In Common Ground in a Liquid City, anarchist architect Matt Hern argued that the most successful cities have been the ones that managed to balance planned and organic development. Manuel De Landa wrote in A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History that the rise of Europe highly relied on a mixture of Central Place hierarchies such as Paris, Prague, Milan and networked Gateway cities like Venice, Antwerp, Genoa, Amsterdam, London. Philip Galanter started his paper What is Complexism? Generative Art and the Cultures of Science and the Humanities by first naming usual polarities such as absolute-relative, progress-circulation, fixed-random, hierarchy-collapse, authority-contention, author-text in order to contrast modern and postmodern culture and then proposed a synthesis of the two: “Complexism” that is associated with terms such as distributed, emergent, chaotic and connectionist.
Below is a quickly made list of some top-down vs. bottom-up pairs.
This list for me is just a way of thinking aloud, by counting examples that aren’t necessarily binary oppositions nor dichotomies, but rather approaches, processes that can run simultaneously in opposite directions within an abstract machine, with the potential of creating a complex system with feedback.