One of the 15 fundamental properties.
Echoes is the way that the strength of a given center depends on similarities of angle and orientation and systems of centers forming characteristic angles thus forming larger centers, among the centers it contains.
In general terms, there is a deep underlying similarity — a family resemblance — among the elements, so deep that everything seems to be related, and yet one doesn’t quite know why, or what causes it. That is what I mean by “echoes”. Echoes, as far as I can tell, depend on the angles, which are prevalent in design. When echoes are present, the various smaller elements and centers, from which the larger centers are made, are all members of the same family; they contain echoes of one another; there are deep internal similarities between them which tie them together to form a single unity.
They all seem cut from the same cloth, poured from the same mould.
This sounds like using the same materials is a good way to produce echoes?
In the simpler cases of echoes, we see the family resemblance in the different parts because they are simply similar in shape, again deriving from the angles.
The more interesting cases arise, when we can feel or sense a general family resemblance among a group of motifs — but the family resemblance caused by angles are deeper, and we cannot really say so easily quite why they all feel similar.
The essence of the echoes property lies in the very deepest level of structure.
Often this becomes most pronounced in functional or practical cases where the similar structural geometry derives from deep similarities of process that have created it.
Often, when all the different details are members of a family, the task of making the building becomes simpler, the rhythm of making it faster, more economical. It can produce the necessary variety without trouble. If, on the other hand, the details are disparate, it is such an effort, mentally, to make the building at all, that there is less room for variation and invention. The result: in a building without echoes, the final adaptation of the building to its needs is often weaker.
This also speaks to me as I’m feeling my limitations sculpting clay, which I have never done before and I’m absolutely terrible at, because I don’t know many techniques on how to work with clay. That limits me in the ways I see to turn design ideas into reality. So I’d add the experience of the builder/maker with certain materials.
When functions are taken seriously, there are usually various geometric rules which follow, as a result of functional conditions. These rules, applied over and over again, will create a feeling of familiar angles, lines, shapes, not for formal reasons, but simply as a result of careful adherence to functional requirements.
If something has been made without some echoes of this type, the chances are that certain deep requirements have been ignored, and the variety of non-echoing forms will cause various functional failures.
In all natural systems, deep-lying fundamental processes ultimately give geometric form to the static structure of the system. These processes repeat certain typical angles and proportions over and over again, and it is the statistical character of these angles and proportions which determines the morphological character of the system and its parts — even within parts which seem superficially different.
If we wanted to give a general theory, we might say that echoes appear in nature because uniform growth processes create natural homomorphisms and isomorphisms among the different parts of any single system.
#book/The Nature of Order/1 The Phenomenon of Life/5 Fifteen fundamental properties#
#book/The Nature of Order/1 The Phenomenon of Life/6 The fifteen properties in nature#