Metapatterns- Cities Kayla

Metapatterns that are present into today’s current cities:

Three words to sum up my feelings about cities: I love them. I come from a small town in Oregon and for the first fifteen years of my life the biggest city I had been to was Portland. The ideas that I had about cities as a kid was that there was plenty to do, wear nice clothes, the streets, the stores and your life were all fast paced. My dad always talked about being “street smart” which to me meant how to ride the subway and avoid getting robbed. What meta patterns exist in a city? For this project I got to look at cities in a new way. The idea of clusters, binaries, breaks, centers, hierarchies and other components to metapatterns being applied to cities and grand connections that I have never thought about before gave me new insight on the factors that make up a city.

Hierarchy: One of the most important components of a city are the people who live, work and visit there. Naturally, there is a hierarchy of people that get there place in society by socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation. In the social structure of a city, there are different hierarchies of people. They have been described as individuals having different privileges and lives, the top of the totem pole consist of the wealthy to all the way down to the homeless. Different layers or sheets make up this hierarchy. In a large city, business is essential for the city to run efficiently. The way business functions is with a hierarchy of people from the CEO of a company to the man who gets coffee for one of the businessman. Outside of the business world of a city, there is a hierarchy of people that is based on their socio-economic status. Cities are great for the privileged who have money to spend but could be a rough place for someone who does not have money and is struggling to stay afloat.

Binary: It seems that cities tend to be more expensive to live in than rural areas. Ironically, the most homeless seem to live there as well. It might just seem that way because more people live in a city than in a rural area therefore it makes sense that with a greater population there will be more homeless people. It also seems like more rich people live in cities. The gap between the rich and the poor is noticeable and together those citizens of different socio-economic status make up the city.

Cities seem to attract many tourists. Natives of the city and tourists are another binary. Those who live in the city and call it “home” are having a very different experience than a family that is there for a week sightseeing.

Spheres: Skyscrapers make up a huge part of the physical nature of a city. To go up and down these tall buildings, majority of buildings use the same method to do this: an elevator. Inside the elevator the buttons that are used to choose which floor one wants to be on is in the form of a sphere. Why aren’t they squares, triangles, rectangles or any other shape? Perhaps a sphere is the most practical shape for elevator buttons but maybe that’s what I think because that’s all I have seen.

Cycle: The most consistent cycle in a city is night and day and the factors that go along with that. During the day, many go and work. At night, many people are still up but there tends to be a lot of recreational activities going on at that time. The feeling of a city during the day is much different than the way it feels at night. In some areas “danger” is associated with night.

Another cycle that is constantly occurring is the change of seasons. With these changes, different events are happening in the city and the life style of the people changes. Depending on the city and the different temperatures they have, people may be outside more in the summer or winter. For example, in Phoenix, Arizona people would more likely be outside during the winter but in Boston, Massachusetts people would probably be more active outside during the summer. Whatever the pattern is of what the people do in that particular city, will change what business is needed at that time.

Tubes: Many skyscrapers have fire exits on the outside of their building. They are in the form of stairs that spiral down the building. The direction of energy that is associated with this type of tube is going down to the streets of the city. If these fire exits were to be used, that is the direction the person would most likely be going- down, away from danger.

Centers: City hall would be considered the center of the city. The mayor would be the leader of this center. Although a mayor is an important part of how a city is runned, s/he is often overlooked. A mayor is a politician who is in charge and has responsibility to make sure the city runs smoothly. An important aspect of their job is to make sure the citizens are safe and there are social programs that will help the poor. Here is a picture of San Francisco’s city hall.

Breaks: Whenever a building is being torn down or a new building is being created would be considered a break. Any change that happens to the physical nature of the city would cause this. An example of a break is the land where the twin towers stood is now getting a building put in that place.

Sheets: are represented in cities in the form of walls for buildings. Different layouts of buildings such as different wall sizes include more open wall spaces and more narrow spaces as well. Train tracks throughout a city could also be considered sheets by transferring across different surface areas. Busy highways leading into a big city with streets represented in various levels is another example. This set up for a road allows there to be more room in the city.

Clusters: A good description of a city in general is “clutter.” A clutter of buildings and people in one area where there is plenty of room and could have been spread out. In this picture, we see two cities lighted up and then darkness inbetween the two cities. This shows that people are clustered together in cities when really, people could live spread out.

Colons: Colons are small units representing the whole. Cubicles in a building would be a representation of colons. Each specific cubicle is a small part that makes up the entire building. Another example of colons in a city are rooms in an apartment. Each contribute to making the entire apartment complex.

Holons: A single building in a city represents a holon. This is a picture of Henry Marshall Tory building in Alberta, Canada, which is a large building consisting of 14 floors. This building, along with other business buildings or apartments in a city represent holons. In this building, I am sure there are plenty of meeting rooms and cubicles but as a whole is a building. Within the

city it is considered a structure that holds colons.

Arrows- Cities are constantly changing and growing into great things.

The way that traffic is flowing in or out of a city is an example of which direction energy is traveling. Some of the pictures that I have literally show how energy is moving.

Borders and Pores: In a city, there are different areas that represent different parts of town. Many large cities include China Town which consists of individuals who are oriental descent and want to live as a community within a city. The entrance of China Town seems to always have a gate as an obvious front entrance. This picture of China Town is in Vancouver, Washington.

In New York City, central park would be considered a border or pore compared to the other parts of the city.

Emergence: Cities are constantly growing so if space allows, more buildings are going up all the time. This picture represents a building plan for a city that has open space and room to add more buildings to the city. With room in the city, more schools, shopping centers, apartments, business buildings can be added creating a new area in the city.

Triggers: Stop lights for cars and pedestrians trigger what a vehicle or person might do. Cars react to lights in order to stay safe.

Different perspectives of looking at metapatterns

Science: Cities are known to generate a lot of energy which is a huge component of science. From the busyness of the people who live and work in a city to the amount of energy it takes to light up an entire metropolitan area. Power companies have a lot of pressure to make sure they are able to supply light for a city without fail. New York City had a blackout on July 13,1977 to July 14, 1977 and to this day people are still aware of it.

Social Studies: The idea of “cities” began during the time where hunting was the way people got food and everyone looked after themselves. Cities developed along with different ways of producing food. There was most likely a period of time when humans learned how to manage crops and herds to make sure they had food when they needed it. At this time, organization and communication among people seemed to become important for convenience and survival.

Art: Majority of cities have some art that is on the streets. Why is art something that is valued? Afterall, civilization does not need art to survive. Yet it seems that many major cities have a famous statue or building that is there for artistic pleasure. It seems that a common belief that art brings character to a city and is one more attribute that makes that city unique. Portlandia is a statue made by Raymond Kaskey in 1985 which is in Portland, Oregon. “The Statue of Lenin” is a famous statue in Seattle.

Architecture and Design: In cities, there are different styles of architecture that represent that particular city. The architecture and design of New York City, New York is much different than that of Phoenix, Arizona. For instance, New York has many more sky scrapers than Phoenix and is more densely populated than Phoenix, which is more spread out. Phoenix has a downtown which consists of a few blocks while New York looks like one gigantic downtown.

Hierarchies/ Binaries:
Different groups of people and the different roles that they play.

Day and Night
Poor and Rich
Homeless and a successful businessman
A city is experienced in different ways to different people.
Tourist and Native



Center of a city is how it functions which depends on city hall



Clusters: Isn't that what a city is?

Colons: Cubicles and apartments
A single building in a city would represent a holon.


Borders and Pores:


Triggers: =908

Sources for pictures:,r:18,s:20,_Philadelphia.jpg/220px-China_Gate,_Philadelphia.jpg&w=220&h=220&ei=7Sa5TtSPE-


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