La neige fond !

Rue de                   Boulainvilliers
Rue de                   Bretonvilliers
Rue de la               Parcheminerie
Rue                        Vauvenargues
Rue de                   Steinkerque
Rue                        Garanciere
Rue des                 Alouettes
Rue d’                    Alembert
Rue                        Laplace
Rue                        Albert
Rue                        Vilin
Rue                        Rude
Cour du                 Coq

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Re-reading my final paper from 20th Century Architecture with Dr. Brownlee.

As cities grow organically, responding to the unique circumstances of their environments and the needs and desires of their inhabitants, they will become unique in their characteristics. In a later variant of the Helix City concept, the Floating City Kasumigaura, Kurokawa proposed that not only would the city grow organically as needed, but residents would also be free to use any building materials of their choice to construct their individual habitation units. This would favor a great diversity of solutions to the problem of constructing a habitation. In the same way, the life-processes of change and adaptation lead to biodiversity within an ecosystem.

For Kurokawa, the adoption of this biodiversity metaphor in architecture was critical to formulating an architecture that can be expressive of the Information Age in the same way that universalizing tendencies of modernism were expressive of the Industrial Age. In the machine age the source of economic value was a protype and a means of mass-producing it efficiently, creating an economy of scale. Identicalness, the hallmark of the economy of scale, was privileged: thus, the Ford Model T or the “universal space” of Mies van der Rohe was an emblem of its own success.

In the age of information which Kurokawa proposes, on the other hand, there is no added value in the mass-production of already existing information; what is created is merely a redundancy, an over-usage of the information-carrying medium relative to the amount of information conveyed. In an information age, “the source of added value is the differentiation of information.”[1]

Biodiversity, which is the product of organic, spontaneous growth and adaptation, adds value to ecosystems in much the same way that diversity of information adds value to information systems. The benefits of biodiversity, analogues to the benefits of information diversity, are numerous. A biologically diverse ecosystem is less vulnerable to the loss of a single niche, as any species this would wipe out is less critical to the success of the ecosystem as a whole than it would be in a biologically non-diverse ecosystem. A high rate of genetic variation within a given population of a species makes that population less vulnerable to disease, minimizes the effect of harmful recessive traits that could cripple a population that is not as diverse, and increases the likelihood that highly beneficial traits will arise through regular mutation, by providing a great variety of starting points from which such mutation might proceed.

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B828.45 .M47 2004 Maurice Merleau-Ponty The World of Perception

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notes from

“in art, it is hard to say anything as good as saying nothing”
“even to have expressed a false thought boldly and clearly is to have gained a great deal.”
“if someone is merely ahead of time, it will eventually catch up with him.”
“tell me how you are looking, and i will tell you what you are looking for.”

“if a lion could speak, we would not understand what he says.  …  we could get an interpreter, but it would be no use  …  to imagine a language is to imagine a form of life, it’s what we do and who we are that gives meaning to our words”

“philosophy is just a byproduct of misunderstanding language”

“philosophy hunts for the essence of meaning… there’s no such thing!”

“i used to think that language gives us a picture of the world. but it can’t give us a picture of how it does that!”

“i am concerned with nothing except salvation, and i know that we are not here to have a good time.” Keynes: “spoken like a true protestant.”

“for centuries, the central picture in philosophy was a picture of the lonely soul brooding over its private experience. this soul is a prisoner of its own body, and is locked out from contact with other souls by the walls of their bodies. i want to get rid of this picture. there is no private meaning. we are what we are because we share a language and common forms of life”

“my mistake [in Tractatus] was to think that there is only one thing we do with language. i came to realize that there are many different things we do with language, language-games as i call them. the meaning of a word is just whatever we use it for in whatever language-game it happens to be in. … philosophical puzzles arise because we tend to mix up one language-game with another.”

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“A chase scene, for example, may be appropriate for motion pictures, but poorly realized in poetry, because the essential components of the poetic medium are ill suited to convey the information of a chase scene.”

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