Generative Design Lab. Politecnico di Milano
Theme: Universal Code
della notte/Night Meridian
muore col sole/And dies out with the sun
una traccia indelebile/Tracing an indelible sign
doppio ire della vita/In the double stream of life
tra realtà e sogno/Swinging between reality and dream.
Fabula Code. An ancient code for telling tales
dawn of human culture a Universal Language provided a tool to assist
man in telling stories.
That tool consisted in an ancient complex
scheme including 7 dreams of a young Hunter, that were synthetic traces of
different Stories written perhaps 4 Thousand years ago
It was just like a Universal Code of Language,
from which it was possible to take off elements to go on with the fabula when it was necessary.
The seven dreams:
1. First dream: "it seemed to
him to be himself in front of an enormous
door, trying hopelessly to open;
but, despite all of his efforts, the door
2. Second dream: "it
seemed to him to be himself in the courtyard
of a house, where women were attending to their domestic matters when, suddenly a giant bird swooped down from the sky
and took away one of the women"
dream: "it seemed to him that he was looking at a vast field; at distance,
a small group of men
was crossing this field, when a dazzling lightning, followed by a red
flaming meteor, came down from the sky
and blew up the entire group
4. Fourth dream: "the scene changed once more, and a large group of the Hunter's ancestors
appeared. They are around a fire and
bustling about feeding it and to keep
the flame high."
5. Fifth dream: "In another dream,
he saw himself with his hands tied up and his feet bound by chains similar to the necklaces women wear."
6. Sixth dream: "he looked ready to leave for hunting."
7. Seventh dream: "on going out, he found a dragon crouched on the right of the door and,
on the left, some filthy and horrid Harpies."
Man/nature symbiosis takes shape through the
These dreams are like a pentagram with single complex notes in defined orchestration.
This code was as an indelible stream in human
mind. When the narrator found difficult to go on with the story, he recalled
the code in order to get skilled indications and stimulus to proceed.
This symbolic language is the only universal
language that human species have ever achieved.(1 Fromm lost language), in
which Word and Dream cooperate to build the grammar and syntax of myth, tales
Hunter’s dreams are the limits between the world of the living and the dead. He represents
an ancient hypostasis of Orion, the celestial site that was like a starry river
leading man over the world.
2.0.1 Fabula Code/Human Code
Hypothesis: the sequences structure of this
code for Tale is the same of Human code' s one
If we extract from text categories, nouns and adjectives
as quality indicators and verbs,
we have a sequential structure in which
metaphor outlines the system producing ability change and making it dynamic.
We have these elements of interpretation:
Elements + Quality indicators
2door + enormous
2field/2men/ lightning/meteor/sky +
ancestors/ fire/ 2flame + large/ high
tied up/ bound
+ crouched/right/left/filth/ horrid
Verbs as acting metaphor
Elements of analogy:
1. The 4 elements
2. DNA, defined system
3. Genes. Matrix. Hereditary site
4. 23 chromosome. Mother and Father
5. Reproductive unit
6. Identity. Sum of millions recognized cells
7. Time of life
1. Perimeter of site. Door closed, that is not possible to open. Doom:
the beginning and the end of single life. The impossible return
2. A kidnapped woman. Insemination occurs
3. Small group of origin. Meteor as new event in a just defined
4. Ancestors work to put up and keep the flame high
5. Male and female together. Ability to generate
6. Identity: the Hunter
7. It represents the conflict with contrary powers that everyone faces in
one's life, on the left and on the right.
The Literature world
Now we compare the points of the Human Code’s
structure with our clear cut-elements of Fabula Code. We find strong analogy in
several points, particularly in 4th e 5th points.
This comparison demonstrates that Man had
always known his own structure, being connected through his dreams to universal
Goethe speaks about remaining young : “Infancy
is the site where the difference between dream and reality has borders open and not close”
Human Code/ Universal Code
“Man has in common what is given in particular
to each individual
He is in the world’s centre because he could
see more easily all what is in the world..”.( Pico della Mirandola, "De hominis
In Nature all is built according to the same
law. The very small being’s law is the same of the very big being’s one.
The Goethe’s dull light in " Colours'
“Nature is never in any part dead or silent,
also in the stiff earthly body it gave a confidant, a metal, in whose slight
parts we could sense what happens in the whole mass”
But with the Manhattan project all changed:
remote consequence was the loss of peculiar forming stones for eternity. Ancient Egyptian, Maya, Aztec pyramids, the
stone with 32 angles of Peru, the dolmen , the Pantheon, all belongs to our
past. All that man have been building since last century up to now suffers from
a fast process of materials corrosion and of obsolescence. Nothing more belongs
to the world of Beauty and Harmony. We have lost the sense of eternity for ever.
Our collective time is dead.
we are building a new reality. Human Project Genoma defines all the
possibilities of our complex world. It is a universal computation. Life’s
secret has revealed through all its representations. Darwin’s evolutionary
concept is now a concrete and rapid possibility for Human species. Man can
produces real visions of hybrids, as mixture between different organic and
inorganic worlds. But this is not only a game of data bases combinations.
Man has to shape an idea before starting, in
order not to break the universal code of nature. In this new condition all of
us are slave. Human dignity is reset. Only money’s law is alive. New Titans (
from Tot = knowledge) of acting will take back to ancient places of human
lavori nell'invidia/You work in envious space
il Supremo/Imitating God
Tessi tane nel tracciato/You weave hideouts in
the traced route
dare forme concrete agli incubi/Giving real shapes to nightmares.
sull'immortalità/You err about immortality
Bellezza a Amore/Pietas, Beauty and Love
la felicità umana/Shape human Happiness.
dominio che aneli ti sfuggirà /Power that you long for will escape from you
velo pietoso fatto di lacrime, /A pitiful veil made of tears,
melodiosi, canti del cuore /Melodious breaths, heart songs
Spegnerà la brama/Will put out your longing
Tra il volo di uccelli liberati/Among the
flight of birds in liberating freedom
Universal Code as collective identity
“The ultimate result of
Pythagoreans was friendship”
This is one of my teaching experiments I have
carried out in this academic year.
I have connected two very different and remote identities.
One is the reality of underage boys and girls
that are imprisoned at Beccaria’s remand centre in Milan.
The other reality is my 3rd year students’ one
at the Faculty of Industrial Design.
I have worked for one week at Beccaria.
Young girls and boys have collected drawings of
their reality and recordings of their spaces with a digital camera.
I have put all these materials in my web site http://www.fabulatequaero.com
The 3rd tool that I defined is an ancient
scheme of the universal system.
An Universal Code connects different souls
This Universal code, that is the Systema
Magicum Universalis, taken from Opus Mago-cabbalisticum by Georg von Wellings,
is a collective diagram for every student. It organizes a circular linear
sequence, in which the centre is the individual subjectivity. A possible
evolution starts from ego
A very important step in this generative
project is the test.
I started in generating the idea from Elected
This is a very complex text. Benjamin tells
that it represents Goethe’s research of a code of eternal development. If we
compare the System with the seven characters of the test we find a tightly
connected structure in which the centre is Nature. It shapes “ the eternal
return of the identical”
It offers each student a possible way for
connecting in a sense different
elements of material’s pluralities. Text is like a non stop source from which
it is possible to feed an emerging aggregate field.
I chose categories and orders from text as an
Beccaria's young boy's drawings
is as a connected material,
represents an axis parameter
Also Random in its performing)
This is a sequence acting from a dynamic
center. This is performed by two different persons.
Together, in a union of minds they carry out an
overview of evolution. This is a possible generative process of collective
After doing their work, my students went to shake hands of Beccaria’s young boys’
vuoto è oltre/The void is beyond.
Il comune senso del luogo/The common sense of
Appare nella mente/Appears in mind
Ineledibile come unzione rappresa/Undamaged as
1Tischbein: Goethe in via del Corso
2 G.D.Friedrich Woman at window
“The first function of poetry, as of all the
arts, is to make us more aware of ourselves and world around us “ W. H. Auden,
The voice of the poet
Poetry is not only a sound, defined in a random
way, in which every sense is dead.
Poetry is a strong guide for performing a
complex system, always it remains" to
the absurd pretension to fix what time leaves behind".
Mater Matuta is a Roman goddess of births.
"Hac ibi luce ferunt
Matutae sacra parenti" (P. OVIDI NASONIS FASTORUM LIBER SEXTVS)
Wolfgang Goethe, "Le affinità elettive",1978 SuperBur Classici
W. Benjamin, "Angelus Novus",1962
della Mirandola, "De hominis dignitate"
W. H. Auden, "The voice of the poet",
J. D. McClatchy
E. "Verba, scripta et alea generatim in Generative Art '98 by Soddu, C.,
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Colabella, E. "L'impronta di un uomo" in
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Conference of Loyola University
Chicago( Roma, Pontificia Università Gregoriana 1999)
Colabella, E. "Il disegno della mente" in
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Colabella, E. " The night shadow"
in Soddu, C., Proceedings of Generative Art 1999 International
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C.Soddu, E.Colabella, "The morphogenetic design as an artificial intelligence system to support the management of design procedures through the total quality of the built-environment", in the proceedings of "The management of Information Technology for Construction. First International Conference" Singapore, 17/20 August 1993.
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E.Colabella, "Pantheon", CDRom
Multimedia realized for Poligrafico dello Stato publisher 1996.
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