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Towards an Agile Biodigital Architecture

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Architecture and biology are fields of high complexity. Generative design approaches provide access to continuously increasing complexity in design. Some of these methods are based on biological principles but usually do not communicate the conceptual base necessary to appropriately reflect the input from biology into architecture. To address this, we propose a model for analysis and design of architecture based on a multi-staged integrated design process that extends the common morphological process in digital morphogenesis with a typology-based ontological model. Biomimetics, an emerging field to strategically search for information transfer from biology to technological application, will assist in delivering a frame of reference and methodology for establishing valid analogies between the different realms as well as integration of the biological concept into a larger framework of analogy to biological processes. Tinbergen defined biology as being composed of two perspectives, static and dynamic. Biomimetics typically deals with the static perspective of mechanisms and functions, but the translation of process and systems information promises more radical innovation. As a consequence, this paper focuses on the dynamic perspectives provided by biological development and evolution to model the complexity of architecture. A multi staged integrated design process promotes the biomimetic integration of these concepts in architectural design. The proposed process was used to inform five parallel workshops to explore dynamic biological concepts in design. The potential of the process to investigate biomimetic processes in architecture is then discussed and future work is outlined.
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Chapter 1
Towards an Agile Biodigital Architecture: Supporting a
Dynamic Evolutionary and Developmental View of
Architecture
Petra Gruber, Tim McGinley and
Manuel Muehlbauer
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.72916
Provisional chapter
© 2016 The Author(s). Licensee InTech. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution,
and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.72916
Towards an Agile Biodigital Architecture: Supporting
a Dynamic Evolutionary and Developmental View of
Architecture
PetraGruber, TimMcGinley and ManuelMuehlbauer
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
Abstract
Architecture and biology are elds of high complexity. Generative design approaches pro-
vide access to continuously increasing complexity in design. Some of these methods are
based on biological principles but usually do not communicate the conceptual base neces-
sary to appropriately reect the input from biology into architecture. To address this, we
propose a model for analysis and design of architecture based on a multistaged integrated
design process that extends the common morphological process in digital morphogenesis
with a typology-based ontological model. Biomimetics, an emerging eld to strategically
search for information transfer from biology to technological application, will assist in
delivering a frame of reference and methodology for establishing valid analogies between
the dierent realms as well as integration of the biological concept into a larger framework
of analogy to biological processes. As the biomimetic translation of process and systems
information promises more radical innovation, this chapter focuses on the dynamic per-
spectives provided by biological development and evolution to model the complexity of
architecture. The proposed process was used to inform ve parallel workshops to explore
dynamic biological concepts in design. The potential of the process to investigate biomi-
metic processes in architecture is then discussed, and future work is outlined.
Keywords: biomimetics, evolutionary design, morphogenesis, morphogenetic
prototyping, agile design principles
1. Introduction
This chapter identies a multistaged integrated design process for the analysis and design
of architecture, which extends the common morphological process with a typology-based
© 2018 The Author(s). Licensee InTech. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use,
distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
ontological model. Architecture involves the design, control and manipulation of a multitude
of complex systems to result in a successful building. Therefore, there is a continuous explo-
ration of the transfer of models from external disciplines into architecture to support model-
ling and ultimately the control of this complexity. For instance, generative design allows the
exploration of various design solutions based on the denition of design-specic representa-
tions and generative rules and behaviours, which allow to iteratively generate designs in a
boom-up process.
Some of these methods are based on biological principles [1–3], and as evolutionary theo-
ries in biology are radically revised [4, 5], the terminology in this context needs to be revis-
ited to include novel biological concepts. Biomimetics provides methods to communicate
the conceptual base from biology into design and has promoted novel approaches to archi-
tectural design [6]. Morphological processes targeting formnding have previously been
explored in digital morphogenesis [7–9]. Additionally, McGinley [10] proposed a frame-
work to support the integration of concepts of biological development into architectural
design while also exploring the concept of agile design. Therefore, we propose and discuss
a method to support designers to integrate biological concepts of development and evolu-
tion in their work.
At the same time, it is important to caution that biology is a broad discipline, which is built
from a multitude of perspectives. Tinbergen dened these as the four questions of biology.
The questions divide biology into dynamic and static views which are then each subdivided
into how and why questions. The dynamic views consider why the organism evolved and
how it developed into the biological artefact, whereas the static view interrogates a biologi-
cal artefact at a single point in time. In biomimetics, this is paralleled by material, structural,
process or systems translations from nature into technology.
Computer science links biological concepts to architectural application, serving as a bridge
between biology and design. Therefore, this chapter applies adapted agile design methods
from computer science in architecture, proposing a strategy for translation of biological obser-
vation on a system level to computational design systems in architecture using evolutionary
and genetic principles. To create a test bed for this conceptual approach, a design workshop
event ‘Agile X4’ focusing on the South Australian housing typologies was organised to create
a proof of concept case study.
2. Evolution in design
Evolution and natural selection are characteristic signs of life, which result in a continuous
improvement of the biosphere by providing resilience, adaptation and development. These
properties are also desired in architectural design processes. Therefore, a review of the evo-
lutionary concepts in the realm of architecture seems to be a promising approach to build on
the recent developments in evolutionary architecture that adopt a computer science method
for the generative development of design solutions. Evolution as a strategy has been applied
Interdisciplinary Expansions in Engineering and Design With the Power of Biomimicry2
to a technical context as an optimization strategy since Ingo Rechenberg pioneered evolu-
tionary computation in the 1970s [11, 12]. Rechenberg’s Evolutionary Strategy (ES) served
to solve complex optimization questions in science that could not yet be tackled by theoreti-
cal approaches. This methodology is aimed at improving technical optimization and is thus
embedded in the context of technology.
The architectural discourse about the use of evolutionary computation in generative design
processes is based on the introduction of Genetic Algorithms, developed by Holland [13]
and Genetic Programming, introduced by Koza [14] to the scripting practice for architectural
design tools. The pioneering work of Frazer [1] provides a strong knowledge base for archi-
tectural designers to come to explore the possible applications of evolutionary computation.
In the section on genetic language, Frazer points out that multiple levels of representations
determine the genetic hierarchy required to develop a living organism. Additionally, there is
potential for the use of language characteristic elements, vocabulary and syntax, as described
by Contreras and Chomsky [15–17]. In this context, the complexity of representation for archi-
tectural design is already tangible.
Recent developments in computer science that use grammatical evolution [18–20] extend the
repertoire of generative design strategies with an evolutionary approach using a reduced rep-
resentation even for complex design cases. These systems build on the rule-based approach
in shape grammar [21], but encompass the potential to drive the unfolding of computational
designs based on behavioural systems in boom-up processes.
3. Biomimetics
Biomimetics, an emerging eld to strategically search for information transfer from biology to
technological application, assists in delivering a generic frame of reference and methodology
for establishing valid analogies between dierent realms. Dened as an innovation methodol-
ogy, the process of biomimetics involves basic research, abstraction of principles and transla-
tion of those principles into an application eld. Biomimetics deals with materials, structures
and systems, but typically extracts knowledge about functions, mechanism or concepts that
are then applied by designers or interpreted by engineers. Moreover, the interdisciplinar-
ity inherent in biomimetics holds the potential for radical, new innovations and sustainable
products and technologies [22].
Biomimetics has been increasingly explored in the context of architecture, design and the
arts in the last decade, and a biological paradigm seems to underlie current trends in design
research [23]. Examples for biomimetic applications at the scale of materials and surfaces are
self-cleaning or easy-to-clean coatings on glass and metals and also facade paint. Structures
and constructions informed from biology, especially from plant structures, are explored in
prototypical buildings like the ICD/ITKE pavilions and also include products like ecton, a
novel facade-shading system using a compliant mechanism inspired by the opening mecha-
nism of the ower of the bird-of-paradise (Streliia reginae) [6]. Most recently, aliveness of
Towards an Agile Biodigital Architecture: Supporting a Dynamic Evolutionary and…
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3
architecture is discussed within the context of growth of material structures and agency.
Growth principles from biology are increasingly explored in computation, generating a new
morphological space that is transferred into material systems by additive production technol-
ogies like 3D printing. Metabolic activity as a base for all life is also explored in architectural
design by creating maer and energy ows in prototype installations, in addition to the use of
algae and bacterial as integral and active elements into wall, facade and soil systems [6, 24, 25].
Methodologies and tools for biomimetics are being developed primarily to facilitate the
knowledge transfer for the technology side. Translation tools, databases such as AskNature
[26] and methodologies such as BioTriz [27] have not been introduced on a large scale yet.
A very concise description of the process of biomimetics can be found in the German VDI
Standard [22] and in publications of the Biologically Inspired Design at the Georgia Tech
Institute [12]. A new and intriguing way forward is the development of an ontology for bio-
mimetics [28]. Ontologies deal with the denition of entities and their relations. Biological
principles can be expressed in computational representations and ontologies to inform com-
putational design processes.
The introduction of biomimetics in the eld of evolutionary and agile design allows the integra-
tion of those concepts into a larger framework of design and analogy to biological processes. It
provides a methodology for analogy building, abstraction and information transfer and pro-
motes process and systems translation into technology. As a frame concept, biomimetics requires
a reinterpretation of mimicking evolutionary processes in design. Apart from material represen-
tations of architecture referring to biological materials and structures, phylogenetic history and
genetics of the role model refer to dynamic translations and distinctive design processes.
4. Agile design
Project management methods can be dened as either predictive or adaptive. Predictive mod-
els rely on the information of the project being xed at the start of the project and that which is
unknown being accurately predicted. Alternatively, adaptive methods support variability in
the requirements and constraints of a project. Samset and Volden [29] propose a series of par-
adoxes of predictive project management. These can be summarised in that many important
decisions about a design project need to be made at its start, when we know the least about
the project. The strategic errors resulting from these myopic decisions are further frustrated
by any misalignment of the selected tactical approach to realise the chosen strategy.
Alternatively, the founders of the agile movement dened a manifesto [30] with a set of prin-
ciples for supporting a more adaptive approach to the development of software. The fourth
principle, responding to change over following a plan, provides the underlying principle
for agile design. Agile design approaches achieve this by working in cycles so that decision
making can be more exible (agile) and changes can be made later. Built environment proj-
ects are traditionally predictive, which can mean that changes can be dicult to implement.
One major advantage of biomimetics is that it provides a broad body of potential solutions
for a project but that implementation of each example requires the design model to adapt.
Therefore, we propose that employing agile design principles in architecture could support
Interdisciplinary Expansions in Engineering and Design With the Power of Biomimicry4
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5
Workshop Description Input Dene Model Modify
Carve Prototype a tangible user interface (beyond pencil, keyboard and
mouse) [34] for multistage process
Design X Dene a VR experience for dening and altering the phenotypes ✓ ✓
Evo Type Provide an evolutionary perspective on the history of the South
Australian House and identify its ‘genes’ and adaptations over
time
✓ ✓
Reverse View the typical Adelaide house as if it had developed biologically ✓ ✓
BioMod Develop the generative explicit geometry for the case study ✓ ✓
Table 1. Mapping of the parallel workshops of Agile X4 to the integrated design stages.
A dynamic computational uid dynamics model wherein the nuclei (cells or beans) can
move and be moved by gradient forces inside the pseudo-organism.
5.4. Modify the phenotype
The virtual representation of the phenotype is evaluated in a selection process. Evaluation can
take place against a chosen set of criteria in the digital realm, or can introduce modication
by external inuence in a virtual reality environment. A modied phenotype results from this
phase. Feedback from this last phase can then connect back to the input data or abstracted
gene stage. In order to trace the ow back to the initial data stage, a real world translation is
required.
6. Case study (Agile X4: morphogenetic prototyping)
The Agile X4 event at the University of South Australia in Adelaide served as a test bed for the
conceptual approach. The proposed workow of the integrated design system requires the
collaboration of multiple disciplines: architecture theory, data experts, biology, computa-
tional design, computer science and programming, virtual reality experts. The integration of
multidisciplinary design teams generates the necessity for the establishment of communica-
tion protocols on both the level of human interaction and the level of systems interaction.
The validity of the proposed model was investigated in the workshop event called ‘Agile X4’.
During the timeframe of 1 week, ve parallel workshops were conducted with an interna-
tional team of 29 researchers and students. Together, the ve workshops covered the work-
ow described in the previous chapter, mapping the workshop activities to the integrated
design process (Table 1).
The workshops started simultaneously and ran over 5 days, with an integrated conference
and synthesis time to coordinate and connect the results. The activities, tools and methods of
each phase are described here based on the workow model of the multistage design process
(Figure 1). The main ow of information was established, leading from research in architecture
Interdisciplinary Expansions in Engineering and Design With the Power of Biomimicry6
history over typological interpretation, abstraction of spatial information into topology dia-
grams and ontologies, creating organismic analogies by dierentiation into body plans, trans-
lation into an analogy to genetic information, generation of a new spatial interpretation based
on environmental parameters and modication using interface tools in a virtual environment
to nally feeding the modied information back into the cycle.
6.1. Identify the features
South Australian housing typologies were used as the base architectural input model. In col-
laboration with UniSA Architecture Museum, a literature research and archive research were
carried out, and a set of building drawings selected and analysed. This enabled the identica-
tion and selection of specic features that were then encoded in a diagrammatic topological
map and a feature matrix of the houses along with the basic data including, for example, date
of construction.
6.2. Encode the genes
The next stage based on the feature matrix was to identify the ‘genes’ of the design. Spatial
features of the South Australia houses were translated into connectivity diagrams (Figure 2).
The Evo Type workshop provided an evolutionary perspective on the history of the South
Australian House. It was then possible to model a developmental perspective for each typol-
ogy based on a hierarchy derived from its connectivity diagram.
6.3. Generate the phenotype
The graphs (connectivity diagrams) generated in the gene encoding stage were sent from
Grasshopper to control pheromone growth of a particle system in Maya that was rendered in
real time as a series of boxes in Unity (Figure 3).
Figure 1. Stages of the agile biodigital design process.
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7
Figure 3. The generated phenotype based on the connectivity diagram interpreted in grasshopper and Maya into Unity.
Figure 4. Design X workshop tutor Daish Malani testing the gene adaptation prototype agile ‘axe’ (photo credit, Kelly
Carpenter).
6.4. Modify the phenotype
In parallel, the carve workshop produced a tangible user interface prototype in the form of an
axe. This enabled the user to select and modify specic nodes in the connectivity diagram in a vir-
tual reality space, thereby altering the pseudo-body plan of the architectural typology (Figure 4).
Figure 2. Adelaide house types with their connectivity graphs (photo credit, Petra Gruber).
Interdisciplinary Expansions in Engineering and Design With the Power of Biomimicry8
7. Results and discussion
During the translation of knowledge from developmental biology to architectural design, we
realised the immense potential to extend morphogenetic design methodologies. In response
to the changing perspective on evolutionary and developmental processes in biology, the
architectural interpretation of morphogenetic design was revisited. The extension of the evo-
lutionary design model with a typological ontogeny was facilitated in an iterative design pro-
cess. During the process, the knowledge about the problem was built in multiple groups, each
responsible for a stage in the explored multistaged design model. After an advanced design
state was achieved in one of the groups, the integration with neighbouring groups in the
design model led to an increased level of integration. At this crucial moment, knowledge was
successively transferred between interacting groups to provide an embedded understand-
ing of the process. As a result, a rigorous argument was developed to communicate between
groups. Evidence of the design process inside the distinct groups was used to transfer and
communicate embodied knowledge between those groups. The research on a new multistage
design process provided a validation of the comparison of genetics and architectural typology
and an extension of the basic analogy of evolutionary architecture.
The agile process of the workshop allowed us to develop the communication model for the
integrated design system on the y. The communication protocol and initial workow of the
design system were developed, implemented and tested during the workshops. Limitations
and challenges were found in the translation between the distinct phases. Building a shared
computational representation during the workshop was the biggest challenge. The initial
desire to translate implicit knowledge stored in traditional typologies to modern design
approaches was not fully reached based on the time constraints. A prototypical software
implementation for a design process that would be able to facilitate reaching this goal was
investigated and tested. The outcome of the workshop was therefore a result of a rigorous
investigation on the geometric translation and computational communication of the implicit
knowledge inside the explored topology. As a result, an interactive methodology for a mul-
tistaged adaptive design system was successfully tested using an abstract geometrical repre-
sentation. The selection mechanism in a virtual environment was crucial to the overall success.
Here, the concept was the manipulation of the graph model based on the user input. As this
was not tested in a closed-loop system before, the potential of the user guidance of the design
process through gesture has yet to be explored. The main barrier to implementation during
the workshop was the complexity of the data that should be mapped from the gesture to the
computational model. Overall, the use of a persistent graph model for the testing of compu-
tational design systems proved to be a feasible approach to reduce the system complexity. It
allowed to test the workow in the brief period of the workshops.
8. Conclusion
This chapter proposes the development of a system to design active tools based on agile prin-
ciples integrating biological models in a new multi-stage design process. The combination
of an agile approach on the level of human interaction with the use of biomimetic principles
Towards an Agile Biodigital Architecture: Supporting a Dynamic Evolutionary and…
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9
on the systems level allowed us to establish ecient protocols and use the synergetic eects
between computational design systems in architecture and systems design based on biomi-
metic principles. The multistage computational model was developed and tested in an initial
design experiment of Agile X4.
The outcome of the workshop series was in many respects promising:
The results of the feature matrix during the denition of the ontological input were suc-
cessfully used to generate a dynamic representation of the explored typology of the South
Australian House.
The main advantage of the agile approach is the modularity of the system that is based on
the specication of a communication protocol shared over all stages of the design process.
It allowed the use of a variety of design tools that are available in the CAD software pack-
ages of Rhinoceros, Maya and Unity. A developmental model for generative design was
used to develop a exible graph model as communication protocol in the computational
design system.
Based on the developed design system, further investigations on geometrically rened
representations promise to transfer additional knowledge from the traditional typology to
state-of-the-art computational design processes capable of exploring large design spaces.
There is an enormous potential for form generation in reference to existing typologies using
the developed multistage design system. Furthermore, a four-dimensional mapping of the
genotypes to the phenotypes would encourage speculation about topological changes intro-
duced by the aliveness of architecture.
9. Future work
The further development of the proposed multistage design process entails improvements
on various levels. Firstly, the basic analogy between architectural design and evolutionary
development should be revisited and recent ndings in the life sciences integrated into the
translation. Novel concepts such as niche construction theory and epigenetics have not been
suciently discussed in the context of the built environment.
Secondly, for the distinct phases of the design process, further research would provide further
understanding of the exibility inherent in the design system. So, for the gene extraction, the
number of features that are mapped between genotype and phenotype should be increased,
and for the phenotype modelling, the mapping of building features in a particle system would
drive the development of the phenotype through existing typologies. The implementation of
a exible graph model would allow the mapping of the dened genotype on a four-dimen-
sional space-time model. Additional research should also be conducted on the behaviour of
the system interaction of dierent typologies with each other (ecology simulation). The rela-
tion of typologies to environmental context is another interesting eld of research that could
be further investigated in a comparative study over dierent climatic and cultural zones.
Interdisciplinary Expansions in Engineering and Design With the Power of Biomimicry10
Acknowledgements
The research presented here was supported by UniSA’s Research Theme Investment Scheme Seed
funding. The Agile X4 workshops promoted a at hierarchy between tutors and participants who
included the authors in alphabetical order: Alex Degaris-Boot, Andrew Lymm-Penning, Aurélien
Forget, Bre Abroe, Claire Timpani, Conor Mannering, Daish Malani, Daniela Mierberger,
Fraser Murison, Gwilyn Saunders, James Wilson, Julie Collins, Kei Hoshi, Kelly Carpenter, Linus
Tan, Mark Langman, Nimish Biloria, Patrick Sco, Roxane Adams, Shane Haddy, Simon Biggs,
Thomas Kuys, Gwilyn Saunders, Timothy Tuppence, Tiziano Derme and William Mount.
Author details
Petra Gruber1*, Tim McGinley2 and Manuel Muehlbauer3
*Address all correspondence to: pgruber@uakron.edu
1 University of Akron, Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center, Akron, USA
2 University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
3 RMIT, Melbourne, Australia
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Chapter
Full-text available
Architecture and biology are fields of high complexity. Generative design approaches pro-vide access to continuously increasing complexity in design. Some of these methods are based on biological principles but usually do not communicate the conceptual base necessary to appropriately reflect the input from biology into architecture. To address this, we propose a model for analysis and design of architecture based on a multistaged integrated design process that extends the common morphological process in digital morphogenesis with a typology-based ontological model. Biomimetics, an emerging field to strategically search for information transfer from biology to technological application, will assist in delivering a frame of reference and methodology for establishing valid analogies between the different realms as well as integration of the biological concept into a larger framework of analogy to biological processes. As the biomimetic translation of process and systems information promises more radical innovation, this chapter focuses on the dynamic perspectives provided by biological development and evolution to model the complexity of architecture. The proposed process was used to inform five parallel workshops to explore dynamic biological concepts in design. The potential of the process to investigate biomimetic processes in architecture is then discussed, and future work is outlined.
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Linnaeus’ original Systema Naturae taxonomy defined three kingdoms: animal, plant, and mineral. In this classification, animal architecture, such as termite mounds and beehives, is mineral. In human architecture, formal and functional imitations of animals and vegetables have frequently been used to decorate our mineral architecture. Advances in material science are blurring the traditional boundaries of these kingdoms in human architectural design. In the near future, it will be possible to grow buildings, initially conceptually and then materially, as if they were biological organisms. In preparation for this, we discuss theories of morphogenetic prototyping to conceptually raise these architectural hopeful monsters. The immaterial focus of this work means that it can act as a bridge between emerging architectural material potentials and the approaching architectural singularity where buildings will grow themselves and be as intelligent as their original designers and occupiers, or more.
Chapter
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Statistical analysis of the mechanisms and processes in biological organisms (derived from published, peer-reviewed, research papers) reveals that there are ‘design’ rules which could be used to facilitate technical design, thus producing biologically inspired design without the necessity for the designer using such a system to invoke biology or biological expertise since this has already been done when the rules were extracted. Even so, this is not a necessary and sufficient condition for good design. Four principles derived from the Russian system TRIZ (widely used in technology as an objective system for solving problems inventively) are highlighted and summarised as Local Quality; Consolidation or Merging; Dynamics; Prior Cushioning. More design rules, derived in the same way, are needed to expand the importance of information (sensu lato) and materials, two aspects that the TRIZ system currently does not deal with adequately.
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Practitioners of biomimetic design express one consistent need—access to relevant biological information. This information is most useful when the transferable elements have been abstracted from the biological principle, are organized by design and engineering function, and are supported by contextual search functions. However, the fine details of how the information is organized and accessed are critical. In this chapter, we reflect upon AskNature.org, a biomimetic database created to address these issues, and its key elements, including a Biomimicry Taxonomy, biological strategy pages organized by function, search and tri-browse features, and bio-inspired product pages as examples of bio-inspired design successes.
Conference Paper
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Design disciplines have always been interested in biological growth as a potent metaphor for design. By interpreting this metaphor as a process, it is possible to represent design artefacts as the result of a series of pseudo biological developmental stages. These stages represent a hierarchical model of the development of the resulting artefact. This paper proposes an approach of ‘morphogenetic prototyping’ which aims to use these stages to support a multi-dimensional design process and design experience for the development of ‘morphogenetic prototypes’. This new design paradigm requires a new interface to support this design experience. For instance it is proposed that the biological development metaphors of segmentation could be supported through a cutting or slicing metaphor. This metaphor is defined here as ‘carving’. Furthermore it is suggested that for the metaphor should be a reinforced with a tangible user interface (TUI). Therefore this paper describes the development of a 2d mockup that will be used to establish the requirements for a morphogenetic prototyping TUI in future work.
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Scientific activities take place within the structured sets of ideas and assumptions that define a field and its practices. The conceptual framework of evolutionary biology emerged with the Modern Synthesis in the early twentieth century and has since expanded into a highly successful research program to explore the processes of diversification and adaptation. Nonetheless, the ability of that framework satisfactorily to accommodate the rapid advances in developmental biology, genomics and ecology has been questioned. We review some of these arguments, focusing on literatures (evo-devo, developmental plasticity, inclusive inheritance and niche construction) whose implications for evolution can be interpreted in two ways-one that preserves the internal structure of contemporary evolutionary theory and one that points towards an alternative conceptual framework. The latter, which we label the 'extended evolutionary synthesis' (EES), retains the fundaments of evolutionary theory, but differs in its emphasis on the role of constructive processes in development and evolution, and reciprocal portrayals of causation. In the EES, developmental processes, operating through developmental bias, inclusive inheritance and niche construction, share responsibility for the direction and rate of evolution, the origin of character variation and organism-environment complementarity. We spell out the structure, core assumptions and novel predictions of the EES, and show how it can be deployed to stimulate and advance research in those fields that study or use evolutionary biology. © 2015 The Author(s).
Book
From simple cases such as hook and latch attachments found in Velcro to articulated-wing flying vehicles, biology often has been used to inspire many creative design ideas. The scientific challenge now is to transform the paradigm into a repeatable and scalable methodology. Biologically Inspired Design explores computational techniques and tools that can help integrate the method into design practice. With an inspiring foreword from Janine Benyus, Biologically Inspired Design contains a dozen chapters written by some of the leading scholars in the transdisciplinary field of bioinspired design, such as Frank Fish, Julian Vincent and Jeannette Yen from biology, and Amaresk Chakrabarti, Satyandra Gupta and Li Shu from engineering. Based in part on discussions at two workshops sponsored by the United States National Science Foundation, this volume introduces and develops several methods and tools for bioinspired design including: Information-processing theories, Natural language techniques, Knowledge-based tools, and Functional approaches and Pedagogical techniques. By exploring these fundamental theories, techniques and tools for supporting biologically inspired design, this volume provides a comprehensive resource for design practitioners wishing to explore the paradigm, an invaluable guide to design educators interested in teaching the method, and a preliminary reading for design researchers wanting to investigate bioinspired design.
Book
This book comprises a first survey of the Collaborative Research Center SFB-TRR 141 ‘Biological Design and Integrative Structures – Analysis, Simulation and Implementation in Architecture’, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft since October 2014. The SFB-TRR 141 provides a collaborative framework for architects and engineers from the University of Stuttgart, biologists and physicists from the University of Freiburg and geoscientists and evolutionary biologists from the University of Tübingen. The programm is conceptualized as a dialogue between the disciplines and is based on the belief that that biomimetic research has the potential to lead everyone involved to new findings far beyond his individual reach. During the last few decades, computational methods have been introduced into all fields of science and technology. In architecture, they enable the geometric differentiation of building components and allow the fabrication of porous or fibre-based materials with locally adjusted physical and chemical properties. Recent developments in simulation technologies focus on multi-scale models and the interplay of mechanical phenomena at various hierarchical levels. In the natural sciences, a multitude of quantitative methods covering diverse hierarchical levels have been introduced. These advances in computational methods have opened a new era in biomimetics: local differentiation at various scales, the main feature of natural constructions, can for the first time not only be analysed, but to a certain extent also be transferred to building construction. Computational methodologies enable the direct exchange of information between fields of science that, until now, have been widely separated. As a result they lead to a new approach to biomimetic research, which, hopefully, contributes to a more sustainable development in architecture and building construction.
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This book sets out the conditions under which the need for a new approach to the production of architecture in the twenty-first century is established, where our homes and cities are facing increasing pressures from environmental challenges that are compromising our lives and well being. Vibrant architecture embodies a new kind of architectural design practice that explores how lively materials, or 'vibrant matter', may be incorporated into our buildings to confer on them some of the properties of living things, such as movement, growth, sensitivity and self-repair. The theoretical and practical implications of how this may occur are explored through the application of a new group of materials. Characteristically, these substances possess some of the properties of living systems but may not have the full status of being truly alive. They include forms of chemical artificial life such as 'dynamic droplets' or synthetically produced soils. As complex systems, they are able to communicate directly with the natural world using a shared language of chemistry and so, negotiate their continued survival in a restless world. Vibrant architecture may create new opportunities for architectural design practice that venture beyond top-down form-finding programs, by enabling architects to co-design in partnership with human and nonhuman collectives, which result from the production of post natural landscapes. Ultimately, vibrant architecture may operate as an ecological platform for human development that augments the liveliness of our planet, rather than diminishes it.
Conference Paper
The implications of developments in systems biology and material science are making paradigm shift changes to the design, fabrication and construction of architecture. The implementation of these technologies in architecture could increase current creative frustration with rigid digital design systems that are built upon strict information systems such as BIM (building information modelling). One possibility to control design in this complex system of systems context is that of morphogenetic prototyping (MP) which describes the staged development of an architecture from genotype to phenotype. This presents several transdisciplinary challenges, one of which is to identify an appropriate transdisciplinary tangible user interface (TUI) to manipulate the developmental process of the architecture at different developmental stages. Therefore, this paper identifies the requirements for a morphogenetic prototyping interface based on the Japanese art of Tameshigiri (sword test cutting) as an appropriate ‘carving’ to explore the morphogenetic development in the design process. Based on these requirements, this paper proposes an interactive interface mockup that is tested on a morphogenetic development model for a robot which will provide the groundwork for a full morphogenetic prototyping TUI in future work.