The Moment of Complexity
Emerging Network Culture
Throughout history, technological innovation triggers massive social and cultural transformation. We are currently living in a moment where systems and structures are changing at an unprecedented rate. Such rapid changes need to develop new ways of understanding the world. The collapse of the Berlin wall in 1989 signaled a shift from Industrial to an Information society. These walls which seemed secure became walls that allow diverse flows to become global. In the post war years in 1989, modern industrial organization became more obvious. These changes brought new communication technologies. Architects, Mies Van der Rohe, Venturi, and Frank Gehry became possible to trace movement of industrial society through media to network culture. This trajectory suggests that the moment of complexity can be understood in the ways of shift from world structured grids to networks. The contrast between grids and networks clarifies the transition from Cold War System (walls) to Globalization (network culture). In Cold War System, was designed to maintain stability by world in which walls provide security, however walls collapse as webs grow. A new economy displaces the old. A connection proliferates, changes, accelerates, while the wall divides and doesn’t really control. The dynamic of chaos and complexity share certain characteristics and differ in important ways. Chaos theory was developed as a corrective to the linear system of Newtonian physics. In contrast, complexity less concerned with the establishing of the inescapability of determinate chaos than with what John Castri labels the science of surprise. The grid is the figure of modernism. The grid and its geometry are very important for modern architecture. Geometry is the means whereby we perceive the external world and express the world within us. Man walks in a straight line because he has a goal and he knows where he is going. We must build on a clear site; cities are dying because it isn’t constructed geometrically. Hitchcock and Johnson described the new architecture in familiar terms: “absence of ornament”, “functionalism”, “principles of order” and most important “the formal simplification of complexity”. In 1972, Robert Venturi and his colleagues published the book credited with beginning of post modern architecture. In today’s world, grids which might have worked in industrial society are absolute network culture.