Miniaturisation and Evolution of Multicities


 The most exciting result of technology is the fact that this planet increases its size. Not in the physical domain of course, but through the multifunctional use of space made possible by social and technological inventions.

Eric McLuhan has recently spoken about the first global renaissance at our conference žCultural Heritage in the Global VillageÓ. As he pointed out, not only did deep technological inventions - the ones that affect our perceptional relations to the world - regularly almost destroy the societies in which they were happening, causing disruption, war and conflict, but also they led to physical expansion and explosion, migration, unrest, expeditions and so on.

The first global renaissance - according to Mr. McLuhan -leads to a quite opposite phenomenon which he calls the žgreat implosionÓ, which means the increase of physical space through miniaturization and sophistication. Urban visionary Paolo Soleri has predicted that urban systems can be dramatically reduced in size with substantial increase in performance. The gain of matter and energy through miniaturisation is the inevitable consequence of evolution to more complex forms of organic life. A city is, of course, an organic entity and a living being, subject to the same laws.

Organic evolution of course does not happen gradually, it happens in mutations and sometimes we see what Konrad Lorenz has called žfulgurationÓ: the sudden emergence of a new shape out of the old. One-Cell Organisms finally transformed into a network with neural connections.  Could the same be true to a fractal city with communicating cells?