Chaos. Chance

The de­sign of ob­jects and build­ings is sub­ject to the uni­ver­sal and ir­rev­o­ca­ble law of prob­a­bil­ity

Domus - - CONTENTS - Text by Michele De Luc­chi

Noth­ing will ever be dis­cov­ered with­out break­ing the chain of the pre­dictable. Er­rors can’t be com­mit­ted in­ten­tion­ally, so it is im­pos­si­ble to break the pre-es­tab­lished or­der. We have a clear idea of the aes­thetic of chaos, and it se­duces us with its in­de­fin­able qual­ity, the im­pos­si­bil­ity of treat­ing it as an ar­gu­ment, or of defin­ing it as an ax­iom. A li­brary can seem com­pletely or­dered on a vis­ual level, but equally dis­or­dered in terms of its con­tents. Like­wise with our thoughts. The men­tal or­der that we con­tin­u­ally re­fer to is in re­al­ity an un­con­trolled mass of emo­tions, yet we need it to avoid los­ing our­selves in con­fu­sion, un­pre­dictabil­ity and ab­strac­tion. In many cases or­der is some­thing that re­strains, clas­si­fies and crys­tallises. It com­poses and con­ceals, pre­vent­ing us from en­coun­ter­ing hid­den re­la­tion­ships or se­cret, im­prob­a­ble and ir­ra­tional mech­a­nisms. The world of the ex­tremely small and the ex­tremely big — which lies far be­yond hu­man com­pre­hen­sion — sends us mes­sages of ir­ra­tional­ity and im­prob­a­bil­ity that seem to drive us to­wards a new way of un­der­stand­ing time, mat­ter, life and death. The more our knowl­edge ad­vances, the more crit­i­cal the re­la­tion­ship be­tween cause and ef­fect be­comes. We seem des­tined to search for the mean­ing of things with a dis­or­dered men­tal in­ten­sity that is still in­de­fin­able but in­creas­ingly dis­tinct from ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence or from the prod­uct of man­made ma­chines. It is al­most as if the prod­uct of ma­chines can only ever be ba­nally log­i­cal, while the prod­uct of hu­mans is un­pre­dictable, ab­stract, chaotic and sen­sa­tional — just like emo­tions. Chaos is the un­known, and it con­quers us with the al­lure of the chal­lenge, the un­ex­plored, the end­less pa­thetic and im­pos­si­ble at­tempt to im­pose hu­man ra­tio­nal­ity as a uni­ver­sal law, yet al­ways driven back by the ev­i­dent ex­is­tence of chaos. The de­sign of ob­jects, build­ings, tools, sym­bols, shapes and places com­pels a con­tin­ual com­par­i­son be­tween or­der and chaos. It re­quires a con­stant man­age­ment of op­po­sites where the true uni­ver­sal and ir­rev­o­ca­ble law is sim­ply that of prob­a­bil­ity, just as it’s prob­a­ble that 1 + 1 equals 2. Prob­a­bly. Chaos is a mat­ter for de­sign, not to be or­dered but to be iden­ti­fied in its essence, to be en­joyed in its state of con­stant dy­namism and flux. Chaos is a guar­an­tee for the fu­ture, not be­cause it is the ori­gin of uncer­tainty and per­ils, but be­cause of its in­trin­sic po­ten­tial for trans­for­ma­tion, evo­lu­tion and sur­prise. On many oc­ca­sions, for­tu­ity pro­duces the best re­sults when we let our­selves go and pre­sume to lose con­trol of our rea­son­ing — aban­don­ing our­selves to chance, come what may, pre­cisely when we’re not ex­pect­ing any­thing more from our­selves. After all, the im­ages that we cre­ate in our head are al­ways di­rectly re­lated to ex­ter­nal im­pres­sions out­side our head, and it is these that lead the bal­let of our imag­i­na­tive and cre­ative will. This is why it is fun­da­men­tally im­por­tant to look around, ob­serve and never with­draw. The more im­pres­sions we re­ceive, the more im­ages we cre­ate, and since im­pres­sions are al­ways ca­sual and un­pre­dictable, so is the imag­i­na­tion which is con­se­quently de­ter­mined by the chaos that sur­rounds us. Chaos, won­der­ful chaos, the only rule of the uni­verse.

Il­lus­tra­tion by Guido Scarabot­tolo

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