw s on ’s C i v ic A r t & t he Figh t f or t he Lova bl e C i t y


Contingent Urbanism Agency in (Re)making Contemporary Places

by B.D. Galvin-Wortham


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This essay will use the term contingent urbanism to discuss how ordinary people are engaged in making place and how designers and planners might learn from it. This discussion of contingent urbanism will define the term and its current manifestation, and raise questions about contingent urbanism role in the making of place in the twenty-first century.

“When subject matter is forced to fit into preconceived patterns, there can be no freshness of vision.” - Edward Weston


The July 2013 edition of Architect magazine featured an article entitled “Newest Urbanism.” In their word play on what design praxis might succeed the popular late twentieth century New Urbanism movement in the United States, Architect introduced to the uninitiated the concept of tactical urbanism. Their narrative rooted tactical urbanism’s contemporary origins in 2005 in the transformation of a parking space into a small park in San Francisco by the firm Rebar. Defining tactical urbanism as “temporary, cheap, and usually grassroots interventions—including socalled guerrilla gardens, pop-up parks, food carts, and ‘open streets’ projects—that are designed to improve city life on a block-by-block, street-by-street basis,” the article claims that it took this approach to shaping the city less than a decade to mainstream into the practices of U.S. cities and firms alike [1]. While Architect used the term tactical urbanism, to characterize this effort (borrowing it from the Street Plans Collaborative and their guidebook Tactical Urbanism 2: ShortTerm Action, Long Term Change), other terms abound: participatory urbanism, open-source urbanism, pop-up urbanism, minor urbanism, guerrilla urbanism, insurgent public space, city repair, or DIY urbanism [2]. The elision between these terms and their definitions does contain overlap, but they are not exact synonyms. This essay will use the term contingent urbanism to discuss how ordinary people are engaged in making place and how designers and planners might learn from it. This discussion of contingent urbanism will define the term and its current manifestation, and raise questions about contingent urbanism role in the making of place in the twenty-first century [3].

The Twenty-First Century City

Douglas Kelbaugh’s adroit analysis of latter twentieth-early twenty-first century urban praxis in the United States (and as exported globally) assesses New Urbanism as “an explicit combination of noble ends and practical means” in contrast to Post Urbanism’s “argument that shared values or metanarratives are no longer possible in a world increasingly fragmented [...]” [4]. The former engages historical precedents, employs typology, and is stylistically neotraditional (despite protestations to stylistic inclusion, this is the as-built reality of New Urbanism) while the later manipulates topology “without formal orthodoxies or principles” with a resultant focus on surface and skin in the name of newer freedoms for the twenty-first century global city [5]. Notwithstanding their varied aims and methodologies, both primarily focus on formal and spatial manipulations in order to create (or dismantle) the public realm that we understand as the city. Despite both New and Post Urbanisms conviction in their formally driven design methodologies, it is difficult to ascertain what designing the “public realm” really means in the context of increasing privatization, globalization, digitization, and commercialization of urban space. The city designed is assumed to be a public space; but what precisely does that mean? It is certainly more than the mere spatial circumscription of a town square or piazza. By defining space as “public” what are we referring to? Ownership? If so, how does a place like Times Square fit this definition? Even though most of the land that constitutes the space of Times Square is, indeed, owned by the city and is, therefore, “public” land, the space is not publicly managed. The structures that define the space are all controlled by private interests; and, the space is dominated by commercial messages and corporate slogans rather than a socio-cultural identity. As Blaine Merker asserts: Contemporary industrialized societies have generally accepted the banishment of unscripted, generous exchange in the public realm in favour of a hyper-commercial alternative. […] In the North American city, public behaviors unrelated to commercial exchange or economic production fall into two basic categories: loitering or other illegal and disruptive activity; and assembly, celebration, and cultural spectacle, which are heavily scripted and contained by permits and other official permissions. [6] Ironically in many (sub)urban places, it is the shopping mall that has become the new forum, playing host to a myriad of “public” activities, including: seniors taking group walks

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in the morning, girl scout sing-a-longs, flu shot clinics, job fairs, and teenagers working hard at doing nothing. Is the public to be found, then, in more than just a physical circumscription, but also in a set of activities that reinforce community and civic identity, and are, therefore, culturally conceived of as public [7]? As the physical and socio-cultural have become inextricably intertwined in the defining of the public, contingent urbanism is useful in unravelling that knot. Even more so, because what is missing from synoptic accounts of the plurality of urban design mythologies in action at the turn of the twenty-first century in the United States is a discussion of contingent urbanism [8]. Merker believes that, “Offering the public something without expectation of anything in return is at once subversive, suspicious—and potentially profound and transformative [9].” Contingent urbanism becomes a method wherein new cultural value is produced without ties to commercial consumption and production. As Jeffrey Hou notes, “If public space is where identities, meanings, and social relationships in cities are produced, codified and maintained, it is through insurgent public space that alternative identities, meanings, and relationships can be nurtured, articulated, and enacted. [10]” By these rubrics, contingent urbanism is about a group of people engaged in actions that are subject to chance and/or dependent on certain circumstances that operate outside of power structures and/or official modes of operation; and, it is through actions of these agents that we might reclaim publicness from its current corporate/government sanctioned morass [11]. Contingent Urbanism Conversations about contingent urbanism in the past decade are often framed by unsanctioned efforts and/or by the temporary. Tactical urbanism, as defined by the Street Plans Collaborative, features short-term realistic actions, the development of social capital, a focus on the local, and a phased approach to permanent change. As Mike Lydon notes: When you’re yard bombing something, it’s a really cool and interesting piece of public art and it can have some social and political commentary that goes along with it, but the intent generally is not to create a longer term physical change. Most of the things that we include in the guide generally are aiming at doing something larger. They’re not just for the sake of doing it. And of course in a lot of ways, to make that work, you need to have whatever you’re doing to become


sanctioned or supported, either with funding or with being allowed by the municipality [12]. The distinction Lydon makes is an important parsing of the various contingent urbanism efforts. Activities such as guerrilla gardening, weed bombing, chair bombing, yarn bombing, ad busting, camps, food trucks, pop up town halls, Depave, PARK(ing) Day, parklets, Street Seats, Open Streets, Build a Better Block, Parkways, and others get merged together with no distinction. To wit the Seattle chapter of the AIA held an exhibition in Winter 2013 that featured parklets, guerrilla gardens, yarn bombs, temporary infill, retail housed in shipping containers, sticker bombing and more all curated as falling under the same rubric of creative urban inventions [13]. Many of these activities involve revising or reinterpreting existing infrastructures for alternative purposes with a sense of socio-political agency underlying the action. They operate outside of officially sanctioned structures as they temporarily claim public or private infrastructures for protest or other cultural practices. While these projects are communal, hands-on and sometimes critical, they are fleeting, ephemeral additions to the built environment, not permanent ones. They eschew the slow moving and often costly bureaucracies of professionalized urbanism (proffered by planners, architects, landscape architects, preservationists and their ilk), for flexibility, rapidity, dynamisms and what Kelli Anderson terms “disruptive wonder” or I call “making the familiar strange” [14]. They seek to disrupt naturalized assumptions and defy conventions about how and/or where we live. In this version of contingent urbanism, the city is seen as a (public) democratic process, not a (private) consumable product. The difference, as Lydon notes, is that some of these activities—like yarn, chair or weed bombing, ad busting, and guerrilla gardening—fall more into the vein of performance art and provocation, than with an eye toward permanence [15]. These often illegal works are proffered to provoke conversation for a day, but once out of sight are often out of mind. At the other end, food trucks, pop up retail, and Street Seats are ways for commercial enterprises to make private entrepreneurial insertions into the city (whether one is selling food or jewellery for one’s own profit, or designing outside café seating in a former parking space as Portland’s Street Seats permitting process encourages). In addition, at this end the agent of change is usually a design or planning

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professional with agency being understood as someone acting on behalf of others [16]. Somewhere in the middle are those activities that started as temporary—often political—stagings that become codified processes, with the agents of public change moving from the insurgent toward the intermediary and often, finally, assuming the presumption of public representation. PARK(ing) Day is one example that started as performance art piece “Portable Architecture” by Bonnie Ora Sherk in 1970 when she began converting pavement to parks in San Francisco. This action re-emerged in 2005, again in San Francisco, with the transformation of a parking space into a public park. Within six years this transformation became reified as PARK(ing) Day and had spread globally with thirty-five countries across six continents reclaiming 975 parking spaces [17]. The ultimate codification came in 2013 when the city of Portland established its Street Seats program that permits businesses to build small “parklets” in current on-street parking spaces. In the trajectory described above municipal resources (i.e. parking spaces) transform: first, into an artist’s provocation challenging the use of those resources (should city rights-of-way be for cars or for people); second, into small public spaces for people to use and share at will; and, finally, for private interests to expand their resources (café seating, while enlivening the pedestrian experience, is still privately managed and restricted in its inhabitation). Thus, while contingent urbanism in the media is often characterized as interventions within the city that are instigated by activists who want to provocate the allocation of space and resources, it is also happening via government sanctioned private investment in the transformation of city resources. The shift in the agents staging this urbanism has consequences regarding the actions. While parking spaces turned into places to sit may, on their face, look alike, ownership of those parklets affects how public these spaces truly are. For whom are these Street Seats? Those shepherding the move for Seattle to adopt it’s own sanctioned parklet program provide such a cautionary guide Contingent urbanism, then, is not only a subaltern cultural movement, but also a mainstream one. The whom, or agents, of contingent urbanism range from those on the outside to those in power. Contingent urbanists are activists, neighbours, groups, non-profits, developers, businesses, and city governments. The variety of agents represent a continuum of action from the illegal and unsanctioned to those codified into regulatory processes and laws—with the former often

prompting the latter (e.g. PARK(ing) Day, Build A Better Block, Depave, Open Streets). And these actions take place on both public and private sites (often merging and/or conflicting the two interests). Contingent urbanism, as defined in this essay, affirms much of what Lydon parses. It is urban action that is: small and/ or incremental; responding to immediate needs (that engage discourses of publicness); stewarding change that is wanted (defined by some group of people); implementable relatively quickly and with low initial investment. Contingent urbanism is not defined by who is leading it (whether it is everyday people, activists, or professional experts), but by the actions taken (small, but tangible), how they are taken (quickly), and that there is a tangible impact. What contingent urbanism is not is professionally led charrettes stewarding large-scale development projects (often masquerading as communitybased design). The activism of the 1960s-70s in the United States prompted professionals interested in community-based design to coopt the term charrette to promote a more public-oriented design process. The charrette has re-emerged with new strength from its 1960s-70s launching in large part due to the success of the New Urbanism movement and, most recently, from a post-Katrina desire to help revive the Gulf Coast region. In the New Urbanists’ desire to establish strong neighbourhoods, both formally and socially, they use the charrette as one of their formidable tools, alongside form- and typologybased codes. Within their paradigm the charrette becomes a way to facilitate change in participants’ perceptions and positions with the end goal being a buy-in to the design. But what does consensus mean when the desire is to change people’s minds in order to have them buy-in to the design? Is everyone supporting a plan derived from the charrette or pre-conceived before hand? And in that case, then, for whose benefit is the review, critique and refinement during the charrette? Just the participants and not the designers? Has the charrette become a mode for defusing implementation challenges instead of collaborating on critical questions and potential answers within a community? As Ana Paula Baltazar and Silke Kapp outline, […] the World Bank introduced participation in its development projects to overcome the resistance of people, not to substantially change the projects themselves. In many cases participation is used as just another strategy of imposition. But even when real discussion is intended by architects or urban designers, they are still in a position of power: they

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determine the framework of discussion, provide specialized information, judge what would be acceptable solutions, make the ultimate design decisions and finally translate them into technical codes. [18]

use. This also does not mean, in turn, that activist-led urban actions are free from bias as well. Activists (or non-profits, community groups, etc.) privilege their own value systems in their desire to transform the city within their vision.

If public space and urban design are to be embedded in the cultural construction of place, then residents should be seen not merely as an audience to receive the wise wisdom of the expert, but as experts in their own right who bring a large body of local and social capital to the process; and in fact, can and perhaps should instigate the process.

What also distinguishes contingent urbanism from other community-based/public interest design in the United States at the turn of the twenty-first century is the socio-economic and technological contexts that have fostered its current surge: the economic recession and the emergence of accessible, portable digital technology. The economic downturn stopped big development projects (be they “public” or private) cold. The disappearance of these mega projects left communities with a bevy of vacant and abandoned properties (further compounded by the demise of smaller businesses caught in the wake of the big money disaster). This made it easier for insurgent intervention to take hold because: 1. A little money could now make an impact because big money was no longer available to compete or push out small projects; and, 2. Municipalities were more forgiving of the unsanctioned because these undertakings filled a void of inaction and/or displaced negative, crime related activities.

This is why the charrette does not appear on the list of contingent urbanism activities; its use as a community-based tool is too broad in its implementation depending on who is using it (and more importantly) to what purpose. Some design professionals who work intensively with communities seek alternatives to the charrette in order to design with not for communities. The work of designers like Teddy Cruz, Walter Hood, Bryan Bell, Maurice Cox and in projects such as Crown Heights (initiated by architect Manuel Avila) engage alternative practices that elevate residents to experts and give them significant roles in the decision-making process of design [19]. While laudable, this work, however, is not what this paper means by contingent urbanism—where incremental, tangible, immediate action are paramount over (en)visioning and conceptual speculation. The critique of the charrette as an expert-driven, value-laden process should be applied to contingent urban activities as well. Certainly this is easiest to observe when the activities are supported by government sanctioned regulations and codes, such as the Street Seats program. For whom is the extra café seating in Portland? Those who can afford to frequent such upper-middle class establishments are whose cultural values and assumptions are now literally expanding into the streets. These café parklets are certainly not mega projects like Bilbao, and yet, because they belong to the same taste-culture, it needs to be acknowledged that this type of urbanism often replaces existing urbanism with the “latest and greatest” and leverages the development of this architecture to attract the accoutrements of a cosmopolitan experience—fine cuisine, global brand stores, and a thriving nightlight scene predicated on a new sense of “safety.” And while this constituency has a right to lay claim to one of the cities’ cultures, it should not be reified into representing The Culture of the city and assume that is how all citizens would like to see those individual 200 square feet parcels put to


While the economy downturned precipitously after 2008, the uptick in the proliferation of social media orientated platforms and the ubiquity of portable devices on which to access them meant it was easier to mobilize people and resources. As quickly as one can tweet, one can gather the left over and left behind people and resources for action. Facebook was founded in 2004. Twitter in 2006. San Francisco’s first renewed interest in turning parking spaces into parks started in 2005 and has grown global in less than a decade. These are not coincidences. This is the foundation for the twenty-first century version of contingent urbanism which mobilizes quickly into action and disseminates those actions for easier replicability, digitally—with the highest profile example being that of the Occupy movement. Jonathan Massey and Brett Snyder rename contingent urbanism under the moniker open-source urbanism because of how mobile devices and their applications allow “nonexperts” to become authors of both how urban spaces are enacted and how public dialogues are shaped [20]. Opensource urbanism takes place in both physical and digital spaces and, as the Occupy movement demonstrated, often a simultaneous dialogue and overlapping between the two creates the participatory realm in which people actively engage their cities, neighbourhoods, and physical public spaces

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through collecting and sharing data and ideas via digital methods. Massey and Snyder note that the Occupy movement existed virtually before it did physically: In the months leading up to the first occupation […] Occupy established an online presence unmatched in the history of social action, leveraging multiple online spaces to stage protests and to generate a distinctive counter-public and alternative polity. […] before the first protestors had set foot in Liberty Plaza, the Occupy movement was evolving toward a model of General Assembly that hybridized online and offline discourse. While street activists in New York were practicing consensus decision-making in public parks, online participants were responding to a poll Adbusters created using Facebook’s ‘question’ function […] Through this asynchronous online polling, Facebook supported a weak form of political discussion that prefigured the stronger and more interactive deliberations that filled Liberty Plaza [21]. The Occupy movement created physical civic infrastructures (temporarily permanent) entirely generated by the participants. What arose across the United States was “complex, open-source, user-generated urban infrastructure, where creative participation, collaboration, generosity, and self-reliance are privileged over the more traditional urban imperatives of commerce and efficiency” [22]. But can Occupy offer a method for bridging the gap between the ephemerality of some participatory urbanism and the desire for permanent change in the city? And can these bottomup approaches ultimately situate everyday people as equal authors in the design of the built environment alongside architects, landscape architects, planners, and preservationist? What really happens when citizens take the shaping of the city into their own hands? And are these citizens just as guilty of leaving people out and behind? Starting in fall 2011, the mythologies of whether or not the Occupy movement represented the 99% in its entirely gained traction. Two surveys performed that fall were widely reported in the press and pushed back on some of the myths (the former involving 1619 people responding online and the latter involving 198 people responding in person) [23]. Both surveys determined that the Occupy Wall Street participants constituted a mix of ages, wealth, employment, and history of activism (meaning no one group dominated in these categories). The two categories that had clear majority constituencies were: 1. On the issue of political identification, 70% claimed to be politically independent; and, 2. 92%

were highly educated (defined as having at least some college up through graduate degrees). Not reported in these surveys were gender, race/ethnicities, or place –based identifiers. The purpose here is not to parse the reality of the Occupy constituency, but to acknowledge that the Occupy leadership and “citizenry” had its own values systems that were physically manifest in their camps (having libraries, community gardens, and/or day-cares in a camp were value-laden choices). It is the recognition of value-bias in the implementation of city making processes that is key. Perhaps contingent urbanism is more transparent because its decisions are made out of doors and in view of all as manifest in the physical asserts they put forth, whereas top down processes opaquely imbed values in dense codes, regulations, and byzantine elisions between public and private ownership and occupation. An Anthropological Urbanism The physical deterioration of many of America’s cities is not only due to unique circumstances fashioned by natural disasters, but also to an on-going series of systemic issues—poverty, gentrification, population decline, vacancy and abandonment, and of conflicts in cultural values [24]. And, while neighbourhood revitalization usually focuses on physical improvements, it clearly has social impacts. Physical interventions do indeed transform the built environment; but they do not necessarily eliminate poverty, nor do they address the socio-economic disparities prevalent in many major (and minor) American cities and suburbs. The politics of culture are just as important as the aesthetic considerations in the complex efforts to revitalize cities. As Roberta Gratz notes, “No one should want to protect the status quo of a deteriorated neighbourhood. If all change is mislabelled as gentrification without distinctions, the problem of gentrification is not addressed, just ignored” [25]. It is important to be aware that many physically deteriorated neighbourhoods can, in fact, be vital as communities if they “possess viable social networks that function to meet the needs of their populations” [26]. Is there a way to balance the micro and macro effects of revitalization? Is there a middle ground between whole cloth demographic change of the community and stopping the continued deterioration of blighted neighbourhoods? How can cities address these issues to encourage the good subcultural networks without exacerbating the segregation of economic classes or discouraging private investment? Contingent urbanism has emerged in the gaps left by government institutions and their inability to address physical, fiscal, and socio-cultural inequities in

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contemporary cities. North American municipalities have large tracts of land that are underutilized (primarily vacant or abandoned). Sites in the public domain could be activated by hosting various groups to stage “urbanisms” and then use digital and traditional mechanism for feedback loops on uses and practices. Those privately held could be incentivized beyond current regulations that make lot parking the most profitable use to promote temporary and tactical physical installations that may catalyse, then, more permanent vitality. Contingent urbanism’s ability to supplant the few with the many in both who makes the city and how it gets made might provide a guiding methodology as long as it is critically assessed: 1. To understand who are the agents and for whom are the actions; and, 2. When provocations become officially sanctioned are issues of public and private ownership and the right to inhabitation being lost in the translation to regulation. Contingent urbanism can promote an anthropologically rich city (a city of plural ritual and dwelling) when it transparently acknowledges who owns the land, who acts on it, whose values are being preferenced, and how this correlates to the physical publicness and occupation of the city. What contingent urbanism ultimately highlights is the disparity between professionalized discussions of place and those that derive from its inhabitants. Occupy Wall Street was too preoccupied with its agenda—which Kenneth Stahl argues persuasively was the occupation of place itself, not an ambiguously undefined socio-political or economic one—to worry about how Zuccotti Park would be writ large with stereotypes, good or bad [27]. If contingent urban groups achieve a “freshness of vision,” as Edward Weston says, it is when they are not forced to fit into preconceived patterns. The Occupy movement did not reify their creation of an urban realm (or their digital discussions of that creation) into The Paradigm for the built environment; instead, the environments they made (and mapped or recorded) revealed the patterns of lived and built culture in their urbanisms [28]. And perhaps to the frustration of the professionalized built environment disciplines, what they produced, in the conscious participating and documentation of their everyday lives, is often more compelling than the over planned downtowns or the fictionalized “new” urbanisms being designed and built all over the United States in the context of local and global development pressures. Public places have become both privatized and commer-


cialized in the twenty-first century to the detriment of the people who occupy them (the very point made, ironically, by those who encamped in Zuccotti Park). This approach belies that the people are the place. Contingent urbanism demonstrates that urbanism can and needs to be fabricated on more than just form; on transformation rather than literal imitation; on a synthesis of local practices and global economics. And most importantly not on using consensus building as a means to placate potential development obstacles, but elevating all involved to the simultaneous roles of expert and audience so that place will thrive because it is derived from a expansive collaboration; from an elevation over process over product [29]. It is these contemporary examples of place conceived of as product, rather than as process, that served as a core rallying point for the Occupy movement and also illustrate the disconnect that emerges when designers and planners focus exclusively on the physical. If we assume that cities are a cultural construct and not a just a physical fact, then what is it that we are trying to make when we place-make? And, are there people, buildings, landscapes, sites, or things being left out and left behind in the construct of place making? In other words, for whom are we engaging in urban design [30]? While those engaged in urban design may believe their values are “objectively right,” what constitutes place making judgments are not so objective or universal because these designers are “part of a class group with its own distinct values.” [31]. So too are those activists making the city in their own image as part of contingent urbanism. An urbanism of agency calls for a self-consciousness on all parties participating in the politics of urban design. In other words, one must consider: What is the nature of the knowledge base that informs what we mean by place making? What are the assumed values in this knowledge base; and, how can we sharpen our attention to recognizing potential bias? What are the unintended consequences of expertise-driven design decisions, of grass-roots urbanism that becomes codified, and of issues of equity in the process and products of both top down and bottom up urban methodologies. How do we push at those sets of cultural assumptions to make sure the “universal” isn’t being imposed on the local; and, how do we think beyond the replication of a paradigm in order to embrace the particular and let the peculiar thrive? These questions should be aimed not just at the New Urbanists, Post Urbanists, planners and other professional designers, but also at those who frame and therefore reify contingent urbanism as an alternative for they are also participants in the production of a value-biased city

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(just preferencing different values).


1. Kim O’Connell, “Newest Urbanism,” Architect, July 2013, www.architectmagazine.com/architects/newest-urbanism. aspx [accessed 11 July 2013]. 2. Mike Lydon, et al, Tactical Urbanism 2: Short-Term Action, Long-Term Change was published online as a pdf by the Street Plans Collective, <http://issuu.com/streetplanscollaborative/docs/tactical_urbanism_vol_2_final> [accessed 15 February 2013]. 3. A more formal version of this paper that also focuses on a discussion of rebuilding post-Katrina and a case study in Baltimore was recently published as: B.D. Wortham-Galvin, “An Anthropology of Urbanism: How People Make Places (and What Designers and Planners Might Learn From It),” Footprint 13, vol. 7/2 (Autumn 2013), 21-39. 4. Douglas Kelbaugh, “Toward an Integrated Paradigm: Further Thoughts on Three Urbanisms,” Places 19.2 (2007), 13 & 15. 5. Ibid. 6. Blaine Merker, “Taking place: Rebar’s absurd tactics in generous urbanism,” in Insurgent Public Space. Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities, ed. Jeffrey Hou (New York: Routledge, 2010), 50. 7. An in depth discussion of both the notion of the public and of place can be found in: B.D. Wortham-Galvin and Isaac Williams, “The Stranger’s Path: The Cultural Landscape of Urban Form,” Instant Cities, the Center for the Study of Architecture in the Arab Region, American University of Sharjah, UAE (2008). 8. Kelbaugh (2007) and Harrison Fraker’s “Where is the Urban Design Discourse?” Places 19.3, 61-63 are examples of such synoptic accounts. 9. Merker (Ibid), 51. 10. Jeffrey Hou, “(Not) your everyday public space,” in in Insurgent Public Space. Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities, ed. Jeffrey Hou (New York: Routledge, 2010), 15-16. 11. Google defines contingent the following three ways: 1. Subject to chance. 2. Occurring or existing only if (certain other circumstances) are the case. 3. A group of people united by some common feature, forming part of a larger group. www.google.com ][accessed 1 Nov 2013]. 12. Nate Berg, “The Official Guide to Tactical Urbanism,” The Atlantic Cities Place Matters, March 2, 2012, <www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/03/guide-tacticalurbanism/1387/> [accessed 5 August 2013].

13. Lindsey M. Roberts, “Design Intervenes to Save Our Cities,” Architect <http://www.architectmagazine.com/exhibitions/examplesof-city-saving-design-shown-in-aia-seattle-exhibition.aspx> [accessed 5 August 2013] 14. Kelli Anderson’s ideas about “disruptive wonder” can be found in her TedTalk <www.ted.com/speakers/kelli_anderson.html> [accessed 29 January 2013]. For a discussion of the concept of “making the familiar strange” see B.D. Wortham-Galvin, “Making the Familiar Strange: Understanding Design Practice as Cultural Practice,” in The Urban Wisdom of Jane Jacobs, ed. Sonia Hirt (New York: Routledge, 2012), 229-244. 15. A discussion of participatory urbanism as performance art in San Francisco can be found in Matthew Passmore, “Participatory Urbanism. Taking action by taking space,” Urbanist, February 2010, <www.spur.org/publicatoins/library/article/participatory_urbanism> [accessed 15 February 2013]. 16. My reference for the use of the term agency and/or agent in this context is from Ana Paula Baltazar and Silke Kapp, “Against determination, beyond mediation,” in Agency: Working with Uncertain Architectures, eds. Florian Kossak et al., (New York: Routledge, 2010), 131-140. 17. Lydon (n.d.), p. 15. 18. Baltazar and Kapp (Ibid), 135. 19. All information about the Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism project can be found on its website, <http://participatoryurbanism.blogspot.com/> [accessed 23 January 2013]. 20. Jonathan Massey & Brett Snyder, “Occupying Wall Street: Places and Spaces of Political Action,” The Design Observer Group, posted 17 September 2012, <www.places.designobserver.com/feature/occupy-wall-street-places-and-spaces-ofpolitical-action/35938/> [accessed 20 February 2013]. 21. Massey & Snyder (2012). 22. Ibid. 23. The first survey was published by Hector Cordero-Guzman, Ph.D, a sociology professor at the City University of New York and included 1619 online respondents. The second survey took place in person with 198 people present in Zuccotti Park (the site of Occupy Wall Street) conducted by Fox news analyst Douglas Schoen’s polling outfit. Press coverage of these surveys can be found at the following websites [accessed 5 August 2013]: <http://gawker.com/5851376/ the-demographics-of-occupy-wall-street>, <http://www.fastcompany.com/1789018/demographics-occupy-wall-street>,

con t ingen t ur b a nism


<http://theweek.com/article/index/220529/the-demographics-of-occupy-wall-street-by-the-numbers>,<http:// www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/29/occupy-wall-streetreport_n_2574788.html>, <http://www.statisticbrain.com/ occupy-wall-street-statistics-and-demographics/>, <http:// www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/opinion/sunday/who-is-occupy-wall-street.html?_r=0>, <http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-demographic-survey-results-will-surprise-you.php> 24. In its March 20, 2000 issue, USA Today published a list of American cities with the most abandoned buildings. Topping the list of the cities that provided data were: Philadelphia (27,000); Baltimore (15,000); Houston (8,000); Detroit (7,500); Kansas City (5,000); Indianapolis (3,400); San Antonio (3,000); Jacksonville (2,800); Louisville (2,200); Mobile (2,009); and Los Angeles (1,800) 25. Bruce London and J. John Palen, eds. Gentrification, Displacement and Neighborhood Revitalization (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1984), 7. 26. Ibid, p. 10. 27. Kenneth Stahl, “How the Occupy Movement Changed Urban Government,” The Atlantic Cities, Feb 6, 2012. www. theatlanticcities.com/politiics/2012/02/how-occupy-movement-changed-urban-government/1130/ [accessed online 20 January 2013]. 28. The term “enacted environment” is borrowed from James Rojas’ work. 29. A broader discussion of this topic can be found in: B.D. Wortham-Galvin, “Mythologies of Placemaking,” Places 20.1 (2008), 32-39. 30. I address the “for whom” question from another point of view in: B.D. Wortham, “Cultural Sustainability and Architecture,” Design Science in Architecture, GAM.02 (2005), 62-77. 31. Catherine Bisher, “Yuppies, Bubbas, and the Politics of Culture,” in Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, III, eds. Thomas Carter and Bernard Herman (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1989). All references are in the endnotes but if you would like a separate bibliography I can do that.


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Old Town/Chinatown: The Fringe at Portl and’s Center Working on a Portland Development Problem

by Hajo Neis, Howard Davis, & Gabriel Brown

Can an edge exist in the very center? At the very heart of Portland, in the shadow of Portland’s downtown, is a place called Old Town/Chinatown. Here, surrounded by successful urban fabric is a place removed. Can it grow and develop without losing its unique sense of place?


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Illustration: Portland Map with Burnside and River 1. Introduction Can the edge of a city exist at its very center? Portland, Oregon, is divided into quadrants by two urban features: The Willamette River splits Portland east from west and Burnside Street bisects Portland north from south. At the very heart of Portland, where these two meet, is Old Town/Chinatown. Surrounded by the high-rise offices of Portland’s CBD and the residential towers of its most affluent urban neighborhood, Portland’s poorest are compressed into a half square mile of dilapidated unreinforced masonry and surface parking lots. Illustration: Old City Map Old Town/Chinatown is one of the oldest districts in Portland. Founded in 1844, as part of the original foundation of Portland, it now finds itself as the least developed area of downtown. Originally a landing district for sailors and immigrants, it evolved into a community largely occupied by Japanese immigrants forming what was then known as Japan Town. In 1942, as a result of the internment policies of the U.S., these Japanese immigrants had to abandon their homes and businesses. Consequently Chinese merchants moved in from across Burnside forming what is now known as Old Town/Chinatown, or OTCT. By the end of the twentieth century however, this area had devolved into the city’s de facto social services district, becoming the nexus for the city’s homeless population and social service providers. Recently, this district has shown signs of renewed life as new small businesses and enterprises for urban research, education, and aid organization have begun to move in along the waterfront, creating a nascent research and higher education complex. Illustration: 2035 Plan with OTCT In the City of Portland’s current citywide planning effort, The Portland Plan 2035, Old Town/Chinatown has been singled out as one of three downtown urban edge areas to focus on for detailed study and special development. Our paper will present current research and urban design efforts at the University of Oregon Portland, concentrating on questions of development potential within the Old Town/Chinatown area in terms of socio-economic and spatial understanding, as well as urban and architectural design tests based on such potential. The paper will culminate with detailed design proposals and a new digital tool designed to integrate development and spatial data, based on the understanding of inclusive urbanism in an effort to solve this long-standing development problem in Portland.

• Move of UO from Yamhill Historic District to OTCT • New player n an urban district Illustration: Pattern and Centers 2. NEGATIVE PERCEPTION AND MARGINALIZATION OF OTCTJT Perception of OTCT is that of a marginal area or negative center (find illustrations that show the negative side of the area) • The negative perception starts with the physical appearance of the area, largely old dilapidated buildings, partly ruins. • The area is also a concentration of homeless people and institutions such as the Royal Palm that take care of homeless people • The area is looked at as crime ridden and dangerous to go into • The area is also full of bars and nightclubs that make it an attraction for customers especially at weekends, which also does not help its reputation 3. OTCT UNDER DEVELOPMENT PRESSURE But OTCT is also under development pressure and a strong center from that point of view (show illustrations that demonstrate the development pressure and interest) • It is under development pressure because of its close proximity to downtown • It is under pressure from the overall city development plans especailyy the 1988 Portland Plan • It is under pressure because owners want to develop their land to the best possibly profit • It is under pressure because preservation groups want to develop the area according to the value of historic buildings and districts • Symposium of March 2012 • 4. POSITIVE NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTERISTICS OF OTCT At the same time OTCT has very positive neighborhood identity characteristics and traditional patterns (show the illustrations that demonstrate the neighborhood identity characters) • Analysis according to patterns • Good boundaries • Memory Structure (Katy) • Creative Corridor

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Foto on Glisan

5. DESIGN FOR DEVELOPMENT AND KEEPING QUALITY OF NEIGHBORHOOD OTCT Studio: In our work with the studio we wanted to demonstrate that we can do both: we can continue to develop the area and at the same time show how development and neighborhood identity (and historic preservation can work together. (Show various designs that attempt to do designs according to these rules with different zoning conditions (blocks 13, 19, 33, 34, 25, and 26) • Block 13 and 19 • Blocks 33and 34 • Blocks 25 and 26 • Development machine (Gabe) • Creative Corridor 6. CONCLUSION Conclusion: One obviously can develop and area by balancing development pressure and neighborhood identity in a way. This should lead to more certainty, how ye area will be developed within a structure of neighborhood quality and identity as part of the 2035 Portland Plan • Using Pattern Language approach

NOTES: • Symposium in March of 2012 • Where to place story of our own involvement (probably at the beginning or at the end • INCLUDE KATY’S WORK • One can give the negative illustrations also a positive spin (dialectics) • Need to include the UOregon and surrounding development • Need to include the creative strip (along Burnside down to the riverfront) • We need the Designs of Boyce Postma, Alex Atallah, and Scott Skoupil

PHOTOS/ILL: • Photo of sunny Whitestag • Need old dilapidated buildings • Pictures of Memory Structure (Katy) • Pictures from Glisan


Bibliography: 1. Portland Plan 1988 2. Portland Plan 2035 3. Historic Preservation for OTCT (document) 4. Hajo Paper in Canada 5. Katy Donkersloot: Memory Structure   OT/CT as Edge and Boundary: PATTERNS AND CENTERS First we would like to approach the question of edge and boundary from a theoretical and methodological perspective that seems to be not only of interest in this paper but may set a larger perspective for ISUF itself in the future. I am talking about the combined methods of patterns and centers, or of function and geometry. Both methods were developed by Chris Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure in Berkeley, California. When we approach the question of edge, boundary and connection, we are essentially first of all talking about geometry. The Human Geometry developed by Chris Alexander is fascinating because this geometry let’s us see the world in a new perspective at any level of scale. So far, about 15 geometrical properties or qualities have been identified that can be very useful in our analysis. These 15 spatial properties are the following: Illustration: List of Centers 1. LEVELS OF SCALE 2. STRONG CENTER 3. BOUNDARIES/EDGES 4. ALTERNATING REPETITION 5. POSITIVE SPACE 6. GOOD SHAPE OR FORM 7. LOCAL SYMMETRIES 8. DEEP INTERLOCK 9. CONTRAST 10. GRADIENTS 11. ROUGHNESS 12. ECHOES – FAMILY RESEMBLANCE 13. THE VOID 14. INNER CALM/SIMPLICITY 15. CONNECTEDNESS – NOT SEPARATENESS Illustration: Boundaries and Edges In order to stay very simple and appropriate to the topic, I will only use a few properties that are most relevant to our analysis such as BOUNDARIES/EDGES, and possibly I

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might employ the properties contrast, and connectedness and a few others. When we talk about edges we also talk about boundaries. And in a fundamental sense, everything in the world can be understood in this way: A fish is bounded by river water, and the river water is bounded by the river edge, which at the same time is bounded by a river wall, and the river wall is bounding and supporting the river park at the edge of the river, and so on and so forth, we can go on for ever. But from this little example we can already feel what a powerful notion this geometrical property is, that helps us to understand the overall physical world. It also happens to be a description of the edge of downtown Portland where Old Town China Town (OTCT) meets the river Willamette. Illustration: Urban Areas as Boundaries Now if we jump a level of scale and look at the urban district or neighborhood of Old Town Chinatown itself and see how it is connected or bounded by other downtown neighborhoods, we first can simply see that OTCT is bounded by the River District with the Railway station area to the North, it is also bounded by the Pearl District with its wide BOUNDARY System of Broadway and the North Park Blocks to the West, and it is bounded by the Downtown Business district to the South, and again it is bounded by the Historic Waterfront District to the South along the Willamette to the east. Looking at the OTCT area in this way, tells us that almost anything can be described and explained in this fashion. Boundaries and edges are fundamental features to understand and live in our three-dimensional reality. But obviously we are not only interested in boundaries and edges as such but we are interested in particular kinds of boundaries. We are interested in boundaries and edges that support life and help us to organize our life and society, our cities, neighborhoods, districts and buildings. This brings us to the notion of patterns and pattern languages. Boundaries and Patterns: Examples in OTCT Patterns are solutions to recurring problems in the environment (or in general). Patterns are archetypal solutions to problems that can be found in many contexts and can be applied as phenotypes to a local condition. When we look in more detail what the notion of edge and boundaries means in functional pattern terms, we can find quite a few examples that explain desirable edges and boundaries: Illustration: City Counrty

(CITY COUNTRY FINGERS 3) The pattern CITY COUNTRY FINGERS acknowledges the problem that “continuous sprawling urbanization destroys life, and makes cities unbearable. But the shear size of cities is also a valuable and potent.” APL, p. 22. And it recommends “interlocking fingers of farmland and urban land even at the center of the metropolis.” One of these city country fingers that exist in many cities are of course rivers, which are by nature fingers that go in and through a city. And depending of how we treat them they can be good and less good boundaries. The river edge of The Willamette at OTCT in Portland is considered a very good edge and an asset to the OTCT community. Illustration: Mosaic of Subcultures MOSAIC OF SUBCULTURES (8) One of the most fascinating patterns for our analysis of OTCT in Portland may be Mosaic of Subcultures. It deals with the great variety of human groups and subcultures which can coexist within the city. Given the rich variety of subcultures that existed at one point in OTCT and new ones that exist now, and may exist in the future, mosaic of subcultures may be the essence of OldTown/Chinatown. The pattern recommends to ‘”enrich the cultures and subcultures, each with its own spatial territory, and each with the power to create its own distinct life style…” APL, p. 50. In some ways OTCT can be understood as a subculture, containing subcultures within it. The pattern MOSAIC OF SUBCULTURES most clearly explains the nature of different neighborhoods in the city, their urban character, their differences and similarities, and their need in the modern city. COMMUNITY OF 7000 (12) ??? …the mosaic of subcultures (8) is made up of a great number of large and small self governing communities and neighborhoods. Community of 7000 helps define the structure of the large communities. Illustration: Subculture Boundary SUBCULTURE BOUNDARY (13) Continuing our analysis with the application of boundaries and edges to the OTCT area in Portland, we find that pattern SUBCULTURE BOUNDARY emphasizes that subcultures have their own ecology. “They can only live at full intensity unhampered by their neighbors, if they are physically separated by physical boundaries.” APL, p. 76 And indeed looking at the physical conditions of OTCT we can find solid boundaries surrounding the area of OTCT with the Willamette river edge and the Japanese memorial

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Park on the East side, with the large and solid urban boundary of the Boulevard Burnside on the southside, and with the several layered boundary of Broadway and the Park Blocks to the East, and with Glisan Street to the North. Boundaries that defined the area can be well established. Illustration: Identifiable Neighborhood IDENTIFIABLE NEIGHBORHOOD (14) The next level of edges and boundaries talks about an identifiable neighborhood (14) within the Community of 7000 and within the Mosaic of Subcultures, and it says that “People need an identifiable spatial unit to belong to.” APL, p. 81. Illustration: Neighborhood Boundary Furthermore pattern number 15 NEIGHBORHOOD BOUNDARY makes the point that “The strength of the boundary is essential to a neighborhood. If the boundary is too weak the neighborhood will not be able to maintain its own identifiable character.” APL, p. 87. Of course we can continue the analysis of boundaries and edges endlessly but let us get back to the reality of the situation in OTCT. With this analysis of the urban structure in terms of geometry and in terms of functional patterns, I have demonstrated the potential of these two kinds of methods, using just one geometrical property of BOUDARIES/EDGES and using about five different urban functional patterns that are all related to boundaries and edges in some basic way as applied to OTCT in Portland. With the categories of boundaries, edges and fringe we have answered the question of how an urban fringe can be at the center of the city.??? What is important now is to talk about the reality of problems as they present themselves within OTCT and with regard to the overall downtown development and the Portland Plan 2035.

Connection to social edges analysis: Current Development Problems Illustration: Zoning Potential On the larger downtown scale, there are forces at odds or contradictory. On the one hand there is a tendency of large scale building development to want to run over OTCT and continue right over the river and connect with existing large scale development in what is called the Lloyd’s District. Current zoning encourages this kind of tendency with potential for large-scale development. The only problem for large scale development is that OTCT is in its way, with much lower


density and historic preservation regulations. In this sense OTCT is not only a fringe at the center of downtown but it is also a barrier for large-scale development

HOWARD AND GABE RESEARCH OF THE AREA A more detailed research was carried out by Howard, Gabe, students {Origins of OTCT Research Study} At the 2011 PUARL Conference in Portland, Howard Davis and Gabriel Brown began a discussions around the premise that there appeared to be an asymmetry between what the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood was and what it appeared to be, or at least, what it was perceived to be. This asymmetry provoked the thesis that would form the foundation for another research initiative: “If perceptions about Old Town/Chinatown are distorted or inaccurate, then what really is there?” Illustration: Empirical Research results So, we undertook to find out exactly that. Students were assigned to blocks and regions within the district to investigate their physical, social, and economic reality. We documented building stock, historic status, use, activity, ownership, value, demographics and history, block-by-block, and presented the results to city officials, developers, landowners, preservationists & community activists, and neighborhood residents. …

ARCHITECTURE IN OLD TOWN/CHINATOWN/JAPANTOWN: RESOLVING A PORTLAND DEVELOPMENT DILEMMA IN A TRANS-PACIFIC EFFORT Illustration: Study area in OTCTJT For the Fall Quarter of 2012 Professors Davis and Neis from the University of Oregon And Professor Kobayashi from Meiji University in Tokyo decided to run an international trans-Pacific Design Studio focusing on OTCTand including JT. Already in the Spring of 2012Professor Kobayashi and his undergraduate students worked on designs in OTCTJT as initial tests. And in March of 2012 Anne Naito Campbell organized a Symposium at the Mercy Corps in Portland the work was exhibited and stakeholders discussed critical issues concerning the future development of OTCTJT. In addition to their customary research of the physical site context and local culture, the students were asked to evaluate their initial designs in light of public policy, regulatory con-

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formity, and client concerns including maximizing rentable space and the cost/revenue dynamic, which became increasingly complex on sites with existing structures. The students started with a massing exercise for which I developed these additional components in light of some of my prior research. After consultation with developers and city officials, I rendered equations for evaluating development viability and maximization of the regulatory envelope. In order to be accessible to the students, these equations were simplified and abstracted. For the regulatory envelope, results were derived from comparing the schematic massing design to a simplified regulatory envelope consisting of a height limit and floor area ratio. Likewise, our equations for financial viability were designed to be accessible to students without proper training in land development and pro forma generation. This allowed us to reduce the vast number of possible variables to a few key indicators, so while they may not have the accuracy of proper pro forma in producing a concrete return on investment, they have proven themselves capable of indicating the likelihood of success, not necessarily the guarantee of it. These equations were formatted and presented to the students for use in their massing exercise so that various schema could be evaluated relative to one another in light of their development viability, both in their utilization of the available regulatory envelope and in their revenue/cost potential. The equations are below: 1) Site Utilization & Efficiency Max Gross ft2 = FAR x Site Footprint ft2 Net Rentable % = Gross Floor Space - Service & Escape Gross Floor Space FAR Efficiency (%) = Gross Floor Space x 100 Max Gross ft2

2) Financial Viability Development Cost = Purchase Price + Construction Cost/ft2 x Gross Floor Space ft2 Expected Revenue/yr = (Net Rentable Spaceoffice x Rental Rate/ft2/yroffice) + (Net Rentable Spaceretail x Rental Rate/ ft2/yrretail) + (Net Rentable Spaceresidential x Rental Rate/ ft2/yrresidential) + (Net Rentable Spacesocial x Rental Rate/ ft2/yrsocial)

Developer’s Index (%) = Expected Revenue/yr x 100 Development Cost As you can imagine, students were not enthusiastic about the extra math. Also problematic was the number of variables that remained involved in these calculations. Even though they were already significantly abstracted for simplicity, application of the equations was inconsistent and uneven. To combat these two problems, we asked ourselves if this quantitative data could be expressed or structured in a way that aids in the qualitative understanding of how design decisions impact outcomes. Could we package these variables and equations in a way that produced meaningful information for the students? Ultimately, we turned to 3D parametric modeling to address these questions. {Development Engine} I had previously used parametric design programs to experiment with self-adaptive envelope regulations, data modeling, and as an analysis tool for building designs, and I found that they were useful in attenuating the white noise created by too much data and producing useful nuggets of actionable information. With a few simple variable sliders, students were able to begin making the connections between their choices and the impact these choices had on development viability and in relation to regulatory limits. As a result, I designed a more robust development-modeling engine that could evaluate a proposed massing design for such critical factors such as rentable space, envelope efficiency, FAR & height limit utilization, and the Developer’s Index, the abstract that would allow relative comparison of one design to another in regards to its potential financial viability. Within the program, students had the option to either design a massing schema from scratch using common building typologies and associated parameters or evaluate a proposed custom massing envelope. The program also included the ability to evaluate the viability of restoring existing structures in comparison to replacing them, the effects of use and spatial allocation, as well as the ability to evaluate the cumulative effect of development across multiple parcels on the same block, i.e., if I build denser on this open quarter-block, can I then afford to rehabilitate this neighboring structure?

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This application provided immediate and meaningful data as instant feedback, allowing a student to understand the impact of their design decisions as they made them and compare design options in real-time. STUDENTS DESIGN WORK




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Panel Discussion Technology & the Designer’s Role

with Michael Tavel, B.D. Galvin-Wortham, Robert Walsh, Greg Bryant, Gabriel Brown, & Regan Greenhill (Questions posed by PUARL students Natalie Crieger, Erin, & Dave)

Question 1: Inclusiveness is the theme of this session, and many would argue that a community’s success seems to be largely based on the degree to which its development process is inclusive. What is the biggest lesson you take away from your experience in this regard and how can designers best foster inclusiveness in their process? Greg Bryant: Of course it’s really important, but it’s

not easy and you have to find ways of doing it. There was a Danish activist that once told me that the way he starts a project is he just gets on his bike and goes about meeting people and talking to people, and they come up with the project along the way. One approach is that your project shouldn’t really grow past its vision too far, but its kind of hard to get people inspired unless you have some kind of vision. Not necessarily working it out to the end is extremely important so that people feel like they’re modifying it along the way and also making sure that you’re pulling in all the people, all the groups, that are already organized so that they feel like they’re involved in this thing that you’re doing. It’s really critical. Really, if you don’t make that work in some way it’s almost worth giving up. I mean, you really need to be in a nice group where everyone is like, ‘that’s very exciting,’ and all of the groups are coming in across the city, across the neighborhood, et cetera, to make it happen, and there will be people who will be against it for their own reasons, maybe financial reasons of their own. But usually when you’re starting a project, that’s not what happens. Usually people at least in this country, but I think it’s a human thing; they’re kind of sensitive about not dissing someone’s project, especially in its early stages, especially if it has a lot of low-end energy. I think that’s a really important thing, and I think it’s the basis of design for me. I mean, I don’t think you can design a project that means anything in the real world without actually making it a result of human activity.

B.D. Galvin-Wortham: I think for me it’s that as designers we need to remind ourselves that the public meeting or charette is not the one tool, not the ultimate tool, that somehow it’s treated as, and I say that because there’s a certainly a constituency that will continue to come to public meetings or come to the charette right. So, you’re only capturing the voice of that one group that has the availability to meet at that time, to take time off, and I’m thinking particularly about the constituencies that are continually left out of these processes. They’re also the same ones potentially working two and three jobs or who have a language impediment and may not be able to come to the public meeting, may not even know about the public meeting in terms of how its being advertised. Not that public meetings and charettes are bad things, but we need to start thinking about that as one particular tool, not the ultimate tool. And I think sometimes we have an overreliance on that. Particularly, in this age of the ubiquity of social media and apps and all of these things, we need to start to rethink how we can reach out and engage even in a non-digital way like Candy Chang does, putting all of these empty stickers all over the city waiting for people to fill them in. Sometimes, they have events where they pass them out, and now she also has developed her own website so that people can also perform this action digitally. We need to think about what are the different ways we can make sure there aren’t people being left out of these discussions because they’re the most in need, and they’re the most in need because they can’t attend a public meeting.

Question 2: Do you believe that technology in the 21st century such as social media and cell phones and computers and tablets, et ecetera, facilitates participatory design or does it create greater inequality? What is the designer’s role in this new world where everyone is connected?

pa nel dis c us sion: Tec hnolo g y & t he D e signer ’s Rol e


Robert Walsh: I was looking at the early changes in

technology that happened with Thomas Mawson, and one of the things that I forgot to mention [in my presentation] was that part of the reason that he was able to have three businesses eventually, three different branches of his office on two different continents separated by days and days of travel, was that they had the telephone. The reason he moved his business out into the countryside was because railroad transportation made it possible to run his business there more economically and have healthy plants rather than raise them in downtown London. So I think that the technology today with the cellphones enables us to connect more with people. But in terms of whether other people are going to matter, I think that’s a matter of personal values, and maybe the fact that we’re in contact with more people makes us aware that we’re not the only one in the world that matters. And so, hopefully our sphere of what matters to us gets larger as our scope of contact gets larger, but I think that technology is kind of neutral. It’s up to us to take responsibility for how we decide to channel this. It could be very selfish, very self-indulgent, or it could facilitate contact.

Greg Bryant: Well, I’m a technology guy; I’ve been

programming for about 40 years. I feel that when you get new tools, it’s like trying to build a good building with different kinds of materials. I mean you have whatever materials are at hand. Those are the things you have to use, but you still have to do the same thing. You still have to do good work, and the result has to do good for people. This isn’t different than any kind of public project that is more or less a building depending on how permanent you want to think of it. So, you have to think that with any new technology, you still have to do the same organizing of vast numbers of people and you have to re… [break between video files] …glad you mentioned the charette. I don’t really think of that as participatory design. I mean it can be an element of it, but in a sense what you need to do is get out on the street and you need to find out what people are capable of and you need to have them tell you what they need, and then you have to in a sense catalyze things. A new technology just gives you a different set of tools that also have downsides and upsides. The downside is that people are distracted by their technology, and the upside is that you can contact people more quickly who are on that technology. The downside then is that it becomes more trivial to them, so we just have to work and do the same sort of work. It’s just a different context in which to do it.


Regan Greenhill: Speaking more from the younger

generation point of view, we are constantly on our telephones and apps. I think it is the perfect way to stay engaged, because we may not be reading newspapers and other sources that used to be the major way to communicate information. So, looking forwards, the future designers can make these apps more engaging for all users and easier for the older generations but also for the younger generation. That is a neutral way to engage people in design.

Gabriel Brown: I think I would echo what Robert Walsh said about technology that it, in and of itself, is not moral or immoral; it’s amoral. It’s what we do with it that really matters. You can cherry pick examples to define either side. From flame wars on twitter and comment sections on the internet, people anonymously espouse whatever they feel regardless of whether its reasonable or not, and on the other side technology has enabled things like the Arab Spring and the generation of wealth creation and growth in places like Africa where they’ve basically bypassed an entire generation of infrastructure. They never really had wired infrastructure; they went straight to cellphones, and so they lead this very different paradigm there that’s enabled by technology. But ultimately, it’s still what they do with it that’s really going to make a difference.

Question 3: Do you believe architecture alone can bring enough public awareness about sustainable practices to make a significant difference? Michael Tavel: Let’s broaden the word architecture alone to say design and planning professionals and what do they have to do with interfacing with sustainable practices. We can endeavor to build the examples that are beautiful and desirable, and if people experience them and think they’re alright, then that helps move culture forward. So, we’re coupled together, but I don’t see architects as like military people that come in and do an intervention in society to save them. It’s a much more subtle form of cultivation and stewardship. Gabriel Brown: Personally, I look forward to the day that sustainability is no longer viewed as a thing in and of itself; where it’s just a part of our common ethos that whatever we do

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is not just for us but for every generation that will succeed us. And, obviously, as deign professionals and so on, the things that we do, buildings, last. They’re permanent, so they’ll always be an example, a visual cue for cultural change and evolution, but ultimately for sustainability in the future, it is not going to depend solely on design professionals but on popular demand community-wide, world-wide, that we simply think about those future generations as we work.

Robert Walsh: I think that architects, designers,

and urban planners have a unique responsibility and capacity to envision a better future. A lot of people are scared of the unknown, and that’s the terrain we have to operate in as designers. We’re dealing with unknowns and uncertainties and pointing the way towards something better. And I think one of the problems is that if you end up relying on the imagination of people who aren’t comfortable with imagining alternatives, then the status quo just perpetuates. So, I think it’s not the only part of the problem, but I think there is an important part to play. Architects aren’t just servants and we’re not dictators either, but it’s got to draw from the community our sense of what really matters, and then try to find new ways to get it to work and sell people on that.

Greg Bryant: So, I mean the way the question is

posed, too, I think is revealing. We have to remember that architecture as a practice in its best sense, there’s a biology of doing architecture. That is, it’s something we have the capacity to really well put our feeling into everything, put into our ability to empathize with other people. It’s not the buildings. In a sense the buildings are a result of this process, but they’re artifacts you know. We have to really think of this as a human activity, and so I mean the practice of doing architecture broadly construed is a very important part of this. But to think of it as architecture or buildings sort of shaping or controlling people or doing the right thing, that’s definitely not what we’re talking about. I think everyone here is very much on the other side that with architecture you have to broaden the notion of it first. It has to be a human activity at its best and with luck can do the things that we’d like to see happen in the world, not just happen with buildings.

Question 4: We heard metrics mentioned by multiple presenters. Gabriel Brown mentioned developing

metrics that were used to identify where best to infill new buildings in Old Town. Mr. Tavel also mentioned using metrics in developing urban neighborhood design. Could you speak about what new ways you’re using metrics or how that’s developing in your current work? Michael Tavel: I’m on a faculty where some of the se-

nior planning faculty are really gung ho on sustainability metrics and urbanism, and I collaborate with them in teaching. Then I also witnessed a lot of affordable housing projects built that meet the LEED for Neighborhood Development standard, and they don’t really make very desirable places at the end of the day. They score well, and they’re built with the lowest design fees and the lowest construction costs. But it’s not resulting in places with a soul, a great streetscape that you would want to live on necessarily. And so I’m kind of a critic of giving too much importance to metrics. A metric or an indicator is kind of like going to the doctor and having your vital signs read. It tells you very specific things about certain ways the organism is performing, but it doesn’t explain the complexity of the health of the whole organism. That comes down more to craft and more towards what Howard [Davis] was talking about this morning about this kind of interaction of craft, and it’s kind of the heart of the problem. Metrics don’t really help teach us at any level of society about really making beautiful and desirable sustainable environments. But it does give us good facts and information that we need to incorporate into design. But, it’s overemphasized as a design process, and we need to transcend that as a design and planning profession.

B.D. Galvin-Wortham: I’d like to add as a corol-

lary that it often preferences quantitative over the qualitative because it’s easier to develop a metric based on quantitative data and it’s fuzzier and softer to do it with qualitative information. We traffic in both. The built environment is made up of both quantitative and qualitative aspects, and so the danger is that something like LEED starts to become a checklist. If I check the box, I’ve made a good building, but maybe you’re leaving social issues, cultural issues, equity issues, sort of out of the conversation because you now think you’ve made a great building because you can check some boxes about it. And not saying those boxes aren’t important ones to be addressed, but I think it’s this balance for me of the quantitative and qualitative, and metrics right now are really emphasizing the former. I know we’re supposed to hear from Sergio Palleroni this af-

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ternoon. The SEED network is trying to address that through more qualitative metrics but I think that there are very few people trying to take on the issues, socio-cultural, political, and equity issues through metrics, so that would be my caution about that.

Robert Walsh: I just want to give a sort of shout out

to Allan Jacobs who wrote a very interesting book that I read a while ago called Looking at Cities. In this book he makes the point that by the time a phenomenon becomes statistically apparent, it has been going on for a while. And so he shows how basically by walking the city street and really looking carefully and getting to know a situation, you can get a read on what’s happening and what’s coming down the line before it will show up in real estate data or analysis, because it won’t be statistically large enough of a trend to be apparent to people who are number-crunching. It’s a good book; I would recommend having a look at it. It taught me a lot on really getting to know a place and starting to see how things are really happening.

Michael Tavel: I think that there are a lot of munici-

palities that are using metrics as part of their own internal and public process to try to figure out how to make their city more sustainable, but the ultimate problem is that if a community is going to change morphologically, like say it’s going to get more dense or have more bike paths or save energy in some fashion that affects the urban morphology, what needs to happen is at the grassroots, people need to desire that change; they need to vote for it. I mean, you can’t just have the policy makers say that in order to score this well, we need to change our transportation standards in these ways, and it comes from the municipal government based on metrics. The voter and the consumer and the homebuyer need to want it and desire it as a way of life, and I think that’s our job as designers. We build those examples and let people experience alternatives in demonstration projects, and we need that feedback. I think there’s an overemphasis on facts justifying policies, and you really need ultimately the policy makers. They get elected by the voters, and the voters really need to want that change. So, there’s a reciprocal kind of relationship there that’s important, and our role in it is more on the design side and the planning side: how do you make the more compact city desirable to Americans? That’s a design problem.

Gabriel Brown: The one thing I’ll say about data and


metrics is that we’re in this era of big data, and we have access to so much more information then we ever have before. That of course leads to us trying to solve every problem with data and this sort of meme that, if I can just find the right data, I can answer this. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m just as guilty of that as anybody else. I tend to look for data to solve problems, and in our presentation we discussed creating metrics and so on. You know, that was one tiny, tiny part of our proposal, and it was helpful, but if you just had the data, you get these wildly divergent results. We had our developer’s index that we used to evaluate design proposals for potential profitability for developers. Some students took the task of trying to maximize the developers index and some to essentially minimize it, but both become problematic. You can propose an enormous tower in a small neighborhood that makes the data tell you it’s fantastic, but all you have to do is look at it and realize that it is not a great design solution for this context. So, it’s always going to be a question of, yes, data is good, data is helpful, but you always have to look at it through a lens wherein it’s only a tiny part of the puzzle.

Greg Bryant: I think you need to also know that data is used in city planning situations by city officials and by large developers all the time to kind of stop conversations. People pull out a number and suddenly the feeling of these people over here is inconsequential, and they don’t know what to do in the face of a number. That’s, on the one side, quite important. It’s then important for activists to engage in this issue of numbers, and one of the main things one should know about numbers or metrics in any sense is that while the notion is borrowed from science in some sense when you’re trying to find out what’s going on in the world, you have to determine what you’re measuring in the context or framework of an experiment to find out some actual thing. So that if someone just pulls out a number, does it have anything to do with the issue at hand? I mean if they happen to have the exact same kind of situation and done literally an experiment where they try this this way and try this that way and it turned out that this worked out that way, ok. But if they can’t show you that kind of result, then what they’re saying is generally valueless. I get this with parking issues a lot. I mean, the parking people will say something like, ‘well, we’re doing this because that’s considered the right thing to do now,’ but they can never show where they have made that particular change and it has shown an improvement, because they haven’t designed an experiment. They haven’t actually made the data mean anything at all, and so it’s rather important that communities learn to challenges

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the way data is done and that planners and architects facilitate the design of experiments to achieve the kind of qualities that we want to see in cities.

Robert Walsh: There’s a great little book that every-

one should read called How to Lie with Statistics. I don’t know if people are familiar with this book, but it’s phenomenal. It’s very thin, maybe 60 pages long, but it lays it all out, and it’s a classic in terms of data. It matters what the source of the data is. The city of Vancouver, B.C., right now does not have cross-city freeways. They tried for almost twenty years to build a comprehensive network of freeways. They spent something like $50 million studying the issue back in the sixties and fifties when that was real money. What happened was a geography professor said, ‘wait a minute; let’s ask the people. Let’s find out what they actually want and need. What are their priorities for the city they want to live in?’ They spent three years on that study, and the result was that they didn’t want freeways; they wanted to make places that people could walk their immediate vicinities. They didn’t care if it would take half an hour to get across town instead of fifteen minutes, so that basically finally killed the freeway idea and led to this city starting to develop along different lines. So, data is neutral just like we were saying with technology, and you have to ask the right people the right questions before it becomes useful.

to fight and win a battle, but the point is still, ‘what is it that you really want?’ I have the feeling that the Battle book that motivated this whole conference overlooks one really important issue, which is, Hajo [Neis], you transcended the battle, and you got the thing to happen in a world of conflict, and if you hadn’t been there then there would be no project. So yeah, there’s the battle between System A and System B, but there’s also the fusion of the two, and I think that it’s like having an A or B choice when really you need to satisfy things on both sides. It has to be lovable and livable to work. That’s probably the ideal, and how you negotiate that balancing act or that conflict is a challenge. I’m not saying to be a pushover, but I’m also saying don’t be arrogant and say, ‘I’m the architect, and I have the one right answer.’

Question 5: audience question; unclear, something about enforcing change, laws, etc. Robert Walsh: Originally my talk had a different title, and it was based on some comments from a lecture that Thomas Mawson gave towards the end of his career where he struggled for a long time to articulate what this idea was of a more humane city for him, and eventually, he started throwing around this phrase ‘the lovable city’ which I thought was kind of interesting because it was very different from a livable city. And so I started diagnosing what’s the difference, and a livable city for me is well-ordered, well-planned, clean, safe, and controlled, and a lovable city is about experience and about human dignity and compassion. So having that slide about him caring about the injured soldiers from World War I was kind of not necessarily economically sound, but it felt right somehow. So, I’m not going to say you shouldn’t fight for what’s right. Like the whole rest of the Art of War is about how pa nel dis c us sion: Tec hnolo g y & t he D e signer ’s Rol e



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Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth Part II: Building Production for a More Beautiful & Resilient World


Designs for the Global South A Primary School for Busia, Uganda

by Michael Garrison


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In the summer of 2011 Robin Young-Ellis, a philanthropist, humanitarian, businesswoman and a board member of the non-profit group “Hope4Kids International” contacted the School of Architecture, the University of Texas at Austin (UTSoA) seeking design assistance for a new rural primary school in Uganda. In response to her challenge UTSoA graduate students, Kaziah Haviland, Amarantha QuintanaMorales, Carrie Joynton, Todd Mattocks, Greg Montgomery, Rachel Bullock, Brian Doherty and their faculty advisor, Professor Michael Garrison, formed a student group called Texas Impact Design. Texas Impact Design was founded to design a new rural primary school in Uganda that would promote regional sustainable design as an example for rural school development. Our research found many challenges facing Uganda, including poverty and unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, inadequate funding and financial services, gender issues and poor social services, especially health and quality education. This paper will describe the Texas Impact Design of a propped Busia District School in rural Uganda. Theme: Ecological, Social and Cultural Sensitivity


In our proposed new primary school, with the ability to read and write children will become educated in agricultural practices that will help to improve the food supply. They will learn to negotiate a fair price for their crops, how to market their crafts, understand the importance of hygiene and how to prepare food and water that is free of harmful bacteria. The children and residents of the Busia District village will be educated in crop production; water from the well will allow them to irrigate and increase crop yields and revenue from the sale of excess crops will be used to sustain the school. We fully admit to being naïve about building a new school in Uganda and that our view of Uganda is seen through our western lens. We have not lived in Africa and we do not pretend to know all the problems and opportunities that a builder of a new school from Africa would know. However, because we are young and naïve we were not shy about proposing new and different environmental and sustainable ideas for designing the school.

1.2. Concepts

All students learn and absorb information differently. It is our concept to engage and inspire the students spatially while providing them with a variety of learning environments. We addressed this issue by creating several different learning zones. In our communication with the local leaders of the primary school, we learned that they would prefer a better student-teacher ratio. This led us to break up the classroom into different zones in order to have the potential for small groups of learning. The most prominent space in the school complex is the instructor- lead classroom space. In this space, we gave visual priority to the chalkboard and teaching area, maximized ambient light and ventilation, and accounted for acoustical challenges. “Smart-wall” bookcases and corkboards between adjoined classrooms allow for books and a pin-up space while also serving as acoustic panels, minimizing sound transmission and sound reflectivity in the classrooms.

Figure 1: Interior of proposed Busia District School classroom

1. DESIGN PROCESS 1.1. Goals

School what they needed in a classroom. As a result three main goals were collaboratively established to create a new school. The first was to establish a small carbon footprint by using local materials and passive energy strategies. The second was to implement and encourage safety and secure building practices. And the third was to involve the residents of the local village directly in the design and construction of the school. Following these goals we have developed a “green build” complex that is fully sustainable, is naturally lit, naturally ventilated and will be constructed using local building materials and hand-built construction techniques. We agree that the goal of the school design should be about sustainable design and not dependency. Therefore it is imperative that the young members of the village mix the sand and grasses, which will become building blocks, dig the foundation and carry the rocks to fill the trenches. The women and older children should assist in stacking the brick and carry food and water to the workers. The entire village will be part of the project so that the culture of the people will be embedded in the school.

We made it a priority to ask the students and teachers of the

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2.1. Sustainable building systems

Most people living in rural Uganda depend on collected wood for cooking and preparing drinking water. A rapidly increasing human population combined with rapidly disappearing forest patches is intensifying pressure on the Uganda’s resources. Children are the main collectors of fuel wood and will also be most impacted in the future by the emerging local energy crisis. The Texas Impact Design team therefore believes that schools are an excellent starting point for teaching about regional sustainable building systems and renewable energy alternatives. The climatic design of the new primary school was driven by local circumstances such as the orientation of the site, the people’s living conditions, their construction skills, access to local materials, etc. Special attention has been given to ecofriendly design measures including, shading verandas, natural ventilation, daylighting, and the recycling of rainwater. We became an advocate of the establishment of an ecological school design so that integration of innovative sustainable design and construction systems with available local resources was a key concern for the design and construction of the school. Taking advantage of the great potential of traditional materials and renewable energy resources and recyclable waste products in the design and construction was a major focus of our study and provided a useful model for the design of the school.

2.2. Local building materials

It is our goal to minimize the energy consumed by the school as it serves to educate the community about green building strategies. We have accomplished this by proposing construction based on local materials, which, include bricks, made on-site, locally and sustainably harvested wood, and locally manufactured windows and sheet metal. Using the hydra-form brick-making machine, bricks are to be made on site using primarily local earth. The local community can craft the wood detailing. Other building materials, such as window shutters, sheet metal, and hardware will be bought locally, supporting Ugandan industries.

2.3. Passive energy strategies

Passive energy strategies incorporated in the classroom include a passive lighting design, passive ventilation, thermal mass, shading, and rainwater collection. Due to Uganda’s equatorial location, the sun is directly overhead for most of the year. Proposed clearstory lighting allows for maximum ambient light to enter the classroom without the harsh glare and heat caused by direct equatorial sunlight. The windows


are situated in order to maximize natural ventilation, flushing the hot air out of the classroom with prevailing winds. The ceiling is designed to absorb radiant heat from the metal roof, eliminating unwanted heat gain into the classrooms. The thermal mass provided by the masonry walls also helps to keep the building cool. Rainwater is to be collected from the metal roof of the classrooms and can be used to irrigate the agricultural fields.

Figure 2: Section of proposed Busia District School classroom Figure 3: School courtyards based on teaching permaculture 2.4 Permaculture Feeding and educating students through a system of aquaculture, slow drip irrigation, and permaculture are at the core of the educational and the sustainable agriculture mission of the school. Children in Uganda often are not properly fed, and nutrition is a primary issue in the health and growth of primary school aged children. The school proposes to integrate sustainable agricultural practices into the curriculum. This will enable the school to provide food for all of the students, and it will teach valuable skill, responsibilities and healthy living. Using drip irrigation, mulching heavily and tenting beds with shade cloth for shading are all techniques that could be employed to ensure successful plant production in the warm climate of Uganda. Aquaculture has the potential to be utilized as an alternative source of animal protein supply in rural areas of Uganda. Aquaculture can contribute to human food security either by supplying protein to people or by increasing income and thus increasing the capacity to purchase food on the market. Fishery food products are a potential answer to the growing problem of dietary animal-protein shortages. Fish are able to convert their feed into flesh about two times more efficiently than chickens and five to ten times more efficiently than beef cattle. Feed conversion rates of fish are higher than other common commercial animal protein sources because: (a) fish can utilize foods that are not used by most land animals; and (b) they require less energy from their foods to live. Moreover, fish can use the entire threedimensional environment of water tanks, from top to bottom and sideways, for living space, while terrestrial animals are confined to the two-dimensional surface of the ground. Consequently, the proper combination of fish species, adequate fertilizations, and careful feeding can result in yields approaching 6,250 pounds per acre compared to approximately

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1,000 pounds per acre yield from beef cattle production. The potential for commercial production and the lure of high profits have accelerated the interest in fish farming and other types of aquaculture. Aquaculture fish farming requires fish feeding. Commercial fish feeds, tailored to the individual needs of specific fish breeds, are available but expensive, and some fish, such as Tilapia, will thrive on algae and grass clippings along with small doses of animal manure. Excess fish, fruit and vegetables not consumed by the school can be sold to generate funding for garden and school maintenance and equipment promoting a sustainable food production system.

it adapts to the school’s future needs. A secure, welcoming entry will invite the community into a learning environment where the building is designed to teach in partnership with the school and the village community. Community input drives the design process, ensuring a school that is deeply embedded in the local culture and continued growth of the village. As an anchor to the community, the Village school will invite inclusive ownership amongst the residents and provide a model of experiential community education for other villages and towns. Figure 5: Busia District School community courtyards


Figure 4: Permaculture


3.1. Safet y and securit y

It is our goal to encourage safety and secure building practices with the classrooms. Through the use of properly designed foundation and roof systems, as well as loadbearing masonry walls, we hope to illustrate proper building techniques in a building with structural integrity. We have also addressed the issue of security. Many Ugandan buildings have security systems, which include metal bars permanently installed in all windows and doors. Because this is a dangerous fire hazard to building occupants, we designed a security system, which is operable, providing needed security at night, with the openness for comfort and fire safety during the day. All Security panels slide on tracks to accommodate for these changing safety issues throughout the day. Another safety issue addressed in our classroom is an insect screen system, which will keep venomous snakes, spiders, and malaria-carrying mosquitoes out of the buildings.

3.2. Communit y

More than just a building to accommodate the basic education needs, the school will actively promote discovery, selfsufficiency and strong community relationships through an architecture that invites everyone in the village to engage in active learning. Classrooms will double as public spaces for community classes, civic events, and performances. Outdoor learning gardens will teach sustainable agriculture and nutritional practices, providing opportunities for collaborative interaction extending beyond the classroom walls. The site strategy is another learning zone. The adjacent covered outdoor terraces can serve as shaded outdoor classrooms or as play areas, abutting the proposed agricultural fields. Classrooms will be organized around gathering spaces of various scales, maximizing flexibility and creating safe outdoor spaces for learning, play, and community events. Phasing plans will allow the school to grow over time as

While we started off, from our Texas based studio, investigating useful sustainable design approaches for Africa, somewhere during the process we developed a greater appreciation of the Ugandan people, their culture and their timeless way of building. We learned from them about their low environmental footprint and the opportunities for sustainable design we could apply to our projects in Central Texas, which also has a warm climate. Education and learning is a two way street and we learned as much from our design experience with the Ugandan village school as we have provided in the design of the school. And we have also learned about the value of education. Any student, no matter where they are born, should have the opportunity to attend school. Basic education is a critical part of rural development. Individuals who have had some education are better farmers and more capable of finding off-farm employment. The rural villages also benefit from the overall development of an improved economy and the alleviation of poverty, in which basic education is essential. The benefits to the school children of a high quality education are self-evident, however, the real benefits of the school are long term for the community. Currently, there are almost no rural Ugandan professionals as the quality of primary education has been too poor to allow access to good secondary schools and universities. The long term benefit of the school will be the new generation of well educated children who eventually come back to help their community as leaders, teachers, doctors, builders, engineers, and architects. Figure 6: Busia District School


Huang, H.K., (1994) Computer Simulation Analysis of Biological and Agricultural Systems, CRC Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Kwok, A., (2009) Zero Net Energy Workshop and Design Charrette, The University of Oregon Department of Architecture and the Center for Housing Innovation, Portland, Oregon. Nannyonjo, H., (2007) Education Inputs in Uganda: An Analysis of Factors Influencing Learning Achievement in Grade Six, World Bank Working Paper No 98, Washington D.C. Mazria, E., (1980), The Passive Solar Energy Book: A Complete Guide to Passive Solar Home, Greenhouse and Building Design, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Mulkeen, A.G. & Higgins, (2009) Multi-grade Teaching in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons from Uganda, Senegal, and The Gambia, World Bank Working Paper No. 173, Washington D.C. Stout R. and Garrison M., (2004) Building Envelope, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, Washington D.C.


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The Resilient Existence of External Perforated Solar Screens In Islamic Architectural Environments by Ayesha Batool


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1. The subject of my paper is on solar screens in an architectural environment – their origin and production factors that affect the evolution of design, and sustaining their existence in ranging urban environments. It is called Jali in Pakistan and India. Jali is an Urdu word, Urdu is the national language of Pakistan. I am from Pakistan. 2.

Pakistan is located in South Asia.

3. Indus Valley Civilization – Bronze Age civilization (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1900 BCE) 4. Gandharan city of Taxila – 86 miles, birth place of Budhism, (early 990 BC to the 11th century AD) 5. Born In Jhelum 2311 years later in Jhelum where Alexander’s army was stomped out by 200 War elephants. 6. Macedonian’s defeat in India led to the spread of Mauryan Empire – Chandragupta Maurya’s embrace of Jainism increased social and religious renewal and reform across his society, while Ashoka’s embrace of Buddhism has been said to have been the foundation of the reign of social and political peace and non-violence across all of India. Ashoka sponsored the spreading of Buddhist ideals into Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, West Asia and Mediterranean Europe. 7.

Mughal empire 1526 – 1857

8. British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947. 9.

tectural ements on the world and this is what I Learn. Jali is not just Jali, In Yemen it is called the Takhrima, in Tunis Barmaqli, Mashrabiya in Egypt, Shamasil in Iraq, Rowshan in Jeddah.

14. I recreate the world of my research on the basis of major projects found. In order to find out what factors lead to the design of external perforated solar screens in such a specific zone. 15. Koppen Climate Classification appropriately assigns the climate zones where such solar screens should have existed. The RED zone is the BWh Hot desert climates. The Lime-aqua green zone (Cfa) shows the humid subtropical climate zone. Orange (BSh) is the A semi-arid climate or steppe climate zone. 16. Islam has become a hot topic in today’s intense debate. Many attempts to debate in a politically correct manner fail because they do not create the necessary space for the other positions and impede a deeper view into our shared past. There may be an objection to a culture or science being labeled as Islamic; after all, the west does not refer to its own culture and science as “Christian.” (click) box. The shade of green in the box is predominantly Islam. (click) Granada, Spain, (click) Cairo, Egypt (click) Marrakech, Morocco, (click) Busra, Iraq, (click) Hijaz, Saudi Arabia, (click) Fatehpur Sikri, India (click) Lahore, Pakistan - these are cities which have very many examples of mashrabiya, rowshan, jali, - external perforated screens similar in character and size, varying in materiality.

Pakistan in 1947

10. My world in a box, including history culture 27 years of learning from vernacular traditions and architecture, I wish to learn more about it and it seems that not many people appreciate the vernacular practices. This encourages me further to take on the mission of learning from vernacular. 11. Jali Screens. Found in most traditional residential and institutional buildings in Lahore. 12. (click)

(click) I locate My world on the real world map


A quick google search on Jali and similar archi-

17. Big Question. How does an architectural element travel space and time and yet remain so consistent? Clearly spread of Islam along these routes is one of the main denominators. 18. Hassan Fathy, an architect from the Middle East, has a major role to play in the revival of vernacular aesthetics in recent architectural practice in Cairo. His book covers the detailed impact of Mashrabiya in receiving light and reducing glare is the Natural Energy and Vernacular Architecture (Fathy 1986). Fathy ascribes five functions to Mashrabiya: 1) controlling the passage of light 2) controlling the air flow, 3) reducing the temperature of the air current,

e x t er n a l per for at ed s ol a r s c r eens in isl a mic a r c hi t ec t ur a l en v ir onmen t s


4) increasing the humidity of the air current, and 5) ensuring privacy. 19. Islam took over many forms of ancestral nomadic thinking and behavior, charged their archetypical character with a new symbolic dimension and perpetuated them by religious rituals. (click) 20. This applies to many Islamic customs, such as the rites of pilgrimage, the prayer movements or the way the floor surface is used for siting, praying and socializing. 21. The veneration of water as source of life and element of ritual purification may relate to the same origins. In general terms, the whole spiritual “climate” of Islam, can be seen as influenced by nomadic concepts. 22. Vernacular architecture in the Islamic world came forth as a perfect response to the living conditions of both the natural and the social environment, based on age old regional experience with local building material and appropriate techniques of climate control. The timeless vernacular architecture of the Islamic world provided the mainstream of built form, out of which the peaks of monumental architecture could emerge, bearing the imprint of certain historic periods, individual patrons or exceptional master builders. The representative buildings commonly associated with the term “Islamic architecture” are mostly cross-breeding between local vernacular traditions and the products of a more refined court civilization which absorbed, assimilated and propagated inherited building models, often of Roman, Byzantine or Sassanian origin. 23. The Quran distinguished between the private and public domains and provides rules on what constitutes righteous comportments in either of these two spheres of life. The issue of privacy looms large in Quranic legislation. Access to “inhabited houses” other than one’s own must be restricted, allowable only when permission to enter has been asked for and granted (by the inhabitants) of the house. (24:27-29). Within the new urban systems of Islamic settlements, the physical coherence between the various components was based on the graded articulation of a chain of polarities between included and excluded spaces, that is, between “inside” and “outside” or “private” and public.” The courtyard of the house for instance was outside with regard to the rooms around it but inside with regard to the house. The subtlety lies in the fact that each polarity was overcome by the integration into a larger unit on the next hierarchical


plane. Eventually this resulted in the successful merging of individual parts into a larger whole, without any component losing its individual identity. The figure shows the axonometric section through a large family house in Fez, embracing several semi-independent sub-units. The house is located in a privileged position between three residential clusters, allowing the owners to accede from different dead-end alleys. 1. Main entry 2. Side entries 3. Typical living unit 4. First floor apartment composed of small baits and its own central light shaft 5. Separate upper floor apartment 24. As Islam spread outside the Arabian peninsular, in the residential districts, the orthogonal grid layout of Roman streets was to be gradually transformed into a much more irregular pattern. This change relied on the fact that the street layout in the private quarters was no longer controlled by a central civic authority and that individual houses for reasons of family links, social convenience or simply lack of space, tended to grow together into larger clusters which interrupted, privatized or simply swallowed the existing street network. This result was an internalized access system with private corridors, dead-end lanes, and cul-de-sacs, branched on semi-private residential alleyways, which in turn provided connections with the main public thoroughfares and the markets. 25. The way Ottomans interpreted the role of women in the dwellings; females were reserved in the houses often on the upper storeys, where they could silently participate in the day-to-day activities of their men inside, and on the street outside, behind these porous screens. A few centuries down the line, still in many parts of Pakistan, the ladies of the house deal with the street affairs, such as buying vegetables from the street hawker, from the projected windows or Jharokas set in upper storeys of their houses. While in special quarters of the walled city in Lahore, at night certain women would make these suggestive invitations through the screens, without being ostentatious. Details from “ The Harem “ 1851 By John Frederick Lewis John Frederick Lewis rented the actual house that is shown in this picture. He lived in Cairo, Egypt, for about ten years. Lewis was the most talented artist of his time to visit and record the Middle East. This watercolour is a version of a work he exhibited in 1850 at the Old Watercolour Society. Both the public and the critics admired it.

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26. Nascent Islam knew no art in the proper sense, nor could it, since its original ambience was nomadic or seminomadic existence in all its stark simplicity. Admittedly, Arab traders and caraven leaders were in contact with the civilizations Byzantium and Persia, and even India. It was, in fact, abandonment of the primitive Arabian environment and confrontation with the artistic heritage of the newly conquered or converted sedentary people that necessitated the creation of an art conformable to Islam, and enabled it to come about. 27. The prohibition of images in Islam applies, strictly speaking, only to the images of the Divinity. The representation of any living being is frowned upon. Therefore, in Middle Eastern culture, making pictures was long regarded as taboo, while in the West is was celebrated at the royal road to knowledge. The geometric style to which the Renaissance later gave the name “arabesque” developed around 1000CE at the court in Baghdad. During the flowering of the “Sunni revival” it soon became known as the “knot style.” To compensate for the exclusion of figural representation in this culture, artists had to formulate “non-figural modes of representation that relied on a vocabulary of inanimate forms.” 28. The Arab theory was not concerned with pictures or images but with visual rays, which were thought to convey a mosaic of tiny signals point by point to the eye. 29. The Arab scientists had constructed a geometric system of light rays and visual rays based on mathematics and their own experiments, a system that corresponded perfectly to the abstract spirituality of their culture. Their theory treated vision as a process whose end result was always uncertain, since it depended on the atmosphere and many other conditions. For this reason they necessarily found suspect any pictures that stabilized perception and reified it as an artifact. They had no wish to single out any moment in perception from the constant flow of impressions, nor did they consider it possible. In Alhazen’s view images did not originate in the eye, in any case, but rather in imagination, and the imagination in turn was located in the realm of the inner senses. Overstating things a bit, one could say that in the Middle Eastern way of thinking a visual image meant a mental image with which one sees, not one that is before one’s eye. It could not be made visible because it did not occur in the external world.

30. Geometry used for pictorial perspective marks a departure point from Arab geometry, which has a different history and a different meaning. Arab geometry functions as a filter for the path of light and as a key for creating complex mathematical patterns on surface. It is not related to a human gaze; instead it possesses an autonomous structure. It stands as a calculation behind the patterns that cover the entire surfaces of Arab buildings and decorated objects. 31. In Islamic Architecture And Its Decoration A.D. 800-1500 Grabar (1964) investigates the geometric patterns of grilles. According to the research, (almost) all the geometric designs can be reduced to a series of competitively simple geometric shapes. The more significant facts about the geometric units used seem, however, to be, first their constant mobility in time and space, for in early designs such as those of Uzgend ( Façade of Mausoleum of Jelal al-din al-Husayn A.D 1152) we find basically the themes of Samarkand or Turkestan two hundred years later or even, translated into stone, those of Anatolia two thousand miles away; and second that the fascination of the use of geometry in these designs is that in many instances and the visible decoration is only a segment of the geometric design that was necessary.

32. In the Ottoman album of architectural drawings from about 1500 that was discovered in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, the leitmotif is the representation of geometry – geometry for its own sake. One example is a square in which a grid of straight lines and a set of circles divided by twelve radii are integrated perfectly on the basis of mathematical calculations. The frame and what it encloses do not stand in a contrapuntal arrangement to each other but belong to the same ordering system. The question of whether or not this is a picture in our sense is not applicable, but it does come into play in an Ottoman wall hanging from the sixteenth century. The two-tone allover pattern is in principle closely related to an architectural drawing. …….Unmistakably, it is a picture frame, as it turns the self-contained pattern that we now see within it – or behind - so to speak into a picture for a viewer

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standing in front of it. 33. A window through which the gaze can see – as it occurs in the idea of perspective – is completely opposite to the way a window is conceived in Arab–Islamic culture. In the Islamic world, the screen is porous, but not for the gaze – at least not in principle’ rather it is porous for light, a shift that also reverses the direction between inside and outside. 34. God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. It is divine light, which brings things out of darkness of nothing. In the symbolic order in question, to be visible signifies to exist. For this reason, the Muslim artist seeks to transform the very stuff he is fashioning into a vibration of light. Windows are of course always there to bring daylight into an interior space, but here the aim is different. In Arabic living spaces we find a “staging” or “orchestration” of light that carries its own symbolism. The light always originates outside, but here it is directed inside in a particular way, where it draws the gaze of those inhabiting the space without having to look inside. It is the reflection of the light that is staged, through the angle of incidence and the geometry of the screen. 35. As a rule, windows are screens to mark the separation between inside and outside, that is, the dividing line between the private and public spheres.

36. As Alhazen understood the nature of light, only its rays of light through space, thus the geometric screens add a secondary order of rays that make the light measurable and draws the gaze. The gaze registers a geometric pattern that is formed by both the window screen and the light, operating together. If one wanted to speak of perspective, then in terms of Arab optics it would be perspective of light that crosses the barrier of the window to the inside and is regulated there by the geometry of the window decoration; this process does not produce pictures in the typical sense. At the same time the light seems purer and more abstract in the outside world, where it is mixed with colors and carries the forms of objects to the eye. In Arab window screens the


alliance between rays of light and visual rays is broken up, and in the reflections they create pure light, returning to its original nature. In Islam, light could be understood as a symbolic form. It is not produced in the human gaze but created through decoration that filters and regulates light. Windows with their geometry serve to stage light itself as a symbolic form. This practice reaches far back in the history of Islamic architecture in Indian subcontinent. The patterns, carried out here in sandstone, consist entirely of the strict geometry that otherwise appears on two-dimensional surfaces, in this instance, however, it combines with the light to form a double pattern that can be read in two ways.

37. I’m going to move on the talking about the development of the craft by the inherited knowledge. In Cairo itself, in the hands of master craftsmen the techniques of solar screens improved. Over the centuries the craftsmen had developed special skills with wood. They knew, for example, that in intense summer heat even the best wood would shrink, warp and split when exposed to sun and hot air. But they also knew that very small pieces of wood dovetailed one into the other, without the use of glue or nails, allowed wood to expand, shrink and adjust itself without upsetting the overall assembly. From earliest times, and especially in the era of Coptic Egypt, this was how wood had come to be used, and it suited the screen beautifully. Carved screens could be divided and subdivided into smaller and still smaller pieces of wood, each piece fitting into the next, the whole screen, sometimes of huge proportions, being held together without the use of a single nail. 38. (Click) Later, as techniques were perfected, as many as two thousand individual pieces of wood—including tiny, perfect wooden balls and links—would go into the making of a single square yard of finely made mashrabiya, each piece turned and smoothed by hand and then assembled like masses of interlaced strings of beads into ever varying patterns.

39. Solar screens are becoming popular amongst contemporary architects. However, the scale of use should not be confused with brise soleil. Fathy (1986) compares brise-soleil, with the intricacy of Jali how it reduces the contrast in the surface. Le Corbusier

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integrated it into modern architecture and constructed them with massive concrete, or from covered steel created, shelflike protrusions, as, for example, on his buildings in Chandigarh, India. For the solar screens that I am referring to has unique features with rounded surface and small apertures contributing to the reflection and uniform distribution of light in the interior, while blocking the sun. The use of a non-linear pattern of Jali does have its benefits, mainly in the reduction of a moiré effect that occurs when a number of linear elements, brise soleil, are regularly spaced across a surface. This was solved in the traditional mashrabiya with the use of rounded knobs in the centre of each baluster that reduced the ‘visual spread’ across the surface of the screen.

40. A lot has been said about the climatic benefits of mashrabiya as contemporary architects continue to apply it to the exterior of contemporary facades. I’m having a hard time absorbing that the original mashrabiya or jali or rowshan when extracted out of their context, culture and urban environment, will perform as well. I am not sure if its culturally sustainable to do such a thing. There are many projects out there but I just want to point out this one project, called AL Bahar Tower. Aedas was appointed to design the new Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC) headquarters, Al Bahar Towers, following an invited international competition for twin landmark office towers in Abu Dhabi. A solar responsive dynamic shading screen in the form of a ‘Mashrabiya’ acts as a secondary skin and controls solar glare whilst optimising the use of natural light internally. Project Engineers, Arup, estimate that the ‘Mashrabiya’ has the potential to reduce the cooling load by over 20 percent, with commensurate savings on energy consumption and carbon emissions. 41. The end.

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Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth Part III: (Re)generative & Emergent Processes



Christopher Alexander’s dialogue with the computer industry

by Greg Bryant

“A good unfolding sequence focuses the user’s attention upon nurturing the growth of natural structure. It encourages people to sensitize themselves to important issues as they emerge, so they will start to see them in any situation.”


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Abstract The Gatemaker project provides an enlightening lens through which to examine the interplay of ideas between Christopher Alexander and computing, over the last half-century. Interest in his work became intense by 1996, so his team secured funding for a research project: a computer-based design tool for improving the built-environment, using feeling as an objective metric. The application made significant progress, unmatched in any other computer project since, but there is much confusion about it, within both computing and architectural circles. This is because, like many of his projects, Gatemaker unveiled a battle between different systems of thought.

Prologue “The conclusion I draw is that the character of this program has a bearing not only on the future generation of programs in the building/environment field, but that all software (including software designed to help developers design software) may, in all probability, also benefit from the kind of sea-change which is anticipated in Gatemaker. One may describe this sea-change, broadly, by saying that there are reasons for thinking that the character of the computer environment of the future needs to become more childish, and more human, if it is to help human beings genuinely extract the best of themselves …” -- Christopher Alexander, April 1997

Prehistory In 1958 Christopher Alexander entered Boston’s academic arena, then a pre-eminent global center for computing research. Technological metaphors permeated every field, some quite fruitful, such as ‘the city as a machine’ and ‘the mind as a computer’. As part of his attempt to understand what people meant by ‘good structure’, in art, architecture and urban planning, Alexander initiated several analytic computer programming projects, and published his results.

Another idea developed within this intellectual environment: ‘good structure’ as an objective quality. Instinctive, unconscious, genetically-endowed human faculties, shaped by natural laws, factor into the mind’s judgment of ‘good’ and ‘natural’, in the same way that the visual system judges height and distance. This judgment might, however, be obscured by experience and other instinctive mental faculties, analogous to the perception conflicts of an optical illusion. A rational theory of this ‘good structure’ mental-faculty could be constructed from empirical data, from experiments that explore its operation, using people as test subjects. Emerging cognitive sciences, linguistics and vision for example, were inching their way forward with this approach. Alexander’s work ultimately led to the publication by 1964 of his Notes on a Synthesis of Form [Notes]. This was the real beginning of his influence on computing. Over the next decade, most prominent computer scientists engaged with ideas from Notes. For example, it was essential reading among Marvin Minsky’s colleagues and students -- the core of the Artificial Intelligence movement. These were enthusiasts of automation. So, they were encouraged by the ambitious methodology in Notes, which presented a structured decomposition of complex real-world problems, with an approach to systematic construction of a solution. When I started programming in 1974, the engineering zeitgeist of “structured programming” was deeply entangled with the method of “hierarchical decomposition”: of problems, models and programs. This was a direct influence of Notes and Alexander’s other published work. In 1963, Alexander moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, an important player in global commerce since the Gold Rush. It was then emerging as a major center for computing, which it would ultimately dominate. While teaching at UC Berkeley, he initiated building and planning experiments, notably those that increased the participation of non-professionals, the users themselves, in design and construction. He increasingly used a generic solution called a pattern to help participants understand the possible good they could do. The most important project of this era was a planning initiative for the University of Oregon, in Eugene. He reported on this in 1975’s The Oregon Experiment. In this book he quietly introduces site diagnosis using human feeling, as an objective measure and powerful tool: “our feelings for the life of the environment will always outstrip the current set of patterns.”[p.156]

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In 1977 he released A Pattern Language [APL], an


eye-opening guide to good patterns found in good structures in the real world. It’s densely packed with interconnected ideas and observations. The book inspired many devotees. It’s probably the best-selling, and most-read, book on architecture in human history. It set a new standard for descriptions of complex human activity. Among the readers chewing through its 1,171 pages were countless programmers, product designers and computer entrepreneurs. The book was infectious, and for Bay Area technologists it was, in part, a local brainchild. Among the many who promoted it was Stewart Brand, a quintessential local counterculture figure, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, and chronicler of important early computer experiments. The final book in the new trilogy, published in 1979, was The Timeless way of Building. In Alexander’s words, it was “the hardest to write” of the three. The most relevant bit for us begins on page 367: Differentiating Space, describing the smooth, stepwise creation of organic structure through increasingly specific global operations, whether performed by organisms, in ways we’re just beginning to understand, or by humans using their innate faculties. The chapter introduces a long, site-sensitive narration of a design sequence, one that uses patterns so lightly that they nearly disappear from consideration. By page 464, there’s a specific “from the outside, working inwards” building sequence for a home. I’ll paraphrase it by providing titles: 1. Outside corner positions 2. Outside column Size and Place 3. Perimeter beams 4. Windows and doors 5. Room vaults 6. Outside walls, etc.

Eight years after The Timeless way of Building, increasing interest in patterns among computer people led to a formalization, for an increasingly fashionable software engineering approach known as Object-Oriented Programming.

Almost a sequence

a small example ‘pattern language’. It was actually a tested, ordered sequence. The intent was to empower users to define their own computer interfaces, and to demonstrate that something akin to Alexander’s patterns could improve the communication of good engineering ideas. The paper describes particular structures that should appear, or principles that should be kept in mind, at each of five stages during the design effort for a human-computer interface: 1. Window per task 2. Few panes per window 3. Standard panes 4. Short Menus 5. Nouns and Verbs

The importance of the right order, combined with global application of each principle at each step, was an aspect of sequences gleaned by reading the above passages in A Timeless Way of Building. This part of the paper was also inspired by the ‘user-as-designer’ notion found in all of Alexander’s work. Even though this sequence was only about particular aspects of certain kinds of interfaces, and was unrelated to the natural structures Alexander aims for, it was still an interesting interpretation. It’s not too extreme to say that the authentic transfer of Alexander’s ideas to the computer industry stops there. The focus of the subsequent Software Patterns movement remained within the formal sciences, and so could not interpret Alexander’s work in the natural and human sciences: the application of human judgment using feeling, the smooth unfolding of natural geometry, or helping people (programmers or users) to become more whole and alive. The criteria for ‘good’ were so different, that everything was misconstrued, from ‘pattern’ to ‘incremental’. They aren’t to blame: this focus on abstraction, and the dismissal of feeling, and the reality beyond constructed formal systems, is endemic in the computer industry. Today, Software Patterns proponents, like most successful computer people, are not even interested in this cavernous disparity.

In their influential 1987 paper, two Oregon programmers, Kent Beck and Ward Cunningham, published what they called


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So what is a sequence?

trance; sala; comedor; kitchen; verandas 11. refinement of the patio

A good unfolding sequence focuses the user’s attention upon nurturing the growth of natural structure. It encourages people to sensitize themselves to important issues as they emerge, so they will start to see them in any situation. It helps them to achieve organic growth: smooth, adaptive, harmonious, ever-improving and coherent. This unfolding growth should feel related to morphogenesis. A sequence is much like a genetic code, and drives increasingly complex structure, a complexity that’s as simple as possible, coherent, and profound. A sequence is short, but accomplishes a great deal. Again, surprisingly little genetic information guides the development of incomprehensibly complex organisms. Sequence users put themselves into a certain state, a particular working modality. This is an actual, physical, easily perceivable phenomenon. It’s unfortunate that such phenomena are derided as ‘psychological’, even though that word literally means a real state within the brain, whose actual operation we should care about. Like most complex features of the human mind, we understand almost nothing about this phenomenon, yet. But we can use it, to do good work. To evoke it, unfolding sequences and their presentations need to be created with great care and attention to effectiveness. In the 80’s, Alexander wrote and “debugged” increasing numbers of them, for clients and communities. These were presented mostly in workbooks, with trained assistants available to help. Also in the 80’s, Alexander expressed disappointment with the effect of patterns on design in the built environment. He said architects use patterns in a shallow, unintegrated fashion, “like butter on bread”. The fundamentals of profound cooking were somehow missing. Sequences were a possible key to unlocking people’s better judgment. For example, in the early 1980’s, for the Moshav Shorashim project, he produced a handbook with preliminary instructions, and 44 heavily-detailed steps, to allow a homeowner to design a house in harmony with a village. About the same time, for Guasare, Venezuela, he produced another manual, of 12 steps, also highly-detailed, for a very different environment. Here’s the ordered outline of required determinations: 1. size of house 2. limits of the house 3 - 10. layout of the patio; wings; opening; en-

12. layout of the bedrooms and bathroom

Interestingly, these stages are huge efforts compared to the steps we’ll see later in Gatemaker. But that’s because they’re major structures, and include exhaustive lists of considerations. But still, they are descriptions, rather than prescriptions, from which the user-designer is free to borrow. For example, step 10 includes: • Verandas are covered open spaces where you can sit, have a drink, and they’re also circulation spaces; the rooms open into them. • One of these verandas is very often located on the opening between the patio and the garden.

The sequence workbooks were brimming with useful insights, but how much expert help in person was needed to use them? This issue arises continually in Alexander’s work. For example, the misinterpretations of the Software Patterns movement emerge from a lack of direct contact with Alexander’s circle. It’s difficult to convey by writing the sensibility of seeking a particular subset of instinctive judgments. One needs exposure, in a real situation, to discover how to distinguish X from Y. How can one consciously emphasize one part of one’s mind over another? How does one even separate ‘intense feeling’ from other, equally innate faculties, that are counterproductive, such as thinking in terms of categories, properties, and objects? The last four centuries of scientific work have shown that the real world doesn’t operate as the mind perceives it. And our brain doesn’t work the way we think it does. Isolating a particular mental phenomenon cannot be done through introspection: we need to approach our own faculties experimentally. One useful experiment uses the question ‘what is alive?’ Even if taken literally, that is, ‘was this a biological organism?’, we still seem to use the mental faculty of feeling. It clearly factors into our unconscious internal definition of living morphology. So this question can be used as a self-education tool, if we take it seriously.

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A complementary approach is Alexander’s notion of centers, which seems to help develop a perspective more in agreement with the modern natural sciences. This perspective is of a world made only of innumerable, mostly intangible fields with gradients of influence, called centers. There are centers between centers, centers consist of centers, and they interact with each other, sometimes reinforcing each other, sometimes not, creating centers that we might be part of, and might superficially perceive or measure. This may sound like a mystical worldview, but it’s pretty close to current physics, chemistry and biology. The ‘clockwork universe’ was abandoned by science many centuries ago. And the ‘computer universe’ is just fiction. So a world of centers is not a world of typical mentalconstructs: no objects, properties, categories, connections, nor prepositions. Reality is outside of this normal conscious interpretation, and we become more sensitive to that, with the notion of centers. Using the ‘centers perspective’, we get closer to the innate faculty that can detect life. That’s an experimental result, which you can read about in The Nature of Order. The ‘unfolding sequence’ also wakes up this part of the brain, reducing the facilitation necessary by Alexander’s colleagues. There are many other ideas and techniques that can help. And even more that don’t. Good building requires this sympathy with the natural world for a simple reason: we live in this strange physical world, we are made of it, and we’re impacted by it. Our logical faculties simply cannot encompass this everyday hyper-complexity.

Capturing good facilitation

Sequences also try to capture an effective client-architect interaction that Alexander uses. He asks a client to close their eyes, and then to imagine, and answer, one step at a time, from large aspect to small, questions about the project they want. With the right facilitation, a keen sensitivity, and his personal ability to judge good structure, this is extremely effective at generating good results. A good written sequence is a very useful summary of this line of questioning. And almost anyone who worked with him could use it to achieve these results too. But again, it’s still an open question, many books later, whether or not users can figure this out just by reading. The record has not been so good. Besides the debilitating interference of the logical faculties, other forces are at work. In the early 70’s, one of Alexander’s colleagues at the University of Oregon told him: unless you step away from the Oregon Experiment, and see if the process works without intervention, it won’t really mean anything. He agreed with that. Unfortunately, the Oregon Experiment did quickly lose its direction. Most technocratically-organized corporate or institutional bureaucracies will treat their own people with suspicion, and dismiss people’s feelings as agents of anarchy.

A step further Written sequences allowed a wider exposure to good structure. Why not try using a computer to present them, in ways that might achieve the right psychological state? Alexander’s office, the Center for Environmental Structure [CES], built a small machine, something like a flexible model, so the user didn’t need to draw, but could just adjust the model while following a sequence. This was a sequence to design an office. By 1989 it was transformed into a program for a personal computer, using character graphics commonly available at the time (fig. 1). By the early 90’s, Alexander considered sequences a successful educational tool. After all, they were an ancient methodology. In The Nature of Order, he included his 24-step sequence for unfolding a Japanese Tea-house. By 1996 the computer industry, flush with profits, and excited by their own interpretation of patterns, wanted to connect with Alexander -- What is he doing these days?

Figure 1. 1989’s Office sequence tool


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Computer People As interest in patterns grew, we tried to nurture an opportunity to fund computer projects of our own, focused on the built environment. We analyzed our options. There were roughly two camps in the Software Patterns movement: (1) the original Hillside group lead by Beck, Cunningham, Richard Gabriel, Jim Coplien and others; and (2) the ‘Gang of Four’ and the readers of their popular book Design Patterns. Group (1) was interested in entire pattern languages, the applied order of patterns, combination strategies, and popularity with programmers. Group (2) was mostly interested in finding the best technologies -- patterns that should be enforced, and encoded into programmer tools such as frameworks. Group (1) didn’t want patterns to be forced, and didn’t want to interfere with human thought. They promoted a workshop approach to writing patterns, which was at least pleasant and social. So we pursued connections with group (1). I spent months, as did our business manager John Seamster, trying to determine which computer industry ‘titans’ might be helpful if approached for a grant or partnership. I felt that Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, looked quite open-minded. I wasn’t sure how best to approach him, however. In the midst of our deliberations, in October of 1996, Alexander gave a speech to the major annual gathering of object-oriented programmers in San Jose, California. The OOPSLA speech is online. He made two important points: 1) The actual goal is to build natural structure. 2) Programmers could do good for people. They don’t need be mercenaries to industry. They have more control than they believe.

The second point was forcefully made, bringing to mind the industry’s worship of success, and its blind techno-positivism. It implied a fight against capitalists that hire engineers only for their own ends. The speech brought tears to several people around me. It spoke to a scattered idealism among computer engineers, which was then re-emerging as a movement, because the world was turning upside-down with the original dotcom bubble.

After the speech, I mentioned to Richard Gabriel that Bill Joy might be our best bet. He agreed, and connected us. Still, at this conference, I continued to see disturbing regressive intellectual trends within our preferred group -- mostly the kind of Behaviorist and pop-Darwinian dogmas common among Artificial Intelligence programmers, and incompatible with serious natural science. But we pushed on. People can change. Days later in Berkeley, we chatted for a few hours with Bill Joy and his colleague John Gage. We found a great deal of common ground. Afterwards, I negotiated a direction for research with Mike Clary of Bill Joy’s office. Our business manager, John Seamster, then finalized the contract between Sun and CES. With this budget, what should we build? Certainly, some kind of unfolding sequence tool. We couldn’t know in advance what it would look like, because we needed to do hundreds of experiments, using ourselves and friends as subjects. To make certain that I understood the potential and power of sequences, Alexander and I thoroughly discussed the mental toolkit in The Nature of Order: centers, properties, cycles, feeling. I sketched my way through sequences, with his feedback, until I became rather fluent in applied feeling. I remember some alternative cover designs then came into the office, for the first volume of The Nature of Order. One was nicely balanced, and became the leading cover candidate. But another design, which was probably just a mistake, reminded me of title pages from 16th and 17th century books. And then I realized: it was more alive. The title text was pushing against the borders. I pointed this out to him. He checked the pages, looked quite pleased, and the ‘mistake’ became the final cover. My first post-training contribution of judgment.

Recursion and the problem with fractals At one point, we discussed ‘sequences within sequences’. He was hesitant, because discussions of recursion tend to succumb to the wrong human faculties: logical systems over natural structure. He read my article in RAIN Magazine from 1991, on ‘the problem with fractals’. Although popular at the time, I was

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a dissenter, because fractals are such a poor idealization of the real world. In nature, factors and interrelationships typically change at different scales. You can’t find a Mandelbrot set in nature. L-Systems cannot be considered first-order approximations of trees. They tell us more about our perception than about trees. However, we are stuck with our faculties, so idealizations are critically important. We must construct theories. Where would we be if Galileo hadn’t dismissed friction while studying the inclined plane? But we must not confuse theories with nature. We don’t understand nature. At best, we understand our theories. I don’t want to be hard on recursion. I was inspired by L-Systems and Phrase Structure Grammars to bridge the gap between operational and structural descriptions, with a simple programming language called grogix. I don’t want to be hard on fractals: I believe that we might learn something about living geometry by studying some of the Hopalong equations. We see recursion everywhere. That’s partly because natural laws are universal, and so have effects we find similar at different scales. But humans possess a cognitive apparatus that’s capable of cyclical combination, so we sympathize with it. But this sympathy can destroy our contact with other mental faculties. Alexander knew that in a few months we’d never untangle these cognitive problems. But if we could expose normal people to just one evocative sequence, we’d really have achieved something. Some time after discussing recursion, we sketched our way through his teahouse sequence. He drew one of the little gates. I prefaced my observation with something like “I’m not talking about recursive sequences, however …” I pointed out, “when you drew that gate, you definitely used a sequence within a sequence.”

Gatemaker We went to the UK to work, so Alexander could be at his new home, which was some 400 years old, and return to one of his childhood haunts: West Sussex. I stayed in the 2,000-yearold city of Chichester, a beautiful living structure in its own right. I worked in my ‘office’ in a B & B, and tried to implement some major aspect of the program each evening. In the morning I’d take a train-and-cab to his house, to show him the result. Alexander was still finishing The Nature of Order. We’d look at my work, discuss it for many hours, find the most effective step forward, and then he’d go back to writing, and I to program. These were experiments, so, when a feature didn’t improve the experience, we’d throw the code out. The improvements were hard to find: we disposed of 90% of the code I wrote. Our workflow was his Fundamental Cycle. I’ll paraphrase: 1. Observe and evaluate the last thing you did, and its support for the goals, and its harmony with the existing work. 2. If it didn’t help, undo it. 3. Now decide what might be the next best step. 4. Build it.

Each cycle should be small but significant. We also incor-

And so our target sequence was born.

He repeatedly drafted sequences for a gate, and I used them with paper and pencil. When it worked, we were ready to program. We visited Doug Carlston, who built computer tools for home design. When we told him about sequences, he suggested we could brand them, like ‘Housemaker’, and ‘Officemaker’. We turned to each other and said ‘Gatemaker’!


Figure 2. The initial screen.

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grams. People rarely gain from this underlying ‘flexibility’, and they lose, tragically, since the life of the user is not at the center of the work. It plays into industry goals. As a result, humancomputer interfaces typically destroy our ability to do anything constructive, and put most programmers into blinkered specialist boxes. Alexander writes that the whole is constrained by the parts. Interchangeable parts make an adaptive natural structure impossible. Programming environments, including those inspired by patterns, push this ‘parts’ view, which hampers sensitivity and true novelty. It’s the worldview of the factorybuilder, and these tools for mass-production logistics have little regard for people.

Figure 3. The work environment.

porated this workflow into the user’s experience of Gatemaker.

No leaps One of the overall design principles that emerged, in complete contrast with most computing: “don’t let the computer leap to conclusions” and change the screen. We grew increasingly skeptical of any automatic behavior, any perceptible ‘leap’ taken by the software, because it disrupted the mood necessary for harmonious work. The screen should be super stable, comfortable, reliable and quiet. It shouldn’t even seem to be there. Even word processors don’t have this level of gentle stability. We didn’t even let the application window change size, because this seriously changes the geometry of the work. The fact that this does effect people should give pause to designers of showy, kinetic, “entertaining”, and distracting, user interfaces.

When underlying code is considered different, and more important, the tendency is simply to trash hard-won efforts to improve the user’s experience. This happens all the time in the industry, and Google is among those pushing the lunatic idea that we may not need people to create user interfaces. This is a complete divergence from Alexander’s work, where the underlying structure is in harmony with human interaction. Computing is not ‘somehow different’. It is still a human tool recruited for human purposes, and the principles still apply.

Comfortable setting Using feeling as a measure, we did our best to make the program comfortable, playful, approachable, fun, child-like, joyful, and relaxed. Most importantly, it feels positive, not neutral. We set the mood with this static opening screen, followed by a quiet replay of a gate unfolding with this sequence

Inside and out We were certain of one principle, especially regarding computer programs with this extreme level of user sensitivity. It was a principle that the patterns people were actively rejecting.

Program structure should reflect the interaction with a user. Most of the post-patterns world is quite confident and dogmatically against this, and there are patterns, such as MVC, which explicitly make it unlikely. Interaction with the user is considered an epiphenomenon, whose specific quality is far less important than the ability to generate more pro-

Figure 4. Sequences were visible.

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(fig. 2). We resisted anything that looked like a “professional” computer product, with all their attention to superficial style. Interestingly, considering this program was built almost 20 years ago, it still looks fresh. All the “professional” applications of 1997 -- ‘hot’, ‘fashionable’, ‘expensive’, and ‘leadingedge’ -- look terribly dated. Gatemaker is essentially a timeless computer interface. This wasn’t difficult. It was just built very differently (fig. 3). This timelessness and deep feeling were not much appreciated by the professional computer people, who criticized the interface as “amateurish”, “unfinished”, “not 3d enough”, “not slick”, etc. They didn’t understand that those properties were intended -- even after we told them. It’s the quiet playpen quality of the interface that makes it possible for the user to achieve something that makes them feel more whole.

Drawing on realit y The program asks the user to select a site photograph, ours or theirs, to draw upon. We wanted the user to judge the harmony of their emerging gate within an actual setting. The photo is crucial because design-with-feeling feeds upon the complexity of reality. Computing technology, and blueprints, fight against our understanding of the site. Someone new to this cognitive problem will need the photo as a reminder.

• a “sequence viewer” on the left which indicated, with colors: steps completed; the current step; and next steps.

A sense of moving forward helps the user maintain the effort needed to make something increasingly beautiful (fig. 4). Although this screen was a good work environment, we found it insufficient to attract focus to the description of the step. When our sketchpad is in front of us, it captures all of our attention. We wanted people to be fully conscious of each proposed step, then let the work proceed. Otherwise the sequence can’t help them to experience smooth unfolding. Of course, they also need to feel that the advice is optional. But they need to see that advice first. So, at the start of a step, a full-screen description screen is presented, with nothing else. The user then clicks this screen, to get back to the photo-sketch. Or they skip it (fig. 5). This flipping back-and-forth between ‘imagination’ and ‘reality’ has a profound effect, and begs further investigation.

Nouns and descriptions

Only a photo, though. We didn’t want to drown in exact measurement issues, or a particular construction technology. If a good design resulted, the actual construction, on site, needs to recapitulate the process, using the drawn design as a guide.

The step-description screen does not work if the step, in any way, is oppressive, dogmatic, or an instruction.

It was also true that running the sequence more than once produced better results -- as long as the user remained motivated.

The screen needed to get its point across -- that at this moment in the sequence, the user should see that certain kinds of structures are latent, ready to emerge.

The Sequence Presentation On the screen of this comfortable, colorful work environment, there were four position indicators for the 17-step sequence. • the drawing itself

No matter how gently we said “now do this” it sounded like a shouted command. Even words like “must” and “critical” sounded like unjustified dogma.

So the steps were written as if describing something the user might soon discover. If the user had already created some of those structures, they could feel good about it. The steps sounded optional, more like really good suggestions, so the user felt free to apply the suggestion, everywhere in the drawing they felt it appropriate.

• the description of the step, in the upper left-hand corner • a big, fun number in the right-hand corner


The Inspirations

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One could always leave the program, and get away from the computer, for inspiration. We also provided an inspiration button, an inspiration window, and sayings, to help people discover the point. These were unlike steps, and could be written loosely. There’s also a full list of these inspirations, if you click the window. At the top we wrote: The purpose of Gatemaker is to help you to make a gate which is harmonious and just right, for a given context. Any time you clicked the inspiration button, one of them would slowly fade into view:

Structure-Preserving To be successful, you must be trying, all the time, to do that thing which does the least harm, and the most benefit, to the structure of the world where the gate is going to be. We call each step you take in this spirit a structure-preserving transformation. If you want more information on what a structurepreserving transformation is, click on this sentence.

Most Structure-Preserving Was the step you have just taken, the step which is MOST structure-preserving? Can you think of another step, which would have preserved the structure better? If so, you can modify the gate, by using SHAPER or COMPARE. During the process of unfolding the gate, you will make a series of steps. At each step, you are working on some one center. Your effort should be to make this center as wholesome and harmonious as possible. Above all, each center you make should be the simplest center, which can be made, to get the thing right.


Structure Preserving As A Measure You can also use the structure-preserving character of a step, and your estimation of just how structure-preserving it is, as a gauge of your own feeling. Gradually you will notice that the more structure-enhancing something is, the more it makes you feel at peace with yourself.

Overall Aim Our aim, in the process, is to make a gate which, when you look at it in the context it is in, leaves you feeling as alive, and as whole within yourself, as possible.

Criteria There are a number of other ways of paying attention to the structure-preserving character of a particular design: these include ALIVE, MIRROR OF THE SELF, FEELING, WHOLENESS. They are all equivalent in their deep meaning, but each one gives you a different view of the same underlying reality.

The Sequence Itself 1 Gate Position The gate is in a prominent place where it fits naturally into the surroundings - as if it had been created there by the neighboring structures.

2 Gateway Opening

One way of deciding whether a step is structure-preserving, is to ask yourself if it has deep feeling. You should try, as far as possible, to do that thing which has the most feeling. Making a thing which has feeling, and making something which preserves the structure of the world as deeply as possible, are almost the same.

Feeling As A Measure

You can use the feeling in the gate as a gauge of how structure-preserving your work on a step is.

The opening of the gate is a size which makes passage seem intimate: whether it is large, for trucks and cars, or small, for man and a dog.

3 Mass And Height The mass of the gate establishes its proper psychological weight in the place where it is standing.

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10 Wall Openings The upper part of the wall contains, occasional openings, which allow a glimpse of what is on the other side.

11 Wall Between Openings The pieces of wall between the openings have a definite and beautiful shape.

12 Between Gate & Wall Figure 5. Peter Gabriel’s gate

The angle between gate and wall is filled with a definite central shape which connects the two.

4 The Wall The gate sits in a wall, which extends the feeling of the gate outward.

5 Gateposts Where the gate meets the wall, there are two massive gateposts: thin for wood, heavy for stone or masonry. These posts defined the opening of the gate.

13 The Gate Itself The gate fills the opening, fully, or there is a gap in the upper opening.

14 Gate Leaves The leaves of the gate have a definite repeating pattern which makes each leaf a beautiful thing in itself.

15 Ornament

6 The Top The upper part of the gate, too, like the posts, is massive, and its height establishes the feeling of that place just right.

7 Space Above The Gate

At the top of the gate there is an ornament or crest where the gate meets the sky.

16 Gatepost Base

The sky above the gate has a particular shape, which in turn helps to shape the solid material of the upper gate.

8 Space Above The Wall The line along the top of the wall, too, makes the sky a beautiful shape.

9 Gatepost Detail Each gatepost is ornamented with small structure that makes the gate more meaningful and solid as a center. Figure 6. The gate site


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worth of work, which they believe is ok, ‘store’ it, and try again. Then they compare. They click back-and-forth to see which direction they want to go. This is “hill-climbing”, named after an ant’s postulated “heuristic”, or simple method, for determining which way is “up” and which is “down”. We used the ‘compare’ feature ourselves, quite often, but it took work to get our users interested. Although simple, a tool like this needs some kind of tutorial explanation. Besides ‘undo’ and ‘compare’, we avoided any kind of elaborate back-tracking, like the features in document and source-control systems. Alexander felt that a really good sequence made ‘backtracking management’ unnecessary and counter-productive.

Figure 7. Volchkova’s final gate sketch

At the base of the gateposts there is a very solid entity which helps the gate to meet the road.


By the way: the famous inability of hill-climbing to find anything but the local maxima is irrelevant here. We are trying to build the best gate possible, in harmony with a specific place.

Wall Ornament

There is a modest repeating pattern along the top of the wall, which makes the wall harmonious.

Orientation We wanted the program to work without guidance from a live person, but the number of experiments necessary to make this possible, began to eat away at our time. We experimented with ‘helpers’, essentially post-it notes, that could help explain the interface. The common solution is a kind of tip-over or roll-over, but they were distracting, as our ‘no leaps’ principle predicts. A pretty good solution was a ‘help’ toggle button that would fade-up, and fade-down, all helpers across the screen. We had many more ideas to pursue, but ran out of time.

Hill-climbing If you want people to really dig down and use feeling, they must feel free to ‘undo’ their work. But it would be even better if they could do something like a two-part preference test. They take one step’s

Figure 8. The resulting gate

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Studious At the start, we play a previous user’s experience. During the session, we auto-save every stroke. We replay this user’s session after the last step. These features help them perform better, but also provide a sense that they’re studying something serious about nature and people, and contributing to a larger conversation.

Shaper The shaper helps you to shape negative space. It temporarily inverts color in your drawing (not the photo) so the negative is visible. You can then give it a beautiful shape. It worked, and we used it often, but required extra tutoring.

The software patterns literature has no such research initiative. Instead, they focus on objects, properties, types, lists, titles and categories. It looks like butterfly collecting, with no drive to build a theory with explanatory adequacy. It’s Natural History instead of Natural Science. Not everyone at Aspen was a computer industrialist. And there was one person, a rock musician with a strong interest in people, computers, and Alexander’s work, who had something he wanted to say about Gatemaker.

Peter Gabriel

Aspen We brought this program to Bill Joy’s Aspen office, and he had a number of guests, who tried the program and discussed it for days. The specific geometries of the user interface, and specific presentations to the user during Gatemaker, create a particular kind of user experience. No one had tried to facilitate this user experience on a computer before. And we felt it was important. But it was hard to get computing folk to focus on the actual human effect of the program. In fact, they saw it, experienced it, momentarily agreed that it was surprising, but soon forgot it. To be fair, they simply weren’t equipped to discuss what we’d accomplished. They were not natural scientists, nor activists. They shared ‘pragmatic’ and fashionable industry viewpoints that make it nearly impossible for anyone to discover anything new or important about people & computers.

A proposal At Aspen I presented a paper: what would good programming look under the influence of Gatemaker and The Nature of Order? Unfortunately it was too far away from contemporary programming to be understood. I suggested a research program using a Gatemakerlike development environment to facilitate the fundamental cycle. It would record steps, and ideas, and would allow us to study the impact, on the unfolding of a program, of different


techniques, sequences, steps, and concepts. It would be an environment where the user could experiment upon themselves, while getting work done. This would lead to better understanding of the mind, of people, and of the effects of different aspects of computing.

“I’ll probably sound like an old hippy ... I guess because I am one ... But it was a very Zen experience... ‘Man’.” Peter Gabriel had long been affected by A Pattern Language. He tried Gatemaker, along with the tutoring we were giving everyone. He produced a very good gate, even though he’d never really drawn anything before (fig. 5). Even on the first day, there was something else he wanted to say about the experience, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. He said he felt kind of compelled down a rabbit hole, when he was quite uncertain of what he was doing. He kept wanting to take a break and study. But this “compelling” didn’t sound so bad. The tool was providing good motivation, which was kind of amazing. A few days later, Peter Gabriel tried to express it differently. The driven nature of the sequence, he said, made him want to escape. “It’s a little too male”. This struck a chord. I have a note from Alexander: “I think we should make a special effort to interest women in this process.” Whatever the phenomenon of the sequence is, it would be more effective, and more nurturing, to allow someone ‘tutorial escapes’ anytime they want, before jumping back into the whirlpool.

The Upshot

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The Surprising Power, Vitality, and Potentiality of Examining the “Dark Side” The Collaborative Production of the Restraining Voices Anti-Pattern Language in an Educational Setting

by Douglas Schuler and Justin Wagaman

“A good unfolding sequence focuses the user’s attention upon nurturing the growth of natural structure. It encourages people to sensitize themselves to important issues as they emerge, so they will start to see them in any situation.”


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Abstract In spring quarter 2013, students and faculty in the Social Imagination and Civic Intelligence program at The Evergreen State College developed an anti-pattern language. In this exploration of the “dark side, we ultimately identified 36 anti-patterns. These are patterns that engender and, thus, perpetuate social forces that we believe to be bad, forces that tend to decrease health and happiness of many people and the natural world, while simultaneously making it more difficult to counteract those forces. Beyond that we also learned that creating a pattern language can be an excellent, collaborative project pedagogically as well as a conceptual tool for social change Introduction During our study of patterns and pattern languages (via A Pattern Language [Alexander et al, 1978] and Liberating Voices [Schuler, 2008]) in our Social Imagination and Civic Intelligence program at The Evergreen State College, Adam Selon, a student who was intrigued by the patterns of ignorance in society, suggested that we as a class should develop an anti-pattern language. While it was not exactly clear what that meant, we adopted his proposal as a collaborative class project the following quarter. The goal of the project was to probe and present the antithesis of “civic intelligence.” The title, “How to Destroy the World and Make Life a Living Hell for Most People in the Process”, that appeared on the original assignment description was somewhat tongue-in-cheek but, unfortunately, in most cases was not too far off the mark. The project was more like documenting existing social processes than creating a work of dystopian fiction. Of course the ultimate hope was that by analyzing the processes described in the anti-patterns we would be better able to think about ways to intervene. This project was especially appropriate and useful in an educational endeavor that focused on civic intelligence. For one thing we were gratified to learn that a workable pattern language could be created collaboratively over a 10 week period — a testament to the pattern/pattern language form. Also, as the title of this paper suggests, we (students and faculty) were very impressed, not only with the tangible results of our work, the patterns themselves, but also with the progress we had made as a team, the spirit we had as a team, and our collective creativity. In addition to be impressed, we were also. The most surprising outcome was the fact that

although we focused on the “dark side”, the experience itself was liberating. We have started refining the results of the first phase; and this should lead into more insights into the connections between the patterns, and perhaps help us identify new ones. We are also beginning to formulate intriguing hypotheses regarding the nature of “anti-patterns”, including their creative and generative uses for social and environmental amelioration. Objectives Although we did not set out initially to create a paper, test hypotheses, or necessarily create anything that could be used after the end of the quarter, we did set out with an objective. The objective was to explore the idea of anti-patterns by developing them. We wanted to see what we could learn and the answer thus far is that we learned a lot — and not just about the content of the subject matter. The project was appropriate from a pedagogical standpoint. For example, we encouraged exploration as an important intellectual approach. Beyond that, the pattern language framework encouraged social analysis and a holistic framework with which to relate disparate findings. From the beginning we realized that the more realistic, detailed, and accurate our analysis / portrayal was, the easier it would be to develop a set of anti-anti-patterns that could help counter the anti-patterns. (These of course are known simply as patterns.) In this project the aim was to identify commonplace phenomena that are encouraging the degradation of the social and environmental worlds. With the Anti-Pattern project we realized fairly early on that we should make it one of our top priorities to not document them as if we think they are “Bad.” Nor should we write them as if they were “Good,” either. We tried to write them in a neutral and informative style with as little bias as possible regardless of our feelings toward the various behaviors discussed in the patterns. If someone wanted to try to recreate the Cultural Imperialism pattern from our work, he or she could play a role in perpetuating it. In this project we actually tried to identify commonplace phenomena that are encouraging the degradation of the social and environmental worlds that we live in. Some of these phenomena are of course more successful than others; and

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it will be interesting to explore to what degree they depend on “human nature,” ignorance, mass-media, the financial resources of the “1%” and/or other effects. But we’re not looking only for big-ticket anti-patterns; presumably there are scores of smaller ones that help enable the truly catastrophic ones. The aim was not to create a comic book filled only with one-dimensional villains, but rather it was to create a set of patterns that were often morally dubious but realistic. The thought was that the more realistic and detailed our analysis / portrayal was, the easier it would be to develop a set of anti-anti-patterns (traditional patterns) that is designed to help counter the anti-patterns. Many of these patterns are enacted consciously, with someone deciding to enact them, but many more are carried out either without thought to the consequence or the collective impact — no one really sees the big picture until it is too late. This is the value that became clear when we were developing the anti-patterns. It shines a light on the process that is happening and once it is fully illuminated it is difficult to not see it everywhere. These are Anti-Patterns in that they are the opposite of what we would like people to do. They are, in many ways, the opposite of the Civic Intelligence patterns that we became familiar with during the earlier part of our school year in 2012-2013. Our hope is that when one reads about these patterns and understands how they work, others will not want to replicate them. We hope that others see the undesirable effects that we have worked hard to outline and expose in our own way. Patterns and Anti Patterns Christopher Alexander claimed (somewhat tongue in cheek) that a competing pattern language, that included patterns such as Long and Narrow, Daylight at One End Only, Fluorescent Lights at 10 Foot Centers, Flat Concrete Wall, and Plywood Wall Surface, was used in the design of his original office in Berkeley, California (Alexander 1979). We examine some of these criticisms, including some of Alexander’s own, later in this chapter after examining the concepts in a bit more detail and discovering what people working in other domains have done with them. Schuler also briefly entertained this theme in his pattern language book (2008) and suggested facetiously that patterns such as Social Darwinism, God Likes Us Best, Technophilia, Proprietary Protocols, Media Monopoly, Conventional Wisdom, Idolatry of Power, Ignore the Unpleasant, Just Turn It Off, Blame the Victim, and Servile Journalism were already


in everyday use. Both Alexander and Schuler presented, not too seriously, a somewhat random collection of observations of phenomena that they disapproved of. For several reasons, these are not patterns in Alexander’s original sense, nor, of course does either set constitute a pattern language. These facts do not, however, imply that anti-patterns can’t be “real” patterns or that a set of anti-patterns can’t be a “real” pattern language. We claim, in fact, that both conclusions are justified. The point here is not to focus on the question of whether our draft set of anti-patterns is a real pattern language. We do note that the anti-patterns we’ve identified are, unfortunately, timeless. While they represent phenomena that we do not endorse; rather actively and explicitly decry, the phenomena they describe occurs over and over again throughout history and across cultures, and may, in fact, be closer to being “timeless” than the patterns presented by Alexander et al in the seminar pattern language book. Moreover, although our current version is still a draft in our view, we do believe that we’ve made a good attempt at covering a significant and broad area. Also, since this is a pattern language project, we are not developing a random set of patterns, but — hopefully — a coherent set of well-thoughtout patterns that are strongly linked to each other, mutually generative and constitute a holistic language. Process One of the first decisions we made collectively after our initial decision to launch the project was developing a set of descriptors that we used for each pattern. These descriptors were: Description, How it Works, Evidence, Linked Patterns, and References. They deviated from the original pattern language prototype made by Alexander (Alexander et al, 1979) however, we conjectured that these would better serve our purposes The How it Works and Evidence descriptors, as an example, would be particularly useful in the design of interventions. (Note that the descriptors are used in the full pattern write-ups but not in the card verbiage shown in the Appendix.) To create a first draft of this language within the 10-week quarter, we went through a process that proceeded incrementally according to the demands of the project at the time. We generated lots of possible patterns, convened small and large discussions, contributed to the project Wiki, added

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descriptive images from the public domain, and, finally, arranged, grouped, and categorized the anti-patterns. Ultimately we identified three fundamental anti-patterns, Civic Ignorance, Violence, and Environmental Degradation, and over 30 others, which we arranged roughly from biggest to smallest, similarly to both of our model pattern languages. We started by generating a large list of anti-patterns in several group brainstorm sessions. This list was whittled down over the course of the next couple of weeks in seminar groups and much discussion. To get the initial list of approximation of one hundred patterns we voted for our top ten patterns and kept the 35 most popular as the first set. The patterns that made it ran the gambit from more serious issues such as Racism and Societal Apathy, humorous titles like Weapons of Mass Distraction and more subtle issues such as Focus on Deficiencies and Mock Public Space. This first set of patterns was placed on the Evergreen State College Wiki site. Each pattern was given a wiki page so that students could work collaboratively on each pattern and see the changes instantly. We found that a Wiki was perfect for this type of collaborative project, as each contributor could see their work instantly reflected on the site in that clean and familiar wiki style. Changes could be easily tracked and entire sections rolled back in case of any mistakes. We were also able to watch the work grow in real time. Although we developed a single anti-pattern language we often worked individually and in small groups. Each group would try to identify approaches that work best for them — and for the larger group. The whole group also got together several times during the quarter to help ensure that there was broad coverage and that there wasn’t duplication of effort. It turned out that one group sometimes developed patterns based on suggestions from another group. Also, certain students were better at different tasks like finding research, others better at writing or brainstorming, and others were better at layout and design or in editing and forming the wiki. By encouraging collaboration and sharing of knowledge we were able to better utilize the strengths of the group to create something that would have been difficult for a small group of students working on their own. To further encourage and utilize the collective intelligence of the group, two students were assigned to each anti-pattern we selected and each anti-pattern was worked on by a different set of students so the same two students were not assigned more than one anti-pattern.

Each pattern was illustrated with at least one graphic, photograph, or illustration that was representative of the pattern (and others to illustrate other aspects of the pattern as desired). All graphics that we used in the project were public domain, open source, and/or an appropriate creative commons license that allows free publishing. The use of public domain photos was very helpful, due to our limited time on the project, but it could sometimes result in a very long process to find a suitable photograph or illustration for our needs. Since this is a pattern language project, we set out, not in developing a random set of patterns, but — hopefully — a coherent set of well thought out patterns that are mutually generative and constitute a holistic language. To that end, we decided to group the patterns by their place and their use within the social landscape. These groups were Cultural, Societal, Institutional, Tactics, Media, and Results. The final overarching group was the group that we thought belonged at the top of the pyramid (so to speak). This final group was called Fundamental Evils, and it contained the three most general anti-patterns of our project: Civic Ignorance, Violence, and Environmental Degradation. We were always aiming for quality but given the time constraints, not necessarily completeness of individual patterns. We were, however, looking for broad coverage of patterns. This might mean that additional anti-patterns were identified by name but not yet fleshed out because of time constraints. These patterns were cataloged on the wiki for reference and so that they can be looked at and selected for future addition to the pattern language. Patterns need to be reasonably generic, timeless, logical, and supported by evidence. Patterns also have an established structure: title, introductory graphic, problem, context, discussion, diagram, and solution. Ours don’t need to have each one of these explicitly, but they should contain at least hints of all of them. And we are likely to have the notion of a full pattern language as well as pattern cards, which contain only sketches. The first draft of the project was completed on the last day of spring quarter, approximately 10 weeks after it started. The fact that a workable pattern language was created collaboratively over a 10-week period is a testament to the pattern/ pattern language form.

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In the following quarter (Fall, 2013), Justin Wagaman, with help from colleagues, developed a short description for each anti-pattern and a suitable descriptive image in the public domain. The text and images were packed into physical cards that were presented at the PUARL conference in 2013. The cards are available without cost online and we are integrating them into a collaborative pattern language project this quarter (winter 2014).

Figure 1. Developers of Restraining Voices Pattern Language The Restraining Voices Pattern Language The current version of the language contains 36 patterns. The first pattern, Civic Ignorance, is the most general, while the others are increasingly more specific. Here we discuss the major categories we used and a few patterns. Abbreviated versions of each have been included in the appendix to this paper. The first category, Fundamental Evils, contains the three patterns that we believe are fundamental to oppressive behaviors. This category contains the patterns Civic Ignorance, Violence and Environmental Degradation. The second category, Cultural Ignorance, contains patterns that we believe describe culturally produced ignorance. This category contains patterns such as Consumerism, Semantic Manipulation, Fundamentalism, and Distorting History, which describes how historical records can be altered by teaching events that did not happen, altering events that did happen, or omitting events altogether. The third category, Societal Philosophy, contains the patterns that we believe represent societal philosophy. This includes patterns such as Denialism, Eye for an Eye – Retribution, and Social Darwinism, which asserts that the idea of social inequality is natural and that society shouldn’t feel responsible for taking care of less fortunate people. The fourth category, Institutional Philosophy, contains the patterns that we believe institutionalize negative philosophies. This category contains patterns such as Assembly Line Education, Mock Public Space, Sustaining World Hunger, Profit-motivated Health Care and Criminalizing Poverty, which asserts that poverty can be one of the most dangerous


things to the stability of a society and that poor people must be punished for the danger they cause. The fifth category, Tactics, contains the patterns that describe actions that can be taken by power elites (and others) to maintain negative social interactions. This category contains the patterns Silenced Voices, Focus on Deficiencies, Activism Delegitimization and Fear Mongering. The Focus on Deficiencies pattern suggests that the way to look at a community (or other things) is to focus on its deficiencies, not its assets. The sixth category, Media, contains the patterns that we believe characterize the negative roles that the media can play. This category is made up of patterns such as Media Monopolies, “Balance” Deception, Advertising-Funded Media and Weapons of Mass Distraction. The Weapons of Mass Distraction pattern suggests that societal distractions can be naturally occurring or manufactured in such a way as to distract people and subvert their attention away from social and civic issues of public concern. We assert that if properly occupied by such distractions, public attention diverted away from issues of importance to more trivial matters. The seventh and final category, Results, contains the patterns that we believe represent the results or byproducts of civic ignorance. Note that each of these is also a pattern in that these tend to act as ongoing social determinants. This category contains the patterns Dehumanization, Racism, Xenophobia, Unacknowledged Privilege, and Societal Apathy. The Societal Apathy pattern asserts that a socially apathetic society will lack the civic intelligence to overcome adversities it might face.

Figure 2. First cards in Liberating Voices and in Restraining Voices Pattern Languages Interventions The identification of an anti-pattern is a type of declaration or assertion. In a general way, the developers of the antipatterns are stating that these and the language that contains them are bad. While not unequivocally evil (or, more practically, measurable or otherwise easily precisely defined) they are asserted to represent powerful social forces that are generally destructive and, hence, implicitly (at least) should be resisted. While we believe that the development of the

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anti-pattern language was a significant step, its usefulness would be best demonstrated if and when it helps inform the development of resistance to the anti-patterns. To that end we have begun thinking about the next phase — again in an educational environment and context — and we can offer some preliminary observations here. We are using the idea of interventions as a way to explore the existing and potential forms that this resistance could take. Interventions in this context are responses to social processes that are deemed to be undesirable. Interventions are intended to block or otherwise deflect or dilute the processes described by the anti-patterns, to force detours from the courses that would have been taken had it been allowed to function in their customary operational fashion.

in positive social and environmental change. Each pattern represents a variety of interrelated research chores and hypotheses. The structure we’ve adopted includes a “how it works” field (mechanisms) and an “evidence” field, both of which challenge us to support our claim that we’ve successfully identified significant anti-patterns. Because each pattern in the set (or language) contains links to other patterns, a complex set of hypotheses is created. The key to developing successful interventions may lie in analysis; careful inquiry as to the systemic linkages of the anti-patterns at all levels.

Figure 3. Network of Links between anti-patterns There two phenomena that are commonly identified as interventions (at least in the United States). The first, military intervention, is an armed response to a coup or other event. The second intervention is closer to home. An intervention is an action that is enacted by friends and family members (often with assistance from professional social workers or clergy members) to confront a loved one through a dramatic show of opposition to that person’s destructive behavior, generally involving alcohol or other addictive drugs. The two examples above, however, have implications that get in the way of the way we need to view interventions. Both suggest that interventions are events rather than ongoing processes. They also suggest that interventions focus on one level of engagement, not on several simultaneously, nor are they coordinated with others. Finally, the canonical examples above also prevent us from realizing that interventions are ubiquitous and that they are therefore more-or-less commonplace. Taking an aspirin for a headache is an everyday intervention. Education is an intervention against ignorance and a soup kitchen is an intervention against starvation or disease. Interventions are not merely disruptions. Interventions in the general sense (a meaning that we’d like to preserve) are calculated responses based on study and analysis. Although the processes described in our anti-patterns are, unfortunately, “eternal” — as are the set of sustained, diverse, and often lost-to-history counter-processes, “interventions” and other responses to the anti-patterns — we don’t believe that they’re inevitable or permanent, at least at their current levels. We believe that focusing on the anti-patterns and the subsequent development of interventions can result

The current set of links between the anti-patterns is presented above. The mechanisms described in each of the linked patterns should feed into each other. A mismatch of the mechanisms could suggest that the anti-patterns are not linked. Finally, while we have not spent much time directly considering this, the interplay between the patterns and the anti-patterns that we’re engaged with, is a strongly dialectic process, which we hope will help in productive thinking and acting in relation to social engagement. Research and Pedagogy Our anti pattern project is still in an early stage. Nevertheless, we’ve identified several important benefits and virtues that we believe are important, specifically in terms in research and practice around social understanding and social change, but also in terms of pedagogy, which we believe to represent a promising line in education. At a very general level, we could say that we were learning social science by doing it, not solely by studying the results of others. Unfortunately, efforts like these run counter to the major contemporary currents in education. Some of these major current, in fact, such as Assembly Line Education have been identified as anti-patterns. As has been asserted previously (Schuler, 2010), the pattern language structure is particularly well-structured for promoting wide-ranging explorations and representing complex circumstances. The “forcing function” nature of the structure (the problem / solution relationship, e.g.) helps people

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generate multiple hypotheses to be examined and tested. This extends to the development of interventions which we believe are key to the value of this project. This approach allows students to devise their own research path that allows more freedom than the more structured and codified approaches do not allow. Pursued diligently using the built-in dictates of the pattern / pattern language approach, and with appropriate faculty guidance this approach is not less rigorous (or scientific) than traditional approaches. The rigor here is forced upon us because each anti-pattern is, in essence, a hypothesis, and the evidence and the mechanisms need to be identified in order for it to be legitimate. Beyond the individual pattern, the pattern language, the network of interrelations among patterns presents another wide set of questions to be addressed through research and inquiry. We’re still trying to figure out why this is exciting — and what are the pedagogical implications? Some of the possible reasons include obtaining satisfactory results in a very short period of time. And, the quick assembly coupled with the perceived magnitude of the findings and the somewhat unexpected coming together of the project from seemingly disconnected efforts may also have contributed. Also, finally, the incongruously liberatory nature of actually naming names and pulling back the curtain on social ills was also satisfying. As a matter of fact, engaging people in a dialectic “game” which does not necessarily lead down the professor’s preferred garden path, is likely to be more inspiring, more open to insight and team learning, more likely to inspire a love of learning and self-efficacy in that direction, and, in general, more appropriate for people who find themselves existing in the “real” (i.e. non-academic) world. There are other interesting research questions that this project has helped surface. For example, is it easier to identify anti-patterns than the traditional patterns put forward by Alexander et al (1978)? This makes intuitive sense because the “solutions” to the anti-patterns have apparently not been wholly successful. This also suggests in an indirect way that the “solutions” — the patterns in the APL sense — aren’t as readily discoverable. They may also be too numerous to list because there is unlikely to be one grand scheme that erases the problems. Also, because many of the problems in this realm have persisted so long, it may be the case that they are truly timeless.


Next Steps We are continuing to work on this pattern language. Our hope is that it will grow into a more detailed and more complete set of patterns that describe many of the possible missteps and undesirable outcomes of the anti-patterns. At this time we are beginning three main activities: (1) refining the first draft; (2) exploring and designing uses, especially those related to interventions; and (3) using the new pattern language in a variety of ways. We are relatively pleased with our current product (the draft anti-pattern language and a set of anti-pattern cards) and believe that we have sketched a broad portrait for many of the timeless patterns that perpetuate unhealthy dominance over people and the natural environment. But although we were quite happy with the initial result that had developed so quickly and somewhat effortlessly, it could easily be argued that the “real work” is now beginning. An important part of this work includes a systematic probe of each anti-pattern as well as a check on the validity of the set of anti-patterns as a pattern language. And each set of validation tests, as well as the processes to redress any shortcomings, are different for each focus. Other interesting roles have been advanced, many related to our 2012 paper (Schuler et al). These include leveraging the potential for interaction in the online environment in many ways including annotation. We are also interested in using them in games or workshops, and to counterpoise them with the Liberating Voices patterns to see how the two can help inform each other. Along similar lines, my students and I have just initiated (winter quarter 2014) a somewhat open-ended process to develop 7-20 pattern languages (first drafts, that is) in a variety of domains, primarily of the student’s choosing. The themes of community health, gardening, native education, bliss and eight others have been proposed so far. Although it’s too early to say anything definitive, we intend to integrate the anti-patterns into the project, probably by incorporating them into the problem statements. We also intend to explore how the various pattern languages can be connected, possibly into one knowledge complex that may or may not ultimately take the form of a traditional pattern language. Even if our pattern language was more developed, the work wouldn’t stop there. The idea is not to sit on the sidelines and watch the anti-patterns continue their inexorable reiteration

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of violence and oppression as if life on earth was a movie. The anti-pattern work and the interventions that we hope to identify will need to connect to key efforts in other sectors including political and social engagement, policy development, media access, and the built environment. To some degree, the set of anti-patterns we’ve developed could provide inspiration and support — if not the backbone — for a broad participatory project. References Alexander, C. et al, (1978). A Pattern Language Schuler, D. (2008). Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution Schuler, D., Gillgren, K., and O’Neil, M. (2012). Pattern Workshops and Pattern Games Generating Civic Intelligence with the Liberating Voices Pattern Language. In Generative Process, Patterns, and the Urban Challenge, edited by Hans Hoachim Neis, Gabriel Brown, Jens Martin Gurr, and J. Alexander Schmidt. Wagaman, J. et al. (2013) Restraining Voices Pattern Cards; http://publicsphereproject.org/sites/default/files/anti-patterns.ALL_.reducedres_0.pdf Acknowledgements We want to thank all of the students in the program, including Adam Selon in particular for suggesting the original idea and for playing key roles in the anti-pattern development. We also want to acknowledge The Evergreen State College with its focus on integrating theory and practice that provided — and continues to provide — a fertile environment for our explorations into civic intelligence. Appendix — The Anti-Pattern Cards As part of our work with the anti-patterns we developed a set of pattern cards. These are physical cards that contain an image and an abbreviated version of the card. They are available for free download. Civic Ignorance Civic ignorance describes how well a group or person ignores the civic ideas, problems, or solutions of those surrounding them. The need to solve problems intelligently and taking account of all solutions is cast away in favor of the quick, the easy, and the brutal. Maybe the problem will just go away? Critics of this should be marginalized, ignored or otherwise disabled or destroyed.

Much can be achieved through dominance and submission by using violence. If the subject cannot be subdued psychologically through fear, then injury can be inflicted. If injury is not enough, then the subject can ultimately be eliminated by murder. This is ultimately the underlying threat of violence. Environmental Degradation The natural environment; including but not limited to soil, water, air, flora, and fauna, has a natural balance. Through pollution, over usage, and lack of stewardship, the balance is broken causing the natural networks that sustain life on this planet to suffer. Consumerism Quality of life is ultimately measured by on the acquisition and display of material goods. At the heart of consumerism is the thought that the “good life” can be purchased. Consumerism also contains a set of standards through which people can be judged based on material wealth. Semantic Manipulation Certain words, phrases, or ideas become taboo in societies due to their negative definitions. When these definitions prevent governments or corporations from their goals, they may sidestep the problem by redefining words to manipulate the public into accepting something they otherwise would not accept. Fundamentalism Fundamentalism is a term for a range of rigid and extreme beliefs. Fundamentalism is found all over the world. It’s often religious when one group’s gods and laws are absolutely true and all others are absolutely false. Some typical characteristics are: exclusionism, strict adherence to certain doctrines, an acceptance of violence, xenophobia, and a belief in the end of the world. Fundamentalism — and not just the religious kind — is fundamental for perpetuating worldwide turmoil. Compartmentalized Knowledge Knowledge is effectively compartmentalized (or put into “compartments”) when different people not only have access to certain types of knowledge but are actually denied formally or via social norms or personal preferences from going beyond their allowable sphere. Academics often do this to draw boundaries around their own disciplines, thus preventing perceived encroachment and interdisciplinary research.


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Distorting History The historical record can be altered by teaching events that did not happen, altering events that did happen, or omitting events altogether. Over time, knowledge of the truth will die with those witnessed it, and the alternate version will be universally accepted as true. Dumbing Down The general population cannot understand complex issues and may even be confused into conflict by certain controversial topics. This can be avoided if topics are dumbed down into easily understood emotionally charged debates that cannot be easily argued with. Forbidden Knowledge This is the industrial strength version of Compartmentalization of Knowledge anti-pattern. This occurs when knowing or pursuing some knowledge is actually denied to a certain group of people under the threat of penalty, as when the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) being told they can’t study guns as a “Public health issue.” Opacity Sometimes information is kept secret from citizens. This is useful when hiding corruption, money laundering, vote buying, tax evasion, etc. With Opacity in place, over the years elite business and governments can distance themselves further and further away from any controls on them. Hidden Agendas Society expects its leaders to keep their agendas transparent and in line with the agenda of the groups they represent, however, this is rarely the case. Those in power often have agendas that aren’t in line with the public’s expectations of them, and for this reason they may choose to keep these agendas hidden. Corruption and Fraud Corruption and fraud are, in this context, when an entity in power does things that are dishonest or contrary to commonly accepted ethics and laws. This generally involves bribes or intimidation behind the scene. Profit and power are usually the driving force behind such actions. Go figure. Social Darwinism Some people are just weaker than others and have less power or opportunity to take power. The idea of Social Darwinism is that it is natural that these people fail, and that society


shouldn’t feel responsible for taking care of these people. Basically, it’s a dog eat dog world. Denialism This is the adherence to certain beliefs proven to be untrue – or refusing to accept as truth something that has been proven to be true. Denialism can be motivated by religious beliefs, self-interest, or as a defense mechanism out of fear or discomfort. Inculcating knee-jerk distrust for particular people or groups is often a useful part of denialism. Eye for an Eye — Retribution This anti-pattern stipulates equivalent exchange by way of exact behavior. This is the idea that, “doing unto others the same as has been done unto you,” is the true balance of justice. This approach, diligently adhered to, motivates a perpetual cycle of violence; Thus the quote attributed to Gandhi: “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Cultural imperialism This is the way in which powerful cultures present their culture as the most acceptable lifestyle, and condemn the cultural practices of others. Some cultural nuances are acceptable, but if it contradicts the values of the dominant culture, those ideals must be eliminated. Ultra-nationalism This is the belief that your country of choice is bar none, hands down, the best country in the world. No other country comes close and your countries interests are more important that all other countries interests...combined. Without the violence and intimidation that accompanies this antipattern, the people and groups who employ would seem a lot more humorous. Education, Inc. The Privatization of education helps reverse the idea of high quality free education that potentially undergirds a truly democratic way of life. Privatizing education can reinforce the division of society into haves and have-nots. It can support elite instruction on the the one hand and cheap, possibly online training on the other augmented of course with a non-stop barrage of standardized testing. It can erode the role of dedicated teachers and substitute with business goals and software. Criminalizing Poverty Poverty can be one of the most dangerous things to the sta-

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bility of a society. It is especially dangerous to those in power if poverty is viewed as being a failure of the system. If the poverty stricken are viewed as being personally responsible for their state however, then it is seen as their fault and not those in positions of power. Assembly Line Education This method of educating students was invented during the industrial revolution, when the main goal of public education was to move children through a school system to become “cogs” in the machine of society. Although that time has passed, our main system of education has not. Standardized testing is a big help here since it removes the particular circumstances of the students and promotes teaching to the test. This kind of education is cheap, if nothing else. Mock Public Space Mock public space is generally physical or virtual “community” space that people perceive as “public” but in reality disallow many aspects of “public-ness” that are important to democracies; free speech for one. A privately owned socialmedia website, or a mall would both be examples of this pattern. Professional Obfuscation The complexities of the world often make reasoning about it very difficult. In many public deliberations it can be useful if this situation remains impenetrable and unsettled. Spreading false information, campaigning to hide the truth, and arguing against the validity of certain studies can all be forms of this pattern. Public relations corporations are available to do this work — if the client has the necessary funds. One of the best cases of this is the case of the cigarette industry in the United States. Sustaining World Hunger Due to factors like poverty, displacement of resources, and environmental degradation many in the world go hungry every day. One of the largest factors may well be that food is viewed as a commodity to be purchased and sold, and not a human right. In this way “the market” is responsible, not individuals, corporations, or the world community. Profit-motivated Health Care Pharmaceutical and health insurance companies profit off of disease and injury, and so it is in their fiscal interest to keep patients ill and/or injured. Band-aid “solutions” and expensive procedures target symptoms, instead than causes

of diseases in this pattern. Health through prevention should be studiously avoided as it leads to “prevention” in profits as well. Monopoly Monopolies exist when one institution (or a small number of institutions) control all access to something, generally a commodity, information, or a service. In the absence of external controls, the monopolist institution can (and almost inevitably does) make up the rules all by themselves, and rarely to the benefit of the many. Silenced Voices Words are powerful, and the stories they make can topple governments. The voices of the oppressed can sometimes carry an emotional appeal so strong that organizations and governments will actively censor them to maintain the status quo. Some voices must be silenced to maintain “law and order.” This rationale for silencing some voices — violently in many cases — has stood the test of time as it offers a defensible excuse for tacit compliance. Fear Mongering Fear is a very big motivator, perhaps one of the biggest motivators for human behavior. Since it is such an effective motivator it is often used to influence entire societies toward specific ends. When people are stifled with fear they think less clearly and can become easier to manipulate and control. Focus on Deficiencies This pattern suggests that the way that people in dominant positions look at a community, school, country, etc. is to focus on its deficiencies; what’s broken or dysfunctional. Thus, one can “diagnose” a community for its “diseases” such as crime, drug use, broken families, or “loose morals.” Activism Delegitimization Dissenters, especially those who are active in their dissent can be delegitimized in order to take away their ability to be taken seriously by the public. This is very effective when done thru mass media outlets. One very effective form of delegitimization is ridicule because it spreads easily and avoids actually examining the situation. Media Monopolies If most major media outlets are controlled by a small number of corporations probusiness perspectives and propaganda that aligns with the special interests of those corporations

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can dominate the public conversation. Information that challenges or opposes those interests can be ignored or delegitimized. Rapid progress has been made: just 40 years ago over 80 companies controlled a large percentage of the information that Americans saw, now that number is down to five. “Balance” Deception A journalistic practice whereby one side will be presented and then, with equal time allotment, the “other side” will be presented. This pattern can be very effective at obscuring the issue; leading to a situation where it appears that there are two equally credible ways to view an issue, when in fact there may not be. Currently this is being used to suggest that the phenomenon is not established scientific fact. Advertising-Funded Media This pattern presents the system wherein media stations are primarily funded by selling advertising time to others. This time is often very expensive and favors large companies. This creates a system in which the media answers not to the public, but to the companies that are paying for the advertising time.

An “Us and Them” mentality that leads to extreme prejudices against a group of people. News coverage often subtly encourages xenophobic beliefs for hidden political agendas. This is a common tool used during times of war or in the marketing of war. Societal Apathy Societal Apathy is a collective indifference toward issues of concern. A society that is socially apathetic towards its own sense of purpose might lack the civic intelligence to overcome adversities it encounters. Another form is directed outward upon groups of people so as to ignore their situation by seeing the troubles that they face as eternal, unchangeable, and ultimately not worth thinking about. Unacknowledged Privilege Although privilege is rampant in virtually any society, it’s generally the best-kept nonsecret. Suggesting that others have it suggests that you are just unhappy you don’t have it. Acknowledging it in yourself suggests that you don’t really deserve the position you’re in. Unacknowledged privilege can not only help you into areas that you might not be otherwise qualified for, but can buy you out of negative consequences that you might otherwise have to face.

Weapons of Mass Distraction Societal distractions can be naturally occurring or manufactured in such a way as to distract people and subvert their attention away from social and civic issues of public concern. If properly occupied by such distractions, public outcry can be better controlled and their attention diverted to issues of unimportance such as the private lives of movie stars. Dehumanization Dehumanization works by portraying subsets of people who aren’t in line with the goals of the state as less than human. This representation will eventually permeate the minds of the population. As the public adopts this attitude, they can eventually view the target peoples as less than human. Racism Racism is the overt and covert, conscious and subconscious, belief that people of different ethnicities have less intrinsic worth than others. The belief that certain ethnicities are inferior or superior can become internalized and expressed subtly through actions or words that demean or dehumanize others. Xenophobia


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a completely custom, site-specific, harmonious gate (fig. 8). At the meeting, we produced business plans and proposals for moving forward. But there were problems. First, the relationship between our goals and those of the existing Software Patterns movement were tenuous, and in many ways antagonistic. Sun was about to make patterns into a major product: the frameworks for Java. We didn’t want to suggest support for this. Second, there was a growing, intoxicated excitement about the web. Everything was changing. The bubble that would pop three years later was expanding at an accelerating rate. So nobody could focus on our subtleties regarding nature and people. So, it did not work out. Over the next few years, I wrote proposals for Gatemaker as a web service, with no industry interest. At CES we built useful websites, but nothing with Gatemaker’s ambition. In retrospect, the possibilities for industry support were illusory, like much of the idealism of the first dotcom boom. The only way to really make progress, is to take these ideas to the people.

So, was Gatemaker used to build a gate?

Olga Volchkova is a talented artist that Christopher Alexander and I met in the Bay Area during the dotcom boom. She needed to build a gate, and wanted to try this ‘Gatemaker’ we talked about so much. This was no normal test. It’s important to mention that she is thoroughly, classically trained -- in proportion, observation, technique and process – with vast experience. She found Gatemaker’s sketching tools a bit primitive, but she worked through its 17 steps, and simply memorized them, so she could follow them in her mind, while using normal art supplies. She printed a site-photo onto paper (fig. 6), and sketched through the sequence again (fig. 7). Marty Jones, a talented Berkeley carpenter and rock musician, agreed to build it, even knowing we only had Olga’s sketch, a sequence, and feeling, to determine the exact measurements during construction. Since the sketch was sequence-based, and we had the sequence itself, this was a breeze. Marty created mechanisms for each step so we could make small adjustments, to be harmonious to the actual site during each step of construction. We would rough-out Olga’s clear response to each step, and then micro-adjust for feeling. With surprising speed, we built

Olga agreed with Alexander that the unfolding process in Gatemaker was very like sequences in traditional craft, and more generally in painting and sculpture. She’s also a trained restorer, and owns books of detailed sequences from the great Soviet restorer and painter Igor Grabar. Although meant for practitioners, shouldn’t those sequences be published? Alexander once told me: “a good sequence is as valuable as gold.” I’m thinking of the public good. Olga felt publishing would be a very weird idea. She said the sequences are important, but almost useless by themselves. It takes training, by someone already trained, to fully understand them. How else could someone even recognize specific situations? How could they know how to do the right thing? This goes back to the basic problem of quality, and the need for a culture of support. Peter Gabriel knew he needing training, assistance, media, information -- anything to help with self-education. He was familiar with real-world artistic endeavors, and knew that he didn’t know enough. It’s interesting that seasoned artists like Peter Gabriel and Olga Volchkova could treat Gatemaker as a tool for real work, but computer people couldn’t.

The ‘Same’ Sequence After the training needed to use this sequence successfully, the ‘same’ sequence can be used for almost anything. Olga used it for trellises and buildings. I used it for several features in a dancehall, and for the first mobile device interfaces. I only need to substitute context, using gate and fence centers as metaphors for the other emerging centers. After a while, you can always see the proper scale of the next step that will improve the life in something.

Epilogue “Bill Joy, at our meeting with John Gage and Greg Bryant (October 1996) stated his hope for a creative process, within

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the computer environment, that is more humane, and more like real creation than what is currently possible ...”

“None of the computer scientists present at the Aspen meeting fully grasped, I think, that the requirements of … a more deeply intuitive computer environment – necessarily imply that the resulting changes are likely to be suspicious-looking, disturbing, even offensive at first to the trained computer eye.” -- Christopher Alexander, April 1997

The Future On the computing side, I’m trying to initiate two things: 1. A human-interaction-first toolset, that treats programmers like human beings.

2. A related study of the cognitive faculties recruited by people who program, to create a better foundation for computing, and tools that can help programmers to pull away from the total domination of formalism.

In the built environment, I’m continuing to pursue neighborhood revitalization tools, based on my own community organizing. The next experiment will soon be available on Urbanology.com, and I’ll present a paper on this at the next PUARL conference. Urbanology.com will also contain a carefully-reconstructed web version of Gatemaker. Most of my writing on this subject is published at RainMagazine.com, along with videos of Gatemaker in action, and videos of Alexander on related topics. A contemporary account, along with some documents, may be found at Gatemaker.org.


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The Tower of Babel as an expression of an unfulfilled dream-like promise and the process of building; Illustration by Abel Grimmer


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Critical Comments and Outlook by Hajo Neis

The Conference The PUARL International Conference is conducted every two years at the University of Oregon Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory and the White Stag Building in Downtown Portland. Whenever the same organization is planning and preparing annual or biennial conferences, one issue certainly is the question of continuity, connectivity, and contents of conference themes. A comment on the initial and very first conference in 2009 might be helpful in understanding emphasis, progress, and direction for the first conference but also detecting, change and modification for this second biennial conference in 2011. At the end of the previous International PUARL conference in 2009 with the title ‘Current Challenges for Patterns, Pattern Languages, and Sustainability,’ it was most remarkable to recognize that this event marked the first symposium/conference in many years or even decades since the publication of the influential book A Pattern Language, where pattern language scholars and practitioners from the fields of architecture, urban design and planning came together to discuss new developments in this area of investigation and practice. Of course, during the long time period from about 1980-2010, there were numerous pattern language presentations connected to general and specific architecture conferences and symposia, and there were a large number of meetings on the pattern topic development in other disciplines, especially computer science as we know, but there was no single national or international meeting dedicated exclusively to patterns in architecture, urban design, and planning. The amazing fact remains that the PUARL conference in 2009 was the first of its kind in what even may be considered by some as a pattern revival or even reunion conference.1 At the heart of this first conference was the celebration of the original pattern language authors with the award of the PUARL Prize. Following the successful First International PUARL Symposium in the Fall of 2009 with the authors of the seminal book A Pattern Language at the center of attention, the

Second International PUARL Conference 2011 centered again around topics of the overall pattern language approach, but also exploring the boundaries of the field with new concepts and expanding into other disciplines and fields of enquiry including an exciting array of national and international speakers and participants.2 With this second PUARL Conference we wanted to continue to provide a platform for discussion, research and project initiatives in this field of enquiry and practice for creating a living world. For the second conference in 2011 the question was how to continue to explore new principles, concepts, methods and techniques within the general area of the overall pattern language approach, and at the same time, respond to contemporary theoretical and practical problems in this area of investigation including the tackling of real practical urban problems and projects in the ever more complex and expanding urban world. The decision to emphasize new concepts in the area of process and sequence, such as generative process, in addition to patterns and pattern languages, and to expand the presentation and investigation into a broader range of disciplines other than architecture and urban design, turned out to be rather successful. But it needs to be clearly stated here that this first attempt of exploring process and sequence was only a start of getting in to new concepts, methods and techniques of process for creating a living and balanced beautiful world. Recent work in this area of investigation is focusing on what is called ‘generative process, generative design, and generative (urban) codes,’ in which pattern languages form one kind of such a generative system or process. Consequently in our 2011 conference the emphasis was on the topic of generative process with an expanding participation and audience within architecture and architects but also connecting to a variety of other disciplines, such as social science, psychology, semiotics, language, art, music and computer science.3 Hence, the conference focused on advanced issues of generative process and pattern languages as well as current urban challenges that we are more and more faced with, such as the

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large world population increase with accompanying increase in urbanization and the growth of many more cities in the world with all the ensuing problems. The question was asked, what is needed in the world of architecture and urban design, planning and cities, and what can patterns and pattern languages as well as generative processes and design contribute to solving some of the world’s new urban problems.

Critical Comments In my introduction to the conference topics (published at the beginning of this book), I referred to three kinds of generative processes within the context of the overall pattern language approach. By the overall pattern language approach I am referring to the concepts, principles, methods and techniques that have been developed in this school of thought and practice, that is generally also referred to as the pattern language approach, but goes far beyond the singular principle of patterns and pattern languages.4 The three different kinds of generative processes within this overall approach are the following: 1. Patterns and Pattern Languages are the most well known applications in this field, and they can be considered the first kind of generative system or process.5 Patterns represent structure and process at the same time, and may be considered equally part of a system and part of a dynamic process. 2. System of Rules/Morphogenetic Sequences are considered the second kind of generative process. This generative process works with a dynamic set of rules that are organized and also applied in a sequential fashion.6 3. The generative (urban) code can be considered the third and more recent kind of generative process, experimented and worked with since the early 2000s. The generative code goes beyond architecture and urban design, and includes critical elements for the success of any ‘neighborhood project.’7 Here some critical comments are warranted: My biggest regret of the conference was that most of the presentations and discussions centered only around the first kind of generative process, which is the formation and application of patterns and pattern languages. I had imagined that the notion of generative process would also be discussed within the


second kind of generative framework of the system of rules and morphogenetic sequence approach, including the computer dominated parametric design, which is also categorized as generative design.8 But to my disappointment there was hardly any discussion about the second sequential and more dynamic model, where patterns play a minor or no role; and the third model of the urban code was hardly discussed at all. One could argue that the overall topic was missed altogether at least it was not fully explored and numerous critical and important advances in this field were not discussed.9 There was a definite feeling and tendency in this conference that we were almost exclusively focusing on patterns and pattern languages and not enough on advanced new ways of generative processes.10 The reason for this failure were several, but two stand out: First and ironically, the very positive expansion of the investigation into a number of different academic fields somehow emphasized the patterns because that is simply what most people are familiar with; it is also the element or method that connects all these different disciplines in an academic environment of investigation and academic projects including practical professional projects and products. The second reason is that even architects familiar with the overall pattern language approach were not familiar enough with the new developments of generative process. As a consequence it might be advisable to focus in our next conference on the topic of generative process by itself and less on patterns or not on patterns at all, possibly with an overall theme such as: ‘Generative Process and the Urban Challenge,’ or even more process oriented as ‘Generative Process, Structure Preserving Transformations, and the Building Process.’ Given the shortcomings on the discussion on advanced generative process, the three day conference was a definite success with regard to the theme of patterns and pattern languages, with more than fifty contributions, presentations and workshops, by national and international scholars from the US and abroad. With more than hundred participants, the conference was well frequented and accepted also by our students here in Portland at the University of Oregon, who contributed a pattern language exhibition of their current work to the conference. As part of a pattern language repository initiative, heavily discussed and emphasized by some of the Building Process Alliance members (BPA), the Portland students’ work will form the basis for a local pattern repository accessible at the PUARL website (puarl.uoregon.edu). This local repository can then be part of a larger repository that various scholars and practitioners are working on.

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Altogether the conference speaker roster embodied a balanced combination of internationally acclaimed academics and professionals as well as young and upcoming talent in the fields of architecture, urban design, planning, geography, sociology, psychology as well as urban literature. The conference featured academics and professionals from Europe, Asia, Latin America, Australia and the US, including Alexander Schmidt from Germany, David Week from Australia, Yodan Rofe from Israel, Karen Kho and Robert Walsh from the SF Bay Area, Doug Schuler and Ross Chapin from Washington, and Don Corner, Howard Davis, Jenny Young, and Philip Speranza from the University of Oregon. Starting with the PUARL keynote lecture by Professor Don Corner (The Roots of Deep Energy Retrofit), and continuing with a keynote contribution by Professor Wolfgang Stark from the University of Duisburg-Essen (Innovation & Improvisation Patterns for Organizations & Social Systems), a contribution by Professor Howard Davis (Resilient Urban Morphologies), as well as a lecture by Language Professor Jens Gurr (The ‘Cultural Dimension of Sustainability’ in Urban Systems), the conference was appropriately concluded with a keynote lecture by Professor Dieter Hassenpflug from the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany, with the title: “Another Language of Patterns: Semiotics of Chinese Urban Space.”

Future Outlook For the next conference in 2013 we do not only want to emphasize generative process and design but we also want to include what is called (re)generative process and design into the discussion. In my work with students on regenerative design, we focus on areas destroyed by natural disasters, war terrorism and human failures. This particular emphasis is derived directly from the work with generative process, and the opportunity and need to develop and apply processes of this kind in the ever world wide increasing areas of disaster of all kinds. But there is also another kind of approach to regenerative process that is being discussed in the area of sustainability. In her article on “Regenerative Design: Sustainable Design’s Coming Revolution,” Pamela Mang makes the point that “Over the last decade the concept of sustainability within design and construction has moved from virtual invisibility to an industry-wide dialogue in which the questions are more

and more how to achieve it, not whether.” And she continues: “One of these terms, Regenerative Design is the proposed design approach that best reflects the thinking that will shape the next phase of development within the field of sustainable design.”11 The next conference in two years Fall of 2013 is projected to possibly take place in the ‘Ruhr-Metropolis’ in Germany at the University of Duisburg-Essen. The potential theme for Essen is currently envisioned as ‘Generative Process, Urban Patterns and Urban Systems.’ Another location under consideration is San Francisco, at the University of San Francisco with the possible topic of ‘Generative Process, Structure Preserving Transformations and the Building Process.’ Portland as the home and origin of this series of conferences is always available for this biennial conference on the advancement of livable and living cities with the potential theme of ‘Generative and Regenerative Process in Urban Projects.’ A totally new perspective for a next conference topic was opened up with the recent inauguration of the Collaborative for Inclusive Urbanism (CIU) in March of 2012 in Eugene, Oregon. CIU first asks the question: What is an inclusive city? An inclusive city is described as a as a city “in which the process of development does not push out various citizens or activities, the detriment of the richness of interaction which is the source of the wealth-creative power of cities. The main working assumption is that inclusive cities are both: more affluent and more socially just.” (www.inclusiveurbanism.org 4-15-2012). A conference with the main topic of ‘Inclusive Urbanism’ could be relevant and attractive for many cities, including Essen in Germany, Portland and San Francisco in the US as well as Sydney in Australia, Ahmedabad in India and many other cities in the world. Dr. Hajo Neis, Associate Professor, Director of PUARL and organizer of the conference puarl.uoregon.edu www.patternlanguage.com www.livingneighborhoods.org www.Buildingprocess.org www.inclusiveurbanism.org

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Notes [1] Hajo Neis and Gabriel Brown (Eds). Current Challenges for Patterns, Pattern Languages, and the Urban Challenge. PUARL Press 2010 (Also available at LULU Press online: www.lulu.com).

language supporters do not really ask the question if the world wants and needs this method to the extent that they believe in. [11] Pamela Mang. “Regenerative Design: Sustainable Design’s Coming Revolution.”

[2] An introduction to the overall pattern language approach may be found in the four-volume book by Christopher Alexander. The Nature of Order. Oxford University Press, New York, 2001-04. In this overall approach patterns are limited to about 5-10% of the overall theoretical and practical work. [3] Here, the inclusion and presentations of parametric computer designs as part of generative architecture and urban design marked an important and worthwhile connection within the ever changing discipline of architecture itself. [4] As mentioned earlier, the current state of the overall pattern language approach may be best summarized in the four-volume book by Chris Alexander. The Nature of Order. Oxford University Press. New York, 2001-2004. In particular, Book 2 on ‘Process’ is relevant for the understanding of generative process. [5] Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, et.al. A Pattern Language. Oxford University Press, New York, 1977. [6] Christopher Alexander, Hajo Neis, Artemis Anninou and Ingrid King. A New Theory of Urban Design. Oxford University Press, NY, 1987. [7] For a discussion and understanding of the ‘Generative (Urban) Code’ please see: www.livingneighborhoods. org. [8]

Parametric as generative: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Generative_Design. www.rethinking-architecture. com/introduction-parametric-design,354/.

[9] Several key principles were not addressed such as the principle of structure-preserving and -enhancing transformations, integrated design and construction, structuring wholes, and the formation of centers and fields of centers, to name a few. [10] Fortunately part of the discussion on Pattern Language was appropriately critical. Howard Davis for example pointed out that pattern supporters value and appreciate this design method very highly as something they want to give to the world. At the same time pattern


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Special Thanks to: Collaborative for Inclusive Urbanism Building Process Alliance Center for Environmental Structure University of Oregon Academic Extension Frances Bronet Christine Theodoropoulos Kate Wagle Nancy Cheng Kirsten Poulsen-House Corey Smitke Doug Burzell Heather Hirschtritt Marc Becker Adrian Brown Andrea Matthews David Taylor Linda Smith Brian Orser & the students of puarl: Natalie Albright Claire Alyea Pedro Carbajal Maja Cunningham Hannah Feil Patrick Fisher Jodi Hanson Alexander Jackson Nadia Kasko Hali Knight Hudson Lasher Erika Malpaya

Patrick McAffrey Andrea Mohr Julian Potter Abraham Rodriguez Zach Rosato Brett Santhuff Emily Steen Arpad Takacs Shweta Thakur Jack Thomas Adam Wilson Fredrika Witt

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