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Epifenomeni / Epiphenomena

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Side effects are well known in medicine as a secondary result of, for example, surgery, a specific medication or – as is generally known – stimulant drugs. Although they are commonly associated with undesired and adverse effects, they can also be beneficial, to such an extent that certain therapies or drugs may be described because of their actual therapeutic side effects.
As a common noun, our contributions to this FAmagazine's edition focus on both types of and unbiased understanding of collateral events, particularly in the context of urbanism and architecture. The latter being either a side effect of another dynamic or involuntarily or consciously initiated by a supplemental phenomenon.
While we initially labeled these as “collateral” events, this term proved too derogatory (collateral damages) and compliant in nature. Research on the consequences of water management on city planning, initiated by Philip Stessens and Annabelle Blin for this occasion, evoked a more balanced nomenclature: the one of epiphenomena [it: epifenomeno], which more neutrally implies a causal relationship between the secondary (epi-, in addition to) and primary phenomena.
The epiphenomena found in the contributions of Job Floris (NL), Philip Stessens (B) and Annabelle Blin (FR), Marcello Tavone (IT), Mei-Mei Xue (US) and, myself, Andreas Kofler (IT), describe situations that have been initiated in parallel, led elsewhere and subsequently emancipated as partially autonomous or even self-sufficient.
Job Floris investigates wedge-shaped buildings in city grids – an epiphenomenon of regularization. Philip Stessens and Annabelle Blin examine the physics of the bioclimatic urban environment – an epiphenomenon of urbanization. Marcello Tavone analyzes the topography of Belgium’s terrils (spoil tips) – an epiphenomenon of industrialization. Mei-Mei Xue explores the impact of textile production in Prato – an epiphenomenon of economic activity. Andreas Kofler studies Japanese convenience stores as urban revelators – an epiphenomenon of over-saturated franchising activity.
Andreas Kofler
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y. VI - nr. 31 - jan, mar 2015
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