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    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    I was reading 'Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia' and couldn't resist sharing this particular chapter 'The Smooth and the Striated'. There's a lot more under this chapter in the book but shared the best of it. It's about smooth vs striated in a manner like local vs global or becoming vs progress or like minor science vs major science and so on. Read it to get illuminated. Best ever! Here's how it goes:

    The Smooth and the Striated

    Smooth space and striated space—nomad space and sedentary space—the
    space in which the war machine develops and the space instituted by the
    State apparatus—are not of the same nature. No sooner do we note a simple
    opposition between the two kinds of space than we must indicate a
    much more complex difference by virtue of which the successive terms of
    the oppositions fail to coincide entirely. And no sooner have we done that
    than we must remind ourselves that the two spaces in fact exist only in mixture:
    smooth space is constantly being translated, transversed into a striated
    space; striated space is constantly being reversed, returned to a
    smooth space. In the first case, one organizes even the desert; in the second,
    the desert gains and grows; and the two can happen simultaneously. But the
    de facto mixes do not preclude a de jure, or abstract, distinction between
    the two spaces. That there is such a distinction is what accounts for the fact
    that the two spaces do not communicate with each other in the same way: it
    is the de jure distinction that determines the forms assumed by a given de
    facto mix and the direction or meaning of the mix (is a smooth space captured,
    enveloped by a striated space, or does a striated space dissolve into a
    smooth space, allow a smooth space to develop?). This raises a number of
    simultaneous questions: the simple oppositions between the two spaces;
    the complex differences; the de facto mixes, and the passages from one to
    another; the principles of the mixture, which are not at all symmetrical,
    sometimes causing a passage from the smooth to the striated, sometimes
    from the striated to the smooth, according to entirely different movements.
    We must therefore envision a certain number of models, which
    would be like various aspects of the two spaces and the relations between

    The Technological Model. A fabric presents in principle a certain number
    of characteristics that permit us to define it as a striated space. First, it is
    constituted by two kinds of parallel elements; in the simplest case, there are
    vertical and horizontal elements, and the two intertwine, intersect perpendicularly.
    Second, the two kinds of elements have different functions; one
    is fixed, the other mobile, passing above and beneath the fixed. Leroi-
    Gourhan has analyzed this particular figure of "supple solids" in basketry
    and weaving: stake and thread, warp and woof.' Third, a striated space of
    this kind is necessarily delimited, closed on at least one side: the fabric can
    be infinite in length but not in width, which is determined by the frame of
    the warp; the necessity of a back and forth motion implies a closed space
    (circular or cylindrical figures are themselves closed). Finally, a space of
    this kind seems necessarily to have a top and a bottom; even when the warp
    yarn and woof yarn are exactly the same in nature, number, and density,
    weaving reconstitutes a bottom by placing the knots on one side. Was it not
    these characteristics that enabled Plato to use the model of weaving as the
    paradigm for "royal science," in other words, the art of governing people or
    operating the State apparatus?

    The Musical Model. Pierre Boulez was the first to develop a set of simple
    oppositions and complex differences, as well as reciprocal nonsymmetrical
    correlations, between smooth and striated space. He created these concepts
    and words in the field of music, defining them on several levels precisely
    in order to account for the abstract distinction at the same time as the
    concrete mixes. In the simplest terms, Boulez says that in a smooth spacetime
    one occupies without counting, whereas in a striated space-time one
    counts in order to occupy. He makes palpable or perceptible the difference
    between nonmetric and metric multiplicities, directional and dimensional
    spaces. He renders them sonorous or musical. Undoubtedly, his personal
    work is composed of these relations, created or recreated musically.

    The Maritime Model. Of course, there are points, lines, and surfaces in
    striated space as well as in smooth space (there are also volumes, but we will
    leave this question aside for the time being). In striated space, lines or trajectories
    tend to be subordinated to points: one goes from one point to
    another. In the smooth, it is the opposite: the points are subordinated to the
    trajectory. This was already the case among the nomads for the clothestent-
    space vector of the outside. The dwelling is subordinated to the journey;
    inside space conforms to outside space: tent, igloo, boat. There are
    stops and trajectories in both the smooth and the striated. But in smooth
    space, the stop follows from the trajectory; once again, the interval takes
    all, the interval is substance (forming the basis for rhythmic values).

    The Mathematical Model. It was a decisive event when the mathematician
    Riemann uprooted the multiple from its predicate state and made it a
    noun, "multiplicity." It marked the end of dialectics and the beginning of a
    typology and topology of multiplicities. Each multiplicity was defined by n
    determinations; sometimes the determinations were independent of the
    situation, and sometimes they depended upon it. For example, the magnitude
    of a vertical line between two points can be compared to the magnitude
    of a horizontal line between two other points: it is clear that the
    multiplicity in this case is metric, that it allows itself to be striated, and that
    its determinations are magnitudes. On the other hand, two sounds of equal
    pitch and different intensity cannot be compared to two sounds of equal
    intensity and different pitch; in this case, two determinations can be compared
    only "if one is a part of the other and if we restrict ourselves to the
    judgment that the latter is smaller than the former, without being able to
    say by how much." Multiplicities of this second kind are not metric and
    allow themselves to be striated and measured only by indirect means,
    which they always resist. They are anexact yet rigorous. Meinong and
    Russell opposed the notion of distance to that of magnitude. Distances
    are not, strictly speaking, indivisible: they can be divided precisely in cases
    where the situation of one determination makes it part of another. But
    unlike magnitudes, they cannot divide without changing in nature each
    time. An intensity, for example, is not composed of addable and displaceable
    magnitudes: a temperature is not the sum of two smaller temperatures,
    a speed is not the sum of two smaller speeds. Since each intensity is
    itself a difference, it divides according to an order in which each term of the
    division differs in nature from the others. Distance is therefore a set of
    ordered differences, in other words, differences that are enveloped in one
    another in such a way that it is possible to judge which is larger or smaller,
    but not their exact magnitudes. For example, one can divide movement
    into the gallop, trot, and walk, but in such a way that what is divided
    changes in nature at each moment of the division, without any one of these
    moments entering into the composition of any other. Therefore these multiplicities
    of "distance" are inseparable from a process of continuous variation,
    whereas multiplicities of "magnitude" distribute constants and

    The Physical Model. The various models confirm a certain idea of striation:
    two series of parallels that intersect perpendicularly, some of which,
    the verticals, are more in the role of fixed elements or constants, whereas
    the others, the horizontals, are more in the role of variables. This is roughly
    the case for the warp and the woof, harmony and melody, longitude and latitude.
    The more regular the intersection, the tighter the striation, the more
    homogeneous the space tends to become; it is for this reason that from the
    beginning homogeneity did not seem to us to be a characteristic of smooth
    space, but on the contrary, the extreme result of striation, or the limit-form
    of a space striated everywhere and in all directions. If the smooth and the
    homogeneous seem to communicate, it is only because when the striated
    attains its ideal of perfect homogeneity, it is apt to reimpart smooth space,
    by a movement that superposes itself upon that of the homogeneous but
    remains entirely different from it. In each model, the smooth actually
    seemed to pertain to a fundamental heterogeneity: felt or patchwork rather
    than weaving, rhythmic values rather than harmony-melody, Riemannian
    space rather than Euclidean space—a continuous variation that exceeds
    any distribution of constants and variables, the freeing of a line that does
    not pass between two points, the formation of a plane that does not proceed
    by parallel and perpendicular lines.

    The Aesthetic Model: Nomad Art. Several notions, both practical and theoretical,
    are suitable for defining nomad art and its successors (barbarian,
    Gothic, and modern). First, "close-range" vision, as distinguished from
    long-distance vision; second, "tactile," or rather "haptic" space, as distinguished
    from optical space. "Haptic" is a better word than "tactile" since it
    does not establish an opposition between two sense organs but rather
    invites the assumption that the eye itself may fulfill this nonoptical function.
    It was Alois Riegl who, in some marvelous pages, gave fundamental
    aesthetic status to the couple, close vision-haptic space. But for the moment
    we should set aside the criteria proposed by Riegl (then by Wilhelm
    Worringer, and more recently by Henri Maldiney), and take some risks
    ourselves, making free use of these notions.26 It seems to us that the Smooth
    is both the object of a close vision par excellence and the element of a haptic
    space (which may be as much visual or auditory as tactile). The Striated, on
    the contrary, relates to a more distant vision, and a more optical space—
    although the eye in turn is not the only organ to have this capacity. Once
    again, as always, this analysis must be corrected by a coefficient of transformation
    according to which passages between the striated and the smooth
    are at once necessary and uncertain, and all the more disruptive. The law of
    the painting is that it be done at close range, even if it is viewed from relatively
    far away. One can back away from a thing, but it is a bad painter who
    backs away from the painting he or she is working on. Or from the "thing"
    for that matter: Cezanne spoke of the need to no longer see the wheat field,
    to be too close to it, to lose oneself without landmarks in smooth space.
    Afterward, striation can emerge: drawing, strata, the earth, "stubborn
    geometry," the "measure of the world," "geological foundations," "everything
    falls straight down" . . . The striated itself may in turn disappear in a
    "catastrophe," opening the way for a new smooth space, and another striated

    Source- Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. A THOUSAND PLATEAUS: CAPITALISM AND SCHIZOPHRENIA. Trans. and Foreword by Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: U. of Minnesota Press, 1987.

    Wed, Aug 4, 2010  Permanent link

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    I am a newbie on Space Collective and this is my first post. I'd like to share one of my works of research in digital architecture exploration.

    The project is an exploration of the interconnectedness of what surrounds us. The focus of
    this collective individuation is on a new generation of interactive systems within architecture
    and human anatomy based on constantly evolving relationships. Using a wide range of
    definition of architecture that includes both built and natural realms, the focus is again on to
    examine dynamic systems and environments of scales and proportions. It is a generative or systems-based approach so that anatomy is understood as something that emerges out of morphogenetic processes or is about a collection of interrelated and dynamic systems - structure, envelope, circulation, fluid. The body may be called natural, material, lived, legible, tangible, social, medical, virtual, repressed, absent and of course architectural.

    The hybrid building has never before been emphasized. It has remained hidden within the
    body of historic, chronological, formal and stylistic investigations of architecture.
    Hybrid buildings, inherently multifunctional and responsive to the constraints of the
    an urban grid, can be offered as models for the simulation and revitalization of the cities.

    The idea is to track the basic functioning of the program correlating to the site, to develop
    various inside out relationship of the project, its context and to sort down the bottom-up
    alliance of the proposition with the site. Techniques are a part of a complex feedback loop.
    They produce new effects which act on or influence an object, affecting human behavior
    and technical performance. This transforms culture through replication and produce new and
    different effects – new techniques. Contribution of technique lies in the progress of a culture
    that is driven by a machinic process which self-organizes, bifurcates and produces new
    emergent results. Digital techniques helps to go beyond the strictures of the conceptual into
    the realm of the material. As digital techniques are starting to be successfully assimilated and
    translated into design methodology, they are also, for the first time, being seen through to
    architectural realization. It is to illustrate these design methodologies at the scale of space,
    material programme and construction.

    Chart showing the co-relation between the design approach and the program, where the concentrations suggest the ‘site as a program issue’ and the adaptive features suggest the 'peculiarities of human anatomy'.

    A hybrid mix of a hybrid aesthetics comprising of various anatomically exaggerated bodies
    breeding with the contemporaneous features of an architectural project, a hybrid circulation-
    an outcome of a hybrid program, i.e. banking, a transportation hub, shopping arcade, fitness
    centre, public thoroughfares, an art conservatory etc. The site is a multifunctional urban scenario with different possibilities of experimentation with form eventually resulting into an urban mix of various activities which correlate them. The project is to comprise a design concept to meet the needs of the high-emission location as well as a functional mix that will be embodying the site’s key achievements.

    The complex and composite arrangement of the human anatomy as a concept connects to the subject of architecture in a way that allows new modes for the occupation of space, the organization of programmatic activities and the design of structures. The idea is not to replace or erase parts of the existing building but change interior conditions and reconfigure architectural qualities such as apertures and circulation to create spatial effects.

    A particularly interesting development here is in the exploration of rarely-tapped dimensions such as 'proprioception' - the sense of the body’s position with respect to itself in space.

    .......and the above thoughts are the part of a process !

    Wed, Jul 21, 2010  Permanent link

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