Pointers to possibilities: Ekistics, Dymaxion World and Eco-Cube

Year: 
2010



Patterns Essential to Individual and Global Health? (Part #8)


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The metaphor offered by Rubik's Cube was used by Heiner Benking to develop a "Rubik's Cube of Ecology" in 1990 (as part of the Global Change touring exhibition) as a means of explaining the nature of integration and of developing a framework for co-ordination and harmonisation across various fields, areas, regions, disciplines and domains (Visual Access Strategies for Multi-Dimensional Objects and Issues, 1993). It was designed to offer a new world view, using a hyperlinked Eco-Cube, for better understanding and communication about multi-disciplines like ecology.

 Views of the Eco-Cube
Eco-Cube Eco-Cube Eco-Cube

The Eco-Cube is reminiscent of the Ekistics Grid developed by C.A, Doxiadis as a framework for organizing information relevant to ekistics as the science of human settlements.  This has been used to further develop ekistic concepts, and also in the application to practical problems. Such a grid display any component within two dimensions at a point of intersection of abscissa and ordinate The abscissa of ekistic units remained constant in all uses of the ekistic grid, and the most usual ordinate consisted of the five ekistic elements: Nature, Anthropos (Man), Society, Shells (dwellings or buildings), and Networks, with a sixth line denoting their Synthesis.

There is also an affinity in such approaches with that of R. Buckminster Fuller in his concern with global use of resources and energy -- reflected to a significant degree in his polyhedral Dymaxion Map, its animations and his underlying philosophy, as discussed elsewhere (Geometry of Thinking for Sustainable Global Governance: cognitive implication of synergetics, 2009; Geometry, Topology and Dynamics of Identity: cognitive implication in fundamental strategic questions and dilemmas, 2009).

It is appropriate to note that Windows  offers a 2D picture puzzle that resembles Benking's original inspiration from Rubik's Cube (How to Play with Puzzles in Windows Vista). Other such picture puzzles are widely available on the web, notably allowing users to substitute their own pictures.

Such initiatives with respect to the environment raise the question as to whether equivalents might be developed with respect to individual health -- and its relationship to any environment through lifestyle diseases. The latter are implicitly of concern in the comprehensive approach to settlement design -- notably as subtly explored by environmental architect Christopher Alexander in his concern with contexts offering qualities where it was "good place to be" (A Pattern Language, 1977; The Timeless Way of Building, 1979).


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