Cristina Abondano

Document Type





Spring 5-2016


architecture, urban, context, process, mapping, development




Other Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


This thesis contends that Pathological Urban Artifacts , as defined by Aldo Rossi, could be made Propelling through Allopoiesis in combination with the palimpsest of the urban context. The proposal consists of a dialogue between the two strategies of growth, aiming to reconnect the Artifact to the city.

Allopoiesis is the process by which a system produces something other than the system itself. In this thesis, allopoiesis is the mapping of the artifact’s underlying geometry as catalyst for urban development.

Rossi sees in the Propelling Urban Artifact a formal structure that confirms the presence of the city and persists through time independent of program. Alternatively, Allopoiesis offers a strategy for urban development as a projective project (propelling) derived from the Urban Artifact.

Palimpsest is defined as “a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain.” In this thesis, palimpsest becomes a single map created by the superimposition of several historical periods.

The development, use and occupation of the Artifact has been arrested, thus a pathological diagnosis. The development of the context is inconclusive. The strategy for growth of the Artifact must be projective, and specific in relation to its “system.” The strategy for growth of the Context is the continuation of its on-going logic of historical appearances, disappearances, and reappearances.

The project attempts to define a procedure that maps the Artifact’s system, and claims that this system is based on morphological development. The overlaying of both Artifact and Context’s morphological developments create a hermeneutic texture, or a framework for a third city.

Constructed as a single drawing, both the Allopoiesis of the Artifact and the Palimpsest of Context create a new projective map for the site. Subsequent interpretations of this new map as a series of figure ground conditions create a generative process for urban intervention.


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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.