research

ORDER, CHAOS-CONUNDRUM

A Busy Street, Chandni Chowk, Delhi
A Busy Street, Chandni Chowk, Delhi

BALANCE

            As we discussed the whole design approach centred on creating a sound order in design fails when it comes to cities like that in India. The constant attempts to impose order on a self-organizing system may well end up in creating randomness. Randomness defers from chaos as it doesn’t conform to the predictability of the latter. Here the question arises of finding a midway between order and chaos and not falling to randomness. The idea of a balance between the two may even be questioned as in some cases finding balance itself is a process of establishing order. Thus the attempt should not be to create balance, but a better understanding of the chaos of a city. In other words, we as designers should be equipped with abilities to ‘design chaos’s’ as we are to design order.

Designing chaos means to understand the complexities of the networks that make a city function and able to re-create them without simplification and abstraction. The whole idea of simplification and abstraction itself is a scientific research approach where we over-simplify the test results to project a theory, which leads to finding patterns which are later repeated (Glanville,1998) But in this whole process of creating pattern for legibility, we explain away certain factors as anomalies. But they according to chaos theory are those initial fractional conditions which can bring forth huge impacts on the larger picture. Thus the design should not in any means try to simplify the networks, but to understand it and recreate them. This ‘imposing order’ approach can never solve the issues of our cities, as it doesn’t look at the city through a ‘designing chaos’ approach.

Thus, balance between the two, order and chaos, should not be the ultimate aim, as it is not even possible, since a city is always metaphoric to a dynamic open system, which exchanges energy with its outside, continuously evolving and adapting, never attaining stability. Similarly a city always makes networks with its outside realm, drawing in and out potential, for its very successful existence. The end to this process is the end of the city itself and thus can never a balance be established or imposed.