This is the earlier efforts to understand emergent system as a part of my MFA thesis preliminary explorations. The goal of this project was to observe behaviors in public spaces, in this case, I conducted my research at Heirloom Cafe at Wexner Center and KSA Cafe at Knowlton School of Architecture. From the observational research, I attempted to sketch out the possible rules that govern the influence of noises in public spaces.
The first step was to do environmental audits on both sites, by looking not only at the design elements and organization of the spaces, but detailed outlines of the floor plans on both site was also carefully sketched. The purpose of the blueprints served as overhead diagram to map the location of the people at certain point in time (5-minute intervals for an hour an a half) and within the limit of my capabilities, to record the sources and the concentration of noises.
Throughout the process of the observational research, the environment was also audio-recorded, which was then imported to an audio editor (Wavepad), in order to create a visualization of the sound of the environment.
From the research data, different rules were constructed to sketch out the behaviors in the cafeterias. Even in a small scale system, like a cafeteria, complex behaviors could arise from low-level interactions of rudimentary behaviors.
The behaviors and rules follows the underlying framework (Level 1 -> Level 2 -> Level 3) I derived from studying many particular examples.