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Motivation for Formality

Premise: Software development must be formally focused on the control of complexity.

Architecture is a useful illustration of this point since it is a kind of engineering with highly visible products.

Name/Location/Designer Impression Significance
Shanty Town
Seattle Washington, 1937
Humans/Great Depression
Uncontrolled growth. Elements combined without overall design, and "homeless" in a larger scheme. This is like a large unrestrained software project.
Fallingwater
Bear Run, PA
Frank Lloyd Wright
Showcases design harmony (with the surroundings) and consistency (within the structure). Note that this is a single home instead of a multi-function site. This is like a medium sized software project with a very specific purpose.
Arcology Design [1]
Proposed
Paolo Soleri [2]
An integrated whole, with a planned evolution. Elements in harmony, and serving multiple goals. This is our goal. We want the efficiency of Fallingwater, and the ability to handle multiple purposes.

Questions to ponder:

Also of note: Fallingwater has has some serious problems with construction materials used at the time it was built, perhaps making it not the best example of a small holistic design. The extensive cantilevering, and the ever-present water have conspired to cause degredation of the structure. Recent work, however, with advanced materials of today are being used to "refactor" the design for proper longivity.

References

[1] Paolo Soleri, Arcology, The City in the Image of Man (Cambridge Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1969), p.62.

[2] Paolo Soleri, Arcosanti Project Web Site


$Author: rlv $ - $Date: 2004-02-02 13:41:01 $
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Ralph L. Vinciguerra