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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Creative learning approaches for an urban design process Zacharias, John 1974

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CREATIVE LEARNING APPROACHES FOR AN URBAN DESIGN PROCESS John Zacharias B.A.r University of Saskatchewan, 1972 A THESIS S U W i I T T E D IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REOJJIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of Community and Regional planning We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1974 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requ i rement s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumb ia , I ag ree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s tudy. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i thout my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date ZdpbU tfl4 i i ABSTRACT Our age is characterized by the fundamental contradiction between the increasing functional complexity of the, environment and the apparent, structural simplicity of the design process, and the designed environment. This dichotomy has made man a stranger to his own world, isolating experience from action, and restricting his behaviour in the environment. The conscious design process of today, characterized by systems, hierarchical organization, external control, and formalized rules and strategies, is no longer adequate in an era of rapid change. Self-conscious urban design as a process of giving form and meaning to the environment, has itself become meaningless. "Creativity" is identified as the primary link between experience and meaningful behaviour in designing the environment. It is characterized by responsiveness to environment and to change, openness to experience, and the open-ended synthesis of information. While creativity has been considered as the phenomenon of individual internal synthesis, i t can be externalized as an urban design process following this general pattern; First, creativity can be operaticnalized for design purposes in every individual. Second, the environmental conditions for creativity, called "attitudes" can be designed into the environment for increased "arousal" in individuals. These include conflict, ambiguity, complexity, novelty, and expectation. These attributes transform the environment from i i i an aesthetic f i e l d to an activity f i e l d , through the "kinaesthetic experience". Third, areas for individual creative action must be present i n the environment, which i s then characterized by functional f l e x i b i l i t y , continuity of change, and design contingencies. The conscious design approaches, v i z . Formalist, Heuristic, and Operating Unit are shown to be inadequate according to the above c r i t e r i a . Ad hoc approaches are examined as the design approach alternative, and methods for obtaining feedback are l i s t e d that enable the ad hoc model to become responsive and creative, rather than merely pal l i a t i v e . Finally, the distinguishing characteristics of the learning approach to urban design are l i s t e d , with some implications for i t s planning future. The salient features of the approach are shown to parallel identified creative processes i n government, architecture, industrial management, biology, design and technological production. Supervisor i v TABLE OP CONTENTS page INTRODUCTION 2 CHAPTER 1 CREATIVITY ROLES IN URBAN DESIGN 8 1.1 Creativity 8 1.2 Experienoe 11 1.3 Environment - a problem of Design 13 1.4 Experience, environment, creativity 16 CHAPTER 2 EXTERNALIZING CREATIVITY 23 2.1 Creative functions i n Environmental Design 23 2.2 The Functional Significance of Environment 29 2.3 Inferences for a Creative Urban Design process 38 CHAPTER 3 CREATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL ATTITUDES 42 3.1 Conflict 45 3.2 Ambiguity 51 3.3 Complexity 56 3.4 Novelty 58 3.5 Expectations 60 CHAPTER 4 PLANNING FOR CREATIVE DESIGN 66 4.1 Determinants of a Creative Plan 67 4.2 Selfconscious Design Approaches 69 4.3 Contingency planning 72 4.4 Feedback Mechanisms 81 CHAPTER 5 THE CONFLUENT FUTURE 90 BIBLIOGRAPHY 97 APPENDIX 105 A.1 Creative decision-making i n municipal govern-ment 105 A. 2 Self-regulating recreating communities 108 A.3 Creative potential i n portable architecture 109 A.4 Creative biological growth 111 A.5 Job environment, enrichment 114 A.6 Creative potential of design 116 A.7 Information Resources 119° 1 A government cannot have too much of the kind of activity which does not impede, but aids and stimulates, individual exertion and development.... The worth of a State, in the long run, i s the worth of the individuals composing i t ; and a State which postpones the interests of their mental expansion and elevation, to a l i t t l e more of administrative s k i l l , or of that semblance of i t which practice gives, in the details of business; a State which dwarfs i t s men, in order that they may be more docile instruments i n i t s hands even for beneficial purposes, w i l l find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished; and that the perfection of machinery to which i t has sacrificed everything, w i l l in the end avail i t nothing, for want of the v i t a l power which, in order that the machine might work more smoothly, i t has preferred to banish. John Stuart M i l l , On Liberty 2 IOTBODUGTION The urban environment i s entirely man-made. Every element within the man-made environment i s a result of some f e l t need, purpose, or creative process. Our a b i l i t y to continue to recreate this environment in our own image i s contingent upon our ab i l i t y to understand the physical world, and find outlets for creativity. Urban design i s the process whereby individuals interact with the environment on a meaningful leve l , create through the communication of ideas, and learn from the experience of the recreated environment. A number of changes i n the man-environment relationship have made a new approach to urban design cruc i a l . C i t i e s today are characterized by a seemingly random process of growth, and the discordant use of a plethora of materials and construction methods. An increasing rate of change coupled with a r i s i n g scale of design action have created a disparity between how the environment operates and how i t i s perceived - functional complexity and visual simplicity. These conditions of ins t a b i l i t y have undermined the meaningful form of the c i i y , and the individual's experience of that form.. The lack of meaning in our c i t i e s i s really an alienation of experience. The individual influences an increasingly smaller area of the world 3 he experiences, so that his behaviour i s effectively severed from his experience. Design without meaningful experience i s not design. Traditional urban design was concerned with the historical continuity of the c i t y . It conceived of the pre-industrial city as a closed system i n which individuals shared a common experience of the environment, disposed of a limited array of materials and methods of construction, and so acted in concert to produoe their c i t y . Man, experience, and environment were harmoniously linked. As technology transformed the city and the complexity of problems and solutions increased, the design function f e l l into the hands of specialists. I t i s apparent that historical continuity i s no longer a salient feature of city design. The vast repertoire of buildings,; spaces, and methods of design i n the modern city has a short history. The rational-scientific approach to design i s i n part an effort to return to a human-centred urban design. It searches for universal values and needs that can be satisfied through a systematized approach to design. I t i s history-less. Rational problem-solving attempts to achieve a better " f i t " between need and design, by proceeding according to established rules or with some certainty of success. The specialists of the rational-scientific approach attempt to define the physical 4 needs of behaviour i n isolation of the individual's experience. Bostoevsky in Notes from the Underground imagined a world in which the "psychologists" had catalogued a l l of man's responses, and were thus able to predict every conceivable action of man under given conditions. He supposed such a world i n order to dismiss the effort as Impossible and undesirable. Urban design of this nature i s problem- and need-oriented, and i t s results are at worst palliation, and at best, often lacking i n meaning. Both of these design approaches, though diametrically opposed philosophically, do have one thing i n common: they are concerned with the hardware of ci t y design, the physical results rather than how the results come into being. Both approaches assume a specialized design corps, and a hierarchically organized design process with formal, externalized rules. Urban design has failed to give meaning to the process of city-building, and has failed to involve individuals. The increasing complexity of problems, the emergence of the 'meta problem' (Chevalier, 1967)» the confusing profusion of methods and materials available to a small group of specialist designers, have rendered our design efforts arbitrary and largely meaningless. This thesis sees the innate human ab i l i t y to act purposefully on the environment as a means of escaping our 5 design quandary. Creativity i s the a b i l i t y to adapt and to re-order. I t i s the interface between man and his experience of the environment. Through creativity man i s able to give meaning and form to his experience and to his physical world. Meaning and form are the achievement of urban design. The urban design process must become concerned with the stimulation of individual creativity, the interaction of ideas, and the outlets for individual design action. The creative environment i s both the source of ideas and the stage for creative action. The psychological makeup of the environment can be controlled so as to induce the state of "arousal" precedent to the creative process. Our knowledge of this area i s largely confined to the f i e l d of aesthetics, since i t i s the visual sense that dominates our perception. Other sources include the psychology of perception and the emergent f i e l d of psychobiology. The purpose of efforts to introduce aspects of complexity, novelty, ambiguity, conflict and expectation into the environment i s not to refine the individual's aesthetic sense, but to i n i t i a t e design interaction. An increased rate of change i n the environment i s made acceptable by scaling the change to the individual. The learning approach to design assumes that plans never present a totality or f i n a l product but i n i t i a t e a series of small-scale responses. The ad hoc, or improvisational approach to design 6 assumes a constant flux i n environmental conditions - the conditions of rapid change. The existing and emergent conditions of rapid change necessitate an atomisation of design. Ad hoc action i s incremental, but not piecemeal, since it- i s a response to ever-changing needs and purposes. The learning approach to design necessarily involves a l l individuals i n society, since i t depends on a generally accepted, constantly evolving pattern of needs, ideas, and physical forms. Plans are necessarily open-ended since the creative process of synthesis i n individuals i s also open-ended. Elaboration of the environment through the design of the personal environment i s an individual effort. Design as an anonymous response to simple defined needs, does not meet the individual's basic need for identification with his environment, and for a complexity of meaning. Planning for creativity incorporates f l e x i b i l i t y of function, continuity i n time, and environmental contingencies. A selective view of present planning methods attempts to define the operation of these principles. In order to succeed, the learning approach to urban design must make information available i n a meaningful form to the designers. The creative process, seen as an urban design process, must organize a l l information as the i n i t i a l stage i n creative synthesis and creation i t s e l f . This w i l l 7 ensure that the overall environmental product at any stage in i t s recreation has the coherence familiar to evolving systems. Other programmes w i l l orient individuals to a participatory role i n the design of their environments. This w i l l mean experimental design, where individuals participate i n impermanent environments, and alter them according to the perceived results. Educational programmes w i l l orient the individual to a changing environment and assist i n the articulation of experience, and i n the process of making concepts r e a l i t y . In a symbolic sense the learning approach to design i s a return to pre-industrial days when city-building was an important r i t u a l i s t i c experience: of almost every c i t i z e n . The cathedral-building of the Mediaeval French towns demonstrated a true community and environmental awareness in a way the p o l i t i c a l system could not. A faith i n the creative potential of man may yet be the key to a humanistic environment. a CHAPTER 1: CREATIVITY ROLES IN URBAN DESIGN 1,1 Creativity The third edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary does not acknowledge the existence of the word 'creativity 1 . Creativity has nevertheless been defined, simply and concisely, as 'the a b i l i t y to bring something new into existence 1 (Barron, 1965). The value of the creative process i s i n infusing l i f e with the new, the novel and the unexpected that enriches what might otherwise be a monotonous existence. Creativity means change. "The creative process i s the process of change, of development, of evolution i n the organization of subjective l i f e " (Ghiselin, 1952). The notions of development and evolution suggest that creative action i s incremental and purposeful, and i s neither an accident nor a giftedness of certain individuals. A creative product i s the result of human purposes, rather than either the random processes of nature or trial-and-error processes of human activity. Studies i n creativity have dealt with three major areas - the individual, his characteristics, and the processes through which he arrives at the creative product; the relationship of creativity to the transactions between the individual and his environment; and the environment, i t s 9 f a c i l i t a t i n g or inhibiting effect on creativity. Most of the literature dealing with the individual and internal processes of creativity emphasizes the giftedness of certain individuals, the unusual combination of learning, personality and circumstance that inspires great works of literature, music, visual arts, film and philosophy (Thurstone, 1950; Ghiselin, 1952; Hewell et a l , 1958; Dewey, 1934; Galton, 1870). Heredity i s a factor that has been disputed as a possible influence on the creative functioning of exceptional individuals, but heredity has never been sufficiently separated from environment. A certain type of primrose produces red; flowers when grown at low temperatures, but white ones at higher temperatures. Its flower colour i s certainly an hereditary t r a i t , but what i s inherited i s not a particular colour but a particular norm of reactivity to temperature by the pigmentation process i n i t s flowers. As an analogy to the human situation we might suppose that while the conditions precedent to creativity might be inherited, the presence of creativity i n an individual i s a result of environmental factors. Intelligence i s another factor that has been linked with the creativity of the individual. But i t has been shown that intelligent people are not always creative, and more important, that creative people are not. always overly intelligent (Getzels, 1962). In dealing with the concepts of intelligence and ia creativity, we are not studying separate 'faculties' of the mind, nor dealing with distinct factors, but simply with modes of thinking (Wallach and Kogan, 1965* 1965a; Shonksmith, 1970; Guilford, 1950) . The second area of creativity study examines the interaction of individual and environment. The relationships between creativity and perception, thinking, and imagery are examined (Arnheim, 1954; Jung, 1928, 1964, K r e i t l e r and Kreitler, 1972; Lowenfeld, 1959). The third and last f i e l d i s the one of chief concern i n this study of the design prooess i n the urban environment. Creativity as discussed by writers oonoerned with the physical and social environments, i s concerned with the apperceptions and a b i l i t i e s inherent i n every individual. This kind of creativity i s called "self-actualizing creativity" by Abraham Maslow ( 1 9 6 2 ) , "the creative attitude" by Erich Fromm ( 1941) , and "openness to experience" by Carl Rogers (1959)• These authors argue that inspiration and idea synthesis need not necessarily culminate i n a physical product, since the creative drive i t s e l f i s an insufficient task master for the hard work involved in an a r t i s t i c product. Inspirations and insights are a "dime a dozen", and there are many more people with good ideas than there are creators. Creativity i s released from the bond to productivity that characterized 11 earlier analyses, and i t i s no longer seen as an accident of unpredictable circumstances, the past-time of an intellectually gifted e l i t e . It belongs to people i n general. The work of these social psychologists i n the f i e l d of human development has direct consequences for the formal design process i n the urban environment. I t i s proposed that planning through i t s ordering effect on the environment strongly influences our creative a b i l i t y and the area i n which individuals can 'act out' their creativity. Creativity on both conceptual planes and practical planes, i s essential i f we are to achieve satisfactory l i v i n g and working environments. The task of those concerned with the process of urban design i s to activate the incipient creativity i n individuals, and direct i t toward the physical environment and toward an expressed result. 1.2 Experience Experience i s invisible to the other. But experience i s not subjective rather than 'objective', not 'inner' rather than 'outer', not process rather than praxis, not input, rather than output-, not psychic rather than somatic, not some doubtful data dredged up from introspection rather than extrospection. Least of a l l i s experience 'intrapsychic process'. (Laing, 1967, P. 17) Thus some of our current notions of experience are c r i t i c i z e d . 12 Perhaps we can best define experience by examining i t s changing role i n current society. Experience belongs to the individual. How an individual experiences his world largely determines his a b i l i t y to comprehend i t and act upon i t . I t i s crucial that experience of the environment be made meaningful. This can be accomplished by integrating experience and action, actively encouraging environment-building by individuals (Sivadon, 1970; Laing, 1967). Psychological distance to the perceivable world i s diminishing (Moles, 19&7)• As the individual reaches further into abstraction, into depth, the implications of any action become greater. A l l action takes on increased meaning as the perception of the event deepens and widens. Thus the world takes on increased meaning generally, and expanded awareness demands a broader f i e l d of action. ^n abstracti l e g i b i l i t y implica-tions depth disposition of individual The relationship between psychological distance, meaning and awareness i s exactly analogous to the idea that the creative attitude extends the experience, and i s an out-going 13 process, while the consumer attitude i s inward-directed, /is creator attitude consumer attitude It. i s proposed here that society i s tending away from a consuming ethic toward a producing ethic. Meaningful experience i s derived from the increasing out-going activity of individuals. The result of producing, creative activity i s increasing amounts of change i n the physical environment initiated by individuals. 1.3 Environment - A problem of Design Present wisdom in the f i e l d of environmental planning concerns i t s e l f with the overt quality of the human experience. In an urban context, planning and architecture are concerned with built environments that change in small and discrete jumps. We plan i n stages, or we project our ideas for the future design of the environment toward a specific time and place; perhaps 1984, 1994, or 2001. We do not understand the future as a changing state but rather as conditions static 14 i n a given moment of time. The architect-designed environment creates conditions that are then subject to random action. The contemporary urban landscape has the appearance of a modular puzzle, where blocks are removed and eventually r e f i l l e d , seemingly at random. PAST PRESENT perceivable time span The scale of change increases as our technology and organization permit us greater scope for action. Conceptualize the urban environment as a block grid i n which 1/4 or the potential action sites are under change at some time i n the past. I f the scale of change quadrupled i n the present, and the rate of change remained constant, then the quality of change i s remarkably different. Change i s not as perceivable i n the present since the discrete jumps of change occur over a longer period. In the f i r s t case, change can be perceived as such, because i t inevitably occurs within a forseeable time span, while i n the second case, change appears as disruption since the end-product i s outside the perceivable time span. 15 The f i r s t scheme i s relatively more complex than the second i n terms of visual and activity patterns. I t has been shown that people prefer intermediate levels of complexity (Piske and Maddi, 1961),. The environment i s tending toward extreme visual simplicity and functional complexity. The office building of today contains a complex function but exhibits only gross simplicity i n i t s exterior form. The activity within bears no relation to the design without. Appearance does not relate to function. As the possibility of action diminishes, so does creativity i t s e l f . The scale and rate of change i n design, then, vary inversely as creativity. The clues to successful design participation in tne urban environment would appear to l i e i n the process of change i t s e l f . Reducing the scale of design and transforming the conscious designing process to a subconscious designing process, w i l l be discussed i n Chapter Three. The major undesirable effects of change occur i n the period of upheaval and change-over. Normal levels of activity can be accomodated i n the environment when the change i s incremental and response-induced. 16 1.4 Experience, environment, creativity Man's motivations to act were once thought to be based in reason. Attempting to understand behaviour was to probe within the rational mind, however self-seeking and indulgent i t might appear. Man was the centre of the universe. Disasters on a world scale wrought by man himself, wrenched us from this ideal, and instigated numerous researches into motivation and behaviour. Both Wilhelra Wundt (1832-1920) and William James (1842-1910) noted flaws i n the simple, anthropocentric view of man i n the pre-industrial age. Freud's The Interpretation  of Dreams (1900) was a crippling blow to the fond belief i n the will-power and reason of man. The new views are, among other things, a clear attempt to break down the barriers between experience and environment, between man and nature. Man had seen himself as master over animals and nature, and suddenly man was himself an animal, a part of nature. Several different approaches i n psychology were launched to attempt a re-Bynthesis of man i n environment. Owing philosophically to Newton and Darwin, Behaviourism declared man to be flexible, malleable and a passive victim of his environment which determined his behaviour. The human being was bereft of purpose; thinking and emotion became random and superfluous a c t i v i t i e s of the human animal. 11 Early studies of human behaviour relied heavily on first-hand documentation of experience, the product of introspection, rather than experience i t s e l f . A concomitant effort was made to explain the creative impulses of an individual in terms of the physical setting. Later the simple premise permeating most thinking on motivation might be summarized by regarding man as a solitary unit i n a universal scheme of things. This placed limits both on the body, whose actions we know to be limited and on experience, the functional limits of which we do not know. Attempting to define how experience influences behaviour has led many psychologists and designers to a functional definition of environment. This has been useful i n arriving at manipulable units of the environment. Man's senses have been viewed as a useful interface with the environment. His every effort was supposedly directed toward survival i n a basically inimical universe. Clothing supplemented the f i r s t interface, releasing man from some of the discomfort and d i f f i c u l t y of direct contact with the elements. A shelter was the second major interface with the environment, repelling the major destructive forces i n the environment, while creating an "ideal" physical and psychological climate of i t s own. In this way man was released from the necessity of coping with the outside world, foraging for 18 sustenance, competing with other animal l i f e for food and warmth. He gained the luxury of leisure and with i t introspection, as his understanding and attention could afford to be directed inward. This model of the environment satisfied man's basic needs but had no place for creativity. The pseudo-science of planning for needs attempts to provide such an ideal environment. The a r t i f i c i a l i t y of constructing a dualism of external forces and internal needs i s apparent i n much of the planning and architectural literature. Proshansky (1970) succumbs to this paradox i n his attempt, to define "the environment". He categorizes the external environment by atmosphere, l i g h t , sound and biology. Factors such as insulation, a i r temperature, winds, humidity, precipitation, dust, odours, gases, etc., constitute atmospheric conditions impinging on the "internal environment" of the individual. The external forces are assumed to be antagonistic to human needs and creativity, and an acceptable external environment i s created by reducing their impact. Bat one could argue that actions to mollify the biological world dehumanize the environment and reduce the individual's variety of experience and his possi b i l i t i e s for action. A too-articulated physical setting for the human being overemphasizes the security need and underemphasizes the creativity need. Planning i n general has shown a pa r t i a l i t y 19 for primary physical units. In examining a r t i f i c i a l entities such as the family, the home, and the neighbourhood, we are led to considerations of their defining factors and to impinging biological forces. The search for a physical definition to human experience w i l l undoubtedly f a i l i f we expect to isolate manipulable units in the physical environment. Experience i s not delimited by the physical bounds of neighbourhood, family, social contacts, or the walls of a room. In fact, man's a b i l i t y to experience a wide range and quantity of phenomena confirms his basic need for varied experience. Environments that are a product of a consideration of limited experiences of the individual may exclude environments that are richer and more f u l f i l l i n g than what could be predicted. Man has a basic need for varied experience (Fiske and Maddi, 1961). Tests on animals that were deprived of a stimulating environment i n which they could actively participate showed that they remained physically under-developed (Gregory, 1966). But man's experience i s not necessarily a function of a limited environment. Accounts of prisoners deprived of a rich environment tend to confirm these basic principles of atrophied mental and social development, though man i s capable of providing his own rich , internal world, no matter what the sensory deprivation (Prankl, 1 9 ° 3 ) • 20 The designed environment must begin to account for the basic human need for varied experience. A wide range of experience also provides one of the conditions for creativity. Creativity as the abil i t y to react to a given set of environmental conditions, can only occur i n a stimulating environment. A variation i n experience, or stimulation, occurs when the external environment changes or when the individual acts. The f i r s t i s a factor that may be controlled by the design and planning professions. It occurs whenever change occurs, and whenever there i s variety. The second i s largely unpredictable but necessary for the individual to relate the environment to his experience of i t . Creativity i s a result of a certain level of "arousal" induced by new experience. Three aspects of experience have arousing effects on an individuals intensity, meaningfulness, and variation. The intensity of an experience i s often a quality of the environment that can be controlled externally. Meaning i s attributed, no designed, and i s chiefly the subjective response of the individual to the given environment. Meaning i s i n part an action of the individual within his environment. Variation of experience i s also a factor that may be manipulated for appropriate levels of stimulation. For any task, there i s a level of stimulation which i s necessary for optimal performance (Fiske and Maddi, 1961). 21 We say that an individual i s in harmony with his environment when i t i s interesting but not painfully intense. The harmony may be struck by the ideal external environment., but more l i k e l y by the individual "screening" his perception of the environment, since we know that the need for stimulation varies with the activity cycle and with the individual. For the purposes of stimulating creativity i n the environment, there i s a preferred minimum level of environmental stimulation. The smallest manipulable unit of the physical environment i s really best defined by experience and creativity. I t i s that area which the individual can himself influence, whether i n whole or i n part. That portion of the environment which i s a significant experience for the individual i s also the area over which his creativity may operate. I t i s also the area which i s best designed by an active participation of the individuals who experience i t . Environment, experience and creativity are closely linked. The environment i s humanized through creative action within i t . Meaningful change can only occur when experience i s r i c h and varied. Varied experience i s largely an attribute of the environment that can be manipulated at w i l l , and partly a property of the individual response mechanism. The individual feels the greatest a f f i n i t y for his environment when his 22 ability to act is limited only by his experience, his creativity, and his respect for others. His actions are most meaningful when his creativity is refined and stimulated by rich and varied experience. 23 CHAPTER 2: EXTERNALIZING CREATIVITY 2.1 Creative functions i n Environmental Design Creativity acts as the v i t a l link between experience of the environment and meaningful activity within the environment. By i n s t i l l i n g creative attitudes in individuals, the process of environmental design can be made meaningful as a major community activity. The degree of creative functioning can be indexed by perception, by idea synthesis and by production. "The creative process i s the process of change i t s e l f , of development, of evolution, in the organization of subjective l i f e " (Ghiselin, 1952). I t requires an active search for alternatives, and for the act of change. I t proceeds from a dissatisfaction with the established order and reaches fulfillment i n the attainment of a new order. The new order cannot be permanent but serves as a stimulus for further change. New orders may be externalized i n the physical environment, in culture, in societal attitudes, or they may remain internalized in the individual. Regardless of their dimensions, the new orders can be seen as a kind of product, and as a catalyst for creative a c t i v i t y . Creative production by a process of purely conscious calculation seems never to occur (Ghiselin, 1952). I t has to 24 draw on the unconscious where the new order is developing. The acceptance of change is easier in the unconscious, for i t is not inhibited by wil l and attention, though to surrender to the unconscious calls for purity of motive. The self-conscious design process in our society is inhibited by i ts formal, systematic structure, and largely fa i ls to draw on unconscious information. Creative results can be nurtured by more insightful thinking rather than purely systematic thinking, where the objective, problem and method are clearly defined. The systematic process i s deliberative, methodical, even slow, the problem well within the range of abilities of the thinker, who is aware of logical relations between things. Trial and error are minimized. "The f i rs t stages of labour are like the last - constructive, developing, but also cr i t i ca l , reserved, cautious" (Hutchinson, 1949). Insight and imagination are the result of free association. There wil l be unpredicted results, feelings of exhilaration, adequacy, finality. The sense of accomplishment is in the process. Systems are entirely product-oriented, and rely on the predictability of the final result (Boguslaw, 1965). Many scientific discoveries have been described as the result of a chance insight, that proved later, through a systematic method, to be demonstrably true (Cannon, 1940). 25 Einstein proposed his theory of r e l a t i v i t y i n the near absence of verifiable evidence. In the fairy tale 'The Three Princes of Serendip' (Armeno, 1557* in Remer, 1965) » "the characters travel over the world, making discoveries quite by accident of things they were not i n quest of. Rence we have the word 'serendipity' to describe intuitive findings or insights. This process of 'discovery' describes an internal event, but i t s implications in the external environment are important counterbalances to the trend toward systems-thinking, systems-building, and systems-living. Plans are customarily evolved i n this way, where the variables are kept to a few, and nearly everything i s known hefore the process of planning even begins. Systems thinking advocates solutions while creative thinking advocates problem?-solving. The nature of the creative design process i s i n the information transmitted (aesthetic, quantitative, semantic), as well as in the process of transmission. Nevertheless, however valid may be the notion of the creative 'jump*, the 'discovery', the primary process material must be made available in some comprehensible fashion. When a human being i s exposed to a new environment, information i s transmitted, as i n a l l perceptual processes. But there are two important peculiarities. F i r s t , since the environment i s produced by other human beings, and may reflect unfamiliar processes, there i s information 26 transmitted from person to person through the environment. Secondly, while we might expect that a l l stimuli wil l alter the individual's internal state, giving rise to new behaviour, this i s not always so. Stimulus patterns may modify the thoughts, emotions and images of the individual, without giving rise to any action. In other words, in many situations, an\environment wil l only stimulate an aesthetic response. Aesthetic information is ""patterns that cause an alteration ii^the human internal state" (Moles, 1958). If we traced the information back through the environment to processes going on within the creator(s), we would find that these were themselves influenced by real events in the external environment. By definition, these events must be new or remarkable in some way, in order to catalyze conditions, or be perceived by anyone. This suggests a distinction in the types of information that influence the creator. Berlyne (197"0 states that there is semantic information - social conditions, cultural and subcultural values - and expressive information, the latter being peculiar to the creator. By inference, a proposed information oentre would provide information of a social, economic, constructional nature, in addition to information relating to the creations, ideas, concepts and images of individuals. Creative functioning in society in general, is an 27 emerging trend and points the way to a new environmental design process. Tests of learning ability have shown that the individual i s capable of assimilating and processing environmental information at a much greater rate than previously imagined (Freeman, 1968). O.K. Moore has used a modified electric typewriter to show that preschool children can learn to read, write, type, and take dictation without having to undergo the traditional rote learning experiences. A much more ambitious environment has been created by Karlins and Shroder (1967) for the Inductive Teaching Program, a computerized technique which requires the subject to become an active manipulator of the informational environment and to uti l ize the information in that environment to come to conclusions and make decisions which are not pre-judged for him by external sources (p. 67) An individual does not cease to grow when he reaches maturity, but the forces which guide this development come largely under his control. Secondly, developmental processes at work demonstrate the possibility of creative development of society in general (Gowan, 1972). 1) Accomplishment held tenuously only in conditions of peak experience or great mental health wil l in later development persevere and be present under conditions of more stress 2) Functions which emerge spasmodically or periodically at earlier stages may be performed more regularly at higher stages 28 3) Performance reached f i r s t by a few superior individuals i n a culture w i l l later be reached by more, and eventually, by the representative members of the oulture 4) What f i r s t appears as a phenomenon gradually becomes a norm Obviously, there are basic needs that must be satisfied before the individual can proceed to the creative state. The need for food, liquid, shelter, sex, sleep, and oxygen are easily satisfied, and even the needs for safety, belongingness, love and esteem are within the individual's grasp. The need for beauty i s universal, and moreover i s related to the individual's self-image (Maslow, 1962). People learn to grow and create, by experiencing their environment and changing i t . Even the flatworm learns from the structure of i t s environment. Job enrichment in industry provides us with numerous researches into creative processes in the environment. In the most extensive study of actual worker behaviour in a large-scale industry, psychiatrist E l l i o t t Jacques found that workers responded strongly to environmental changes (Brucker, 1973). Examples i n industry and business show that raising the creative challenge of work improves job satisfaction and productivity. The individual i n becoming an active manipulator of his own 29 environment strengthens the manager-worker relationship since he w i l l be more receptive to the knowledge he needs to carry out his task (Goble, 1970). Planning has been preoccupied with the fulfillment of basic needs and l i t t l e more. This i s i n keeping with the early Behaviourist theory that, the individual seeks an equilibrium, seeks to reduce tension, and that most behaviour can be defined i n tension-reducing terms. This i s tantamount to saying that human beings do not grow psychologically, and therefore do not create. Creative functioning in individuals i s largely informal and unstructured though the primary processing material i n the environment can and should be structured to aid creative design. Creative functioning i n the whole of society becomes increasingly important as the phenomenon of creation becomes the norm. 2.2 The Functional Significance of Environment A meaningful environment i s one that responds to purposeful human action. I t i s not necessarily an environment that f u l f i l l s human needs, or bears the signs of a cultural archetype. Meaning only obtains through human intervention, through change i t s e l f . 30 As adults we are quick to forget the richness of childhood experience ; we hardly know of the existence of the inner world of dreams; as for our physical experiences, we retain just sufficient propriocentive sensations to coordinate our movements and to ensure minimal requirements for survival. Most important for creativity, our capacity to think i s limited to self-interest and common sense, so that our a b i l i t y to perceive i s also eroded. Modern psychology has made i t clear through a number of approaches that the failure to realize one's potential can be traced to a constricted, authority-ridden, mechanistic world (Laing, 1 9 6 7 ; Maslow, 1 9 6 2 ; Fromm, 1 9 4 1 ) . The efforts i n child education cited i n Chapter One do not strike at some of the basic untenable structures of our society. The emphasis on child education does not acknowledge the fact that individuals can remain creative throughout their adult years. Many of the i l l s of the urban environment can be traced to developmental problems of the individual. I t may be true that the present physical setting may in part constrain the f u l l development of the individual, and this thesis assumes that the environment may be manipulated so as to provide greater opportunities for responsiveness i n individuals. Changing the functional significance of the environment, rather than the Children in creative play often create their own environments or adapt an existing environment to the purpose. Their creativity i s almost always i n the form of improvisations of environments and actions. 31 visual appearance, i s the true aim of urban design. By functional significance i s meant the meaning of the environment i n terms of i t s purposes, the a c t i v i t i e s i t promotes, and the attitudes i t fosters i n individuals. Rather than reforming the environmental aesthetic, we can manipulate functional meaning by varying the rate of change, promoting different, a c t i v i t i e s , and the design participation of individuals. Limiting the rate of change while designing aesthetically pleasing surroundings i s one way of providing an individual feeling of security. Allowing the rate of change to vary with the individual's a b i l i t y to act upon his environment, i s another. This theory does not accept that the environmental i l l s w i l l be solved by administrative action, though administrative changes may be involved. There i s a need for a creative design process, peculiarly adapted to the c i l y and internalized in every one of i t s members. This i s not essentially a concern with biological process over which the individual has l i t t l e control, but with cognition, a process over which the individual has almost unlimited control. For the manifold purposes of planning, the 'person' we are speaking of can be understood i n terms of experience, as a centre of orientation for the objective universe, personal experience transforms a given f i e l d into a f i e l d of intention 32 and action: only through action can our experience he transformed, and the environment take on new functional meaning. Creativity, i n the environmental context, becomes a practical tool for planning l i f e and setting. I t i s a humanist approach to the problem of psychological response to physical situations, and encompasses modern trends in psychoanalysis, and i n understanding behaviour. To this point we have emphasized the dynamic, changeable qualities of a responsive attitude to environment. The individual was seen as a kind of receptor of images and ideas, a processor of information. I t i s not simply a matter of perception, or response to need, that motivates the individual, but a complexity of cognitive function, ways of learning and perceiving, coupled with personality. Security i s an important element i n psychological needs, and w i l l no doubt continue as such i n the future. The dynamism of a perpetual reactivity to internal and external conditions, i s i t s e l f the assurance of security. The very nature of a reactive process, provides the secure knowledge that every environmental change w i l l have a human motivation. The individual has the option of adapting to the new condition created by himself or others, or generating an alternative condition. The options can be made available by planning environments with functional f l e x i b i l i t y , with opportunities 33 for experimentation, with making v i s i b l e the process of change i t s e l f . A second important means of providing security i s the symbolic element, what i s meant by the functional significance of the environment. Creativity implies a search for meaning in everyday experience, and attempts to make this meaning explicit or v i s i b l e . Symbols serve us as points of s t a b i l i t y , of mental rest from change and upheaval (Koestler, 19&4)• Arnheim (1954) states that a l l art serves i n a symbolic way, by symbolizing general needs or experiences, through the peculiar power of the a r t i s t . The Webster Dictionary definition includes the following senses of the term •symbol': something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention or accidental but not intentional resemblanoe; especially a v i s i b l e sign of something that i s in v i s i b l e ; an object or act that represents a complex through unconscious association rather than through objective resemblance or conscious substitution. The last appears to be most congruent with creative processes, and i n particular, design generation. The creation of significant symbols i n urban l i f e i s essential, both to the satisfaction of basic aesthetic and security needs, as well as to the act of creation. "Symbols are the instrumentalities whereby men codify experience, or create a map of the territory of experience" (Hertzler, 1965). Intentional physical symbols 34 must f i r s t be realized and then undergo a period of reaction before they may become significant. Physical structures do not have meaning without human intervention after creation. Much more can no doubt be said about the individual's experience of physical space and how this may result i n the creation of significant symbols, the key elements of personal s t a b i l i t y . I t i s perhaps more useful to a theory of creative planning to note how individuals use significant symbols i n their own creative production. A knowledge of the significant aspects of perception that influence creativity, w i l l aid designers in choosing aspects of the environment for study. Holt-Hansen (1971) has carried out a series of experiments concerned with form creation. For example, he asks a group of subjects to place three unpainted wooden bars on a black surface, so that the figure formed appeared to the individual "to possess the maximum degree of beauty". An analysis of the patterns and statements by the subjects suggest three working methods by the participants: a) 24 of 48 subjects created their forms under the influence of "dynamic forces and movement" b) 11 of 48 subjects created their forms under the influence of "ideals, ideas, and fantasies" c) 13 of 48 subjects created their forms under a combination of experiences. 35 A significant portion of an individual's creation could thus be interpreted as the result of the operation of symbols, representing environmental experiences. Carl Jung (1964) corroborates this use of symbols i n idea formation. Furthermore, i t would seem that the chief content of dreams and subconscious thinking i s i n the form of symbols; that i s , everyday objects and experiences are transformed and animated so that they influence a l l our other ideas and actions. Symbolizing may mean the spatial reduction of situations i n an analogical form i n order to manipulate them, (sivadon, 1970)• Drawing a blueprint, writing a programme, means reducing to manageable dimensions the complexities of a whole development of actions so that they can be inspected with a single look. Spatial usage and analogical reduction constitute frequent defenses of the personality against anxiety, and they are also found i n the failure of these defenses (Sivadon, 1970). The use of symbols might then jus t i f i a b l y be used as a method in anxiety reduction for creativity. People have always tended to "forget themselves" by changing their spatial environment, and also by investing their anxiety i n creative activity. I t i s a question of transforming one's relation with objects and people by manipulating or transforming the objects i n such a way as to express the subject's problem in an analogical form communicable to others. 36 This i s the process at work i n amateur photography, in published sketchbooks of cityscapes, i n postcards, travelogues, a l l of which are representations of the environment i n reduced terms. The object becomes a symbolic mediator. For the creator, i t represents anxiety i t s e l f from which he has been freed; for the others, i t evokes on a symbolic plane, an analogous, though attenuated feeling. Thus the symbol behaves l i k e an absorbent screen that retains the anxiety and lets f i l t e r through the meaning or information. The important psychological effect of these processes i s to establish a capacity for autonomy with the individual. Psychological distance from the environment established through creative work i s associated with creativity. I t i s not true, however, that psychological distance i t s e l f , has any particular bearing on the security need. What i s important here i s the establishment of a feeling of autonomy, of comprehension, and security with respect to the environment, including the cityscape. But direct manipulation of the environment should not be downplayed i n favour of analogical reduction. The danger i s that we shall be reduced to passive observance of the l i f e around us, perhaps through the viewfinder of a camera. It i s only through the communication of significant symbols that society can continue to exist and recreate i t s e l f . 37 The appeals to public symbols must be launched on an unprecedented scale as the size and diversity of the audience and the environmental scale, increases (Duncan, 1968). The media are instrumental in conferring meaning on the environment through symbol-making. The fundamental principles of social and spatial order are learned via movies, radio, television and the popular press. This is the great power of the mediaj the accelerated generation of issues and ideas which quickly translate through symbolic form in the individual, hopefully to personal action. Meaning i s not derived through the passive observance of phenomena, or the passage of information, but through identification with community l i f e . Creative potential is inherent in this primary process material—the significant symbols. The accelerated and indiscriminate generation of such symbols i s not typical of a traditional symbolism. Wenceslas Square in Prague had achieved over centuries, a venerated and patriotic symbolism. The coverage of events associated with the Square in the 1967 invasion and purge, transformed i t into an even stronger symbol in a matter of days. But. the mass media also generate the bastardizations of traditional symbols, kitsch, glossing over the true meanings of things with a thin icing of sentiment or humour (Dorfles, 1963). The education and sophistication of a seleotive and creative society wil l counteract the tendency toward cheap imitation, and popular 38 taste will undoubtedly take on new meaning. Greater selection of, and access to, information through the media wil l create a better exercise of choice and symbol usage. The environment must become meaningful as the primary resource material for design. A selective process of education, information collation, and symbol-making by planners and the mass media wil l make the functioning of the environment significant and available for design purposes. 2.3 Inferences for a Creative Urban Design Process Our contemporary culture i s burdened with a conscious design process. Master craftsmen control the form-making activities, which are characterized by the wilfulness, inventiveness and individuality of the designers. Feedback to design is indirect and delayed, i f i t occurs at a l l . The consciously designed environment is almost never reviewed by its designers. Social and administrative channels which would allow us to learn from environmental errors, are non-existant, making design into individualized, random, action. Present-day design problems steadily increase in quantity, complexity and scale, while materials, technology, social structure, and the culture i tsel f change faster than 39 ever before. While the functional complexity of the world increases, the design process i s characterized by increasing simplicity. A small group of designers become responsible for an increasing proportion of the environment. The form-maker, faced with such, tasks as designing complete environments for millions of persons, is overwhelmed by the flood of specialized information delineating his design problems. It i s becoming exceedingly diff icult to achieve a good f i t between need and environment with present-day design methods, at the present-day scale of design action. An apparent solution to the conscious designer's dilemma i s to achieve formal communication channels between designer and user, between designer and environment. Formal communication links such as administrative channels, questionnaires, surveys, interviews, published information sheets, public meetings, television broadcasts, etc., provide the greatest range of information that a designer can assimilate and use. A greater depth and breadth of information is constantly disseminated in society through informal communication channels. The media of communication are roughly the same in both cases - popular literature, the press, television, radio. The informationiin the unselfconscious design process is informal since i t influences responses to environment while i t seldom influences design of the environment. Three important distinctions make the unselfconscious information network a viable alternative i n the present: 1 ) Because the links are informal and constantly changing, the unselfconscious information network i s essentially analogous to the creative process i n the individual. 2) Because the information i s universally available, the potential exists for every individual to become a designer, an active manipulator of his environment. 3) Because there i s no time lag between information input, and synthesis, as there i s i n the conscious design process, design i s an immediate response to environment. The individual creative process provides us with the rudiments of a successful design process for the environment. In order to foster a creative design process, we must foster creative attitudes, provide problem-solving situations i n the environment, and make design information meaningful. The Toniversal accessibility to environmental information makes every individual a potential designer. This means a return to the unselfconscious design process that existed before the rise of the professional form-makers. The possibility exists then to re-integrate man and environment, experience and behaviour, art and l i f e . The environment and the individual are guided by meaningful information gained from a process of interaction. 41 The third distinction between the selfconscious and unselfconscious design processes, has important implications for the nature and scale of design. The conscious design process relied on the predictability of i t s actions, and the resulting environments were often rational projections into the future. Design became a highly specialized activity, and i n attempting to deal with broad environmental factors, urban design became a logical extension of building design. The scale of activity grew enormously. Because of the instantaneous nature of the information structuring in the unselfconscious design process, the a b i l i t y exists for each person individually to proceed on an incremental, ad hoc basis with a reasonable assurance that the resulting design w i l l f i t his own requirements. Technology i s preparing the way for a small scale, ad hoc design process. 42 CHAPTER 3: CREATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL ATTITUDES The selfconscious design process attempts to create an ideal product through systematized, formal methods. The unselfconscious design process seeks to make every action i n the environment meaningful, through a creative information and design process. The selfconscious places emphasis on the result, i t s purpose, i t s aesthetics, i t s success i n f u l f i l l i n g e x p l i c i t needs. The unselfconscious places emphasis on the experience, i t s stimulating or moderating qualities, i t s a b i l i t y to e l i c i t further creative activity, or satisfaction. The unconscious design process accepts that satisfaction i s not necessarily a fulfillment of basic needs, but that i t involves a complexity of experience. The individual i s seldom preoccupied with the pursuit of basic needs; but rather the mind seeks to escape from the certainties of the diffuse light that remains during stimulus deprivation. I t i s bored by the certainties of any humdrum job or routine entertainment. I t seeks out the single moving spot on the landscape or the tiny squeak in the engine. I t plays the slot machine to exhaustion, hoping for the rare and unpredictable payoff when three lemons turn up. fhat i t seeks i n the variable l i g h t signals, and what i t processes and responds to on a l l levels, i s information - the changing, the novel, the surprising, and the uncertain (Held, 1961). Every design action i s significant as an arousal-increasing device or as an arousal-moderating device. Arousal i s a psychological condition that acts as a contingency for creative 43 human activity. The sections of this chapter describe the various aspects of the environment that lead the individual to "arousal" and possibly to design decisions. In considering the perceived environment as a set of preferred stimuli (rather than the Behaviourist view of environments as determinants of ac t i v i t y ) , i t i s possible to reflect the social and cultural milieu i n physical design. By attempting to e l i c i t responses from the person i n the environment, we are actually seeking to transform the environment into the major object of our creative activity. Creative action, too often relegated to the artist's studio or the upper echelons of the business world, then becomes a universal, daily occurrence. The capacity of c i t i e s to generate creative response has varied with the time and culture. According to the c r i t e r i a on the following pages, we oan suggest that the arousal-raising capacities of art and architecture are markedly greater i n Islam than in China and Ancient Greece. In the West, the Gothic, Baroque, and Romantic periods showed a tendency toward creative arousal while the Romanesque and Classical periods were low i n this capacity. The nineteen-forties', ' f i f t i e s , and 'sixties showed a growing tendency toward arousal-moderating influences. The classical design tradition of recent decades i s breaking down, however, as more complex, dynamic design traditions return: regional architecture, Art Deco, Moderne. 44 The environment conceptualized in this chapter does not consist of simple orders, consistent patterns, hierarchically organized spaces, or clearly defined areas. These describe an essentially arbitrary, consciously conceived design, and an externally imposed order. Rather, the environment must invite the internal ordering of design on the smallest scale, namely, design by the individual. Design, regardless of the source, must proceed from environmental contingencies. In this chapter, the environment i s characterized by attitudes or attributes: conflict, ambiguity, complexity, novelty, and expectation. These attitudes engender conditions of uncertainty or arousal, that are associated with creative production by individuals. This thesis accepts the modern environmental condition to be characterized by a growing state of flux. Change i s almost a way of l i f e . Meaningful environments can be created by incorporating the arousal-increasing conditions precedent to creative activity. I f an increasing rate of change i s to be made acceptable, we must generate problem-solving conditions i n the environment. This means enhancing the creative conditions of the environment, and providing opportunities or outlets for individual design action. The following i s a l i s t of creative, environmental attitudes which are l i k e to conduce toward creative solutions: 3.1 Conflict 45 Conflict i s said to occur whenever processes are initiated i n the brain that drive the individual toward different and mutually exclusive forms of behaviour (Berlyne, 1971). Any new or surprising stimulus i s bound to cause conflict since i t i s different from the response that was held i n readiness for an event that did not materialize. These are the d i f f i c u l t i e s inherent i n information-processing of any kind. In the environmental sphere, we may include the preceding notions of novelty and violated expectations, as conflicts arising from some consecutive order of events. Lukaszewski (1970) corroborates this i n stating that conflict i s simply an incompatibility of information. Ee suggests that a l l activity i s motivated by the incompatibility between two systems of information describing the same state of things. Not only i s conflict necessary to creativity, but i t i s necessary to action of any kind. Conflict i s an essential attribute of creativity, and i s not only a psychological condition precedent to creative action, but i s a condition of the product i t s e l f . Every a r t i s t i c product conceals within i t s e l f an internal conflict between content and form, and i t i t through form that the a r t i s t achieves that effect that the content eliminates, or as i t were, extinguishes (vygotski, 1965). 46 The most important response mechanism to conflict stimuli i s the adaptability of man. Whether the disturbance i s i n the individual's society, i n the physical environment, or i n his own psychological growth, his a b i l i t y to adapt w i l l determine his health and survival. Claude Bernard f i r s t recognized that health depends upon the a b i l i t y of the individual to maintain his internal condition i n an; approximately constant state, despite the endless and often extreme variations in the external environment. "The f i x i t y of the milieu interieur i s the essential condition of free l i f e " (Bernard, 1937). Many would argue that a discussion of conflict and adaptation i s academic i n a world i n which man can almost orchestrate at w i l l the nature and intensity of the stimuli he receives from the external world. I t i s true that man with his technological extensions can not only form his entire immediate environment, but he can also control his responses to i t through the use of drugs and conditioning. Most of our technology has been directed toward the elimination of stresses and d i f f i c u l t i e s , to the extent that this i s almost the operational definition of technology. The avoidance of stresses may i t s e l f constitute a kind of threat to health, because the body and the mind are geared for responding to challenges. Human history shows that the same kind of knowledge that permits man to alter his environment for the purposes of minimizing effort, achieving comfort, and avoiding exposure to stress also gives him the 47 power to change his environment and ways of l i f e i n a manner that often entails unpredictable dangers (Bubos, 19^5)-Adaptation of one's surroundings, as opposed to adaptability as a human t r a i t , i s liable to cause grave d i f f i c u l t i e s i n the changed environment of tomorrow. Adaptability i s essential i n conditions of rapid change. Adaptability in the individual i s also essential to creative response. In part, our a b i l i t y to adapt can be improved with the selective design of stressful conditions. At the same time, the stresses and conflicts themselves can be a source of creativity. The tragic figure of Van Gogh certainly demonstrates that creative genius can prosper because of, or i n spite of, enormous psychological burdens. In the most repressive and stultifying of societies, great works of art continue to be imagined and produced. We can state with some val i d i t y that a stressful, conflicting environment i s more conducive to creativity than a stress-free one, i f we take responses such as curiosity, desire for change, and increased activity to be creative. Experiments have been conducted to test the effects of stress under conditions of overstimulation, understimulation, uncertainty, and novelty (Prankenhaeuser, 1972). In situations i n which the individual subject acted as a passive recipient of stressful influences beyond his control, the emotional responses increased with stress. When the subject 48 actively tried to cope with the stressors, his success alone influenced his emotional response; and this was invariably achieved at an intermediate level of stress. While a certain level of stress may be desirable, there are obviously facets of conflict, which are preferable to others. Situations which make demands on people establish a quality of stress, that may or may not be desirable, depending on whether or not they are soluble (Halprin, 1968). Soluble problems, as positive conflict, can be created through the provision of alternatives, by "demanding" the exercise of choice. Conflicting relationships, as new experiences, are positive i f they are of a general, and idea-generating nature. The kinds of conflicts one chooses to discuss may be instrumental in deciding whether desirable responses result. We are only too familiar with the ecological conflicts seemingly out of control in large cities - traffic congestion, excessive noise, destruction of the old in an era of impersonal change, etc. None of these serious problems seem to respond to human intervention or emotion, and thus resist the natural human tendancy to challenge conflict and learn from i t . A useful type of conflict is associated with dynamic, flexible environments where individuals have the opportunity to react to conditions and to change them as they become apparent. The conflicts of interest, and the conflicts in use have a 49 beneficial quality i f individuals may be actively involved in their solution. Symbolic conflicts already occur in c i t i e s where a pluralist, outlook i s the salient feature of the design process. A great variety i n the size of buildings, i n their age, and in their arrangement create an impression of conflict and dynamism. A building cannot always be i n aesthetic and functional harmony with i t s environment i f the discordant and conflictive nature of change i s to be apparent and comprehensible. An apparent conflict might be the introduction of housing into the urban core. One can recite the d i f f i c u l t i e s that come immediately to minds the problem of noise, of safety for possessions and children, the market bias toward business, the lack of support services, etc. The a b i l i t y of the planner to set the conditions for the success of such a plan i s the crucial test of his usefulness i n a creative context. The a b i l i t i e s of individuals are enlisted in the adaptation of the l i v i n g environment to a working environment, and i n making the inner ci t y a home. This introduces the individual as a designer i n an environment that i s presently the home ground of professionals. Such conflicts must occur as a matter of course i n the c i t y , as problems that have many and varied solutions. The problems that beset a creative design process must never be so great as to preclude the inception or encouragement of 50 any such project. The existence of ecological and financial problems i s perhaps the best indication that the environment has become too specialized, and no longer contributes i n a creative capacity. A great deal has been said about the natural conflict of cars and pedestrians, with the result that the separation of these a c t i v i t i e s i s often offered as a solution. The discomforts of noise, of noxious odours, of excessive speed and crowding have been cited as negative aspects of the vehicle-pedestrian combination. Yet some of these same characteristics describe a busy market where people gather voluntarily and enjoy the experience of crowding and noise. The quality of the experience, the psychophysical aspect, i s desirable but the ecological conflict i s not. The streets of London were not more quiet and pastoral i n the years preceding the advent of the automobile than after. There i s no easy solution to the real dangers that may be present i n the ecological conflict of cars meeting people. But the noise and confusion of a busy commercial street may be a source of excitement and creativity to even the casual observer. In any c r i s i s the individual knows he i s s t i l l alive by the quickened pulse of his heart; so i t i s perhaps with the c i t y , where movement of any kind i s v i s i b l e proof of the life-blood of i t s existence. 3.2 Ambiguity 51 The interpretation of an experience of the physical environment has been discussed under the general t i t l e of expectations. Beyond these projections into a future state that are the result of experience, we can identify the important role i n creativity played by multiple meaning, or ambiguity. Several types of multiple meaning have been identified (Kris and Kaplan, 1948): 1) disjunctive ambiguity: there are several alternative and mutually exclusive meanings; 2) additive ambiguity: the meanings, while mutually exclusive, overlap to some extent, e.g. they vary i n breadth; 3) conjunctive ambiguity: "the several meanings axe jointly effective i n interpretation"; and 4) integrative ambiguity: the manifold meanings evoke and support one another, so that they interact to produce a complex and shifting pattern. Centura (1966) has proposed that ambiguity i s essential to architecture, and i s the result of oscillating relationships between contributions of elements to "form and structure, texture and material". In a complex architectural structure, there may be a conscious attempt to confuse experience, promote "richness of meaning over c l a r i t y of meaning". Some of Tfenturi's examples i l l u s t r a t e disjunctive ambiguity. He discusses buildings i n which i t i s not clear whether the plan i s square 52 or not, whether pavilions are near or far, big or small, whether we are looking at two buildings joined or a single building with a s p l i t . Architectural examples of conjunctive ambiguity seem to be more numerous. There i s sometimes a duality i n the relation of a part to i t s surroundings. A building or scene can he viewed with entirely different results from different angles; an effect particularly evident i n Mediaeval c i t i e s where the plan constantly varies. Irregular lots contribute to perceived ambiguity by forcing an irregularity of building plan and hence of the perceived profile and density. Multiplicity of function i s an important ambiguity both historically and i n our time. The Ponte Vecchio i n Florence serves both as a bridge and as a street lined with shops. A gallery may function both as a room and as a corridor. Before the advent of the nuclear family people lived i n houses in which rooms had no designated function. Even i n large manorhouses, one adapted the room at hand to the purposes i n mind (Aries, 1962). Today, the s t r i c t designation of use i n buildings i s breaking down with a world-wide housing shortage. Dwelling units are smaller, with fewer room divisions, and families soon learn to adapt one room to several functions. F l e x i b i l i t y and ambiguity of function i s especially evident in modern office buildings, where open plans invite some creative input. Renato Severino (1970) presents a picture 53 of a world i n which industrialized building systems w i l l standardize the components of a building structure. The components may be arranged i n innumerable ways, each serving many functions and i n this way frustrate interpretative understanding. Buildings and spaces would thus be completely ambiguous i n meaning and use. Camillo Sitte (1965) recognized long ago the fundamental failure of the new Industrial Age squares i n Europe and North America. Based on an orthogonal grid or circular plan, public squares came to be ri g i d l y defined i n space, the l e f t -overs of efficient development. Traditional squares, varied in shape, size and extent, were much more successful on human and aesthetic grounds. This may be partly due to the undefined, ambiguous quality of the space, i . e . What shape i s i t ? low far i s i t to the other side? Where i s the end of i t ? Where i s the beginning? What i s the purpose? The Boston Common has been identified as a classic case of environmental ambiguity (lynch, 196O; Stea, 1969). The Common i s five-sided, with each side appearing to meet at right angles with the two sides that join i t . Although the angles vary, i t i s d i f f i c u l t for the traveler to avoid the assumption of a square, because of the Common's width and abundance of trees, limiting v i s i b i l i t y across i t . Lynch found that many Bostonians had d i f f i c u l t y relating the surrounding 54 streets to the Common, although the Common i t s e l f was often the core of their mental map of the c i t y . A large, planted open space bordering the most intensive d i s t r i c t i n Boston, a place f u l l of associations, accessible to a l l , the Common i s quite unmistakable. It i s so located as to expose one edge of three important d i s t r i c t s : Beacon H i l l , Back Bay, and the downtown shopping d i s t r i c t , and i s therefore a nucleus from which anyone can expand his knowledge of the environment (p. 2 1 ) . The ambiguity of the space does not detract and probably contributes to the Common's psychological importance to Boston. Besides these symbolic meanings that one discovers i n buildings and spaces, one i s also struck by the sense of authority or t e r r i t o r i a l i t y conveyed by a place. T e r r i t o r i a l i t y as a conservative and inhibiting force i n man may repress creativity. Its purpose i s not. to break down symbolic barriers, but to define and lim i t space. T e r r i t o r i a l i t y can best be controlled by designers i n public spaces. The rise of the building landscape tradition in nineteenth century America: was in this sense an unfortunate development i n the urban context. Architects became concerned with the picturesque settings for their buildings and attempted to link setting and building psychologically and physically. The landscape was planned and transformed i n minute detail to complement the new structure i n i t s midst. This gave the 55 landscape the permanence - one might say intransigence - and aloofness of the building i t s e l f . This imposed arbitrary restrictions on the use and subsequent transformation of the space by i t s users, and expanded symbolic authority from the building to the environs. Alternatively i n this century, the building was designed to complement, or fade into the landscape. In the c i t y this meant that a new building had to f i t the design pattern of the street, so that i t would not obtrude, or appear as a new idea. In the suburban and rural contexts, buildings disappeared into the rocks and beneath the earth, as i f to deny the real difference i n urban and natural environment-building. In subduing or concealing i t s presence, the building conferred on the surrounding landscape certain values and symbolic authority. The landscape thus became permanent. Meanwhile the wymbolic value of the building both in the urban and suburban contexts lost i t s meaning. There was no incentive, other than passive observance, to be i n public places and contribute one's own creative input. Ambiguity of use and authority can be planned into the environment. This may be accomplished by avoiding the 'total design' of open spaces, by allowing open spaces to penetrate private property, or private development to penetrate public space. Authority should not always be clear. In the 56 Mediaeval town, there were many and varied types of ownerships and leases. In our time, new types of leases should be instituted to permit multiple authority over physical space, the weakening of the 'property line' syndrome. Public and semi-public space i s the most v i t a l area where individuals may confer status and symbolic authority by designing i t for some purpose. 3.5 Complexity The movement from a view of l i f e as essentially orderly and simple to a view of l i f e as complex and ironic i s what every individual passes through i n becoming mature (August Heckscher) Complexity and contradiction have been acknowledged i n almost every f i e l d including the sciences, but significantly excluding planning and architecture. For example, the origin of the universe has never been resolved by scie n t i f i c theoreticians, and most acceptable theories incorporate complexities and contradictory ideas. It i s only within the last decades that we have begun to recognize the complexity and relative nature of experience. The imposed orders of architecture and planning are the abstractions of the drafting table and power p o l i t i c s . 57 There i s much evidence to suggest that the abstruse and abstract concepts that are employed i n forming the physical environment have l i t t l e or no relation to experience (Venturi, 1971)• Meaning i s fil t e r e d out by the "purification" of forms, the denuding of buildings, for the sake of personal expression or behavioural functionalism (Venturi, 1966). A complex structure i s one which contains a large number of independently selected elements (Berlyne, 1971). The architect may accomplish this kind of complexity through ornamentation, embellishment, or the play of many forms that connect but are not contained. The a r t i s t w i l l introduce variations on a theme, or add elements to a basic pattern. Such a r t i s t i c products are the result of a high level of creative involvement with ideas. A similar feeling i s induced i n the observer confronting the work of art for the f i r s t time. Through the use of chequerboard patterns, B. M. Hicki (1972) showed that subjects became most aroused at a high but intermediate level of chequerboard complexity. They also preferred that level of complexity to others, as being the most aesthetically pleasing. 58 3.4 Novelty When new objects are i n themselves indifferent, the efforts that are necessary for conceiving them, exalt and enliven the frame of the mind, make i t receive a strong impression from them and thus render them i n some measure agreeable. Gerard, An Essay on Taste Anything that strikes the individual as unusual qualifies as a novelty, but i t i s only relatively different from everything else he has experienced. There i s no such thing as experiencing something that has no relation to any previous experience. I t i s possible to come across a shade of colour or an odour for the f i r s t time, but i t must be possible to locate i t among others that are well-known; that i s , i t i s perceived as a combination of familiar colours or odours. The case may be made that permitting novelty i n the physical environment i s capricious and indefensible over time. The feeling of having encountered something new need not be transitory. In nonaesthetic surroundings, something with a striking difference can provide lasting satisfaction to the individual, just as an o i l painting serves as a long-lasting diversion for the office worker i n dreary surroundings. Novel experiences can be lasting for individuals may renew them again and again. Novel elements i n the environment may be uneconomic, 59 but their psychological important may very well outweigh monetary considerations. A street that takes an unexpected turn or suddenly becomes narrow causes some problems for simple efficient development of properties and for the movement of t r a f f i c . However, the novelty of such an occurence may be sufficient stimulus alone for the unique development of a shopping or housing area. By-laws that are universally applicable w i l l rule out. novel events, unless planners can seize a unique opportunity, or permit a novel infringement of the law. A building that i s not set back from the street i n an area where setback requirements are uniformly observed, i s a kind of novelty. I t ceases to be novel when there i s no general rule to break. Novel variations i n the environment may be the left-overs of a time of no regulation, or the survivors of a systematic check by zoning officers. In these cases, the work of the planner w i l l be involved in the preservation of these physical oddities. In the heavily regulated present, the planner himself must institute idiosyncracies into his physical plan. For instance, an effort has been made to make the inner oily somehow similar to suburbia or vice versa. This has been attempted through the introduction of pastoral elements such as treed pedestrian malls, and suburban style shopping centres. One of the advantages of the workplace separated 60 from the home, i s i t s difference i n quality. Different a c t i v i t i e s require marked changes i n ambient characteristics of the setting. The designer must consider a sudden change i n scale, in colour, i n street pattern as a means of introducing novelty. A black tower i n an area of light-coloured buildings, or a curving street i n a rectilinear plan have a similar effect: they require psychological adaptation by the observer. The strategy or purpose for these actions i s not explicit, as i n other planning decisions, but imp l i c i t . That i s , an expressed need i s not satisfied, but potential creativity i s nurtured. The psychological effect of arousal, leading to some creative response, i s all-important. 3.5 Expec t a t i ons With a low and rhythmical movement i t led him here, there, everywhere, towards a state of happiness noble, unintelligible, yet clearly indicated. And then suddenly, having reached a certain point from which he was prepared to follow i t , after pausing for a moment, abruptly i t changed i t s direction, and i n a fresh movement, more rapid, multiform, melancholy, incessant, sweet, i t bore him off with i t towards a vis t a of joys unknown (Proust, A l a Recherche du Temps Perdu.) As an important part of the human need for security, we constantly anticipate the experience of the next moment, 61 what i s li k e l y to come next. Our behaviour depends not only on the form the stimulus takes, but also on the form that i t was expected to take. I f i n fact our expectations are confirmed, perception w i l l be f a c i l i t a t e d . This i s closely related to the idea that making the city observable or comprehensible visually, makes for f u l f i l l e d expectations (Wurman, 1971)• This i s accomplished through raising expectations of a certain activity or building form i n an unseen part of the c i t y , and t h e n i f u l f i l l i n g those expectations. A tourist guidebook has much the same effect. A preconception of the area i s implanted i n the individual, which i s then confirmed in re a l i t y . A slight discrepancy between the expectation and the reality may alter the person's perception slightly, or he may be disappointed or confused. Posters and other references depicting an historic area of the city and how to reach i t have the effect of raising expectations, but also, define the historic area, package i t for inconspicuous consumption. In this sense, the expectation i s really a new consciousness about an area. For the purposes of creative response, i t i s usually desirable to violate expectations to some extent. This can be accomplished by introducing the element of surprise into a plan. By this we do not mean novelty, for the psychological effect of novelty i s usually different from that of surprise (Home, 1765). 62 This often occurs without formal planning, through the juxtaposition of elements that would not normally he placed together. Because the unusual element violates the expectations of the individual, he i s forced to look at i t i n a fresh way, unclouded by preconooptions - "reculer pour roieux regarder". Surprising incidents can create much of the appeal of stories and plays. Painting and sculpture often incorporate incongruities i n order to violate expectations, and pique the interest of the spectator. In the physical environment, movement has much to do with expectations. In the contemporary ethic, planners try to accomodate changes i n activity or atmosphere by making them gradual. The "slow-fast gradient" of t r a f f i c movement for example (Alexander, 1968) describes the situation in which the speed of movement i s gradually altered as i s the ambient, le v e l . In re a l i t y , harsh contrasts are the rule rather than the exception and seem to be a desirable condition i n most established c i t i e s . Sidewalk cafes on busy streets have this effect. A steel-and-glass building amid old stone and brick warehouses i s an inspired violation of expectations. The conversion of warehouses to fashionable shops and residences, of defunct factories to restaurants, of homes to workshops and workshops to homes, a l l have a similar psychological effect; v i z . taking a c t i v i t i e s and places out of their traditional 63 contexts. The notion of building up expectations and then noticeably departing from them i s the principle behind creative response through the manipulation of variety (Hapoport and Hawkes, 1970). An expected result at the end of a street may be violated when the traveller arrives there; for instance, a facade would suggest a right-hand turn but upon reaching the end of the street, the driver discovers he must go around the building. t expectations f u l f i l l e d 7* expectations violated The intent of the planner need not always be made expli c i t , or a l l the consequences anticipated. The opportunities should be abundant throughout the city for creation within the limits imposed by the planner. Limits, i f only in the form of zoning standards, are necessary to any successful creation, and to cooperation by large numbers of people. 64 These environmental attitudes are offered as the essential conditions for creativity. Design that attempts to induce these values, deals directly with the problems of change, in s t a b i l i t y and insecurity, by i n v i t i n g purposeful, individual involvement i n the process of change. In this chapter we have not attempted to put limits on these attitudes, but i t i s recognized that they have optimum operating levels. As stimuli, these attitudes evoke the so-called "orientation reaction", or i f they are extremely intense or novel, the "defensive reaction" (Sokolov, 1958; Berlyne, i960) . Moderating devices maintain complexity, conflict, ambiguity, etc., at low levels. These sorts of actions lower the arousing potential of the environment: The designer can 'miniaturize' through historic preservation, local-area, or neighbourhood planning, beautLfica-tion, the 'streets are for people' mentality. He can subdue the intensities of experience by spreading out a c t i v i t i e s , separating functional areas of the c i t y , homogenizing, and simplifying. His structures can be simple, evident i n such urban designs as the orthogonal-modular, concentric and Baroque city plans, and the "access-tree principle" (Okamoto, 1969) 65 of movement. He can set up clear expectations that are f u l f i l l e d i n some other part of the design, by making direction and destination legible, by making signage monumental (Yenturi, 1972), by "making the city observable" (Wurman, 1971). He can conform to rules restricting the kinds of elements and combinations so that the individual observer can recognize redundancies, both distributional and correlational. For this strategy, there i s zoning, and the aesthetics of Las Vegas, Times Square and Park Avenue. Unity demands that conflict be resolved and reintegrated by dominance, the principle of synthesis. This integration i s effected subordinating competing visual attraction to an idea or plan or orderly arrangement (Graves, 1951* p.112) The designer can also attempt to slow the rate of change, and introduce low v a r i a b i l i t y i n place and time. A l l of these a c t i v i t i e s have the effect of creating an apparent, external order, and describe the selfconscious design process. To an extent, these are the ongoing designs of the present-day, anathema to creativity. This thesis presumes a necessary shift from this moderating stance to the creative attitude stance i n urban design. 66 CHAPTER 4: PLANNING FOR CREATIVE DESIGN The f i r s t two chapters stressed the necessity of individual involvement i n creative processes i n order to permit, the individual to interact with his environment. By 'process*' i s meant psychological changes, new or unanticipated experiences, that may result, i n design changes i n the physical environment. An essential requirement for these design processes i s a certain psychological condition including aspects of conflict, expectation, ambiguity, novelty, and complexity (Chapter 3), based on the hypothesis that these conditions are most conducive to creativity. These psychological states can be induced by introducing analogous situations to the environmental context. While we know l i t t l e about the way i n which an individual may react or behave to a given set of stimuli, aesthetic theory t e l l s us much about how the stimuli are perceived. We know that certain environmental conditions are l i k e problem sets - d i f f i c u l t i e s i n movement, obstacles to perception, the creation of stress -and through their solutions lead! the individual to new experience. The behavioural or creative end-products of this experience are most, d i f f i c u l t to define or predict, and are not integral to creative fulfilment. A confrontation with new experience may result i n a number of somewhat unpredictable responses including outright rejection, a change i n attitude, a change in behaviour, 67 or some creative action. The results are spontaneous and personal, and demonstrate the reconstitution of behaviour and experience through the process of creation. This i s how the physical environment i s made meaningful. 4.1 Determinants of a Creative Flan A corollary to this theory of creative psychological states, i s planning action that best f i t s the requirements of the individual i n his environment. Successful creative planning must include the following characteristics for design purposes: f l e x i b i l i t y , continuity, and contingencies. F l e x i b i l i t y : Any plan or design must f a c i l i t a t e i t s adaptation to the needs of the users. These needs are a sphere of influence that only the users themselves can properly define and f u l f i l l . Successful f l e x i b i l i t y i n a design may exhibit the characteristics of smbiguity, since multiple or flexible usage means that purpose w i l l not be clear. F l e x i b i l i t y does not mean an anticipation of a l l the uses of a thing, but simply leaving the design open-ended. Changes i n pattern or motif make i t clear to the user community that idiosyncracies can be accomodated. Changes i n the direction of movement in a 68 c i t y make i t clear that there are many ways to orient one's acti v i t i e s and build infrastructure. Variety connotes the presenoe of f l e x i b i l i t y i n planning, though i t i s not i n i t s e l f the limit of f l e x i b i l i t y . Continuity: A l l changes must physically demonstrate that they constitute an uninterrupted sequence of events. This i s a necessary condition for the types of creativity that implicitly assume that something new proceeds from something existing, and that new ideas proceed from the presence of the historic gamut. Besides continuity i n time there i s continuity i n place, where the traditional forms of an area can be strengthened and act as a source of inspiration to others (Hodighiero, 1965). Continuity i n architectural tradition as opposed to imitation, can be a creative response to the existing environment. Continuity i s seen here as an ordering influence on the mind, but assumes that change i s integral to continuity. Contingencies; Ideally we would avoid problems by forseeing them. Short of this we often apply a rule or principle and use a lo g i c a l , systematic method to arrive at a solution to a problem. But this i s not a creative use of the problem i t s e l f . A problem i s never defined i n isolation of solutions, since no problem can exist entirely of i t s e l f . A painter of the hard-edge school takes his easel not to a pastoral setting for inspiration but re l i e s chiefly on 69 subconscious sources, just as a wil d l i f e painter seeks his own sources outside the studio. Most people solve everyday d i f f i c u l t i e s using materials and methods at hand, so that the results have a kind of ad hoc appearance. In small-scale change, the resources of the community are often overlooked i n the search for ideas. Existing patterns and information might, i f presented i n a meaningful fashion provide the necessary contingencies to the design solutions. A consideration of contingencies aids i n the meaningful complexity of an environment: the designer exercises his choioe and considers some portion of an endless l i s t of considerations. 4.2 Selfoonscious Design Approaches The conscious design process deals with established or emergent conditions. The concerns are with solving the crises of today, ameliorating existing conditions, or anticipating and avoiding, the crises of tomorrow. Beyond the democratic methods, authoritarian planning creates fragments of Utopias, usually taking the form of architectural design on a city scale. Examples are Chandigarh, Cumbernauld, and Br a s i l i a . Among the dominant planning approaches we can distinguish three; the Formalist Approach, the Heuristic Approach, and the 70 Operating Unit Approach (Boguslaw, 1965)• The Formalist Approach i s characterized hy the implicit or explicit use of models. In other terms, explicit may mean replica models, where f i e l d conditions are set up i n the laboratory setting (Chapanis, 1961). Simulation techniques including computer simulation models are examples of systems that describe present conditions and attempt to predict emergent conditions. Implicit use includes symbolic models, ideas, concepts, and abstract, symbols to represent the real thing. They use lines and arrows to symbolize information flow and diagrammatic blocks to symbol!ze<major elements of a system. Mathematical models are a subclass of these symbolic models. The Archigram architectural group uses models derived from science f i c t i o n to industrial machinery. Paolo Soleri has adopted the machine as his ci t y model (Jencks, 1971) • Halprin (1969) has fashioned a curious amalgam of explicit and implicit modelling to simulate creative processes i n the environment. The Heuristic Approach i s one that uses principles to provide guides for action. I t i s not bound by preconceptions about the situations the system w i l l encounter. Its principles ostensibly provide action guides even i n the face of completely unanticipated situations and i n situations for which no formal model or analytic solution i s available. In this sense, at least* 71 heuristic methods proceed from available information. Occasionally, these exalted principles take on a globalily and vagueness reminiscent of Proudhon (1969)• This new notion of heuristic has been useful to describe the operational principles for computer programming (Boguslaw, 19&5) . So i t i s not surprising that a mathematician l i k e Christopher Alexander would find this approach apt, for the design of the urban environment, through the use of "patterns". The Operating Unit Approach begins with people or environments carefully selected to possess certain performance characteristics. I t belongs to the Behaviourist and Technologist schools,, and i s therefore strongly deterministic. The human units of Walden Two (Skinnder, 1948) f i t t e d the requirements of the social and physical system created in that fi c t i o n a l utopia. In that case, the humans were explicitly conditioned to respond to a diminished spectrumi of stimuli. In the more subtle social engineering of today, planners attempt to quantify or model the "expected" actions of the individual and thus provide for his "basic needs". Such attempts inevitably f a l l short of the task, and with the resulting environmental r i g i d i t y , the individual's responses are limited. 72 4.3 Contingency planning Environmental creativity of the kind described to this point has as i t s single goal, the creation of a dynamic urban design. This i s a design process that i s least concerned with ends, and chiefly concerned with process. The products of our present culture, as w i l l be pointed out shortly, are mostly irrelevant to the creativity and dynamism of our c i v i l i s a t i o n . The successful communication of ideas and symbols, i s the measure of a successful urban design process, and not the environmental end-product. Nicholas Schoffer (1969) has described the future city as one concerned with the ideas i n art, rather than the products of the a r t i s t i c process. In an age when information can be instantly conveyed, product generation becomes incidental to the process. The history of Western Art and architecture has been one of a fascination with the object; the apparent success of the object determined the a r t i s t i c success, with the idea somewhere in the shadow. In the city we have been preoccupied with the building of a piece, organic or mechanistic. Buildings axe regarded as static pieces of art, and always as physical objects. Aesthetic controls are concerned with the object, and the public i s similarly educated and motivated. In planning, many competing philosophies seldom find their f u l l expression i n any physical environment. Often as i s 73 the case with the Formalist, Operating Unit and Heuristic systems, the approach is relevant only to certain situations or problems. The plan or proposal is usually most successful i f the proponents choose among these competing philosophies and formulate solutions as they become apparent. That is to say, needs and goals are not defined initiall y so as to arrive ultimately at their solutions, but become apparent in the process (Granger, 1969), and the physical changes that result from this process of synthesis are happy by-products. It would seem desirable from the point of view of creativity development to maximize the opportunities for action in the environment. We already know that the level of stimulation is raised in a complex environment; that i s , an environment that is built up over time to a high degree of physical visual complexity. Possibilities for action also increase as the environment becomes more complex. The tabula rasa by its nature of being a void will not evoke ideas or possibilities, and the designers will inevitably seek contingencies with which to deal creatively. Much urban redevelopment i s conceived with a belief in a limited set of contingencies and static environmental conditions. For example, in the False Greek area of Vancouver, the City ini t i a l l y defined the study area to include nothing but the City-owned lands, and consistently expanded the study area to privately-owned, highly-developed contiguous areas, at the 74 insistence of various design teams. I t was f e l t that good design would not he achieved in isolation, but would have to be a response or stimulus to the existing development. The process according to the inclindations of the designers was really ad hoc. At the same time, the City was carrying out a policy of creating a tabula rasa of the False Creek lands, removing the l a s t vestiges of private control, and the symbols of past land use or design. Abandoned buildings were consistently razed, and the land bull-dozed to await the designers of the vision. Reduction to simple terms and concepts, which has been previously identified as part of the conscious design process, also took place here. Successive reports became thinner and thinner, as complex decisions were reduoed to the simplest questions (Vancouver planning Department, 1971a, 1971b, 1971°, 1972, 1973). The symbolic authority structure of spaces i s beneficial to any casual observer or user i f applied or maintained i n moderation. The perceived authority of space has nothing whatever to do with relevant design authority. Any space whether public or private property, i s potentially subject to any designer within the community. This gives the designer roles the autonomy they require for creative expression, and permits the implementation of multiple design i n an ad hoc fashion, or succeeding alterations over time. 75 The salient point about good design i s that i t always proceeds from contingencies. At any stage i n a development, one takes account of the then-existing conditions and plans appropriate strategies. Present-day techniques of building conservation are often of necessity of an ad hoc nature. Besides the psychological benefits of conserving environments, such as the sense of historical continuity, of variety i n the landscape and i n land usage, there are economic benefits to be reaped as well. Large-scale change and upheaval i s expensive and risky. The regeneration 1 of older buildings for new uses can be economically sound, and the opportunity i s available to "tack on" new structures to the old. Transferring the traditional F-S-B to adjacent properties i s one well-known method of retaining one structure, while encouraging the development of adjacent properties. The loss of the Singer Building i n New York was a blatant result of the inab i l i t y of the planners to seize existing opportunities, to conceive of ad.hoc solutions (Okamoto, 19&9)• A significant and useful building was raced to make room for the U.S. Steel building, while insignificant structures on the same property were torn down for a windy plaza. At fault was the heuristic of a r i g i d zoning formula. In this way contingency planning could permit the introduction of new design values as they become apparent. 76 " I n f i l l " development has been championed by many as an appropriate strategy for the inner c i t y , where development pressures receive no guidance from the existing legal mechanisms. " I n f i l l " strategies could be guided by selection process based on community values. Cataclysmic change i n the Pairview Slopes area of Vancouver was a typical example of the i n f l e x i b i l i t y of controls and the lack of a creative,process i n the building of that environment (Ell i g o t t and Zacharias, 1973)• Rampant land speculation and the destruction of existing buildings belied the actual abundance of open space for building. At. work was a randomized process of selection, where any site was equally subject to redevelopment. The assumption i s implicit i n zoning, i t s e l f , which seen as an urban design mechanism, treats creation as random structuring of uncatalogued, unpredictable elements. This i s about as valid a view as Darwin's theory of the process of natural selection as the means to evolution i n organisms. A distinct advantage of the grid street system of North American c i t i e s i s that i t fosters contingencies. New structures can be "plugged i n " , and open space can be built upon, without disrupting the existing physical form. Existing environments can serve as stimuli for successive changes; the plan i s open-ended. There i s a lamentable trend i n large c i t i e s toward the breakdown of the orthogonal-modular grid through large-scale development. 77 While large-scale development must be accepted and welcomed i n this day and age, we should seek, ways of increasing diversity i n design choices and differential rates of change. An increase i n the number of elements i n the design i s necessary. Besides, immediate and continuous changes by the real users would permit creative involvement of ••non-designers", and reconcile new projects with their old surroundings. New towns provide perhaps the greatest p o s s i b i l i t i e s for pluralist design since everything must be built from scratch. Unfortunately, town-designing up to now has been done by a simple expansion of architectural methods, resulting i n a static master plan and a static c i t y (Llewelyn-Davies et a l , 1970). The New Town described here, Milton-Keynes, makes use of the existing towns and natural landscape within i t s boundaries for use as contingencies: by preserving them!, and blending them into the new ci t y fabric. The fixed elements have been arranged so as to allow the greatest possible scope for freedom and change. Since l i t t l e has been pre-ordained, the thinking and planning process w i l l have to be continued throughout and cityf's period of building. Housing i s being built through a variety of means, so as to increase variety and choice, while permitting several design levels to participate. Growth directions are provided i n every house, so that rooms may be added, joined or divided according to need and resources. 78 Urban design must pay conspicuous attention to the "unselfconscious tradition" (Silver, 1970) i n architecture. It i s defined i n terms of that area which the architect does not design - 98 per cent of the world; or, i f defined i n terms of that area which i s uninfluenced by the architect, the figure i s reduced to about 80 per cent (Doxiadis, 1963). This does not mean that the environment i s accidental, for a l l of it. i s and always has been consciously directed. Urban design must recognize "vernacular" design by making available an increased number of design opportunities, and by making a l l plans open-ended. The remarkable rise of experimental architecture around the industrialized world has strong implications for the b u i l t environment (Gook, 1970). Many of the prototypes when built w i l l explode our ideas of space, our conceptions of l i v i n g and working spaces and i n fact our images of the c i t y . In order to accomodate these kinds of changes, we w i l l have to accept ambiguity, complexity and conflict as basic attributes of the environment. With this increasing pluralism in design, the role of the planner w i l l increasingly be one of an integrator. His role i n urban design can be enhanced by his involvement i n the creation of problem-solving conditions. Technology can be made meaningful through i t s casual use and manipulation i n the environment. Yona Friedman's'spatial 79 constructs" exemplify ad hoc designs using modern technology, within the context of an established urban environment (Dahinden, 1972). Joseph Weber's designs for a "high density c i t y strip development" emphasize the dynamic quality of the city with i t s increasing rate of change. High-powered technology and industrialized building are adopted freely into the plan, while attempting to promulgate an atmosphere of growth, change and human involvement. Components can be displaced or replaced with a minimumi of disruption (Dahinden, 1972). An Archigram project for a 'Control and Choice" dwelling also approached this problem of technology and humanness (Cook et a l , 1967). The project was called "Control and Choice" following a magazine a r t i c l e which discussed the inevitable paradox between the anarchic and free nature of a responsive mechanism for the support of individual people, and the logic of optimization, standardization and economics which imply a control over what can be supplied for human needs. However, technology does provide i t s own kind of f l e x i b i l i t y . While many theorists continue to propose refinements for long-range planning, technology has provided the individual with flexible l i v i n g systems that deny any relation to the past or future. Mobile home parks are flexible i n time and place, and 80 their components can be dispersed, collected, reorganized or moved across the province i n a matter of days. "Instant City" has a number of implications for the individual and his basic needs (Greene, 1969). The standardized minimal design of the module i t s e l f provides continuity in an environment that may change from day to day. The creative experience of the individual i s in his immediate environment, much l i k e the American touring from the stable conditions of the automobile interior. Greene's proposal for an ad hoc nation-wide city that i s never fixed i n space, nor inextricably linked to other units, implies that the environment w i l l always be changing, offering conflicts and challenges, unforseen events and d i f f i c u l t i e s . The individual acts directly to change his immediate environment, simply by moving. This extreme mobility i s a good argument, for creating exaggerated diversity in the urban landscape, as people begin to exercise the increasing choices that are_becoming available. While the module may satisfy certain human needs very well, i t s use by many people raises some social problems. An increasing use of standardized building materials means that f l e x i b i l i t y of choice w i l l be raised on the micro scale, but the sameness of these structures on the macro scale w i l l be an overpowering drawback. Therefore, we w i l l have to introduce the anomalous situations that characterized our c i t i e s when design and aesthetic choice could be exercised on the macro scale. Conflict 81 and contradiction w i l l not just happen, they w i l l have to he designed. 4.4 Feedback Mechanisms Feedin and feedback, analogous to the concept of stimulus and response, are integral to the ad hoc approach. Feedback makes i t possible to develop new rules that recognize earlier successes, to improve already existing but less successful things, and to verify a well-tested model for the future. The feedback mechanism i s perhaps the most important ingredient to the planner's urban design recipes, since i t provides the major source of contingencies. Planners are very anxious to know what i t i s people want in their environments. Yet i t i s immediately obvious that this sort of question requires 1) prior knowledge on the part of the respondent regarding the present environment and 2) po s s i b i l i t i e s for a future environment. It has been shown that planners may present alternatives themselves and have people choose between them, as trade-offs, with good response. But from a creative point of view, this approach i s lacking i n three essential ways. F i r s t , i t assumes that there i s a f i n i t e l i m i t to the achievement of one's wishes; that "y° u 82 can't have your cake and eat i t too". Secondly, i t assumes existing conditions i n the minds of the respondents while asking for change i n the responses. Thirdly, such an approach does not. separate motivation from creative response. In this question of response, we generally do not recognize the various levels of motivation i n an individual but. rather we assume a key word to act as a sufficient stimulus to a response. I t i s not. very important to know what the response from the user i s , but why i t i s he responded in that way: the "what" i s the p o l i t i c a l question and "why" i s the motivational, planning question. In this respect modern marketing research t e l l s us that opinion polls, question-answer surveys, and memory r e c a l l , are methods whichevade the motivational response (Farrow, 1969) . The results of surveys though they may be s t a t i s t i c a l l y sound, are limited by the experience of the respondent, the mind frame of the question, and the passive role the respondent i s placed i n . In a word such methods do not seek creative answers to questions. The argument i s offered with the proviso that consumer behaviour i s precisely the same in motivational terms as environmental responsiveness. The level of complexity i n the latter i s obviously higher, which supports the conclusion more strongly that passive motivational techniques such as surveys are unsuitable for obtaining feedback. 83 The chief contention here i s that monitoring can to some degree be done through direct observation by the researcher of the effects of design. This requires experimentation. Experimentation w i l l at the same time widen the f i e l d of vision of the respondent and researcher. A successful experiment can have tremendous influence on groups and individuals. This i s the essential distinction between feedback mechanisms i n operation today, and the type suggested by Silver (1972) and Lil i e n t h a l (1953). The introduction of new desires or values into the feedback mechanism automatically changes the process from a piecemeal operation or master plan into an evolving plan based on traditional and emerging rules. The responsive environment i s essentially the recreation of a natural communication system we lost sometime during the Industrial Revolution. The present environment tends toward both visual simplicity and extreme functional complexity. This double and opposite movement erodes our comprehension of objects. Since this physical manifestation i s really a breakdown in communications, we must seek alternative processes to stimulate creative response. Individuals i n the designer role should have access to a broad range of materials, methods and ideas. Rather than develop an information exchange that attempts to define single, pervasive goals for development, the process should capitalize 84 on existing p o s s i b i l i t i e s for a pluralist, approach to design. Today's second machine age of cybernetic production offers the opportunity for a more responsive, individualized, differentiated environment. The Signs/Lights/Boston design group were given the task of defining the information problem i n that, city, and making suggestions toward a better visual environment (1969)• The information centre they created included a random access information retrieval system that selected and printed a take away card when any of the 120 question buttons on the face of the machine was pressed. Information on act i v i t i e s i n the v i c i n i t y came from questionnaire responses and were displayed i n the respondent's own words. Each activity was keyed to a grid location on a map. Slide-and-sound presentations offered various impressions and experiences of the c i t y , as seen by private individuals and groups. A feedback mechanism allowed people's verbal reactions to the centre to be recorded, and the recommended changes effected i n the centre i t s e l f . The information centre incorporated the idea that design i s choice. Fragmented and incomplete information was collected i n a meaningful way i n a single location. An information centre can be made useful to the urban design process, by making relevant information available to the homeowner, tenant, non-professional designer, and 85 professional designer, a l l involved i n Iheir own sphere of design. Five types of information should he included: 1) current development projects and design proposals for the city 2) historical development, of the c i t y , character of local areas, the regional architecture 3) resource catalogue (computer searches f i l e f or materials and eliminates unsuitable items of information according to cost input, size input, design input, etc.) 4) methods catalogue, giving the uninitiated fundamental information on construction and design techniques 5) administrative procedure for design approval, by-laws, building codes, etc. Items 3) and 4) can be provided through a f i l i n g system similar to the IBM system now being installed i n many modem l i b r a r i e s . Information i s called up and displayed on a monitor simply by punching the relevant, "questions" on a typewriter keyboard. This kind of service i n the downtown would bring important design information within the reach of everyone. At the same time, a design exchange has the effect of gathering together the ideas of the community within a single, conceptual frame. One changes environment-building from a stochastic, linear process to a conmiunally organized process. 36 Individuality and creativity are not sacrificed for participation but can benefit from interaction. Improving design sense i n this way also enhances the individual's a b i l i t y to make educated choices i n other areas of consumer or producer behaviour. The purely design-oriented information complements the consumer function of information provided by r e t a i l outlets and cultural centres. An important by-product of the centre i s that i t confuses public and private domains of action. A l l design action can be redefined as strategies for change based on a pluralist view of the environment, the community and philosophies of renewal. Design i s ultimately the result of internal processes i n the individual, and thus defies the a r t i f i c i a l public-private dichotomy. In this lig h t "user design" i s often a retrograde concept. A l l individual, internalized creative processes can benefit from group interaction, from community interaction, and from some externalization of the design process. In the same way, "users" can learn from "professionals", as i n the worker-manager relationship. The creative function of the planner i s i n the design of the framework for other designers, and the coordination of plans, and the input of municipal energy and resources, when i t i s deemed necessary. Experiments i n urban design are another source of 87 feedback into the process. There have been many examples of "minimal malls" created through individual or group i n i t i a t i v e , though always without the f u l l deployment of potential design capability i n the community. The "pilot mall" concept (Downtown Idea Exchange, 1968) describes a method by which local r e t a i l outlets can collectively improve the public space i n front of their shops, and alter i t according to the feedback received. Communities of every size, and i n i t i a t i v e from differing levels of concern have sponsored these spontaneous, ad hoc changes i n the physical environment. In a small r e t a i l area off the Boston Common, a realtor spurred the local proprietors into the creation of an experimental pedestrian mall. Boston ci v i c planners made the necessary provisions. The individual outlets on the street staged various promotions and events with commercial and non-commercial overtones. Changes have since been made to enhance and extend the original mall. Similarly, the city of Port Worth staged i t s own experimental mall called "Downtown Futurama". This mall tested some future proposals for the downtown while providing an immediate opportunity for local and individual i n i t i a t i v e i n design. It i s important to realize that education i s part of the design process. Adult education of the urban environment, can be carried out through the mass media. Wurman (1971) gives 88 a compendium of contemporary examples of walking tours, architectural tours, community maps, and "urban observatories" that encourage public participation i n becoming aware of urban design. Graphic, film, and computer techniques are also enlisted to make information comprehensible on more than a superficial basis; that i s , information when conveyed i n a clear visual form can create visual understanding, and thus be made applicable to design. Abstract information becomes concrete. Complicated becomes simple. Board games such as On the Buses (1973) serve to educate the participant on the workings of a mode of transport. Tours can be taken one step further, not only providing the individual with the means to understanding, but placing a design tool within his reach. A tour may be prepared describing the subject, or what i t i s we want to learn, and leave the actual design of the tour to the individual. Ideas are raised in the abstract and the "tourist" must concretise them, make the tour and record i t i n some way. Design i s then part of action. In summary, we can re-iterate that statement made i n Chapter 1; that an individual's experience of the environment cannot be separated from his actions i n the environment. There i s no linear, or circular -process at work here. Education proceeds simultaneously with action and vice versa. The response 89 mechanisms - education programmes through the electronic media and field experience, information collation and retrieval systems, the ideas exchange centre, experiments in environmental design - interconnect but do not have an order of priority or hierarchy. 90 CHAPTER 5: THE CONFLUENT FUTURE The creative themes of the Industrial and Post-Industrial Ages have been the dichotomies of polar opposites - science and art, art and l i f e , individual and society, creativity and conformity, man and nature. In the accelerating change of the present age, a vastly increased body of knowledge lends cr e d i b i l i t y to a pl u r a l i s t view of the individual's role in his environment. Discrete subject areas are dissolving into a metamorphic "soup", the cocoon state of uncertainty preceding the emergence of a new order. Metamorphosis i s a creative process. Rather than attempt to resurrect the design traditions of the past, or invent new orders prematurely, we would do better to seek a greater personal awareness of our environment, the constitution of our experience, and what we can do to make our presence i n the environment meaningful. With accelerating change, and the determinants of purposeful change exploding beyond any one person's comprehension, we cannot hope to arrest movement with stable orders. Urban design as an orderly physical framework for growth limits the creative potential of the design process, while predicting the design future. The physical environment does not act independently except as individuals design i t . Urban design must, be a 91 product of the creativity of individuals within a community creative process. Less than this level of involvement in design will render the environment less meaningful, and the process of design more like random structuring. In general in society, hierarchical structure, closed systems, and conscious direction are being replaced by ad hoc structure, open systems and unconscious direction. The urban design structure should provide the means for direct involvement with the environment. Design direction is nurtured through the development of a creative psychological state and the provision of information resources. The learning approach to design in summary i s charac-terized by: - defined beginnings and undefined ends - the creative drive of individuals as the motivating force - internal ordering - an orientation in time to the present - an orientation in place to the proximate - a pluralist view of participants - respect for the individual's need for creative outlet - respect for creative results, over structured outcomes 92 - the participation of every individual within his range of abilities - fixed rules and adaptable strategies - universal access to information - learning through doing Design action for the nurturing of creative potential is characterized by: - incremental, ad hoc action - open-ended, flexible designs - complex orders - an i n i t i a l impermanency - an incremental permanency - richness of meaning in content - richness of contextual meaning - the signature of the individual - a plan that proceeds and evolves with action - the gleanings of past experience - the perceptual problem-solving situation - the metaphor and archetype - an affinity with environment, natural and man-made - the interrelatedness of the parts - the integrity of the small part - the part never being the whole - the whole never occurring at once 93 - the mosaic quality of the product at any stage i n i t s building These characterize the emerging creative urban design process that gives meaning to the individual-experience-environment relationship. Many aspects of the process already exist i n varying forms i n our world: there are creative processes operating in government, self-regulating systems, i n architecture, in biological growth, in industrial management, i n technological production, and i n the dissemination of information (cf. Appendix). The need for a viable design process for the urban environment becomes increasingly evident i n our time. The need for beauty i s a l l but universal, and Lawrence may very well be right in saying that "the human soul needs actual beauty even more than bread". But more than the i l l u s i v e concept of an aesthetically pleasing environment, we need to feel a oneness with the physical environment. The basic components of our l i f e - birth, growth, change, decay, and death are a l l present i n the innate design of the natural environment. Even creative, purposeful change appears to be present i n nature as i t i s i n our own world. Yet our designing process has lacked these essential elements, even as we attempted to ensure beauty, harmony, and meaningful activity. Perhaps the fault has been not with the results but 94 with the nature of the process. Urban designing i s more an art than a science. In order to make creativity an integral component of the urban design process, design must be integrated with the activity of ci t y planning. Instead of attempting to specialize the design activity of planners, we should attempt to educate a design sense, or environmental awareness in a l l planners. This w i l l result partly from broad education, varied experience, creative attitudes. The need for a generalized design practice i s based i n the belief that specialist planners w i l l ultimately find their advisory function usurped by specialists from other f i e l d . In order to act as designers, planners must be involved i n the designing activity of the c i t y . To this end they must begin to understand and question the origins for the most mundane, taken-for-granted aspects of the urban environment. Our culture i s constantly being renewed i n the physical environment. Students of urban design should attempt some understanding of the service station, the drugstore, the suburban home, the residential block, the home-to-work t r i p , the shopping r i t u a l , etc. These elements constitute the physical environment as i t exists and provide the contingencies for future change. The designer w i l l have to invent a new language to be able to communicate the new understanding of the c i t y . He w i l l have to rely on direot experience for inferences. 95 I t i s also the designer's responsibility to disseminate urban design information. The role of education i s increasingly important i n our society. One-third of the population i s enrolled in school. The education system sadly lacks i n programmes that orient the student to the urban environment. Tours and f i e l d trips that use a discovery approach are essential to widening the horizons of the participant. In Chapter 4 an exchange centre was proposed. This i s an i n i t i a l step in recognizing the existence of purposeful design activity occurring everywhere in the c i t y . The process lacks the meaning that a coordinated effort for information and idea exchange would generate. The existence of such a centre would i t s e l f generate news through the electronic media, newspapers, and journals, i n this way expanding i t s immediate impact. In general, we need to take a more casual, less pragmatic approach to the design of our c i t i e s . Every new development has traditionally fenced out the public while the almost clandestine building goes on within. Ways should be found to bring the public within the fence, including tours of the site, simulated tours of models, short courses i n construction technique, public events in the incomplete structure. Cultural events were held on 'the Expo '67 site i n Montreal prior to i t s opening, raising expectations of the completed f a i r and 96 enabling the casual v i s i t o r to observe the continuity of the construction process. Every new development should have the means of obtaining and disseminating feedback. In this way major new construction w i l l once again take on r i t u a l meaning for the c i i y . Experimental environments should become an on-going activity of art galleries or museums. Beyond an art form, self-controlled environments provide new information to the individual about his space perceptions and his personal needs. Wrapping buildings demonstrates the meaning of an experimental environment. 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Block Should Group or Individual Work Come  Fi r s t on Problems Requiring Creative Thinking When  Equal Time i s Devoted to Each?, New Haven; Department of Industrial Administration, Yale University, 1957. Thorpe, William Learning and Instinct in Animals, London; Methuen, 1964. Thurstone, Louis Primary Mental A b i l i t i e s , Chicago; University of Chicago Press, 1957. Torrance, Paul Guiding Creative Talent, Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1962. Tsypkin, I. Foundations of the Theory of Learning Systems, New York; Academic Press, 1973. Venturi, Robert Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, New York; Museum of Modern Art, 1966. Venturi, Robert Learning from Las Vegas, Cambridge: M.I.T.. Press, 1972. Von Fange, E. G. Professional Creativity, Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1959. Yygotski, L. S. Psikhologiia isskustva, Moscow: Isskustvo, 1965. (Psychology of Art) Wallach, M. A. and N. Kogan "A New Look at, the Creativity-Intelligence Distinction", J. Person., v. 33, 1965, p. 348-69. Wallach, M. A. and N. Kogan Modes of Thinking i n Young Children, New York: Holt Rinehart, 1965. Whiting, C. S. Creative Thinking, New York; Reinhold, 1958. Woods, Shadrach What U Can Do, Houston; Rice University, 1970. Wurman, Saul Making the City Observable, Minneapolis, Minn.; Walker Art Center and M.I.T. Press, 1971. Wurman, Saul Yellow Pages of Learning, Cambridge, Mass.; M.I.T. Press, 1972. 105 APPENDIX A.1 Creative decision-making in municipal government Edward Banfield (19&1) gives a detailed account of the patterns of influence and control that have actually led to decisions i n a major c i t y . He shows that although the lines of administrative and executive control have a formal hierarchical structure, these formal chains of influence and authority are entirely overshadowed by the ad hoc lines of control which arise naturally as each new city problem presents i t s e l f . These ad hoc lines depend on who i s interested i n the matter, who has what at stake, who has what favours to trade with whom. This second structure, which i s informal, working within the framework of the f i r s t , i s really what controls public action. I t varies from week to week, even from hour to hour, as one problem replaces another. Nobody's sphere of influence i s entirely the control of any one superior; each person i s under different influences as the problems change. Although the organization chart i n the mayor's office i s a hierarchy with limited relations between the parts, the actual control and exercise of authority i s a l a t t i c e with many relations between the persons concerned. The formal structure for the design of our c i t i e s consists 106 of a limited number of o f f i c i a l links between developer, architect and planner, but in r e a l i t y , the lines of design influence are complex and informal. The real decisions are not made in the hoard room but over lunch; the great inspiration does not necessarily happen in the office but almost anywhere else. The explicit hierarchy i n the mayor's office finds i t s equivalents i n the apparent structure of the c i t y . No city element has only one relation to some other part, but each has a number of informal connections. Alexander (1966) describes the formal, conscious design process as a "tree", and the unselfconscious process as a "semi-lattice". When we think in terms of trees we are trading the humanity and richness of the l i v i n g city for a conceptual simplicity which benefits only designers, planners, administrators and developers .... In any organized object, extreme compartmentalization and the dissociation of internal elements are the f i r s t signs of coming destruction, (p. 55) Traditional thinking about the design of c i t i e s has mistaken the ostensible structure as the picture of how the structure works. Plans suggest a hierarchy of stronger and stronger closed social groups, ranging from the whole city down to the family, each formed by associational ties of different strength. In r e a l i t y , there are no closed groups of people. Every individual has at least potential access to any public information or action, though the avenues are informal. The difference between a conscious, v i s i b l e decision-ia<7 making process and one that i s unconscious and implicit may manifest i t s e l f as the difference between a central decision and social choice. The central decision i s made by a representative who has fil t e r e d the best interests of groups involved or affected. His decision i s a "solution" to a "problem". A social choice i s made i n an ad hoc fashion, through the independent actions of a number of individuals, who thus achieve a result. Problem and solution may never be defined!. The competition of forces which do not aim at a common goal produces outcomes which may be more workable than any that could be contrived by a central decision-maker consciously searching for solutions i n the common interest. Charles E. Lindblom (1958) has observed that while i t i s customary to think of the analysis of a policy problem as going on i n the mind of one man or of a small group of men, i t can also be seen as a social process. "Fragmentation" of analysis - i . e . analysis that goes on among many indSiviituals or groups, each of whom approaches the problem from his distinctive and limited point of view - may be an aid to the correct weighting of values i n a choice. The rules are defined by societal norms, whereas the strategies vary with the individual. No matter how competent and well-intentioned, a decision-maker can never make an important decision on grounds that are not i n some degree arbitrary. For this reason 108 centralized decision-making often lacks meaning to those individuals ultimately affected. In the social choice process, maximum freedom of action i s given to the greatest number of people, so that action proceeds immediately from creative thought. A.2 Self-regulating recreating communities Sustained growth, traditionally believed to be necessary to the operation of a healthy economy, i s out of favour, people in many communities are advocating industrial and. population growth controls, so that optimum sizes can be reached or maintained. In most cases, then, optimum size i s synonymous with a steady state. What the anti-growth movement does indicate i n a more positive vein, i s the desire for self-control. This can be interpreted for the community as a whole and as a modus Vivendi for one's individual l i f e . In fact, the no-growth sentiment corresponds remarkably to the idea of a self-regulating system, where internalized rules of action control change and interaction with other systems (George, 1965; Tsypkin, 1973). A self-regulating system as applied to the social situation i s a kind of democratization where the power of the ballot box i s replaced by the power of internalized values, and externalized rules. 109 Inherent i n the idea of a self-regulating system i s a change in the scale of action. Since explicit external controls are replaced by internal controls, the implied changes must be at a smaller scale. The city regains i t s significance as a social entity when common lines of action and control must be evolved within the whole community. Bach individual becomes responsible i n an ecological sense for the environment of his experience. Some social organizations are already beginning to incorporate notions of self-regulation. It has been noted that, welfare systems are much better run from below, where decisions are relevant, than from above, where they tend to be costly and unresponsive (Seldon, 1967). A.3 Creative potential in portable architecture The architectual tradition of North America, apart from the ©onscious borrowings from Europe, i s one of lightweight, serviceable structures that meet the average person's need for f l e x i b i l i t y . Wood has been favoured as a quick and inexpensive construction material, permitting change more easily than industrial building materials. The house has always sat. l i g h t l y on i t s terrain. 110 Today equivalents vary from Puller"s Dymaxion houses to self-contained, self-propelled campers. The mobile home i s simply an efficient box on wheels. While i t i s not generally "mobile", owners add to the basic structure as they require more space. The potential of lightweight, minimal housing has escaped most social theorists and designers who are more intent on ministering to the every psycho-social need of consumers. F l e x i b i l i t y and the a b i l i t y to react creatively are provided i n a personal environment that leaves parts of the design programme to be completed ad hoc. Jean-Paul Jungman's Dyodon i s a r e a l i s t i c housing alternative to the tent. These pneumatic residential c e l l s are cheap, and can be deflated and moved at w i l l . Additional rooms can be added (Dahinden, 1972). The nature of the modern house i s not in the slight variations i n structure or form, but in the gadgetry that i t contains (Banham, 1965). Giedion (1948) long ago described the growth of technology i n terms of the production of household gadgets, which have since come to characterize much of our architecture. The house i s really nothing but a shell containing the gadgets that serve us in daily l i f e - they constitute the environment that we can presently manipulate. Cook (in Jencks, 1972) suggests a catalogue of "add-types" for the suburban environment-builder. In this scheme, the typical 111 developer-built suburb presents a uniform modularity of design and function that acts as the minimal structure for individual input. Such items as the bay box, deluxe bay, cage, semicircular bay, lean-to, etc., can be accomodated in the module plan, u n t i l the character of the environment has significantly changed. This sort of add-type catalogue would have a remarkable effect in disseminating ideas for change. As consumerism expands to the l i v i n g environment, individuals have the potential of controlling the quality of their immediate environments. What i s lacking, perhaps, i s an educated process of choice. A.4 Creative biological growth Neotony i s a biological term meaning the gradual retardation of bodily development beyond the age of sexual maturation. In a kind of perpetual youth, a species can adapt to unforseen circumstances, since i t i s never more than a 'child' (Koestler, 1967). By adapting incrementally, as circumstances demand i t , the species does not close i t s options to further adaptation, or close the route to reversal. A species never purposefully makes a radical departure from i t s past action, since such action would be random and meaningless. Such an event would be a needless 112 effort and might possibly spell extinction. In i t s perpetual adaptation, the species remains forever young, i n a constant state of rejuvenation. I t never specializes the becomes fixed in a hierarchical or closed system, since specialization i s an aging process. Hingston (1933) describes the exploits of a wasp i n c r i s i s . He made a hole i n a c e l l of the wasp's nest i n a fiendish way, so that i t could not be repaired from the outside. The wasp wrestled with the task for two hours, u n t i l night came and she had to give up. Next morning, she flew straight to the damaged c e l l , and set about repairing i t from within; something she had never done before. Conflict i n the wasp's work did not prevent i t from adapting and learning from this unusual circumstance. One could speculate that the wasp could be 'taught' to adapt to a range of d i f f i c u l t conditions and improve i t s a b i l i t y to survive and grow i n i t s range of a b i l i t i e s . Most such learning tasks are performed by humans. Neotony i s a correct interpretation of Maslow's theory of self-actualization. Individuals maintain a perpetual youth and capacity to react and create, by performing tasks and being placed i n unfamiliar or problem-solving situations. Car manufacturers operate on the principle that obsolescence w i l l occur i n even the best car design, i f evolution does not take place. The principle i s that the automobile i s a 113 relatively fixed order of functions, but these functions manifest themselves in individual component systems. They make use of already existing, standard components - chassis, brakes, etc. -then proceed by relatively small improvements or modifications of some of these - for instance, by re-designing the body-line or improving the cooling system, or introducing bucket seats. The car manufacturer operates by fixed rules but i s guided by adaptable strategies. All creative-problem solving in fact, is characterized by fixed rules and adaptable strategies. Thorpe (1956) describes the nest-builaBing procedure of a certain bird species as including several different action-patterns, and four different building materials. Bach action and material conform to the rules for a particular stage in the building. The bird begins with some conception of what the completed nest should look like, and some conception of how each additional piece of moss or lichen will contribute to the ideal pattern. But actual construction requires ad hoc adaptation. Fixed rules and adaptable strategies characterize a l l successful organisms in changing environments. Attempting to solve difficult, environmental problems without a strategy will f a i l , as will a single strategy carried to completion. The correct action often does not become apparent until a start i s made, learning is commenced, and therefore continuity i s 114 established. The successful solution r e l i e s on the perception of contingencies as they occur or as they become apparent. A.5 Job environment enrichment Experiments i n job enrichment for workers i n industry have demonstrated the importance of challenge i n the work and participation i n management. Major work i n this f i e l d has been done by Mayo (1960) , Gellerman (1963), Maslow (1954), and MacGregor (i960) . A typical strategy for job enrichment i n industry i s described by Robert N. Ford (1969): 1. Give the employee a good module of work - pull responsibilities back down to this job level i f they have been assigned higher up only for safety's sake - gather together the responsibilities that are now handled by people whose work precedes or follows, including verifying and checking - push certain routine matters down to lower-rated jobs - automate the routine matter completely i f possible -rearrange the parts and divide the total volume of work, so that an employee has a feeling of "my customers", "my responsibility". 2. employee has earned the right, l e t him really run his job. 3. Develop ways for giving employees direct, individual feedback on their own performance (not group indexes). 4. Invent ways of l e t t i n g the job expand so that an employee can grow psychologically. 115 Much of the theory has now become accepted practice in industry since i t has succeeded i n improving job satisfaction and productivity (Goble, 1970). Behind the pragmatism of job enrichment, there i s a fundamental change occurring i n our ideas of the purpose of work and leisure. Management recognizes that a l l serious work or endeavour best organizes i t s e l f into semi-autonomous units, and the rules of the group are best evolved from first-hand experience. I t i s no longer enough for workers to control only the routine of the work, and many corporations now have workers organizing their own physical work environment. At- Non-linear Systems, the time clocks were thrown aray and salesmen's expenses were not accounted in d e t a i l (Goble, 1970). Semi-autonomous work groups at. Non-linear and at Volvo, i n Sweden have demonstrated that work can be meaningful i f there i s a sense of purpose, and a v i s i b l e product of one's efforts. Our c i t i e s w i l l only become meaningful to the people who l i v e i n the^ when the product i s a result of real design involvement by an increased number of semi-autonomous design groups andi individuals. Greater quality and quantity of design production in the environment through a sense of autonomy among the user-designers, i s a distinct possibility for the urban design process, i f job enrichment in industry can be considered an indicator. 116 A.6 Creative potential of design. While the range of consumer products grows, the nature of production and design change also. Our notions of design and function have not really kept pace with technological changes. Modern devices are becoming increasingly complex, and the purpose i s entirely for ease and economy. A kitchen stove i s a combination of d i s t i n c t systems that c a l l s to mind not i t s working order, i t s functional complexity, but i t s external shape. I t has an archetype. But. there i s no essential principle of arrangement for the systems inter se in an aggregation l i k e a stove (Pye, 1964) It i s functional but i t s function has l i t t l e to do with i t s design. The revolution i n mathematical calculators i s an example of this trend toward complexity and design freedom. The f i r s t calculators were clumsy and u t i l i t a r i a n ; the box that contained the mechanism had to conform to the restrictions of the bulky parts. The modern calculator could conceivably be designed i n the form of a thimble, a hairbrush or a pipe. Although our gadgets have become more complex, miniaturization and other changes have made design a separate consideration. In fact, how the calculator f i t s i n the hand of the user and i t s visual appeal to the user, are the most important design considerations of the d i g i t a l computer. 117 In a l l design whether industrial or environmental, function is never the ultimate criterion. A l l seemingly utilitarian objects have ultimately been designed with direct reference to something other than function. Functionalist thinking says that, the design of a device must be at i t s "minimum condition", but to say that every system or design should be at i t s minimum condition imposes certain limitations on its form (Pye, 1964); and also on i t s success with the users. To say that an environment shall be in its minimum condition is as arbitrary as saying i t shall be green. If the system is in any adequate condition then i t produces its intended result whether i t i s green or not. The minimum condition i s not more economical either. In houses, the workmanship, research and calculation needed to achieve the minimum condition will cost far more than the material saved. The best design will never be an expression of optimum functioning, not merely because experience of something is difficult to predict, but because design itself i s not. functional arrangement. If science and technology provide us with the minimum condition, then the designer's role is a dimension apart. If urban designers are to learn from science, urban designers must not be scientists. The patent arbitrariness of design is the best reason for placing its control in the hands of many and varied individuals. 1 1 8 It i s the bogus of the "minimum condition" that has turned a l l our urban design into an effort to remove discomfort and 'make things easier'. A l l design i n industry i s intended for consumer products, so that we cannot afford to take into account industrial design's more positive but less predictable aspects. Urban design does not need to be as predictable. Therefore, we can afford to be experimental both i n urban design as a professional activity, and urban design as a public activity. Only the producer-consumer as an individual can f u l f i l l a l l the needs of design adequately. Palliation w i l l neither make us happy nor f u l f i l l our needs. Creativity and self-expression must be the means to self-fulfillment. Jencks (1972) describes the component nature of industrial design as an opportunity for design by private individuals of their environment. Almost anything one can design abstractly, can be built from parts, i f adequate sources of information are available. The freedom i s a l l in the design of the object and almost no work i s involved in producing the component parts. I f the information on resources and building methods were readily available i n a useable form, such environment-designing could proceed on an urban scale. 119 A. 7 Information Resources In the history of technological production, one of the major purposes of advertising has been to expand the market, and increase public knowledge of particular products. A l l of the electronic media have been enlisted i n this kind of information di ssemination. The idea of the catalogue i s instrumental i n gathering together ideas i n a comprehensible form, for comparison. Catalogue-shopping i s one good way to make the process of selection meaningful, by incorporating choice and comparison. Besides the single product consumerism of Eaton's or Simpson-Sears catalogues, there are others that provide an organized l i s t of products in their minimal forms. Many of the items i n the Whole Eart Catalogue or the Big Rock Candy Mountain Catalogue cannot be used except in conjunction with some other item. The catalogue explains the use of the object, the cost, and the source, but tries to place maximum self-sufficiency and power of choice i n the hands of the consumer. Warshavsky's catalogues automobile parts for the custom car builder. Other sources of information such as Wurman's Yellow  pages of Learning, and Making the City Observable, are also intended to organize particular resources so as to make them useful. They do not confer the ab i l i t y to choose, but help 120 the consumer ask the "relevant questions" in order to get the product he needs. Negroponte (1970) describes the possible use of machines by the architect as a designer of the environment. By employing modern information systems, relevant information can be screened out of a vast quantity available. At the same time, the architect can devote himself more ful l y to the relevant questions, the issue of design. However, while improving the information system for architects w i l l no doubt be helpful, such systems can also be of benefit to other designers whether professional or private citi z e n . Our bias toward localized information implies two directions for the proposed relationship between designer and machine. The f i r s t i s a "do-it-yourselfism", where, as in the McLuhan (1965) automation c i r c u i t , consumer becomes producer and dweller becomes designer. The second i s the professional designer's use of machines. computer consoles installed in every home ... everybody w i l l have access to the Library of Congress ... the system w i l l shut, the windows when i t rains (McCarthy, 1966) Already catalogue-ordering can be carried out through ten-button touch-tone telephones. Each urbanite could ultimately involve himself with the design of his own physical environment by (in effect) conversing with his own needs. In this interaction, everybody would communicate with the architect, implicitly v i a the machine. 121 The enormous quantity of environmental information can only be made meaningful and useful i f an individual has the time and energy to devote to i t s study or, relevant information useful to him can be selected. This i s the most important use of electronic data collection and retrieval systems; that the design tool can be given the individual through appropriate education techniques. Simply having information at one's disposal i s not sufficient. Some form of idea exchange, such as the one outlined in Chapter 4, w i l l aid i n the refinement of choice, and the improvement of design. The ultimate effect of this revolution i s to change information exchange from a disaggregated system where individuals choose only from available sources to a unitary system where every individual has access to the same body of knowledge. From an urban design point of view, a l l development may eventually become meaningful within the context of i t s material and design sources. An office building w i l l relate to a single family home. Since every structure and space has a common source, they w i l l appear unselfconsciously as modules i n the urban landscape. This w i l l promote a city-sense, a sense of place since the ci t y i s the product of a design interaction within the confines of that environment. The construction and design hierarchies are broken down by universal access to the design f i e l d of knowledge. 


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