Seminal Essays and Projects

Beginning with my thesis at Auburn, I outlined a framework and justification for figuring out how to modulate the rate of change of technologies, including physical technologies and abstract technologies (e.g., logical constructs, frameworks, and methodologies), to the rate (or rates) of change of human perceptual and cognitive assimilation of such technological changes. This exploration led to developing a systems of systems view of the phenomena.  The gist of the argument is that humans (for some reason) innovate technology (both physical things and abstract thought) faster than they are able to assimilate the technological change into society and culture and the economy, thereby placing unnecessary stress on society and individuals. The motivation for the argument is to understand the impact of environmental change on people so that as a designer, I may design restorative environments for people. A key assumption of the argument is that design is an ethical act and therefore changes to environments (and all physical and abstract technologies) should consider the ethics of innovation and implementation. This all stemmed from a more general argument about architecture as a storytelling device and therefore a codifier of abstract meaning that challenges and/or affirms people’s belief systems, thereby making them feel empowered or threatened by their environments.

Over the past 15+ years, this line of questioning has passed through many stages. In the early 2000’s I began to read on cognitive science. By 2005, I added readings in systems science and began to conceive of buildings as ecosystems and began reading about ecological niche construction. By the mid-to-late 2000’s, this line of questioning led to readings in complexity and review of how large complex human-machine systems are designed in aerospace, defense, and the automotive industries. In 2010 I first argued that it was appropriate to consider buildings as cyber-physical systems when I sought permission from my academic adviser to write an NSF grant proposal around this concept. He allowed me to do so. In 2011 I undertook an independent study to develop a next-generation, networked and interactive domestic refrigerator and framed the design challenge as designing a technological product within a human-machine ecosystem. In 2011 and 2012 I categorized an emerging class of networked and interactive buildings as Complex, Interactive, Architectural Systems.

There are some seminal essays and projects that indicate the evolution of my thoughts. I have posted all of these to this site under the Musings heading. Here are the links:

Technology and the Societal Domain
Architecture as Transition
Feeling a Rose Petal
Limiting Parameters
Cognitive Offloading Dances with Critical Theory
Provisional Architecture
Measured and Coordinated Societal Growth
Analysis of a Target Store
Architecture as a Cognitive Priming Agent
Pilot Study: ‘Smart’ Refrigerator as Part of a Complex, Interactive Ecosystem
Pilot Study: ‘Smart’ Refrigerator as Part of a Complex, Interactive Ecosystem
In Search of a Calculus for (Design) Complexity
Patterns in Architecture, Cognition, Systems, and Software:
Representing and Analyzing Cognition during the Design Process

Designing Complex, Interactive, Architectural Systems with CIAS-DM: A Model-Based, Human-Centered, Design & Analysis Methodology
Formal Book Proposal
Reframing A/E/C/O/O Project Delivery
Two Model-Based, Human-Centered Complex, Interactive Systems Modeling Methods: Lessons Learned
Tending the Artifact Ecology: Cultivating Architectural Ecosystems

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