Theoretical considerations (or not)
Chapter 2 introduces and discusses an underlying and fundamental theoretical base for human settlements as living systems; systems that have a creative capacity for problem-solving, including the ability to self-organize. This view of communities as living systems engages complexity thinking and theory to understand the means and methods of complex interactions and relationships between and among people and their environment. This complexity is defined by a trialectic relationship among three aspects of community: culture, space, and time, referred to in the book as the CST matrix—aspects that cannot be viewed and analyzed separately. Engaging complexity through the CST matrix involves a creative problem-solving approach, different than normative or linear approaches; and redefines urban design as it pursues a composition of complexity in human settlements. This sets the stage for a direct connection for urbanists to the spatial language of urban design as understood through the elements and principles of design composition.