The Self-Organization of Stuff

The Self-Organization of Stuff
(me: on “order parameter”
Highlghting:
“. A theory is proposed that links the self-organization of stuff to action identification theory. This theory from psychology explores the cognitive construct of the action (“what one thinks one is doing”) as an order parameter filtering incoming information and thus structuring behavior. Action identification and affordance creation act in parallel and can be considered a doubly complex system creating and created by the self-organization of stuff.””
Context:
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The Self-Organization of Stuff
Abstract
The common description of the configuration of stuff in a room, one of order (tidy) and chaos (messy), fails to explain the phenomenon that artifacts create structures around people and activities in a space, with both functional and cognitive properties. This form of organization, that is recognizable on various scale levels, emerges spontaneously in the system, without the conscious intention of ordering. Following the growing insight in different disciplines that a theory of complexity can more adequately describe real-world phenomena than the classical causal-mechanistic model, a theory is proposed in which a third state, one of self-organization, is added to the order-chaos dichotomy. Stuff systems are considered complex systems, whose global patterns and properties unfold in time, generated through local interactions between the parts. When projecting models that describe complex system dynamics on stuff systems, much of what we observe in a house can be explained, such as the rise of order parameters structuring the parts, life cycles of accumulation, growth, restructuring and renewal, and interdependencies across scales.
The problem here, is that the constant reconfiguration of stuff can only be explained through interaction with human beings, but does not solely follow a path of top-down design. A theory is proposed that links the self-organization of stuff to action identification theory. This theory from psychology explores the cognitive construct of the action (“what one thinks one is doing”) as an order parameter filtering incoming information and thus structuring behavior. Action identification and affordance creation act in parallel and can be considered a doubly complex system creating and created by the self-organization of stuff.
Because of the process through which it emerges, this form of order is functionally optimized, cognitively logic and endlessly more complex than could be designed by drawing lines on paper. Architecture is always about order, while this order comes completely for free. The proposal following this theoretical explanation is therefore a house that uses these network-like structures as the organizational pattern of the design, instead of the traditional orthogonal ‘grid’. Three designer tools that are created following the research and a simulation through agent-based modeling in Netlogo are used in the design process to make this possible.

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