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323 226-1112

600 Moulton Avenue #405

Los Angeles, California

90031 USA

© 2019 Roto Architects, Inc.




RoTo, Spring Studio 2013

RoTo, Fall Studio 2013

RoTo, Spring Studio 2009       


visualize these phrases in your own terms. And match with images
What do  you see?
What do you think they mean?

1.   Moving fast in slow motion                       
2.   Inevitability/Uniqueness                
3.   Transparent Medium         
4.   Neutral with Presence 
5.   Hiding in plain sight          
6.   Looking twice
7.   Entrainment
8.   Simplicity on the other side of complexity
9.   Distillation
10.  One to many
11.  Solitude and community
12.  Part to whole
13.  Scaling
14.  timing 
15.  Cycles and rhythms 
16.  Pattern recognition
17.  Continuity
18.  Coherence
19.  Centering
20.  Equilibrium
21.  Flow
22.  Metaphor

World view
4) The fourth is our the basis for making choices 
world view refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts in it.
“why do we need to have values “, he asked, “they help edit  all of the choices that confront you” his older brother answered.  
“Where do they come from? “ 
“ they are embedded within your world view”, his brother answered, again.
“ where does this come from ?” he finally asked.
“ it is inherited from the past, through your family, and re-interpreted over time, by you.”

Exploration, is moving  forward, across unfamiliar territory, with a destination and no itinerary, proceeding with an open mind and being attentive to what ever might be revealed,  without expectation or predetermination. Creative individuals are remarkable for their ability to adapt to any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand. They ‘play it as it lays’. 
Each of us is born with two sets of instructions: a conservative tendency made up of instincts for self preservation, and an Expansive tendency made up of instincts for exploring.

The subject matter of cosmology is everything that exists and the aim is to place all known physical phenomena within a single coherent framework.

It will be explored at three particular historical periods, and look at these three cosmologies and their relation to the built environment. The idea is to look at how the cosmos was explained, and then how that reflected back onto making. The thesis is that humans tend to project their social relations into the heavens, and then use that Schema as a way to map things back onto the earth.

A. The first period is of early man up to CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY—Greeks. These cultures saw the Heavens as embodying people and animals and their stories as mapped in the Positions and relations of the heavenly bodies. The stories about people were projected onto the heavens, where the constellations were used as sightlines inscribed on the surface of the earth. These projections then formed pathways for journeys and diagrams of urban and architectural forms. In this way social relations were transformed into cities and buildings and even states—the personal becomes the built.

B. The second period covers the RENAISSANCE —ENLIGHTENMENT during which the newly discovered rational relations among the heavenly bodies are projected back to earth as the demand for rational relations among people and their institutions. It resulted in a duality: demanding rationality of the state (which results in totalitarianism) and rationality on the part of the individual (which implies personal responsibility and the ownership of the self, thus personal freedom).

C. The third period is our own MODERN times, from the middle of the 19th century until the present. The concept that is projected into the cosmos is that of the abstract materiality of space. Instead of being seen as a container or place where things happen, space becomes the “substance” of particles and forces. Everything that is—energy, space, time, forces, materiality, ourselves are seen as abstract conditions of space itself. Reality has become a completely abstract substance. The reprojection of that back to our planet is consciousness, the means whereby we apprehend all these ideas. Consciousness is tangible, abstract and completely self contained. But it cannot go outside itself to study itself. It is the consequent abstraction of all our relations and states of self. We are become the categories through which we analyze ourselves.

Rights and responsibilities
Individualism and altruism
The cultural anthropologist,  Levi-Strauss proposed that the basis of society was reciprocity. It is a way of defining people’s informal exchange. It is an informal economic system. 
There are tree kinds of reciprocity. 
Generalized, which is defined by uninhibited sharing between people, without expecting anything in return. 
Symmetrical, which is one person giving to another with the trust of a fair and tangible return at some undefined future date. And third, 
Barter. These three kinds of reciprocity are the most basic forms of economic exchange. More complex exchange systems include redistribution and the market.

Systems and information
 This topic will be our gateway into visualizing the dynamic processes of systems, 
Everything, at all sizes and scales, in all dimensions, are simultaneously interconnected and interdependent. 
We think of networks as a product the computer age, the Internet is it’s common name. The fact is that digital networks are a phase in the ongoing evolution of a networked global brain, which has existed for more than 3 billion years. It is a product of evolution and biology. The global brain is a web between all species.
In Costa Rica as tuna hunt for their prey, seabirds watch their movement waiting for the leftovers. Fishermen searching for the tuna watch the birds, leading them to their catch. This is a network.

It has existed as long as humanity has had language. Stories are a means of entertainment but more significantly they have been central to the preservation of culture as a  fundamental form of teaching. Traditionally, oral stories were passed from generation to generation, and survived solely by memory. In the oral tradition, storytelling is an improvisational art form with a hidden structure of connected events, ideas, and images that are transformed with each recollection. Generally a storyteller does not memorize a set text. Instead he has a framework of facts or events that direct a narrative arc that guides the teller as he visualizes the characters and the settings while improvising the words. The same story is usually told differently, each time. Improvisational storytelling is an act of creativity.

There are at least two kinds of games. One can be called finite , the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning. An infinite game is for the purpose of continuing the play. The creative process is, at best,  an infinite game.

The Observer is the Observed

"Bohm first became aware of Krishnamurti in 1959 through a book of his entitledThe First and Last Freedom and its exploration into the question of the observer and the observed. Both he and K had been questioning limitations imposed on discovery and awareness by the restrictions of language and images. The nature of the observer and the observed centers on the difficulties created by the self which, the observation of, and any action proceeding from, "is usually rooted in the apparent creation of a second self, who is watching and acting upon the first self. This is the problem of the observer and the observed, a cognitive structure which is appropriate and effective in some domains, but riddled with contradictions when applied phychologically. This subject was on great interest to both Bohm and Krishnamutri. They met soon after this and began a friendship formed from a mutual interest in the way thought works."

there is an innate relationship between that which comes to us in observation and that which  we bring to the observed

What we see
What we know it, and
What we make, are intertwined with
Who we are

Developing a capacity to see and know the explicit and implicit realities of the world are contingent on looking without pre-condition, pre-conception, or pre-determination. Bare attention is the foundation of discovery. It requires observing things as they are and not as you expect them to be.

This is a subset of all systems and are self-organizing systems with special characteristics of life and constantly interacting with its environment (context). This exchange occurs by means of information and material-energy exchanges. A living system can be a cell or a country and regardless of their size, scale or complexity, they each depend on 
sub-systemic processes of exchange that are mutually beneficial to continue the propagation of their species or types beyond a single generation. The most essential imprint for any system

It is common to every culture. It is a way of defining peoples informal exchange of goods and labor, that is people’s economic systems. It is the basis of non market economies. This is common to every culture. Giving to another without any expectation of anything in return. The satisfaction and the reward is in the act itself. Claude  levi–strauss , a cultural anthropologist,  told a story from his experiences traveling with his father. One day they sat for lunch, in  a French country inn, directly across from a stranger. When they were served his father and the stranger both poured their small carafe of wine into the other’s glass; an equal exchange, nothing lost but much gained, symbolically. Trust and social closeness.  Levi-strauss would eventually write that RECIPROCITY was a fundamental centerpiece of society. It  was an expression of altruism which is essential

In social psychology reciprocity refers to responding to an action with another action (refer also to the third law of motion – action : reaction ). This can be either positive or negative

To be continued…