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Brown, GP
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects: NA
ABSTRACT The paper presents the methodologies and the outcomes associated with a series of educational programmes originated to introduce Architectural students to the complexities of designing in the urban domain in both America and Britain. The programmes were developed for use within existing 'materially distressed cities' using the cities as laboratories to test potentials for providing sustainable and flexible redevelopment proposals that integrated with the existing urban fabric and functions. The methods used were influenced by the biological sciences, specifically referencing complexity and adaptation. Hence introducing students at an initial stage to the ideal of the city as the organic reflective landscape of man's actions within a global natural and economic environment. The programmes initiated from an idea that pattern recognition and pattern creation is inherent to our comprehension and manipulation of the environment which we inhabit. This ability to recognise abstract and associate patterns of form and behaviour has enabled us to project and intervene successfully in the environmental patterns to our benefit. As existing cities already contain innumerable diverse and complex patterns from the past, some of which restrain the city's re-facilitation whilst others are essential as existential footholds (they constitute the image of the city and hence give us identity, context and meaning). This sets up a conflict between the city matrix as facility and identity which can also be viewed as a relationship between transient facilities and more permanent image as meaning or spirituality. In redesigning our cities we need a methodology of approach that can reveal these city patterns as a holistic organism, accepting the prevalence of the past, and growing in a way that re-facilitates and reinterprets our cities advantageously with patterns that offer both appropriate facility and spirituality. Inhabited landscape somehow needs a means of starting from simplicity and building into the most complex of systems. The aim therefore was to devise methods whereby these patterns were recognisable, to make the complex comprehensible and malleable, the patterns growing, reducing or mutating in an appropriate organic sense. Keywords; Education, Urban Architecture, Sustainability, Simplicity, Complexity.
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