ICD Diploma 2010: Morphogenetic Beachscape

Summer Semester 2010 | ICD Diploma 2010

Christoph Waibel
Prof. A. Menges, S. Ahlquist

Project Gallery

Morphogenetic Beachscape

This thesis is an exploration into an alternative strategy to contemporary architectural design methodologies. The work is based on an evolutionary algorithm utilized as a heuristic strategy for searching both design opportunities and solutions. The thesis is an attempt to exceed the boundaries of a design approach which mainly relies on intuition and experience. It is also an attempt to integrate computation at the highest level into design process, moving away from merely consuming available CAD-products, which to date is the dominant use of information technology in architecture. The thesis is based on three propositions which are summarized in the following:

1) Architecture is a composition of interdependent variables and has external effects in form of environmental modulation.

2) New developments in the production, availability, and management of information calls for new developments in architectural design processes in order to exploit this data deluge.

3) The integration of more relevant data into design process will make it more transparent, flexible and efficient.

Beginning with the contextual analysis - including environmental forces and cultural situation – a vision for a beachscape was sketched. In contrast to the common deductive method, the vision outlined here does not manifest into a specific shape. It rather draws upon the general rules and logics for a possible structure. The specific formulation of the structure was asked to be informed by multiple criteria. The criteria related to the occupation of the structure as both and internal space, modulated in solar and thermal exposure, and an external surface for gathering, calibrated for slope and degree of address towards light.

Morphogenetic Beachscape is the Diploma project of Christoph Waibel, completed in the Summer Semester 2010. Christoph's project was selected as the Diploma Prize for the most accomplished project of the 90 projects submitted in this term. The work was supervised by Prof. Achim Menges and Sean Ahlquist of the ICD.


ICD Diploma Project 2010: Morphogenetic Beachscape
Christoph Waibel

Thesis Adviser: Sean Ahlquist

Thesis Supervisor: Prof. Achim Menges

Contact information


Institute for Computational Design and Construction

University of Stuttgart, Keplerstraße 11, 70174 Stuttgart

To the top of the page