There is an inherent logic in the structure and nature of organisms that have grown on this planet. Any architecture, any urban design, and any social order that violates that structure and nature is destructive of itself and of us. Any architecture, urban design, or social order that is based upon organic principles is valid and will prove its own validity.
In any event, I have not seen a book on architecture and urban design, recently, that has bothered me as much as this one. If that is an improper foreword, so be it.
Miniaturize or die has been the key rule for incipient life.
It is the humanization of the earth, and as such it demands a global coherence.
The care of the citizen is the sap of the city. But one can care only for that which one loves. Lovableness is the key to a living city. A lovely city is not an accident, as a lovely person is not an accident.
It is most reasonable to begin somewhere with an island of functional sanity and let its pattern spread according to its own merits, neither coerced nor coercing.
Man is truly the earth itself if he is anything.
This will be the fundamental distinction between the city and the anthill, the beehive, the termite colony, and so on: not just brains by the score but also minds by the score.
If there is any question about the inevitability of a society of man that will carry the individual to his personal fulfillment, there is no question of the inevitability of a superorganism of a thousand minds that will ecologically cradle such persons.
The phenomenon of the city—a congruent, humanized micro-universe sustained by the neonatural layer (the physical structure of the city)—is an ultracomplex organism whose centralized brain is the instrument that works for the satisfaction of the thousands of epidermal individual minds bound together by forces of sociality and culture.
Joy is then the burst of liveliness that comes with the fitness and coherence of a process that is developing under one’s eyes; it is the opposite of senselessness and squandering.
As the universe is structure, the purpose of life is to take hold of it and help it to find its meaning, its form. Man is the eyes and the ears of a blind and dumb universe.
The real (universe in its totality) is a
scientific system gazing upon itself by way of man’s intellect (reflection.)
So it is not metaphorically that we have the right to compare—as we have so often done—a city to a symphony or a poem; they are objects of a similar nature. More precious perhaps, the city lies at the confluence of nature and artifice. A congregation of animals that enclose their biological history within its limits and at the same time shape it with all their intentions as passers-by, by its genesis and by its form, the city simultaneously falls under biological procreation, organic evolution and of aesthetic creation. It is at once an object of nature and a subject of culture; individual and group; lived and dreamed: the human thing par excellence.
Arcologies are architectural organisms.