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05 DECEMBER 2013

How calculus is changing architecture

"So, working with Bentley and MicroStation, we've written a custom piece of software that networks all of the components together into these chunks of information, so that if we change any element along the length of the building, not only does that change distribute through each one of the trusses, but each one of the trusses then distributes that information down the length of the entire facade of the building. So it's a single calculation for every single component of the building that we're adding onto. So, it's tens of millions of calculations just to design one connection between a piece of structural steel and another piece of structural steel. But what it gives us is a harmonic and synthesized relationship of all these components, one to another.

This idea has, kind of, brought me into doing some product design, and it's because design firms that have connections to architects, like, I'm working with Vitra, which is a furniture company, and Alessi, which is a houseware company. They saw this actually solving a problem: this ability to differentiate components but keep them synthetic. So, not to pick on BMW, or to celebrate them, but take BMW as an example. They have to, in 2005, have a distinct identity for all their models of cars. So, the 300 series, or whatever their newest car is, the 100 series that's coming out, has to look like the 700 series, at the other end of their product line, so they need a distinct, coherent identity, which is BMW. At the same time, there's a person paying 30,000 dollars for a 300–series car, and a person paying 70,000 dollars for a 700 series, and that person paying more than double doesn't want their car to look too much like the bottom–of–the–market car. So they have to also discriminate between these products. So, as manufacturing starts to allow more design options, this problem gets exacerbated, of the whole and the parts."

(Greg Lynn, February 2005)

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TAGS

2005abnormalityalgorithmalgorithmic architecture • Antonio Gaudi • architecture • beautiful architecture • beauty • Bentley Motors • BMW • bridge • bubble diagram • buildingcalculation • calculus • Chris Williams • Christopher Wren • computational aestheticscontinuous series • curvature • custom software • dais • digital fabricationdigital toolsdimensions • Frei Otto • furniture • generic form • genetic evolutiongothic • Greg Bateson • Greg Lynn • harmonic • houseware • human-scale understandingideal form • intricacies of scale • Mannheim Concert Hall • manufacturingmathematics • MicroStation • model of beauty • model of nature • modular architecture • monstrosity • mutation • natural form • Norman Foster • parabola • part-whole thinking • physiological development • product designproduct differentiationproportions • Robert Maillart • structural abstractionstructural forcesstructural formstructuresymmetrysynthesised relationship • teratology • vertebrae • Vitra • vocabulary of form • William Bateson

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
01 DECEMBER 2013

Ways of Thinking and Organisational Causality

"There are several types or ways of thinking. Each of these ways of thinking comes with its own set of assumptions, or paradigms, that, while making the thinking process work efficiently, also constrains the process to a particular view of causality, organization, and management's and members' roles in an organization. These types of thinking have their roots in natural sciences, social sciences, and philosophies. They can become so pervasive and dominant in management discourse that they become invisible, being applied without consideration for their assumed causality. Clearly identifying and classifying types of thinking raises awareness of what thinking is actually taking place, and at the same time challenges management to improve their thinking based on this knowledge of thinking."

(Kim Korn, Create Advantage Inc.)

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TAGS

analytical thinking • assumed causality • autonomous human choice • business management • business organisation • causalitycompetitive advantage • competitive positioning • complex responsive processes thinking • complexity science • decision making • formative causality • Georg Hegel • Hegelian philosophy • holistic thinking • identity-difference thinking • imaginative thinkingImmanuel Kant • inside-out thinking • insightintuitionIsaac Newton • Kantian philosophy • knowledge of thinking • knowledge paradigm • management discourse • mechanistic perspective • natural causality • natural sciences • natural systems • organisation causality • organisation evolution • organisational behaviourorganisational capabilities • organisational causality • organisational dynamics • outside-in thinking • part-whole thinkingphilosophypsychological perception • rational choice thinking • rationalist causality • rationalist perspectiverationalist traditionsocial sciencestrategic thinkingsynthetic thinking • system-environment thinking • systemic process thinking • systemic thinking • systems approach • systems science • systems thinking • thinking roles • thinking styles • transformative causality • types of thinking • ways of thinking

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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