OPEN – CLOSED SYSTEMS

Post 425 –  by Gautam Shah

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida

A system is an entity with recognizable parts or subsystems that in some way overlap or interact in time and space. This overlap of functions and degree of interactions project a singular purpose or identity of the system. A system is conceptual totality, but need not be a fathomable entity, like the atmosphere system. Systems have parts or subsystems that may seem to participate with other system. Such transcending parts individually reflect the nature of the systems they subsist on.

Richards Labs Penn L Kahn

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Systems are also finite when they exist within an environment of discipline. Such open systems also have nodes where other distinct systems get attached. Many such interconnected systems again serve a singular purpose. Compared with the interconnected or open systems, there could be self-sustaining systems. Such systems are strongly contained, and so are closed systems. Open systems interact with other systems or outside environment, and Closed systems have little interaction with other systems or outside environment. Our body is an open system as it continuously interacts with the environment, where as a watch is nearly self sufficient entity.

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Open system have external interactions, such as of information, energy, material and other resources export-import. Open systems retain the enthalpy to be in equilibrium. Open systems are like a digital word processor article or a spreadsheet which are amenable to changes or can be “adjusted’. Some legal agreements could an ironclad or closed document, which once created cannot be changed in any part, and must be redrawn. A quasi-legal agreement could be an understanding, an open document allowing future change or revision.

Emil Bach House FLW

In Architecture, buildings are classifiable into Open-ended and Closed-ended entities. An open-ended form and structure allow extensions or additions. Open-ended structures allow spatially limited or occasional alteration. Open-ended buildings have identifiable subsystems, each of which can be designed, executed, maintained, operated, upgraded, replaced or terminated by different agencies, at different times and circumstances. Open-ended systems inherently have multiple units of modulated sizes, form consistency patterned arrangement and perceptible organization.

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Closed-ended structures have a self-sufficient form and singular purpose. Such structures reflect the one master ownership or single intent, and so are monumental, akin to a piece of sculpture. There may be nonfunctional repeat units in the composition for pattern making. A closed system does not transect anything, and may not have nodes of exchange. One need not be aware of the interior of the system, as there are ‘no repairable or serviceable components inside’. Such tags are very common on technical products of proprietary design.

All Gizah Pyramids

Certain forms or shapes are dominantly, either Closed-ended or Open-ended. Forms that are broader at the base, and narrower or pointed at the top, do not allow extension. Pyramid, cone or tower, are closed ended systems. Similarly drum like shapes allow little additions except in the upward direction. Contrary to this, a square or rectangle is very extendible shape in all directions. Old Basilicas and Church buildings have been added upon, but Hindu temple is rather a static form.

Houses of parliament British

Highly articulated buildings like Versailles or British Parliament, are closed ended or static structures. It would be difficult to add upon them in any relevant manner without compromising the integrity of the built-form. Indian Parliament has an annex connected with an access tunnel. Versailles has glass pyramids (closed ended entities) as new extension.

Sansad Bhavan

Architects create monumental buildings by compromising many other functions or requirements. For such purposes the building is conceived with a single form (though transgressed in many ways), single material, or sensuality, nonhuman or disproportionate scale and fewer sub elements. Some explorations towards closed ended architecture or monumental buildings have been deconstructionist, gravity defying and highly dynamic or mobile forms.

Vitra fire station -Zaha Hadid

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SYSTEMS THINKING in DESIGN

Post 273 – by Gautam Shah

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A systems thinking is way to discipline, an organization. Its a way to look at an entity’s constitution or structural system and a functional or purposive system that is realized only during the operative conditions. A singular system holistically serves an unique purpose, and so its structure and purpose are spatially and temporally one, whereas in multi-lateral systems, the purposes are served at several space nodes and time segments.

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Open or Closed systems have between them a very simplistic difference. But, it can have different connotations depending on who considers it. People concerned with buildings, architects, interior designers, structural engineers, builders, promoters and occupants all have completely different understanding of the concept. To compound the problem, many Systems Thinking ideologies from other fields are being implicated here. Some of these include: Components and Systems approach, Holistic or Unified approach, Prefabrication and Modular coordination, Dimensional coordination, Dimensional preferences, System building, Industrialized building, etc.

MODULAR PLANNING Richards and Goddard research labs by L Kahn

MODULAR PLANNING Richards and Goddard research labs by L Kahn

Designers see the space design as bubbles or doodles of function modules each recognized with non-material barriers, and of proportional extent. This is a mental process and manual expression, of the intents. It needs conversion to the site, through drafting tools. To persist with all these ethereal ideas through dimensions, material definitions, style, etc., and more importantly for confirmation by all stakeholders is a difficult endeavour. One misses the overall implications of it, as systems thinking. Only clarity that comes through is by delineation of space delimiting elements and space servicing elements. The elements that form these two categories are mutually not exclusive, so a cohesive system without gaps, overlaps or repetition must occur.

Holistic form of Building

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Here two thinking styles distinctly emerge. Designers evolve holistic design thinking, where, things become parts or components only by the constructors. The holistic or monumental form celebrates the designer, but fails to recognize the user. Other set of designers’ who participate with all stakeholders, (interior designers, structural engineers, builders, service providers, promoters and occupants ), create a system or framework for contribution. Buildings with very large footprints and community concerns cannot take any other route. The stress on building of nodes, boundary conditions, connectivity, dimensional and modular coordination (ISO 2848 Modular Coordination -Principles and Rules), is inevitable into Open-ended systems thinking.

Modular Design

All systems are defined by their edge conditions, be it real, virtual or hypothetical. The edges when breach less, create a holistic or closed ended entity. But with nodes or the breaches, an open-ended system emerges. A node (Latin nodus =knot) is a connection point, a redistribution point or an end or terminal point.

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Modulated or unitized architecture of Computer system

 

Computers operate as a single system linked with other systems, including other computers. However, here the concept of single system goes further, whereby other connected systems mutually share their resources. Unlike grid computers, clustered systems have an intermediate or middleware (hard and soft) that functions in time and space.

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Openness is said to be the opposite of secrecy. It is not just free unrestricted access but a synergy for collaborative working. Systems are classified as Open systems, when transition of mass and energy, occurs across the edges, such as water pond, building or earth’s atmosphere. A Closed system has no scope for mass transfer but may exchange energy across the border such as gas in a balloon. A system is called an isolated or insulated system when it is not dependent on exchange of mass or energy. Some take the classification further; a self-sufficient system is one which subsists on its own enthalpy.

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This following note on Open-ended and Closed ended system was published in one of my Blog >> OPEN ENDED vs CLOSED ENDED SYSTEMS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/open-ended-systems-vs-closed-ended-systems/

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OPEN-ENDED SYSTEMS

In an open-ended system, components designed or manufactured by different vendors are used. The success of such a system depends on the adaptation of measures, standards for materials and codes for procedures. Open-ended systems are wasteful because of the built in reserves or additional capacities. The built in capacities in the open-ended systems do facilitate future replacements, improvisations and up-gradations. Open-ended systems generally result from mature and multi trial endeavours. Where large number of people are involved in design and execution and where these processes are likely to take place in different time spans, the system automatically becomes open ended. Open-ended systems are also called ‘open architecture entities’.

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CLOSED ENDED SYSTEM

In a closed ended system the components are not interchangeable. Components designed for a particular situation are neither usable nor adoptable in another situation. Closed systems are very wholesome or compact compared with open systems, which usually have a skeleton type frame structure (infrastructure) and are loosely held. Closed systems are rigid and not easily improvisable, whereas open systems allow up-gradation. Closed ended system being compact, have no redundancy. Closed ended system become totally useless with even minor changes in their environment or working. Close ended systems generally result from first ever (prime) or unique creative effort. Spontaneous and one man creations tend to be closed systems, unless a conscious effort is made to make it an open system. Closed-ended systems are also called ‘proprietary systems’.

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NATURE of DESIGN EFFORT

Post –by Gautam Shah

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Open ended system Space craft

A system reflects the nature of effort used in its formation. Personal and impulsively formed systems tend to be Holistic. Holistic systems have few or no recognizable sub systems. On the other hand, planned systems, whether personal or evolved through multilateral effort, and over a longer period of maturation, consist of many sub sets.

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HOLISTIC SYSTEMS

Design effort that conceives a complete and self-contained system initially is called a Holistic system. Holistic systems are conceived as a whole without much thought for the details. Holistic approach entails germination of an intuition as a complete system. Such creations are akin to a work of art, often not functional, and not necessarily reproducible. However, such impulsive concepts may be detailed later on to become component systems.

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CLOSED ENDED SYSTEMS

Close-ended systems result from prime or unique effort. These are also a type of holistic system. Spontaneous and one-person creations tend to be closed systems, unless a conscious effort is made to make it an open system. Closed systems have inherent limitations of time and space. Such systems become irrelevant as soon as an open-ended system is available. Closed systems are improvise-able only by the author or inventor, whose capacity to update it continuously is limited. Closed-ended systems are intentionally planned to protect the intellectual rights of the innovators. Here the innovator creates an ironclad entity that not dissected for inspection or repair. Closed systems as a result are compact and rigid. Proprietary computer software may be used by anyone but its code is restricted.

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Closed-ended systems to be functional, however, must become part of a larger set up. All closed ended systems are components or subsystems of a larger system. Closed ended system need nodes of connectivity or gateways to connect with the larger set up. Such gateways may or may not allow access depending on whether these are open or closed ended systems. In the world of mutual dependency one cannot survive.

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OPEN-ENDED SYSTEMS

Open-ended systems evolve from multilateral effort or multi trial endeavours. Where large number of people are involved in design and execution, and where these processes are likely to take place at different time and locations, the system automatically becomes open ended. The subsystems for a variety of reasons are conceived as substantially independent systems. The subsystems are often designed or manufactured by different vendors. Due to such distinctions the subsystems are separately up-gradable.

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The success of the open-ended systems depends on certain discipline or architectural parameters. These are adaptation of common measurements and standards for materials and procedures. To accommodate all these, open-ended systems have a skeleton type frame structure (infrastructure). Open-ended systems many a times are wasteful, because every subsystem has built-in reserves or additional safe capacities, though such individual reserves make systems more persistent. Open-ended systems allow replacements, improvisations and up-gradations of their subsystems and components.

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OPEN ENDED SYSTEMS vs CLOSED ENDED SYSTEMS

Post -by Gautam Shah

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OPEN ENDED SYSTEMS

In an open-ended system, components designed or manufactured by different vendors are used. The success of such a system depends on the adaptation of measures, standards for materials and codes for procedures. Open-ended systems are wasteful because of the built in, reserve or additional capacities. The built in capacities in the open-ended systems do facilitate future replacements, improvisations and up-gradations. Open-ended systems generally result from mature and multi trial endeavours. Where large number of people are involved in design and execution and where these processes are likely to take place in different time spans, the system automatically becomes open ended. Open ended systems are also called ‘open architecture entities’.

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CLOSED ENDED SYSTEMS

In a closed ended system the components are not interchangeable. Components designed for a particular situation ,are neither usable nor adoptable in another situation. Closed systems are very wholesome or compact compared with open systems, which usually have a skeleton type frame structure (infrastructure) and are loosely held. Closed systems are rigid and not easily improvisable, whereas open systems allow up-gradation. Closed ended system being compact have no redundancy. Closed ended system become totally useless with even minor changes in their environment or working. Close ended systems generally result from first ever (prime) or unique creative effort. Spontaneous and one man creations tend to be closed systems, unless a conscious effort is made to make it an open system. Closed ended systems are also called ‘proprietary systems’.

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Open-Closed

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