“…AD is thinking about architecture and planning”. Guest editor: Royston Landau. Architectural Digest, 9 September 1969.


Royston Landau, guest editor of the Architectural Design magazine, proposed in 1969 a revolutionary number about new theoretical contributions that were being developed around architecture and urban planning. This number is a statement of principles on indeterminacy and open systems, due to its interdisciplinary contributions, ranging from the scientific and epistemological approach of Alan E. Musgrave, Imre Lakatos, Warren Brodey, Peter Cowan and Karl Popper, to the cybernetic approach of Gordon Pask, Nicholas Negroponte and Andrew Rabeneck, to the new planning possibilities of Chris Abel and AG Wilson, to the architectural contributions of Cedric Price and Warren Chalk, and to the advances in CAD systems at the hands of Nicholas Negroponte, David Greene and Peter Kamnitzer.

Thinking about architecture and planning” is a number about theory as a new field of opportunity for architectural research. Landau describes the magazine as a volume about the concept of change in its broadest sense. In fact, he points out that theories which are advancing are in a state of permanent transformation.

The figure of Karl Popper is present directly or indirectly throughout the whole number. In fact, the cover is an interpretation of his famous lecture “Of Clouds and Clocks. An approach to the problem of rationality and freedom of Man”, which is collected inside. The first two articles describe the Popperian contributions to scientific epistemology such as the false objectivity of science (“Objectivity in science” by Alan E. Musgrave) and the methodological falsificationism (“Sophisticated versus naive methodo-logical falsificationism” of Imre Lakatos ).

Information theory and cybernetics is present in several articles as its possible applications to a new teaching methodology based on feedback, complexity and the Unknown (“Unlearning the Obsolescent” by Warren M. Brodey) or about how to approach irreversibility to city analysis (“On irreversibility” by Peter Cowan). This last text advances the importance of information and irreversibility in the government of cities as they are getting more complex, in which the arrow of time has only one direction.

Gordon Pask was responsible for introducing cybernetics into architecture and also probably the first to theoretically expose their relations in the article “The Architectural Relevance of Cybernetics”.

Cedric Price’s relationship with cybernetics begins at the hands of Gordon Pask at the beginning of the sixties. For Price the notion of circularity and feedback represent a great opportunity to activate user participation. But the relationship between Pask and Price was not limited exclusively to architecture but also extended to teaching, based on the theory of learning from second generation cybernetics.

There is no doubt that “Thinking about architecture and planning” is a revolutionary and interdisciplinary number that marks a switch of paradigm about architecture and time. Royston Landau concentrated and compressed, in just one magazine, the different theories about change and evolution, and how these were becoming an area of opportunity for the architect.


Finalist entry by nodo17 for Changdong-Sanggye Start-up and Culture Industry Complex International Competition in Seoul, South Korea.

2 retocada

To enhance identity and flexibility to future developers and owners, the system is fractally fragmented according to programmatic scales and clusters. Although the Start-up and Culture complex is a big scale project we do not want to lose the feeling of identity of its users. Each housing unit is part of a small cluster of houses, built with prefabricated CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) structures supported over concrete slabs. These collective housing groups range from two story up to five story floors This means clusters ranging from 20 to 80 homes. In turn, the campus in the sky fragments the five towers of 33 stories in smaller buildings ranging from 4 to 9 floors. Next scale level corresponds to each one of the towers and following level is the whole building. Likewise, the proposal is part of a bigger structure of pedestrian connections from Changdong Station to Seoul Arena. Ultimately our proposal is a multi-scalar system based on identity, knowledge transfer and time evolution.


Time evolution.

To allow and enhance interior future transformation, upload and download big products and furniture from start-up companies, an open forklift / lifting platform of 3×7 m. is located in one of the exterior sides of the core. For this reason, offices and apartments are built with prefabricated lightweight wooden structures that could be easily assembled and disassembled. A loading dock is located in level B1 and directly connected to forklift. Loading dock is formed by parking space for medium size trucks, manoeuvre area and storage material area close to lifting platform. For this reason level B1 has a 4,5 m. gauge.

Future transformation is synchronized with building life and activities in order to avoid or minimize as much as possible any conflict. In this regard, new construction work in plots in the sky will be developed without affecting close neighbours. Trucks will park in level B1 close to corresponding tower for unloading materials and construction systems. From storage area all material will be transport to plots in the sky, through the lifting platform. Then, construction work will be executed with prefabricated systems and without requiring any amount of water.

This system for uploading and downloading is suitable not only for construction work but also for moving products, goods and furniture through the whole Start-up and Culture Industry Complex.


For more information visit: http://www.nodo17.com/changdong-sanggye-start-up-and-culture-industry-complex


“From Master Plan to Non-Plan. An evolution from conservative to self-organized systems.”

During a fertile period of fifteen years between 1954 and 1959, it was set up a change of paradigm from the conservative models established by the modern movement to self-organized systems. This deep transformation can be explained from two complementary points of view: on the one hand the manifestos that emerged against the closed systems and on the other hand the influences of the scientific theories related to open and complex systems.

Six interdisciplinary manifestos that emerged from biology, chemistry, cybernetic, self-organization will change the direction of the new urbanism: Doorn Manifesto (1954), Open Form Manifesto by Oskar Hansen (1959), the Mobile Urbanism Manifesto by Yona Friedman (1959), the Additive Architecture by Jorn Utzon (1958-1970) and finally the provocative manifesto-experiment “Non-Plan: An Experiment in Freedom” by Paul Barker, Peter Hall, Reyner Banham and Cedric Price.

Written by Manuel Perez Romero, the whole article can be read in:





Klekovaca Tourist Centre by nodo17 group.

Forest Ring have been designed according to evolutionary principles. Our aim is to adapt to current Kozila Ecosystem and at the same time allow flexibility to developers. Forest Ring is a resililent structure able to evolve over time and to adapt to future requirements and changes. Unlike traditional urban planning, evolutionary design works with time as one of its most important tools. Time, change and evolution are three names for the same concept. There is a deep relation between time and creation. As Henri Bergson used to say duration lies on creativity.

Most of times, big scale projects, as in the current case, will change over time and probably they will not be constructed as it was originally designed. This changes over time could be traumatic unless you integrate the ability for change and transformation under the design process. This is what evolutionary design is for.

Evolutionary design requires a holistic approach to urban design. Probably it is the only way to face the complexity of a long process over time. So many are the layers of complexity as the duration of urban development over the years. In this regard, our first objective is to set up the tools required to work with time and evolution.

Our first reference is the current Kozila Ecosystem. It is a highly complex structure able to evolve and adapt over time. We need to learn from it and try to synchronize our design with it. From the seasonal changes to the tree growth, there are many different rythms of time inside Kozila Ecosystem. We know there are many more rythms, but it is neccesarry to reduce them in order to synchronize our design with them. The Forest Ring is a great opportunity to work with time and to integrate with Kozila natural ecosystem. Thus, Forest Ring has been designed according to previous rythms. In other words, Forest Ring is the metronome of the future construction and development of Klekovaca Urban Zone. It set the pace and we need just to follow it.