"The world of supermodernity does not exactly match the one in which we believe we live, for we live in a world that we have not yet learned to look at. We have to relearn to think about space.”
(Augé, 1995:35)The dissertation postulates that the main issue when working in the contemporary urban environment is not how to repair the damage caused to the traditional city form as we know (or think about) it, but a realization that the idea of “city” has changed. Failure of intervention strategies such as geographical unification and planning programmes should rather be ascribed to incomprehension of this “new” city form.
Cities are human organisations and as such complex systems made up of interdependent elements showing signs of emergence, uncertainty in behaviour, adaptation, self-organisation, feedback loops and non-linearity (phenomena that do not adhere to order, reductionism, predictability and determinism). This necessitates a new architectural response with which to define the city as well as a new way of analysis and representation in built form, since the traditional designer’s tools have proven to be inadequate.Resulting from investigation steered by SPACELAB Research Laboratory for the Contemporary City at Delft University of Technology, a new threshold with which to define the new city and study area is recommended, one grounded in movement. Furthermore, the technique of “Disfiguring the urban” (developed by the same laboratory) is applied to do an alternative reading and representation of the study area, one which will explain the processes responsible for the transformation visible in the morphological landscape.
The deductions made from this analysis are used to inform a “processes framework for Salvokop” and guide the candidate in terms of client and programme, towards establishing parameters for physical manifestation.