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Philosophy of Design // was Yûomaewec

From:Adrian Morgan <morg0072@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 14, 2002, 0:17
John Cowan wrote, quoting myself:

> > I have a magazine article at home (from an old issue of a computer > > magazine) which contains the story of an American university campus > > where the students had made tracks in the dust for a while, and then > > the paths were built over the tracks. > > This is technically known as a "Russian lawn". Classical Yiklamu > takes this approach, providing 90,000 or so roots and seeing which ones > actually get used.
Well, the article I got it from is pretty well-written, so I'll quote: (from Systems Magazine, August 1997) If the office tea-room is dark and cold, the occupants feel uncomfortable in the space, and choose to use another space for their smoko and tea breaks; the tea-room of choice may be a stairwell through a side door with a northerly, sunny aspect and a view, or a sheltered corner of a loading bay [...]. In both cases, people naturally, without being told, select the space that most comfortably fits their purpose. A related example involves an American university campus, where the footpaths were deliberately omitted after construction of the buildings. The students were given no guides or tracks and had to make their own way. After only a few weeks, a network of paths had been left in the dust by the patterns of student movement during term. The concrete paths were then built over these informal tracks. These kinds of examples show up the occasional mistakes of architects and designers who work a-priori according to a 'master plan' model of design, sometimes at the expense of the needs of the resultant structure's inhabitants. Adrian.