Space, Life and Architecture

What is architecture but the deft manipulation of space? The forms we design seek to contain, and to define, spatiality such that life may be lived. Space, then, is the canvas for urban life.

Space is therefore a critical component that demands attention. As an abstract thing, it becomes challenging to define. In some ways, perhaps we can understand “space” in terms of Laozi[1], specifically, his idea of wu; emptiness.

Space commands a philosophical perspective. Through this we may unpack its ambiguity. The means of encapsulation, then, derive from this abstraction. If we consider it an entity, just like any other architectural component, then we can begin to use it as a mechanism. Here, digital tools can begin to take space into an entirely new dimension. Generative systems can rapidly reconfigure, and biomimetic algorithms can transcend space from this abstract, invisible entity into a a responsive idea that reflects a series of dynamic, evolving characters.

I think here of the neo-plasticists, who, perhaps more than any other, really pushed this idea that space is an entity we can mould, that architecture is truly, at its essence, an organisation of space.

Footnotes

  1. Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
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We’re living outside our minds

The internet and connected technologies have resulted in subconscious reliance on these systems in order for us to feel that we’ve fully lived.

Where before, accomplishing rigorous labour as part of a hunter-gatherer society ensured fulfillment, today we rely on our technologies as a crutch.

It’s interesting to note – and I, too, am guilty of this – how much we depend on the Web just to think. I’ve often caught myself wandering about abstract topics that are at first seemingly unrelated, but that suddenly form some sort of connection, which spurs me on to Google or Wikipedia to find out more. Even more prevalent is the constant spell-checking and trawling through my Mac’s Dictionary.app to look up words and then go off on a tangent with etymologies and related words. It’s like a never-ending cycle, an infinite loop of procrastination station.

This intrinsic ability of ours, the power of cognition and questioning, is propounded by the power of the Web. They call it the “collective consciousness.” I like that phrase; it represents our transcendence from collecting ourselves around campfires beneath starry skies and sharing tales, to the digital equivalent – a far more potent equivalent, I might add.

Our minds exist out there in the cybersphere just as much as they exist within our skulls. We don’t allow our minds the quietness that often spurs traditional thinking. Thinking today is permeated by trending topics, tweets, posts and the latest bytes flowing through the air. It serves us well, then, as we progress into an ever-more connected society, to remember the power of our own minds and the potency that comes with thinking within before seeing what others think.

Welcome to Pixelated Thinking, My New Personal Blog

Blogging has been a big part of my life. Creating websites, the technologies that power the web… these things have fascinated me for a long time. When I discovered this thing called blogging, and the ease with which one could publish on the WWW, and thus stake a claim to a small slice of this ever-expanding digital sphere, I was captivated.

It’s been around five years now that I’ve been involved in the blogosphere. I’ve created numerous blogs, most of them fairly successful. But one constant that has run along my blogging adventures has been my personal blog, which I named Life in Pixels. It was started in 2007 on WordPress.com. From then, I’ve learned a lot about blogging by testing ideas out on this personal platform. In 2010, I finally realised a dream I had for a long time – to self-host my blog. That meant purchasing disk space, a domain name, and managing a discrete installation of the powerful WordPress blogging software. Life in Pixelshad thus moved to its own little space on the web, distinct of a blog network as such.

However, times move on, and I’ve decided to return to my roots – to where it all began: here, at WordPress.com. I believe that being part of a larger blogging community will do good for my own blogging, and it will further compel me to blog more often (something I’ve been promising for years now…)

That’s why, with this post, I’d like to introduce you to the next version of my personal blog. I call it Pixelated Thinking.

Through this blog, I aim to publish my thoughts on the future, on technology – from the social web to the latest ideas and devices being developed around the world – to opinionated essays on science, engineering and the built environment. I’ll also deliver some short fiction from time to time, whenever I get the inspiration to write as such.

Recently, I have become deeply interested in the way our cities of the future are being shaped. Through my studies in Architecture, and my interest in design, engineering, science and technology, I have begun to contemplate not only our future amongst the stars, but also, out future as it’s occurring through the spaces that define our global society. Pixelated Thinking will serve as a platform on which I aim to project my musings on these matters, along with those I’ve mentioned above.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the tagline to my blog – haud ignota loquor – it translates to “I speak not of unknown things” in Latin. It serves as an encompassing statement of what this blog stands for: that everything I write here, the thoughts I proffer about the future, my opinions, they’re things that may seem fantastical (I’ve been known to have crazy ideas) but I truly believe that we can, with our technology and science, attain such visions with time.

I invite you to share your opinions in the comments section of each post. I cannot express how much comments on a blog mean to a blogger; they really do inspire us digital writers to persevere with our blogging endeavors and continue to generate content for you, our loyal readers.

So once again, welcome to my new blog.