Hensel, M., Menges, A., Weinstock, M. (eds.): 2004, Emergence: Morphogenetic Design Strategies, Architectural Design, Vol. 74 No. 3, Wiley Academy, London. (ISBN: 0-470-86688-8)
This issue examines the new material processes and technologies that enable the production of complex architectural forms and effects. It shows how the mathematics of emergence underlies advanced manufacturing processes, how it is incorporated in the design process by scientists developing new materials, by mass market and niche product manufacturers, by engineers and by architects.
The new science demands new strategies for design, strategies that have a remarkable similarity to the evolutionary design development and optimisation processes of nature.
Concepts of emergent behaviour and the processes that produce it have radically transformed the frontiers of science, mathematics and industry in recent decades, and are intrinsic to a new way of working that renders former distinctions between design and production obsolete. Emergence is coupled to a catalogue of new materials and innovative technologies; it is a new field that is producing a phase transition of the whole culture of architecture.
The title includes a detailed examination of the material construction and behaviour of the body of artefacts, materials and constructions, and the genes or information that generated them. It examines the intersection of a broad scope of disciplines including advanced structural and biomimetic engineering, the mathematics of morphogenesis and computer science with particular respect to artificial life and evolutionary computation, in order to set forth an operative notion of emergence for architectural design.