On “The Wilding”
Last week we posted the first serialized work in our new section titled “The Wilding.” The Wilding is a term I am borrowing from Animal Architecture friend and mentor, Sanford Kwinter. In the last chapter of his most recent work “Far From Equilibrium” he, maybe indirectly but nonetheless poignantly, opens the door for what I read to be animal architecture’s work and relevance. The last chapter of this work is titled “Wildness; Prolegomena to a New Urbanism” and in it he speaks of “wilding” as a chaotic structure that may be fruitful to reorganize current thinking for architecture, design and urban planning:
The phrase ‘fast cheap and out of control’ has become an unofficial slogan of scientists and systems designers…the slogan suggests that extremely intricate systems can most effectively be built up messily, in steps and layers, from approximate rather than finished and perfect parts, and incrementally over time, rather than in on fell swoop of assembly. Indirectness, it appears, is actually the secret to achieving a robust, adaptive, flexible and evolving design…to give place to such out-of-control, adaptive, robust, self-directed designs is to allow, or to install, a degree of wildness within them.
Evolutionary process – the formation of organic meshes – was always built in to urban matrices as the result of historical pressures and patterns embedding themselves into matter, in a an open process over time. Design today must find way to approximate these ecological forces and structures, to tap, approximate, borrow, and transform morphogenetic processes from all aspects of wild nature, to invent artificial means of creating living artificial environments. We must learn to see design algorithms everywhere we look. In time we will earn the right to call ourselves urbanists again.
Hopefully we can demonstrate to Sanford and like minded thinkers / designers that the above is not only possible but happening slowly all around us — the arrival of a new wildness in architecture. Hence, the wilding.