Circularity and Systems

Non-Linear Thinking: Join the discussion

The distinction between linear and non-linear systems is fundamental. It constitutes what is arguably the single most important conceptual development in contemporary sciences with a significant impact on the concept of circularity. Whereas linear systems adhere to the ‘superposition principle’, non-linear systems succumb to no such simple addition of quantities. In the linear system there is a correlation between ‘input’ and ‘output’: the greater the force the greater the change. By contrast, non-linear or complex systems have no such simple (1:1) correlation: small cause can produce great effect, or no effect, or variable effect, etc. This is important if we want to avoid the fallacy of (mere) linear causation. Put bluntly, the very attribute ‘non-linear’ is as meaningful as its counterpart in the term ‘non-elephant zoology’. In other words, linearity is very rare, except in (flawed) theory. Unfortunately, the contemporary indoctrination into linear causality is so strong that it continues to exercise a fatal attraction for much of contemporary thought. The question is how to resist it in order to fully realise the implications of nested sets of relations which entail reciprocal determination, emergent processes, unpredictable co-evolutions, and seemingly paradoxical entanglement of convergent and divergent processes?


Andrej Radman
Andrej Radman
Assistant Professor

Dr. Ir. Andrej Radman is Assistant Professor of Architecture Philosophy and Theory. He has been teaching theory and design at TU Delft Faculty of Architecture since 2004. As a graduate of the Zagreb School of Architecture, Radman received a Master’s Degree with Honours and a Doctoral Degree from TU Delft. Radman’s current research focuses on New Materialism and Ecologies of Architecture. He is a member of the National Committee on Deleuze Scholarship, and member of the editorial board of the architecture theory journal Footprint. He is also a licensed architect with a portfolio of built and competition-winning projects. In 2002 Radman won the Croatian Association of Architects annual award for housing architecture. 

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Circularity for Educators

The platform is intended to provide with content on either circularity or pedagogy for and about circularity. It is one of the outcomes of the Circular Impulse Initiative (CII), a project intending to enhance the integration of circularity in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment education. The platform mainly aims to help tutors get better acquainted with circularity in the built environment by providing a series of resources on this subject that they can either view to get better informed or directly share with their students in class or online. A large number of the Faculty's professors and researchers have contributed substantially both in creating a coherent narrative for circularity in the built environment as well as further elaborating on different aspects of it. Besides this one, a new platform for interaction and direct exchange was also established in parallel that we call ‘Educators for Circularity‘. This one offers the opportunity for all of us to meet and share our experiences and learn from one another.

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