...It is just this collective dynamics which makes possible the self-movement of the system, allowing a continuous change of the organism without disrupting its fundamental unity. This property is missing in nonliving systems which are fundamentally passive. The main actor of the time evolution of the organism is not the ensemble of molecules but the ensemble of their correlations.
...The system therefore enters into a state which in the physical jargon is termed “coherent state”. The energy of an ensemble of components in a coherent state is lower than the energy of the same ensemble in a noncoherent state, since the onset of coherence eliminates all the “useless” movements of components which give rise to the entropy of the system and concentrates the energy on a smaller number of degrees of freedom able to use this energy to produce external work ....
...Therefore, what keeps the molecular components correlated among them not in a pairwise way but in a truly collective many-body way is not the electromagnetic field whose production would demand energy but the electromagnetic potential whose appearance in a coherent system produces a net saving of energy
The history of city formation in Iran shows that the establishment of cities was based on topographic and geopolitics issues expressed in conformity with nature and climate intermingled with creativity.
Theory of Architecture Conference aims firstly to focus on reveal the historical and actual definition of creativity and to open such topics like aesthetical autonomy and functionality into discussion with reference to historic examples and (naturally) to the pure theoretical perspectives.
Research sheds light on how patterns form in bird feathers Enlarge. Feathers exhibit complex pigment patterns and can be a great model to learn how morphogenesis patterns stem cells into organized tissues.
Color patterns of bird plumage affect animal behavior and speciation. Diverse patterns are present in different species and within the individual. Here, we study the cellular and molecular basis of feather pigment pattern formation. Melanocyte progenitors are distributed as a horizontal ring in the proximal follicle, sending melanocytes vertically up into the epithelial cylinder which gradually emerges as feathers grow. Different pigment patterns form by modulating the presence, arrangement, or differentiation of melanocytes .
Telling the story of Fractal Geometry, till its usage in complexity theory, very nicely done.
For centuries, fractal-like irregular shapes were considered beyond the boundaries of mathematical understanding. Now, mathematicians have finally begun mapping this uncharted territory. Their remarkable findings are deepening our understanding of nature and stimulating a new wave of scientific, medical, and artistic innovation stretching from the ecology of the rain forest to fashion design. The documentary highlights a host of filmmakers, fashion designers, physicians, and researchers who are using fractal geometry to innovate and inspire.
In thinking about system design, it’s important to avoid the temptation to develop detailed top down blueprints for systems. Taleb observes that “if about everything top-down fragilizes and blocks antifragility and growth, everything bottom-up thrives under the right amount of stress and disorder.” Nevertheless, there are certain design principles that emerge from Taleb’s work that can help reduce the fragility of the systems we design.
Thanks to new observation technologies, powerful software, and statistical methods, the mechanics of collectives are being revealed.
Without obvious leaders or an overarching plan, this collective of the collective-obsessed is finding that the rules that produce majestic cohesion out of local jostling turn up in everything from neurons to human beings. Behavior that seems impossibly complex can have disarmingly simple foundations. And the rules may explain everything from how cancer spreads to how the brain works and how armadas of robot-driven cars might someday navigate highways. The way individuals work together may actually be more important than the way they work alone.
Leonardo On-Line is the web site of Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, which publishes with the MIT Press: Leonardo, Leonardo Music Journal, Leonardo Electronic Almanac.
Since the early 1980s, artist Hubert Duprat has been utilizing insects to construct some of his "sculptures." By removing caddis fly larvae from their natural habitat and providing them with precious materials,
Kant's distinction between works of art and those of nature leaves us in a quandary. The production of the artifact within nature herself poses a problem---even more so when an aesthetic aspect is involved. Whether the insect is a craftsperson or whether, more generally, nature is a creator of forms, the consideration, within nature, of an aesthetic dimension is the stumbling block of science.
One of the answers of contemporary biology to this problem involves the notion of teleonomy put forward by Jacques Monod:
All artefacts are the product of a living being, which thus, and in a particularly evident way, expresses one of the basic properties which characterize all living beings without exception---the property of being objects endowed with a project which they at once represent in their structures and accomplish by their performance (such as, for example, the creation of artifacts).
Monod,moreover, acknowledges that the teleonomic character of living beings is in contradiction with the objectivity of nature, and that this epistemological contradiction is the core problem of biology.
For current biology, the concept of teleonomy would replace both erstwhile finalism and Kantian teleological judgment. According to Henri Atlan,
Events and the future forms towards which the organism seems to head are in fact contained at the outset, in a coded way, in the nucleotide sequences of the DNAs of the genome.
Your activity as an artist, upsetting the ordinary ethology of the insect, seems to me to be the same thing as introducing a noise, complicating itsUmwelt and producing a response. In your diversion of the caddis worm's behavior, in your artistic manipulation, the effect is twofold. From a biological viewpoint, a random event triggers self-organization. From a human viewpoint, the experimenter's intent produces this effect. These two types of final cause-effects (time inversion) are combined in the in vitro experiment.
Is the caddis worm's precious case the work of the insect or the work of the artist? This is not the right question. The contradiction can be resolved by the differing viewpoints. According to the first view, the caddis worm owes nothing to the artist (who is simply the author of one noise among the thousands of other noises in its environment). According to the second view, the caddis worm is merely the executor of the artist's project. The artistic statement plays on the confusion of the two levels by overlaying the two perspectives. The aesthetic result (at once natural and artistic) turns the caddis worm's case---which is more than an assisted ready-made or a "diversion"---into a doubly exposed object, like a double exposure: a scientific-cum-artistic palimpsest.
Thom Mayne's Combinatory Urbanism: The Complex Behavior of Collective Form explores new directions and approaches to urban planning and design.
In our complex society traditional urban planning in form of a master plan is outdated as the growth of our cities can no longer be predicted and planned. Thom Mayne re-introduces strategic paradigms into urban planning that contain more than architecture. In his projects new approaches in urban planning can be found through an articulated architecture that considers more than form. The 10 projects compiled in the publication show how a mix of different thought approaches produce complex solutions for a complex society. Not one language, but a multiplicity of languages that anticipate future possibilities make his solutions concrete, yet open ended and fascinating
Growing beings and growing things, whether material or immaterial, accumulate mass or increase their spreading. Plants grow, black holes grow, a software program grows, economies grow, cities grow, patterns grow, a pile of sand grows, a text grows, the mind grows and even things like self-confidence and love are said to grow. On the other hand, we do not expect that things like cars or buildings “grow.”,...
Here in this piece we just would like to show some possibilities to enlarge the conceptual space and the vocabulary that we could use to describe (the) “growing” (of) things. We will take a special reference to architecture and urbanism, albeit the basics would apply to other fields as well, e.g. to the growth and the differentiation of organizations (as “management”) or social forms, but also of more or even “completely” immaterial entities. In some way, this power is even mandatory, if we are going to address the Urban, for the Urban definitely exceeds the realm of the empirical.
The remainder of this essay comprises the following sections:
Your grade ten math teacher probably wrote this several times on your tests: SIMPLIFY. And, for much of science, that’s part of the work: SIMPLIFY. The universe can be broken down into smaller and smaller chunks in an attempt to find its most basic level and functions. But what do you do when that doesn’t work? Complex systems that defy reduction are all around us, from the elaborate workings of an ant colony—which could never be predicted from the physiology of a single ant—to fluctuations in the financial system that can send ripples around the globe. When broken into their constituent pieces, examined and put back together, such systems do not behave as expected. The sum of the parts does not equal the whole
Interview to Raissa D’Souza by Graeme Stemp Morlock
"I firmly believe networks become more interdependent in time," says D’Souza. "We see the global economy becoming more interdependent. We see Facebook making everyone more interconnected. We’re relying increasingly on technologies like the Internet and communications networks, for instance, the smart-grid, a cyber-physical system. All these networks that used to operate more independently are now becoming more interconnected, and to me that is really a signature of time."
The ‘‘train of thought’’ or the ‘‘stream of consciousness’’ is an experience common to all humans – and probably to most other complex animals. Thoughts can be mundane or creative, transient or memorable, insignificant or salient – all emerging somehow from the continuous activity of billions of neurons in the brain influenced by the experience of the body embedded in its environment. How does this happen, and what determines the nature of the thoughts that arise in this way? Answering these questions is fundamental to any understanding of human cognition, and is the main motivation for the work reported in this paper. Current understanding in neuroscience suggests that perception, thought and action are essentially the same phenomenon— a pattern of activity across complex networks of neural elements. When these elements are connected to the musculoskeletal system, the result is action. If this connection is (temporarily and voluntarily) disabled, one gets pure thought. This capability for ‘‘internal action’’ disconnected from overt behavior is the essential attribute that allows humans to think in the abstract, make plans, evaluate choices, generate ideas and solve complex problems
1. How do the conceptual associations embedded in the brain’s semantic network generate a ‘‘train of thought’’, including creative thought? 2. How are the dynamical and functional characteristics of this process related to the structure of the semantic network?
After decades of urban evolution, the world's major subway systems appear to be converging on an ideal form.
On the surface, these core-and-branch systems — evident in New York City, Tokyo, London or most any large metropolitan subway — may seem intuitively optimal. But in the absence of top-down central planning, their movement over decades toward a common mathematical space may hint at universal principles of human self-organization.
Patterns emerged: The core-and-branch topology, of course, and patterns more fine-grained. Roughly half the stations in any subway will be found on its outer branches rather than the core. The distance from a city’s center to its farthest terminus station is twice the diameter of the subway system’s core. This happens again and again.
“Many other shapes could be expected, such as a regular lattice,” said Barthelemy. “What we find surprising is that all these different cities, on different continents, with different histories and geographical constraints, lead finally to the same structure.”
Subway systems seem to gravitate towards these ratios organically, through a combination of planning, expedience, circumstance and socioeconomic fluctuation, say the researchers.
This is a crucial point: If the subways followed a predetermined path, their evolution would only reflect a set plan. Instead, the convergence “is a sign that there are some basic, profound mechanisms that drive the development of urban systems,” said Barthelemy.
Singularity is the most basic and hardcore element of creative process in nature referring to a ‘dynamic’ that holds the potential of shaping and organizing the space around its extension. Progressive Differentiation and Individuation which are the sub elements of the Morphogenetic Process- which can be examined through the approaches of topology such as ‘Topological Transformation and Folding’- are the extensions of the conceptual notions of singularity.
"I am particularly interested in the shifting paradigm of architecture, namely that architecture is becoming contingent. And I take the risk of associating the growing interest for expedition with the validation or integration of contingency within the architecture sphere. But a first remark is that expedition, as we will see, is forcing architecture to break the however solid ramparts of its ivory tower. In other words, it participates in the shift of the architect's role into a facilitator."
"This book presents an initial attempt to apply fractal geometry to cities. In fact, we go beyond this and argue that cities are fractal in form, and that much of our pre-existing urban theory is a theory of the fractal city. [...] In terms of theory, we show here that the architect's physical determinism concerning the city can be captured and elaborated in terms of fractals while the geographer's concern for the economic theory of location is entirely consistent with the use of fractal ideas. We live in an era when physical determinism is still disreputable as architects and city planners seek to minimize the impact of designs which manifestly interfere with the social and economic fabric of cities in countless unanticipated and undesirable ways. But physical form does determine the quality of life in cities. We see fractal geometry as providing a new hope for understanding the power of determinism, as well as new methods for enabling the synthesis of urban density with central place theory, new ways of visualizing the impact of human decision-making on cities, and perhaps most of all, new goals for achieving the good society through manipulating and planning city form." Michael Batty & Paul Longley (1994)
New research has prompted a resurgence of interest in the patterning mechanisms Alan Turing proposed 60 years ago
A Turing mechanism alone cannot account for scaling in nature’s patterns. Chicken eggs are a good example of scaling, in that they can be large, small or anything in between, but regardless of the size of a fertilized egg, if it hatches, the product will be a complete chick — not one that is missing crucial parts. “The question Turing fails to answer is: How do you get that scaling process?” Green said.
The answer might lie in a new paper on the formation of digits in the paws of mouse embryos.
Digit patterning is similar to that of stripes. But although fingers fan out in a pattern of stripes, the distance between the fingertips — the wavelength, if you will — and the distance between the knuckles are different. The pattern scales proportionately. If those stripes arise from a Turing mechanism, something else must be influencing the scaling.
It turns out there are two processes at work in digit patterning: the Turing mechanism that produces the stripelike pattern and a second tuning mechanism to control scaling via the Hox genes. Sharpe prefers to view them as different aspects of the same mechanism.
James Glattfelder studies complexity: how an interconnected system -- say, a swarm of birds -- is more than the sum of its parts. And complexity theory, it turns out, can reveal a lot about how the economy works. Presenting a brilliant study on international financial networks, the flow of control and power, and the implications for international crisis events.
Inspiring Matter was planned as a cross-disciplinary forum, with the aim to promote closer collaboration in the fields of design (including architecture and fashion as well as product design) and materials science (embracing nanotechnology, synthetic biology and other emerging areas of research).
multiple takes on the fascinating correlation between materials, aesthetic and genesis of form
_ frequencies (a) is a sound performance combining the sound of mechanically triggered tuning forks with pure digital soundwaves. The performer is triggering sequences from the computer, activating solenoids that hits the tuning forks with high precision. Streams of light burst in synchronicity with the forks, creating a not-quite-minimal sound and light composition…
Art puts a question upon the world of ideas and perceptions. A question that artists pause upon in their every day practices with matter, mediums and minds. It is composed of the vivid sense of openness, unpredictability and chance that emerges with creativity: how open is the world around us – and in us? It comes to challenge the vision we have concerning the world and primarily the notion of strong determinism. Art is occupied in the generation of forms, from the times of its beginning in the caves of the Paleolithic. Ever since Art is declaring, and today more than ever, that aesthetic is not arrested in frozen objects but rooted in the open dynamics of life, in the complex activity through which forms emerge, sustaining and modifying themselves. The journey of an artist into morphogenesis and aesthetics happens between experimental exploration and selected constrains. Through the subtle interplay between the chaotic and the coherent, the artist understands aesthetic from within. The outcome is a work that confronts the constraints of what is the expected dénouement of painting, and explodes in a multiplicity of images and worlds.
The satellites have also demonstrated again and again the Earth’s aesthetic beauty, revealed in the patterns, shapes, colors, and textures seen from space. That beauty is what gets celebrated in NASA Earth As Art, a new visual publication made available as a Free 160-Page eBook (PDF) and aFree iPad App.