Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Dangerous Thesis - Thesis Group Assignment

Just like the clock maker metaphors of the Enlightenment, or the dialectical logic of the nineteenth century, the emergent worldview belongs to this moment in time, shaping our thought habits and colouring our perception of the world. (Steven Johnson. 2002. Emergence : The connected lives of ants, brains, cities, and software. 1st Touchstone ed. New York. p.66)
Emergence as a theory is philosophically challenging to many people. The shift in thinking from top-down to bottom-up requires new cultural narratives which reimagine human agency and fundamentally challenge existing narratives. A design rooted within an emergent worldview risks knee-jerk dismissal not only because of it's new-ness but because of it's implicit challenge to the reviewer to reimagine their own place in the world as both individual agent and member of the emergent collective both acting-upon and affected-by the group. In mapping public space, hegemony, social interactions, and social/cultural response to interventions in public places and advocating for further interventions which support adaptive emergence in the citizens of the downtown core, I risk initiating a process with a highly uncertain outcome. Not only will Galt naturally resist change, but it may also revolt against its role as the subject of my thesis experiments.

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