Category Archives: Novak Kijac

Smart swarm

2images together

A critical analysis of the book Swarm Intelligence – Neil Leach

As we all know about many examples of swarm logic in nature, they all do, without thinking, always use the most simple way of constructing – because it imposes itself as the most logical one. Because insects like bees don’t rethink their decisions, they don’t have the capacity for that, but they don’t even need it. Fish don’t really think about the way they are forming groups, it’s a part of their genetic code. Because the nature creates simple rules, which when followed, without exceptions, always work in the best interest of the community.

On the other hand if we observe a correlation between a man and his neighborhood or a city and comparing it to an ant colony for example we can see huge number of differences. But the one thing is impossible to oversee, that the city same as an ant colony works using the same system of “reading” the response information from the single agents. Because on the end we realize that in both cases the solution to development , constancy and stability of the whole system is reciprocal interaction.
A city grows in a same way that its parts are developing, although his agents (in this case residents of the city or a neighborhood) are unaware of this fact, with every action they are contributing this commune intelligence. Taking an example of a micro scale of a human body- what one cell does doesn’t really make a difference, but set of cells, organs and on the end the entire organism are capable of making truly complex decisions on various levels.

If we go back to the response information that we are getting from each agent as an individual, in micro scale, inputs are something we should be focused on. My interpretation of this book is that we should be more concentrated on designing interactive systems rather than separate units. Because the system is something that is interactive, the system can develop and response to the needs of its inhabitants. All the answers about creating such a system are right there, in front of us. Ours is just to recognize them and implement the same simple rules, using the today’s tools of visualization and computational techniques to test it and to find the best solutions of implementing it in the new architectural systems of tomorrow.

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ANTS EYE VIEW- Local interaction creating global intelligence

detail_invert1The text from the book EMERGE from STEVEN JOHNSON makes me thinking about one simple question: what is an organism and what are its parts, and whether they can be viewed and studied in the same way as the organism itself?
In biology an organism is any contiguous living system (such as animal, fungus, micro-organism, or plant). In at least some form, all types of organisms are capable of responding to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homeostasis as a stable whole.An organism may be either unicellular (a single cell) or, as in the case of humans, comprise many trillions of cells grouped into specialized tissues and organs. The term multicellular (many cells) describes any organism made up of more than one cell. But the principles that its using when functioning and performing tasks remain the same. So if we change the scale and observe a bacterial growth or an ant colony or a bird flocking, or on the end even a city in the same way, what will be our conclusion? Because the main idea of the Steven Johnson text was that the ant colony was always studied at the wrong scale.
Observing behavior of ants in an ant colony leads us to a conclusion that they are using swarm logics or a swarm intelligence, as the invisible force that makes it work perfectly without them even knowing about it. Swarm intelligence is the collective behavior of decentralized, self-organized systems, natural or artificial. systems consist typically of a population of simple agents interacting locally with one another and with their environment. The agents follow very simple rules, and although there is no centralized control structure dictating how individual agents should behave, local, and to a certain degree random, interactions between such agents lead to the emergence of “intelligent” global behavior, unknown to the individual agents. The definition of swarm intelligence is still not quite clear but in principle, it should be a multi-agent system that has self-organized behavior that shows some intelligent behavior.
On the other hand if we observe the city in the same way but just on a different scale- the city can be defined as an multicellular organism as well. The scale changes but the processes are staying very similar, just more complex, or not? Cities generally have complex systems for sanitation, utilities, land usage, housing, and transportation. The concentration of development greatly facilitates interaction between people and businesses, benefiting both parties in the process. A big city or metropolis usually has associated suburbs and exurbs. We live our lives occupied with our everyday problems, we always rush somewhere. But are we aware of the fact that there are so many things that we don’t know about the world surrounding us? Are we aware that a whole set of interactive systems are making greater decisions for us? Decisions that affect our lives? Seams that the difference is only in scale?
On the other side, the cell cannot continue to exist without other surrounding cells in a human body as a city can’t survive without singular groups of human beings performing different tasks. Then we are coming to a conclusion that we have individual cell that as one cell doesn’t make a difference but – when in group with other cells makes organs that further on form an organism (human body), and then we have an single human- when in group with other people (and their specific type of behavior) we have a new, larger scale organism- a city. Processes that are taking place in this network make us forget about the scale and the only thing that becomes important are the numerous interactive processes that are making the entire system working in a specific way which is not specified anywhere.
Studding and viewing all this relationships and interactions on different scales, we as architects are coming to a final question, is our job only to learn how to listen and recognize that even the smallest inputs could be very significant when making decisions on bigger scale? Should they shape even the decisions that we are making on a bigger scale -when designing bigger systems? My answer- DEFINITELY!

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Toyo Ito- Tarzan in the media forest- Text Analyses


In this writings Toyo Ito explains the way that he feels about the many aspects of everyday life, contemporary architectural culture, which is dominated by an endless consumption and production of images, graphics and information. He also expresses his thoughts trough a metaphor, comparing architecture to a tree. Read More »

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