Working Papers in Economics
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Working Papers in Economics

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  • cours - matière : economics
  • cours - matière potentielle : thought
Working Papers in Economics Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY, 12180-3590, USA. Tel: +1- 518-276-6387; Fax: +1-518-276-2235; URL: E-Mail: The Approach of Ecological Economics John M. Gowdy Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Jon D. Erickson University of Vermont Number 0402 February 2004 ________________________________________________
  • human economy as a social system
  • axiomatic model of consumer choice
  • approach of ecological economics
  • welfare economics
  • economic policy
  • neoclassical economics
  • change
  • economic theory
  • value



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James Jarzyniecki
Spatial knowledge and the conscious construction of space
Boston 2011“Talking about architecture is talking bout something that really
speaks for itself. There is no theory and no meditation that leads
past the immediacy of the work of art. There is, however, a second
level of experience that stands above this closed and intuitive
layer of experience, guided by man’s desire to refect on his
actions, to approach the secret of things through thoughts and
words. Thinking we experience ourselves in the world, we are con-
stantly concerned with defning and describing. With architecture
in particular, this has a deeper meaning. It endows the discipline
with dynamism and creates an ambience of thoughts and images
that contrasts with the inertia of the actual building. But whereas
refection generates new images, it is also prone to mistakes and
errors, and thus to failure. In all this, there is a force that leads to
new images, and to reject this force is to reject the present and
1the future, to reject the work itself.”
Heinz Wirz
1 Wirz, Heinz, and Moravanszky, Akos. Spacepieces, Valentin Berth & Andrea Deplazes,
Volume 1 De aedibus. Lucerne: Quart, 2000Contents
Introduction 7Terms 9
Notes on method 10
I Research
Experienced mediums 13
Hypothesis 37

II Original research
Constructions 39

III Conclusion
Considerations 67Invisibles 73
Expanded statement 83
IV Proposal
Site 91Program 97
Projections 105

Primary works 106Index 108Introduction 7
There are architectural spaces that move us in a particular way,
evoke specifc feeling, and make us feel considered How d. o we
make architecture with this quality? This is an architecture that
connects and opens up to us, it is never instructive or overbear-
ing, it communicates without words or signs, both swift and slow,
somewhere bellow our active intellect. How then do we under-
stand the spatial knowledge surrounding such an architecture?
How do we then generate architecture with this knowledge? To
begin, we must frst understand how it is that we are connected to
the spaces we inhabit and what the nature of this relationship is?Terms 9
experienced space
The direct relationship between an intellect and space character-
ized as heterogeneous, concrete and existing only as qualitative
mathematical space
An intellectual construction characterized by being homoge-
neous, abstract and admitting of quantitative measurement.
spatial knowledge
1 The knowledge that is gained in the repeated process of
2 The collection of concepts that pertain to the understanding
of the relationship between the medium of space and that
which exists in space.Notes on method 11
In the interest to re-envision an understanding of our relationship Specifcally the objective are: aid in the translation of the spatial
with space we must look to the history of thought. To begin, the knowledge of philosophy and art into the spatial knowledge of
idea ‘nature is fow’, from Heraclitus a pre-socratic philosopher, architecture; implicate architecture in the understanding of the
represents an ancient precursor to the modern conception of relationship between our being and our ‘being in’ space; develop
space. Built upon this foundation the ideas of ‘Intensity’ and original works that add to the collected spatial knowledge of
‘duration’ form in the post scientifc philosophy of Henri Bergson architecture.
and inform his critique of determinism. Indebted to these ad -
vancements the concept of ‘experienced space’ in Otto Friedrich
Bollnow’s writing gives name and makes explicit the existence
of this spatial relation. In a movement to making, Olafur Eliasson
digests these concepts into artworks that elicit an engagement
from individuals with their surroundings. Together these collected
concepts frame an intellectual exploration into the relationship
between ourselves and space that constitute a spatial knowledge.
In order to make specifc the transliteration of spatial
knowledge into the spatial knowledge of architecture, temporary
architectural constructions are designed, built and evaluated in
direct relation to specifc theories. The mediation from concept to
inhabitable material translates the understanding from something
spatial to that which is architectural. It is then that, only through
‘being in’ these construction that their essentiality is made
qualitative. Through our engagement they shed their theoretical
baggage and become architectural objects, physical material
joined and organized, as a part of our environment.Research Essay 13
Experienced mediums: our relation to our surroundings
The following works represent a lineage of philosophical thin-k
ing concerning our relation to our surroundings. The Complete
Philosophical Fragments of Heraclitus introduces the attributes
of pattern and continuous fow within our environment into the
realm of spatial knowledge. The complexity and indefniteness of
continuos fow makes this philosophy unattractive to a humankind
which is interested in separating itself from, rather than includ-
ing itself in, the world of the animal, vegetable and mineral. This
inclusive philosophy is taken up again by Henri Bergson in Time
and Free Will, An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness.
Articulated in this essay it is pointedly stated that the inability
of the science and mathematics to deal with quality as well as
quantity impairs our understanding of time, space, and in turn
impairs the understanding of ourselves. Otto Friedrich Bollnow in
Human Space takes the question directly to the problem of space.
He systematically describes the concept of ‘concrete experienced
space,’ collecting Aristoltle, Bergson, Bachelard, Durckheim,
Minkowski, Heidegger, Goethe, Binswanger, Cassier, Kant, Sartre,
Proust, and Marleau-Ponty in an unprecedented one volume work
on the subject. Indebted to the understanding brought about by
the aforementioned works Olafur Eliasson synthesizes phenom-
ena and material into artworks that seek to engage us in space.
These experiments are reborn as theories concerning the 15
formation of our identity in Your Engagement Has Consequences
on the Relativity of Your Reality El. iasson’s pairing of thinking and
making has sparked this research and its exploration into the
implication of architecture in this spatial knowledge.
Nature is fow
Heraclitus, a pre-socratic philosopher of the ffth century b.c.,
represents a pre-scientifc conception of space and inscribes the
advent of a seemingly modern philosophy of universal fow. A co-l
2lection of maxims by William Harris represents his unpublished
treaties On Nature. It is important to note that these maxims are
quotations of Heraclitus by his later contemporaries, he dissem-i
nated knowledge through oration, rarely writing himself. What
is most important of his ideas is that of fow. While his contem-
poraries searched for order and rationality in their surroundings
Heraclitus found pattern and change, “Everything fows and
3nothing abides;. Everything gives way and nothing is fxed.” The
pattern is that of change, continuous fuctuations and shifts in
roles where nothing stays fxed in one position but is replaced as
soon as it fnds a place. Implied is the notion of cycle and flled
void; matter in cyclical motions taking space and making space.
Heraclitus’ idea ‘everything fows’ does not form a world of chaos
4but rather “It is in changing that things fnd repose.” Nature, for
Heraclitus, fnds it place in continuous fow.
As for space, Heraclitus sees our relationship to our surround -
ings as relative to the changing aspects of matter. He states,
“You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters and
2 Middlebury. “Heraclitus: The Complete Philosophical Fragments.” Harris, William. http:// (accessed October 11, 2011)
3 Ibid. 20.
4 Ibid. 23.
5 Ibid. 21.
fg. 1 Breathing room Mass MOCA17
5yet others go ever fowing on.” The matter that we experience
with when stepping in a river touches us and fows past us; for
Heraclitus this engagement is the river. The experience of the
space is different upon our entering the river for a second time
because of the interaction with new matter fowing past us. The
river is distinguished from the system of river, a series of relations
between matter and place, and is made specifc by our interac-
tion with it. Heraclitus’ description of the river can be seen as a
metaphor and as representative of his understanding of space.
The idea of attribute, implied although not explicitly stated, is
a unifying piece within Heraclitus’ philosophy. It is how he places
himself, and us, as the unmentioned foundation from which his
ideas spring. Attributes are how we distinguish one piece of fuc-
tuating matter from another. He gives an atmospheric example
as an instructive point, “If all existing things were smoke, it is by
6smell that we would distinguish them.” A world flled with smoke
would be differentiated, to those experiencing it, by the specifc
smells of each constituent cloud.
The eminence of Heraclitus’ ideas lay directly in his introduc-
tion of fow as a basis for a metaphysic of nature, and of space
in general. This parallels the modern conception of a theory of
relativity, where all matter is seen as distinct only in relation to
other matter. The similarities between his pre-scientifc concep-
tion of space and our modern conception can not be overlooked.
6 Ibid. 58.
fg. 2 Studio Aalto19
Time is space
The French philosopher Henri Bergson takes up the heterogeneity
of our relation to space in his three part extended essay refuting
7the theory of the determinists and positing a theory of free wil l.
Bergson claims that succession is wholly within us and is not part
of the objective material world, which exists in only simultane-i
ties. Thus any predetermination would necessitate an understand-
ing of every aspect of each moment, preceding and present, which
8 is not possible unless through duration itself. The argument is
split into a description of both the concepts of ‘intensity’ and
‘duration’, which are then used then in a pointed critique of the
determinist theory, followed by a conclusion describing a theory
of free will.
‘Intensity’ is described through an analysis of the attribution
of the quantitive difference of greater or less onto internal states.
If a feeling seems to us to be of greater intensity than one that
is less intensive and, as such, acquires a quantitive value it is
because the feeling retains a part of the external causal impres-
9sion from which it springs. It is a relationship between the ideas
of feelings and the physical processes and effects of those f -eel
ings, which in turn create or ‘intensify’ the feelings allowing us to
assign a magnitude to the feeling. Intensity which is an internal
state wholly within us, is a series of qualitative states that we
pass through that only create a ‘sensation of increase’ where the
feelings are non-extended indivisible things, combined only after
10the fact in abstract thought. Here we are given a demonstration
11of the ‘sensation of increase’ from a feeling of hot to cold As . a
7 Bergson, Henri, and Frank Lubecki Pogson. Time and Free Will, An Essay on the
Immediate Data of Consciousness. New York: Harper, 1960.
8 Ibid.
9 Ibid. 65.
10 Ibid. 71.
11 Ibid. 83.
fg. 3 Saint Benedict’s Chapel Sumvitg