Thesis W2 – Readings

I’ve been reading:

Muler-Brockmann’s classic guide on grids (Raster systeme fur die visuelle Gestaltung – sounds so much cooler in German) and
Marc Buchanan’s Nexus.

The former meshes with my original hypothesis, and is an investigation into conventional grids. I’m almost done, and I think I’ll try forming some of my own grid layouts and experimenting with abnormal forms for next week. Buchanan’s book is extremely interesting: it considers small worlds networks, their various applications, the history of their study, and their possible means of evolution.

Here are some excerpts and thoughts I’ve had on the book:

Small worlds network (SWN) theory postulates a netowrk structure with both a high degree of clustering, and a low number of intermediate steps between individual points anywhere in the network. This is achieved through mostly clustered, ordered connections supplemented by possibly even less than 1% random connections between nodes.

This structural model applies to social networks as shown by Mark Granovetter and also to physical city models, where clustered blocks/cities/states with few interconnections (semi random bridge connections through roads, highways, rails and flights) provide the same qualities of high clustering and low intermediate steps.

By extension, I’m thinking that the same model can be said to apply in a digital social network, but the clustering becomes location independent and interest dependent.

Watts and Strogatz mention approaches to the problem performed by other mathematicians, whereby they attempted to apply non euclidean and relativistic form and theory to the study of the form of SWNs. Though that attempt was unsuccessful, is there a way in which fractal theory as a subset of non-euclidean geometry can provide a mathematical representation of SWNs? The self similarity allows for structures embedded within each other and the randomness allows for long distance bridges between points.

I trust that further investigation will open other avenues of thought on this and associated topics.

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