By definition innovation is the charge into the unknown. –Unknown

A method, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is a systematic way of accomplishing something. To innovate is to make something new, and the discovery of knowledge requires something quite different than the scientific method we were exposed to in elementary school chemistry classes. A true experiment has at least one variable that is unknown, and the reason for the experiment is to see how that variable varies. In the case of digitally augmented urbanism there exists many unknowns: the question of whether digital and physical space can be perceived in symbiotic simultaneity and how will mixed realities effect the phenomena of memory and place? (enhance or destroy) are just two examples. But, these two questions have multiple variables that require investigation in order to build an acceptable theory of their feasibility.

To answer these questions, or any unknown for that matter, requires the acquisition of risk and the befriending of failure. Tough questions are not answered on the first methodological cycle, they require periodic tweaking and modification in order to define an acceptable answer. It is important to understand that failure has no negative connotation in the scope of methodology, unless nothing is learned from the failure. As Greg Watson (an architecture studio instructor at Miss. State) once told me, “I would rather see you fail extraordinarily than succeed with mediocrity,” or course he had the expectation that with my extraordinary failure would come extraordinary knowledge.

Below is an in progress diagram of my initial thoughts on my methodological process. Some elements, such as “experiment”, could be further expanded to include the process of the design of the experiment and the denotation of experimental and constant variables. That is to come. Aside from elemental expansion, I believe the most important part of any methodology  is the start of the process. As John Cage, one of the most innovative contemporary composer’s of the 20th century, stated when asked how he started one of his composition, “It doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you start.”


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