Contemporary Rural Settlements: New Paradigm for Planning and Constructing Rural Settlements Based on Complexity Theory

Contemporary Rural Settlements: New Paradigm for Planning and Constructing Rural Settlements Based on Complexity Theory

Dženana Bijedić (University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Rada Čahtarević (University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Denis Zvizdić (University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Adna Proho (University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9932-6.ch016
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Throughout history, built environment developed intuitively on empirical experience led by trial and error. Such approach provided resilience and evolvement of patterns that guided spatial organization. Newer interventions in the rural environment resulted in disconnected spatial fragments. By comparing vernacular and contemporary planning and construction practice in the natural park Blidinje, the authors tried to identify the reason for which contemporary interventions resulted in new patterns in spatial planning, ones completely unfamiliar for this geographical area. They identified the reason in the fact that men started to treat the natural space as a commodity, forcing stakeholders to be led primarily by economic principles. Such principles are rigid and linear, instead of contextual in this matter. At the same time, the environmentally sound approach should respect complexity of whole endeavor aiming to achieve diversity and variability. The models developed based on complexity theory and self-organization should preserve continuity and integrity of the place and man.
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Philosophy And Ethics Requirements For Understanding Complexity Of Natural Environment

Impressed by the possibilities that science has given to the control of nature and the overall human environment, changed the way of thinking that ancient thinkers had when intervening in the space (Aristotle's model of science). Namely, humans became more convinced in their superiority in creation, monitoring, and control of the events and stood out and stood above nature, ignoring any restrictions from that world. They accepted modern, Cartesian, theory of science based on rationalization, a priori separating the experience from the theory, and a claim that only pure reason separated from the material world can objectively observe it. In this sense, classical philosophy starts with clearly defined principles or “premises”, which are considered absolute truths. Following the logic, all the conclusions of such reflection and their consequences, though often absurd, were accepted.

Contrary to this, evolved the axiomatic method in philosophy (formally similar, but different from the modern mathematical axiomatic method), which is very carefully examining and accepting the initial assumptions. It formulates the theory upon a logical re-examination. The main characteristic of this method is to confirm theory by the experience. If it turns out that practice cannot support the derived logical upgrade, other axioms are introduced, until the experiential confirmation of theory comes to fruition.

The axiomatic method, in a sense, is a return to Aristotle's model, which also claims that we must always move from practice to theory, and vice versa, with awareness of the real world. When the axiomatic method is combined with careful and objective empirical testing of the consequences deduced from the axioms, when these axioms concern empirical subjects, we have the outlines of the scientific method, which first fully became clear to Galileo.

In the natural environment system, interaction, interdependence and the consequences of entering into the interdependencies of its subsystems are so intertwined that abstraction, isolation, and neglect of these complex states become impossible. The natural system in which we deeply dissipate by interpolating the system of built environment puts the architect into a position of deep re-examining new alternatives to solving problems that man creates. Such a new way of thinking should begin in the light of relatively recent discoveries and theories in science that emphasize the much greater complexity of the world, the far greater complexity of the relationship, then it has been thought for many years.

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