The thesis proposes a projective theory for contemporary urbanism that equates the active processes of the city and a new orientation for procedural urban design within a single line of thought that delineates the concept of a generic organization—one that derives from unitary operations acting in series, forming heterogeneous assemblages, but resisting the tendency to totalizing systematization. Such a description characterizes the urban condition as an open phenomenon, such as that described by theorists of assemblage urbanism. This thesis extends this work from an analytical or empirical theory to an operative one that can be applied to design practice by combining it with an ontology of encapsulation and object-based agency. I will argue that computational processes are unique in the way that they enable urban design to operate in the same manner as the city with regard to enaction and representation while drawing attention to the rhetorical dimension of interactive systems like urbanism and procedural models. These parallels are further explored through a series of themes that bridge between urban studies and urban design and that connect to historical concerns in computation and urban design. The four themes—Interactive, Generative, Reflexive, Entropic—coalesce around a coherent, integrated theoretical schema. Within this framework, I also argue for an increasingly involved role for architecture as an active agent in the urban design process. Illustrations of how this might occur are presented alongside the arguments to underscore the fact that the material basis of the computational model is as significant a determinant of design practice as the material realities of the city are to the urban experience. Finally, these lessons are imported back into urbanism with architecture serving as an interface to the city. Procedural engagement allows architecture to participate in urbanism through an inextricably and mutually contingent interaction. In cases where this occurs, the city continuously prompts architecture to carry out new inquiries into the changing potential of the urban situation, without providing a terminal condition. Rather, by allowing the the outcome of the situation to remain undecided, both urbanism and computational modeling can be seen to offer the same productive irreality and alterity: an urban generic.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,949
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Role of Utopian Projects in Urban Design.Amir Ganjavie - 2014 - Utopian Studies 25 (1):125-149.
Urban Design as a Research Strategy.Erik Pasveer - 1990 - Knowledge in Society 3 (4):56-71.
The Evaluative Image of the City.Jack L. Nasar - 1998 - SAGE Publications, Incorporated.
Cheonggyecheon: Revitalization of an Urban River [Seoul, South Korea].Yangkyo Chin - 2006 - Topos: The International Review of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design 55:40-44.
Democracy and City Life.Loren A. King - 2004 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 3 (1):97-124.
The Urban Problematic.Ryan Bishop & John W. P. Phillips - 2013 - Theory, Culture and Society 30 (7-8):221-241.
The Rules of Attraction: Urban Design, City Films, and Movement Studies.Laura Frahm - 2014 - Zeitschrift für Medien- Und Kulturforschung 2014 (1):85-99.
Urban Void and the Deconstruction of Neo-Platonic City-Form.Abraham Akkerman - 2009 - Ethics, Place and Environment 12 (2):205 – 218.
The 20-Kilometer University.J. Phillips, A. Benjamin, R. Bishop, L. Shiqiao, E. Lorenz, L. Xiaodu & M. Yan - 2011 - Theory, Culture and Society 28 (7-8):287-320.
Governing the City.Martin Kornberger - 2012 - Theory, Culture and Society 29 (2):84-106.


Added to PP index

Total views
18 ( #576,738 of 2,439,370 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #282,957 of 2,439,370 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes