A street fair in La Boca, Buenos Aires. Personal archives.
Favelas in the morros, Brasil. It is a perfect example of auto-organization. Internet download
A group of soldiers with a certain activity in common. Internet download.
It is the ability of a system to come closer to a critical point and then to stay in it. That critical point is denominated limit of the chaos; it is there where a small change can push to the system to a chaotic behavior or to maintain it in a fixed behavior; in mathematics, this property that seems rather intuitive, is observed in Cellular Automata, related with Biology and Morphogenesis, first disciplines that were confronted to auto-organization, evolution of species and individuals, in their fight to survive. Starting from there, the autopoiesis has arisen translated as ¨auto-production¨ and as continuation of the self-maintenance. In simple terms, a system is auto- organized when its local interactions, left to their free will, make the system become more complex and at the same time more organized, more efficient in the use of its resources.
It is my interest to look for the causes of the human behavior outside and inside of a given system. E.g., the neighborhood. It is possible to consider that the group of inhabitants has a defined purpose, but we could also wonder why and how this group has taken certain decisions, which interactions have been among the members and the circumstances that affected these actions. The system finally closes, it does not import alien structures but rather it produces a structure based on the original one, appropriate to the new variables that protect it from the external agents. This structure (model, pattern) does not change totally, but rather evolves through time according to the characteristics of the environment. This way we will find explanations to the consequent urban forms. The most precise example I have found is based on the behavior of neighborhoods of immigrants, before the pressure of the authorities and other immigrant groups’. The human system will always find a way to accommodate to the new circumstances. We have to point out that the pressures and external agents' disorders are essential elements to achieve changes and creative solutions. Without them, the systems would be reinforced internally ad infinitum, being isolated more and more from the environment until causing their death.
Also, a group of people in a bus, in a Plaza or procession, leads us directly to the auto-organization concept.