Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
DIRECTED AUTOPOIESIS is in search of a organizational theory in nature; an underlying pattern that links the human to and cosmic evolution, investigating the role of Self-Organiztion(SO) within patterns of networks to understand nature and our relationship within it.
DA is based on the hypothesis that SOS have imbedded within them intrinsic working principles that interact amoung themselves, culminating in stabilized conditions. Working through the narrative of the slum, an urban morphology that functions as an autonomous mechanism, provides for a hyperbolic scenario of a prototypical urban condition that undergoes an accelerated transformation. Due to the imposition of planned methodologies on most urban situations, the capacity of urban form as an evolving learning ecology is masked. The very absence of such overlays onto slums allows for an opportunity to identify and cultivate some of the forces that structure urban form and growth. In its hidden logic, masked by an apparent cacophony, lies its appeal.
The study adopts an implicit understanding that the directing logic is the result not of an external planning but of ingrained armatures inherent to and within the system. An identification of such organizing principles would allow for an insight into the overall workings behind the urban formations. A re-calibration allows for "better living conditions" to emerge through the extracted system, while preserving its dynamically evolving organic character, allowing for continuous change and a marked increased in density.
The essence of a SOS is that a structure appears without outside constraints, the constraints on form are internal and result from the interactions between its constituent components. The organization evolving in either time/space maintains a flexibility fluctuating from stable to transient form, flows are permitted, but acritical. The study of SOS seeks to discover the general rules under which persistant structures appear, along with techniques of predicting the changes to the structure resulting from subtle variances. The results are assumed to be applicable to any system exhibiting the same general tendencies.
An understanding of these undercurrents allows one to utilize them as control points, manipulating the organizational qualities of the system; and through that directing its emergent properties.
The urban shanty-town, provides a hyperbolic condition of a condition that exhibits such emergent properties; properties that are present in all urban situations, but masked though the imposition of planned methodologies, the absence of which, allows for an unrestricted opportunity to identify, understand and cultivate the forces that underlay urban transformation and growth. Despite a near absence of infrastructure, that describs urban context in terms of western planning, slums rapidly mutate; plugging into and obtaining clues from its context, inverting essentially every characteristic of the modern city. Its typology cultivates an urbanism that is resilient and decentralized albeit overly congested.
These very shortcomings that allow for the physical manifestations of the logics underlying its workings, materialize in alternative systems, demanding a re-evaluation of notions of capacity and stability.
In an extraction of the principles behind SO, one begins to distill the essence of human interaction, the very relations that structure urban form.