Strategies of complexification

click on images for full-size:

Deliberate non-linearity at Yoro Site of Reversible Destiny, Japan (Arakawa and Gins)

Meeting room at Yoro

House towers at Seaside, Florida

If complexity is always possible, then a strategy for dealing with the bad aspects of contemporary places will be to complexify those places.

A first tactic implementing this strategy would be greater attention to the place's dimensions of possibility and interaction. Even a simple or simulacral places will turn out to be more than they seem. Beyond the standard trajectories, landscapes of possibilities will always offer a penumbra of wilder possibilities for change and mutation. And, no matter how simplified its grammar, the place can always be seen within the larger context and processes that make it possible.

A second tactic would be to increase the non-linearity of the place. To some extent this is something we can do by decision and by taking up latent multiplicities. It may also be done for us, or to us, by the discontinuities built in to any place over time.

A third tactic would be to increase the multiplicity of roles and forms of life, and their interactions, within the place. This is not so easy to do.

The commodified, thin aspects of the places produced by modern and postmodern forces can be countered with a complexity that cannot be kept away. There can always be more to our places, and features other than local rootedness can be brought into play -- though not necessarily in focal awareness -- to criticize the worrisome aspects of newer places.