Community Resilience Through Exaptation. Notes for a Transposition of the Notions of Exaptation
Author: Alessandro Melis
Affiliation: Portsmouth University
The cities planned to date are the main cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, it is now necessary to study an alternative way of designing resilient cities. Starting from this consideration, this text is an exploration of the possibilities of using nondeterministic tools, therefore not suitable for designating a use (function) from the planning stage, as a way to respond to the uncertainties of the future. To do this, we hypothesised a methodology that compares biology with architecture and, in particular, natural selection with design. The components of the natural selection’s aptation are, in fact, both deterministic (adaptation) and non-deterministic (exaptation).While adaptation is a concept widely studied in architecture, there is no literature regarding the study of the mechanisms of exaptation, as deffened by Stephen Jay Gould, despite the obvious practical applications of this principle in city planning. From the studies carried out, the difficulty of overcoming an exclusively deterministic planning emerges, above all, because of some prejudices in the form of reifcation, including the ‘recapitulative’ reading of the city. In conclusion, the diversity of subjects who can contribute to city planning is essential to increase their resilience in view of future unexpected effects of the global crises.
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