Scale is a concept I’ve got familiar with since my first year in Architecture. I am been taught that drawings have to be in scale in relation to the context. What are you trying to communicate? Scale is quite crucial because it defines the resolution of the drawing.
In design practice scale is indeed a very important tool, as it renders intentions in function to context. The understanding of scale change is a skill designers need to master, as it is an intangible infrastructure that crosses and overlaps networks, which context might not be related. Scale makes analogies among diverse territories; of course it is important to understand which analogy enables connections.
The complexity of our society claims for feasible and transferable analysis that modifies over time. Social changes fluctuates at a too high speed for a stiff infrastructure.
I am on my way back from a two days debate over urban globalisation. The LSE/LSECities/Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft organised an incredible conference, Shaping the City, on global urbanism. Under the roof of the Venice Biennale Foundation and the support of UN Habitat the conference clustered around proposals that will be taken to the Habitat 3.
The word conflict looked to me the continuous thread that linked the many contributions. Conflict is an interruption, which can trigger positive reactions if channelled towards directions where the contrasting factors negotiate a common territory. Like scale, conflict is as universal as local. Nonetheless when conflict meets scale noise is remouved and attention is kept at core factors. It then follows that scale makes conflict a chameleon entity, as it can be interpreted and tackled via different methodologies, in relation to the specific key factors that draw any analysis.
Scale gives conflict resolution and, by connecting different territories, it helps to see beyond peculiarity to find similarities in other related territories that help find solutions.
I believe scale is a key factor in the contemporary process of design. To understand solutions, that challenge and innovate the existent, is a dynamic fluid process of scaling up and down. One problem doesn’t match one solution but an array of proposals rendered at different scales and resolutions.
Society is far too complex to be looked by stiff systems. As design is the closest infrastructure to people’s everyday, there is an exciting medium to be employed to draw innovations through people’s everyday.