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Post-Industrial Modalities of Material Organisation and the Paradox of the Agent Nomads

Part 1 Dissertation 2000
Dariusz Sadowski
Architectural Association London | UK
Within the context of this paper, the city is understood as a complex dynamic system of flows and intensifications, where global financial relationships are identified as the dominant forces among many others, mutually defining each other. London is taken as an example where its role as an ex-colonial center is continued (defined as a homeomorphism) and hence termed a neo-colonial city. The importance of the 'flow of people' on which urbanization feeds and its materialization in housing as the basic stock of cities is reflected in the more detailed analysis of this aspect.
A suggested approach, represented in a project run alongside this paper, uses the narratives of a number of different individuals, hypothesized as representative of future socio-cultural trends. They are used as if 'agents' in a cellular automata simulation, resulting in a prototype for modern or 'post normal' living, free from predetermined typological or geometrical reductivism. Subjects such as the contemplation of desire, as a motive with a particular effect on material organization, lead to issues of difference, diversity and repetition.
The understanding of the connectedness to other systems and flows allows not only the contemplation of the effects that uncontrolled fulfillment of desires has on other systems and the obvious need for mediation, but it also suggests the [re]definition of the role of the architect within the current market and cultural trends. The escapist trends of either promiscuous eclecticism (historical, stylistic) or claims to academic or professional autonomy are either exacerbating an ailing situation, or precluding any productive effectiveness beyond the maintenance of its own misconceived position.
Early attempts on the part of the profession were mainly reactive to problems caused by the ignorance of 'capital' to the well being of the 'people'. Today's problems are a by-product of the same ignorance of capital, either in distant places or closer to home. Nevertheless those mysterious forces of capital feed on our own desires and actions.
It is suggested that personal responsibility is required, through acknowledging one's actual role and capacity first, and then being able to act. Architecture regains relevance when it recognizes and actively involves culture as a materially operative domain, part of its own discourse and as one of the many flows that contribute to the formation of cities. There is a need for the architect to become an active agent or mediator engaged in an informed and meaningful urban intervention.

Dariusz Sadowski

In this thesis Dariusz is attempting to develop what might be called an anti-functionalist understanding of the city. He begins with a polemic of the understanding of the city and of planning. Selecting a Deleuzian framework mediated by Manuel de Landa, the analysis is conducted through the idea of flows and their intersections.
This is followed by an analysis of capital flows and urban morphology, and then the issue of desire and its objects. All this is dedicated to producing a prototype for Post-Nomad living.
Within the scope of this thesis, Dariusz undertakes a major reconsideration of the urban, together with the transformation of the theoretical conditions required for such work.

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