Monday, 22 February 2016


The Biotect

1.   Question
In the year 2000 I shall only be sixty-five years old. What good will I be as architect unless I can gain a better understanding of the changing context in which ARCHITECTURE – itself changing character – plays its role?'

2.   Item
' ... No, the correct answer is that science has done two things: it has replaced a lot of ugly superstitions by beautiful knowledge and it has made available useful information which non-scientists have chosen to apply for good and bad purposes .... But because non-scientists won't study the opportunities and dangers of appliable knowledge, the day may come (heaven help us) when scientists find themselves left in charge.'
New Scientist, 8.7.65, p 102

3.   Item
Give us this day our daily Faith, but deliver us, dear God, from Belief.'
Aldous Huxley, Island'

4.   Item
The people who, above all others, are interested in charting the development of human possibilities are the writers and artists. The function of culture is not, as many think, to enrich human life with new conceptions which it draws from some mysterious and transcendental realm out of the reach of ordinary people. The true, or at least the important, task of the cultural worker is to reveal to man the spiritual riches which would result from the full exploitation of the immediately practical possibilities.'
C. H. Waddington, ‘ The Scientific Attitude ', Pelican, 1941

5.   Memo
as a tentative
outline for search
of what may be
good in us and for us, and what the
present, vast
scientific effort
paired with its
and automated
application could
and should provide us with.

Take and maintain World Livingry Systems Redesign Initiative, embracing Man's whole ecology spectrum: energy, materials, tools, equipment, room, dwelling, building, neighbourhood, town, region al, nationalcontinental, intercontinental, global, interplanetary, intergalactic and universal Evolutionary Transformation Design Science Control.

Optimal grouping and communicative connection of the physical environment for the lifetime activities of Man, to allow increasingly all men to attain with least frustration full development and conscious participation in the effort to supply our widening physical and intellectual needs.

Nearly all design action becomes effective in the next or later generations. If tomorrow's situation shall not render today's plans obsolete, future means as well as future needs must be plotted and anticipated, change allowed for, and objectives defined.

Our lives already depend on a worldwide metabolic regeneration and transformation network of collection, processing and distribution of goods, foods and learning. All design action must therefore be based on worldwide data collection and planned network implementation. The industrial revolution caused an upheaval through our inadequately understanding the activity nature of the new kind of wealth it created, a still unmastered accountancy problem now aggravated by Increasing from inter-individual to inter-national discrepancies at danger level. Given knowledge and willingness, this situation could now be remedied without resorting to piracy (i.e. War): we could muster tools and means to provide for all without taking from any.

(present world total)
Dogma-based shifts of emphasis attempting to cater for narrowly assessed requirements with inadequate facilities inherently biased to the exclusive ambitions of sovereign states giving top priority to the arts of killing.

To establish criteria and priorities for the provision of adequate facilities to cater for globally assessed requirements in good time anywhere, and to provide the physical environment in which all necessary activities can take place with Liberty and Wealth for all – focusing exclusively on the arts of living.

The individual and communal ability to respond to the needs of life with all available potential without being trapped and restrained (where they do so) by deeds and dogmas of preceding generations.

The' organised forward metabolic regeneration capability of Man to augment his own evolution and realms of consciousness.

I swear by the principle that organised Omega Minus to interact with other particles to result in me living that I shall to the best of my knowledge and ability fulfil this oath.

I shall always honour those who teach me and those who make information available, and shall share all knowledge with those having the same working premise.

All conclusions made possible through the inventory
of resources, needs, means and trends, and all advantages of their implementation shall to the best of my knowledge and ability be used only for the betterment of life for all men, and I shall not yield to sectional interests of whatever description barring any individual or group from augmented capabilities.

I shall not use any information, facility or idea of economic or industrial potential for personal gain, but only to further the whole of the task stated; all available means shall be used to secure this aim.

All information gained and all conclusions reached in the performance of my profession shall be published when their relation to the whole can be discerned.

May keeping this oath earn me the implementing credit of society to effect my useful functioning in the realisation of man's comprehensive survival and satisfaction success.

6.   Item
'He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars; General Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite and flatterer. For Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organised Particulars.’
William Blake
(in: J. Bronowski, 'Science and Human Values', Pelican, 1964)

7.   Question
Could generalised criteria affecting any articular action be listed and their idealised interactions shown in 'social space '?

8.   Tentative Model
Action Module, as ‘Context reckoner and Dynamic Thinking Inducer’, Part 1.

9.   Perhaps
‘Le paradis, c’est nous.

THE BIOTECT is dedicated to R. Buckminster Fuller, for whose comments I am deeply grateful.

Biotect, Biotecture terms evolved by Rudolf Doernach, whose permission to use them in this context is gratefully acknowledged.

all as printed then; and invited to present it at the Archigram Folkestone Conference, 11 June 1966