The concept of living structure
Many of these new artifacts and buildings — including, for instance, the apparently harmless developer-inspired motels of our era or our mass housing projects — are structures which can be thought, invented, created artificially, but they cannot be generated by a nature-like process at all. Thus they are, structurally speaking, monsters. They are not merely unappealing and strange. They belong, objectively, to a class of non-living structures, or less living structures, and have thus, for the first time, introduced a type of structure on earth which nature itself could not, in principle, create.
It should repeated again and again, and understood, that the capacity of a society to create living structure in its architecture is a dynamic capacity which depends on the nature and character of the processes used to create form, and to create the precise sequence and character of the unfoldings that occur during the daily creation of building form and landscape form and street form.
I shall define a living process as any process that is capable of generating living structure. But, as we shall see in this book, the concept — and its implementation — require a wider and more everyday understanding of what is involved, an understanding which fits with the daily acceptance of day-to-day process and generic process — in short, one that can be compatible with everyday individual and social process and with the institutionalized process of professions like architecture, and of the other social activities which play a major role in shaping the environment.
Above all, the living processes which I shall describe, are — as it turns out — enormously complex. The idea that all living processes are structure-preserving turns out to be merely the tip of a very large iceberg of hidden complexity.
#book/The Nature of Order/2 The process of creating life/Author’s note#