Alan Mee
Title Exploring Spatial Complexity and Chaos : Case Studies of Selected Dublin Sites, 1988- 2008

Abstract Exploring Spatial Complexity and Chaos :
Case Studies of Selected Dublin Sites, 1988- 2008
Changes of an unprecedented extent and nature occurred in Ireland as a
result of the worldwide economic boom which ended in 2008. In this thesis,
aspects of certain sites in Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, are examined in order
to more fully explain and understand particular spatial manifestations of this
recent change, related to the particular local context and conditions in the
years 1988- 2008.
The work reviews the relevance of critical spatial theory to the cases described, and links these to established theories of complexity and chaos of cities, together presented here as a means to describe and interpret significant change in these environments. The spatial specificity of Ireland is described by examining three case study subunits, in the context of Dublin’s emergence as a site of significant recent change, and organising concepts of scale and spatiality relevant to the scalar units of the research are explored. By analysing distinct spatial phenomena observed at particular scales and in selected locations of the designed environment, and focusing on these specific sites, this investigation identifies manifestations and characteristics of a particular type of change, including alterations in spatial quality, and also categorises and contextualises these instances on the ground. The work provides a detailed portrayal of these conditions through the use of case study analysis of three locations within the expanding city.
The work then employs innovative spatial and configurational analysis
methods, to further the central proposition of this research: that certain types of change in the designed environment may be described as spatial chaos. This research demonstrates that certain contemporary spatial conditions in Dublin represent sites of specific cultural definition and international relevance. A practice based projective design research approach explores and addresses certain manifestations of the spatial change encountered. The major objective of the work is to analyse and contextualise the culture and theory around spatially complex and chaotic situations, and to propose creative method and practice to explore and address these conditions. This enquiry contributes case studies and evidence to expand spatial complexity
and chaos theories and to enrich critical spatial theory.

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