Along the 20th century the concept of complexity has been joining practically all the areas of the knowledge. The reality is complex, the relations between different bodies of to know are complex, one speaks about the theory of complex systems, about the paradigm of the complexity and about the sciences of the complexity. Many of the previous concepts, though they are related between yes, possess a diverse meaning and a scope.
The sciences of the complexity study the phenomena of the world assuming his complexity and there search predictive models who incorporate the existence of the random and the indetermination. The theory of the complex systems is an explanatory model of the phenomena of the world with predictive capacity that assembles contributions of different branches of the scientific knowledge intimately related to the nature.1
The first references to the paradigm of the complexity are given by the French sociologist Edgar Morin, in contraposition to what it names the paradigm of the simplification. Morin defines seven basic beginning that guide the complex thought, considering them to be complementary and interdependent.
It places the systemic beginning or organizacional under that the knowledge of the parts is related to the knowledge completely; the holistic beginning that affects in that the parts are inside everything and everything is in every part; the retroactive beginning that reflects how a reason acts on an effect and, in turn, this one on the reason; the recursive beginning that overcomes the notion of regulation on having included that of auto-production and self-organization; the beginning of autonomy and dependence in the one that expresses the autonomy of the human but, beings simultaneously, his dependence of the way; the beginning dialógico that integrates the antagonistic thing as complementary and finally the beginning of the reintroduction of the subject that introduces the uncertainty in the production of the knowledge on having emphasized that any knowledge is a construction of the mind.
On having raised the paradigm of the complexity it has been said that this one constitutes a concrete way of orientating the way of thinking the world, of constructing knowledge. One forms that it incorporates the concept of complex adaptative system, makes his the need of a dialog continued between the different forms of knowledge, and denies the existence of the simplest forms of knowledge some that different.
In his more academic aspect the sciences of the complexity it is a body of knowledge still today in full development dedicated to the study of the natural dynamic systems, which includes a set of theories and interrelated sub-theories. Of these theories they emerge and some key concepts are consolidated in the characterization of the contemporary science since they are the idea of chaos, the unpredictability, the random, the indeterminism, the non-linearity, the self-organization, the emergency and the autosimilarity.
One of the obsessions of these sciences of the complexity is to come closer the reality, in his more diverse manifestations without simplifying it, without resigning his complex studding.
Several theories proceeding from the sciences, go, explicitly or implicitly, in this respect. A reading epistemológica of the same ones, it shows that these theories bring over paradoxically the natural sciences and the human sciences and probably partly for it, the architecture has not remained to the margin of the emergency of this knowledge and with certain naturalness, has made his some of the principal contributions from these theories and some of his applications to the spatial behavior.
The concept of complexity, understood traditionally with a quantitative sense, is checked, proposing him a qualitative vision of the idea itself of complexity promoting a new vision of operative character, signing how it can be applied to the creative development of the architecture of the 21st century.
In any case, these theories handle a few terms to describe and to explain the reality that they move in a few coordinates very different from the traditional ones and that as minimum they have enriched a part of the architectural speech for critique of the most traditional thinkers and recreation of those that prefer being unmarked of a syntax that they consider to be grown older. The architecture, in his more diverse manifestations, appears in the new context, constituted by fluctuations, iterations, borrosidad, turbulences and whirlwinds, catastrophes, fractals, bifurcations, atractores strangers, lines of force, etc.
The success of the concept complejidadentre the current architects this one out of any doubt. Some architects without specifically certain scientific models mention, adopt some of his key concepts so much in the production and the design of his buildings, since in his writings and conferences. Actually we might affirm that these scientific models are contained in a cultural context that transciende the scientific thing.2
Other architects even are using own terms of the sciences of the complexity without so at least realize or to know of his existence. In sum, the architectural appropriation of the sciences of the complexity is done from the most explicit and educated forms, up to the subtlest, from the most direct up to the indirectly mixed ones in other contexts.
Independent from certain positions that for pretense approach the paradigm of the complexity as nearest trend a mode that to one I raise serious investigator, it is possible to perceive and there are developing professional, educational works and investigations of the first line that indicate a deep change in the way of making cultural meta-contexto architecture, symptoms related to the scientific contemporary vision and to one to this vision, linked.3
Beyond the scientific thing, the adoption on the part of the architecture of ideas and concepts from these natural sciences is an operation that reveals a fundamental relation with the nature as like that has been along the history of the architecture.
This operation of mímesis with the nature can be understood as the mimetic will of the architecture to reproduce a scientific vision of the natural thing, ruled by the idea of complexity.
Once again, we are not going to discover it now, a look opened for the nature offers to the architecture real base from which to investigate on new tools of reference of the fact proyectual contemporary. It does not treat itself so much that the cities and the buildings are mimetically a nature, but they behave as her.
Una vez más, no lo vamos a descubrir ahora, una mirada abierta a la naturaleza ofrece a la arquitectura una verdadera base desde la que investigar sobre nuevas herramientas de referencia del hecho proyectual contemporáneo. No se trata tanto de que las ciudades y los edificios sean miméticamente naturaleza, sino que se comporten como ella.
Ultimately if the human beings we do not stop being one more species of the nature, our habitats and our tools cannot be another thing that natural, that is to say, if we consider a honeycomb of bees to be a natural structure, we cannot stop considering to be a city as nature itself.
Miquel Lacasta. PhD architect
Barcelona, november 2012
1 There is interesting the article by BONIL, Josep, PUJOL, Rosa Maria, SANMARTÍ, Neus, y TOMÁS, Catalina, “A new frame to orientate answers to the social dynamics: the paradigm of the complexity”, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona,UAB, Bellaterra, 2004.
The authors form a part of the Complex Group of the Department of Didactics of the Mathematics and the Experimental Sciences of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
2 GRILLO, Carlos D., La Arquitectura y la Naturaleza Compleja: Arquitectura, Ciencia y Mimesis a finales del Siglo XX, UPC Departament de Composició Arquitectònica, doctoral thesis directed for Dra. Marta Llorente, Barcelona 2005, p. 28.