I Am A Genius!

Well, maybe not.  But a couple recent pieces have me feeling like a smarty-pants anyway.

First up: this essay, excerpted in the Harvard Design Magazine, about ecological urbanism as a new design paradigm.  Initially, I was put off by the “OMG, cities and sustainability can go TOGETHER?  Whaaaa?!?!” tone of the introduction, but it turns out it’s just a framing device to explain all the different ways in which urbanity is inherently more eco-friendly, or at least more inviting of ecologically sensitive morphologies, than the suburban pastoral idyll.  Also, much of what ecological urbanism is about is not strict, ascetic environmentalism, but about applying the lessons of dynamic ecological networks towards dynamic human and infrastructural networks.  

Where my self-satisfaction comes in: as an undergraduate, I began developing a concept for a new form of urban thinking that I called the city/brain, also heavily network-dependent.  I even had a blog about it for a while, until about two years ago when I decided that an advanced degree in architecture was not in my future and deleted it (the Internet wept that day).  After reading the HDM essay I attempted to dig up ye olde blogge on the Wayback Machine, and although that effort failed, I did discover this little nugget — which jives perfectly with the backwards-forwards feedback loop that I hypothesized in my collegiate writings, speculating that our interior and exterior worlds mimic each other through a constantly evolving iterative process.  And though they’re not identical, the operative pathways of ecology and neurology are closely related in how they deal with issues of scale and complexity, two of the most fundamental issues in contemporary cities.  So, all in all, I’m feelin’ kinda prescient right now.

(Fear not, I will be totally over my smugness by tomorrow’s post.)

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