Paper: Visualization of the Organization: An Aesthetic Ecology for the City of Newark

Ade Tugbiyele Sedita


Social systems are facing a new set of challenges in the twenty-first century. People from most disciplines have described their concerns in a similar way, yet use the terminology of their discipline. These concepts include “the appearance of dilemmas,” “the boiling point” or simply “collapse.” Terms like “turbulence,” “fear of the future,” “the unknown,” and “emergence” are also common. Often times, short-term solutions are used to remedy long-term problems because they are the easiest to implement. This strategy however seems to exacerbate the problem or simply move it from one area to another. We have ventured far away from real solutions because of how we have been taught to think, as well as from limitations we put on how we communicate with each other. The foundations have been laid for systems thinking. This paper builds on them by suggesting systems research that uses aesthetics in problem solving. It is not just art itself that is advocated here but rather an expansion of what we mean by art to include all of the disciplines, and seeing art as a way of doing things.
If aesthetics is another form of communication what is its structure and how can it inform the development of organizations such as cities? Herein I am concerned with the current state of the city of Newark and seek an alternative approach to planning or design. Planning methods of the last century do not work well for the Systems Age because they are based on materialism and determinism. This paper suggests that we begin to embrace ideas, and through the use of aesthetics, begin with identity formation while working towards collective transformation.


aesthetics, planning, communication, symbols

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