A+BE | Architecture and the Built Environment

Sharon Wohl has successfully defended her thesis: Complex Adaptive Systems and Urban Morphogenesis. The panel were impressed with the work based on journal publications, and the thoughtful and robust answers to challenging questions. We thank the panel for their contribution to the promotion: Dr. Stephen Marshall, U College London; Prof. dr. Francis P. Heylighen, VU Brussel; Prof. dr. Gert de Roo, RU Groningen; and Prof. dr. G.P. (Bert) van Wee, TBM, Delft University of Technology. The promotors were Prof. Vincent Nadin and Dr. ir. Stephen Read.

The project asked how certain characteristics of urban form can support an urban environment’s capacity to self-organize,enabling emergent features to appear that, while unplanned, remain highly functional. The researchis predicated on the notion that CAS processes operate across diverse domains: that they are ‘generalized’ or ‘universal’. The goal of the dissertation is then to determine how such generalized principles might ‘play out’ within the urban fabric. The main thrust of the work is to unpack how elements of the urban fabric might be considered as elements of a complex system and then identify how one might design these elements in a more deliberate manner, such that they hold a greater embedded capacity to respond to changing urban forces. The research is further predicated on the notion that, while such responses are both imbricated with, and stewarded by human actors, the specificities of the material characteristics themselves matter. Some forms of material environments hold greater intrinsic physical capacities (or affordances) to enact the kinds of dynamic processes observed in complex systems than others (and can, therefore, be designed with these affordances in mind).

To view or download the dissertation go to the A+BE PhD journal:

Please follow and like us: