This is the second article release referring to the book "Architecture: How to proceed" to help understand the concepts embedded in it.
Which means Bio-integration?
The Bio-integration proposes that actions over the environment should be active, that is, dynamically collaborate with its surrounding space. Basically differ from the notion of sustainability because it tends to be passive, i.e. pursue to reduce toward the minimum possible its impact over the medium. At first, the ideas are not opposed, although its uneven fundamentals can entail considerably divergent solutions. But since this approach duality can lead to such final disparity, becomes necessary to establish the concept clearly and their differences without ambiguity in the way to make, in the theoretical plan, obvious and evident its scope and limits while favoring an easy use in practical applications. Its principles can be described as follow:
Bio-integration is dynamic
If sustainability considers permanent conditions of the medium and resources, Bio-integration means changing conditions of both, as they will be modified through a temporary process of permanent transformation. These alterations are produced –and had been produced- by continued and constant actions from different components of the global natural system, whether been living systems or not. If we understand our action as active, implies it will be integrated to the medium and a change will occurs. As a result it is dynamic by itself not only due the change that produces a specific action in its medium, but because the ambient fluctuates continuously since infinity of alterations are induced by countless agents. If environment change permanently, including qualities and resources, the Bio-integration actions must endlessly change in order to act coherently in such variable medium. Hence, the Bio-integration actions vary in a qualitative way to cope with the changes the system intrinsically produces.
Bio-integration is quantifiable
While been attachable to the medium it begins to be measurable. In one hand because became previously defined the collaboration factors. Then, from there, can be established quantifiable parameters on the matter.
Bio-integration is systemically integrated
As actions to integrate into the global system are not simple but complex, since they involve a certain degree of operation, more or less autonomous, albeit always subordinated, with input and output parameters, as all architectural work is, which can be defined as a system in itself, what we are doing ultimately is integrating systems.
Necessarily will occur two things. First, Architecture becomes more complex as it must take into account many more factors, elements and situations accounted until now so far. Second, when coupled with an “external” system, and given that any architectural work involves more than one system working together, must be integrated inwards as well, in a way to streamline the combination of these systems. Consequently Architecture will be systemically coupled entity inward and outward into a complex network of systems within systems.
The design stance becomes active.
Design stance becomes active rather than passive. It will no longer be “everything cannot be done”, so as not to adversely affect ecosystems and their biochemical processes, and will become, all that can be done to collaborate with them. This implies a substantial qualitative leap and additional stimulation in the design process.
It will cooperate with the ecosystem and be adaptable to the socio-environmental surroundings
If Architecture is Bio-integrated it will cooperate with the ecosystem, consequently, it will be humanly integrated, since human beings are inherently interdependent of their environment. The effect is that Architecture will be linked with social life and its network, interdependent with it, harmonious with its needs. Bio-integrated Architecture will become, then, adapted to the socio-environment surroundings.
It implies efficiency and adaptation
As systems are integrated and cooperative between them, which also involve their coordination of its input and output contributions the whole works with efficiency and adaptation. Indeed, adaptation is the result of an efficient environmental integration in the same way that efficiency is the derivation of a solution adapted to the environment. (1)
Bio-integration is sensitivity
The symbiosis of efficiency and adaptation is the natural and obvious conclusion of a complex system integration process within its environment. The combination of both presupposes that the system (any architectural work in question) meets the needs of its environment. Moreover since the medium is changing, system response should suit any alteration the medium produces. This variability does not refer only to gradual changes that might exist and certainly exists, which could be generated in such long periods that exceed the life of the system in question, but sudden or normal changes, expected or unexpected, that the environment has and cause with more or less frequency (climatic changes, day-night, summer-winter). Consequently, the system must react with efficiently and adaptation to these particular situations. First since it is from principles, it could not be fully integrated if do not react to the changes the medium produces. Second because to fully accomplish with outright efficiency and genuine adaptation must fit the requirements, mediate or immediate, the system performs.
While previously has been established a relationship between environmental integration and socio-environmental adaptation. If Architecture is concordant with the social life evidences that meets its needs and fits them. That is, on the one hand responds to the natural environment, on the other, to the social environment. These two mediums are not independent of each other but are (or should) be harmonically interrelated. In sum the system receives stimuli from social or environmental mediums and acts accordingly. Thereby the level of sensitivity and responsiveness will set the quality standards of any architectural work. (2)
(1) Should be noted that the intimate relationship between efficiency and adaptation, where one depends to the other and vice versa, definitely separates the concept of “efficiency” from a mechanistic interpretation.
(2) For furthermore information see Chapter 2,3, 4 and de Appendix 1 "How to measure bio-integration" of the book “Architecture: How to proceed?” available at http://www.matiassambarino.com/publications/archessay.htm