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Architecture and Music
24 Jul 2016 - By Mr. Berqstrom

The connection between architecture and music is rooted in the history of man, as described by Charles Jencks in the article; Architecture Becomes Music (published in the Architectural-Review 6 May 2013). Jenchk starts his words with a quote from 1877 by Walter Pater: "All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music". I belive this notion of the arts were greatly captured 81 years later by Edgard Varese and Le Corbusier, as their Poème électronique were presented in the Philips Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. Later, in newer history has this notion been manifested in stone, where architecture is seen as Frozen Music. One of the examples Jencks brings up in the contemporary architecture, is the "Holocaust Memorial" by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold.

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Poème électronique: Source;
Edgard Varese & Le Corbusier, video published on 20 Sep 2007 by Juan Sebastian

It is clear that artists, composers and architects through times has inspired eachother, but is the connection between music and architecture only found in the poetic interpretation?

to begin with, would I first like to make the connection between the visual and and a soundbased fractal. In the article; Fractal Music by Dmitry Kormann, a composer from São Paulo, Brazil, does he explain how he brings fractal- like patterns to the very structure of his music, to obtain interesting results. Kormann is a composer experienced with computer- based music generators. Becouse of this was he capable of br.inging his understanding of the mathematical underlying structure in music, to become a uniqe composing system, when he "manually" made the programming objects (structural scaling) in his ingenious Fractal Würfelspiel process.

This type of "generated" music as developed by Korman, originates from the 20th Century Experiment within classical music and its Development into contemporary classical music (New Music).

under Development

Between earth and sky - City planning and the Programming of the fractal seed
11 Jul 2016 - By Mr. Berqstrom, first published in Houses for the Masses, 2011 at

When thinking about Heideggers concept of dwelling through the perspective of Christian Norberg Schulz: Between earth and sky, I find it natural to take the perspective from outer space and the satellites that looks down on the Earth. Thousands of them look constantly down on our planet and monitor how we use the resources available at our hands.
From this perspective our human-created world can be separated into two different types of plan layouts. The first is the design that defines the parameters of our organised society, mostly developed with foundation in the western architectural tradition, with axes and lines that set the framework of how our cities have developed. The grid structure is the most known pattern. Developed by the Romans, it is still much in use in today’s planning. "The other design solution is the one we see in the traditional natural architecture in the Arabic world, including Africa and Oceania, where organic cities have grown up without top down planning, but instead emerged from the inhabitants following simple unwritten rules".

These two directions in city planning are often called formal or organic development. The formal term is used when the grid creates blocks, squares and other right angle object creates the plan layout of the city. Streets can here meet at T-intersections, at four right angles or at oblique and acute angles. The organic growth, on the other hand, is a type of development similar to the natural growth of living organisms. "When it is applied to architecture it refers to buildings or cities where form meets the need of function. In this way the organic city is unified and clear but not geometric".

When studying slum development it is clear that the informal development is somewhere in between this types of city development. The slum areas are often unregulated, functioning as an add-on to the city outskirts, with shacks consisting of simple structures that easily can be rebuilt in other locations. The streets and the size of the parcels have been developed following the organic pattern, but still with belonging to the grid structure that is found in the centre of the city. To study this phenomenon closely linked to the organic growth, it is natural to use computers to simulate the evolutionary process of how different structures develop. Karl Sims showed in the 90’s how virtual organisms with a simple rule set would follow the law of evolution to improve their capabilities.

When using this kind of tools, where organic growth is simulated, and the rule-set of the organism, together with its surroundings, defines the transport corridors for people in the urban landscape, this shows how the parameters given by Kevin Lynch works in the real landscape. This planning perspective can be compared with the design of a Printed Circuit Board (PCB card). The tools used for PCB layout design today, simulates all the processes the card needs to handle and tries to find the most effective solution for the highest processor power. In the same way, it would be natural to replace the simulation of electrical signals on a PCB card with the transport of people and goods in the city landscape. If the city is a gigantic PCB card where the power grid holds the parallel to the silicium on a modern PCB card, why don’t we use the same simulation tools to explain the potential processing needed for the city to function at a higher level.

Photograph ISS035-E-5438 by ISS
Grid structure, Pheonix by night, astronaut photograph ISS035-E-5438; Source:
Nasa, photo  by the Expedition 35 crew, acquired 16,Mar  2013

Photograph ISS042-E-33842 by ISS
Organic structure, Cairo by night, astronaut photograph ISS042-E-33842; Source:
Nasa, photo by the Expedition 42 crew, acquired 10 Dec 2014