Hipo G / Directed Autopoiesis

Kayzad Shroff, Bombay, India, Enero 2011

Directed Autopoiesis (DA) searches for an organizational theory in nature, investigating the role of Self-Organization (SO) within patterns in order to understand nature and our relationship within it.

DA is based on the hypothesis that SOS have imbedded within them intrinsic working principles that interact among them, culminating in stabilized conditions.

Working through the urban-slum, a morphology that functions as an autonomous mechanism provides for a hyperbolic scenario that undergoes an accelerated transformation. Due to the imposition of planned methodologies on urban situations, the capacity of urbanity as an evolving ecology is masked. The very absence of such overlaps onto slums, allowing for an opportunity to identify and cultivate some of the forces that structure urban form and growth. In its hidden logic, masked by an apparent cacophony, lies its appeal.

DA adopts an implicit understanding in which directing logic is the result not of an external planning scheme but of ingrained armatures inherent to and within the system. Organizing principles could allow for an insight into the workings behind its morphology. A re-calibration enables ‘better living conditions’ to emerge while preserving its organic character, thus allowing for continuous change and a marked increase in density.

SOSs are structures that appear without external constraints, with constraints on form being syntactic. The organization evolving in either time/space is flexible, fluctuating from stable to transient form; flows are permitted, but remain ‘a-critical’. The results are assumed to be applicable to any system exhibiting the same general tendencies.

An understanding of these undercurrents allows one to utilize them as control points, manipulating the organizational qualities of the system; and in this way, directing its emerging properties. The urban shanty-town provides a condition that exhibits such emerging properties; properties that are present in all urban situations but masked though the imposition of planned methodologies, the absence of which allows for an unrestricted opportunity to identify and cultivate the forces that underlay urban transformation and growth. Despite a near absence of infrastructure that describes urban context in terms of western planning, slums rapidly mutate, inverting essentially every characteristic of the modern city. Its congested typology
cultivates an urbanism that is resilient.

These shortcomings that allow the physical manifestations of the logics underlying its operation materialize in alternative systems, demanding a re-evaluation of notions of capacity and stability. In extracting of the principles behind SO, one begins to distil the essence of human interaction, the very relations that structure urban form.


Calvin:con-text / with - text

Playing with the concept of the word context, (in Spanish “contexto”, which can also mean “con texto”, with-text, in two separate words) it is clear that one of the things that our cities have never been conscious of is the system that relies underneath the morphological or physical issue within them. It’s time to unveil the
Intersubjective text, to be able to see the un-visible.


John Fredersen (Alfred Abel) the almighty and autocratic leader of the mega-city Metropolis, the film by Fritz Lang (1927). This urban organization theory, on the other hand, was the more advanced prototype one hundred years ago.


Analyzing the patterns of self-organization taking place in slums and comparing them to a plan-based ‘Western’ city raises many interesting questions. Concerning the fact that contemporary urban planning is usually approved by democratically chosen authorities or even influenced greatly by public consultations, can
we consider it as another way of self-organization? Can we see it as human ‘improvement’ on self-organization patterns, allowing the community to protect itself from the greed and egoism of individuals?


Living systems in general, and their nervous system in particular, are not made to handle a medium, although it has been through the evolution of their handling of their medium that they have become what they are, such that we can say what we can say about them.
Humberto R. Maturana, Biology of Cognition, as reprinted in: Autopoiesis and Cognition: the 
realization of the living.  Available in: http://www.enolagaia.com/M70-80BoC.html#VI

más información: http://www.hipo-tesis.eu/numero_hipo_g.html