CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
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id acadia07_025
authors Ascott, Roy
year 2007
title Architecture and the Culture of Contingency
source Expanding Bodies: Art ē Citiesē Environment [Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture / ISBN 978-0-9780978-6-8] Halifax (Nova Scotia) 1-7 October 2007, 25-31
summary A culture is a set of behaviours, attitudes and values that are shared, sustained and transformed by an identifi able community. Currently, we are bound up in a culture of consumerism, and of terror; there are also retro cultures and utopian cultures. Whatís happening now thatís interesting is that many, if not all of these diff erent tendencies, tastes and persuasions are being re-aligned, interconnected and hybridised by a vast global community of online users, who are transdisciplinary in their approach to knowledge and experience, instinctively interactive with systems and situations, playful, transgressive and enormously curious. This living culture makes it up as it goes along. No longer do the institu- tions of state, church or science call the tune. Nor can any architectural schema contain it. This is a culture of inclusion and of self-creation. Culture no longer defi nes us with its rules of aesthetics, style, etiquette, normalcy or privilege. We defi ne it; we of the global community that maps out the world not with territorial boundaries, or built environments, but with open-ended networks. This is a bottom-up cultureónon-linear, bifurcating, immersive, and profoundly human. Who needs archi- tecture? Any structural interface will do. Ours can be described as a contingent culture. Itís about chance and change, in the world, in the environment, in oneself. Itís a contingent world we live in, unpredictable, unreliable, uncertain and indeterministic. Culture fi ghts back, fi ghts like with like. The Contingent Culture takes on the contingency of life with its own strategies of risk, chance, and play. It is essentially syncretic. People re-invent themselves, create new relationships, new orders of time and space. Along the way, they create, as well as accommodate, the future. This culture is completely open-ended, evolving and transforming at a fast rateójust as we are, at this stage of our evolution, and just as we want it to be. Human nature, unconstrained, is essentially syncretic too.
series ACADIA
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