Goodness of Space as a Matter of Fact - Rather than Opinion

Dr. Bin Jiang will present this tutorial at the 14th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT), in Regensburg, Germany, September 9-13 2019. His session will be held on September 10th.

According to Christopher Alexander, wholeness is defined as a mathematical and physical structure of space that pervasively exists in our surroundings: not only in built environment such as buildings, streets, and cities, but also in art such as artifacts and paintings. This tutorial provides a structural perspective on goodness of space – both large- and small-scale – in order to bridge together the two concepts of space and place through the very concept of wholeness. A space is good – genuinely and objectively – if its adjacent spaces are good, the larger space to which it belongs is good, and what is contained in the space is also good. Eventually, goodness of space is considered a matter of fact rather than of opinion under the new view of space of Alexander: space is neither lifeless nor neutral, but a living structure capable of being more living or less living. Under the new view of space or new cosmology, geography will become part of complexity science for not only understanding complexity, but also making and remaking complex or living structures. To paraphrase Alexander (1983, as cited in Grabow 1983, p. xi) – geography would significantly re-shape our world picture of the 21st and 22nd centuries towards an organic one, just as physics did in the 19th and 20th centuries in framing our mechanistic world view.

Maggie Moore