A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History, Manuel De Landa
Starting with the Universe
Emergence: the connected lives of ants, brains, cities, and software, Steven Johnson
Machine in the Garden, Leo Marx
The Rise of Systems Thinking
The above readings all had similar themes which related to the bottom up organization of systems and their biological influences. The readings talk about how we should look at issues (whether they be issues of history, science, psychology, or design) from a bottom up approach, looking at the parts that make up a whole, rather than looking first at the whole made up of parts. There were several discussions about the organization of systems in nature and how those systems impact the creation of technology and other man-made systems. Buckminster Fuller often looked to nature for inspiration in solving a variety of critical issues. I think these readings point out an important relationship between the basic understanding of nature/the universe and everything that we create within the universe.
Natural systems, such as ecosystems, are made up of a series of individual parts that work together to create a whole. These systems are often self-organizing. I think this is important to the practice of architecture in that the evolving structure of the profession involves a serious collaboration between architect, engineer, fabricator, etc. These collaborations within the profession share a direct link to the organization of natural systems, just as the things that are designed and the tools with which they are designed are most successful when they draw upon ideas found in the biological, natural world. From the readings, I have learned that these organizing principles and approaches can be applied to a variety of disciplines from science to politics to design and more. All of these systems can be approached by looking at the individual components working together to make a whole.