Evolutionary Design Strategies

Summer Semester 2009 | ICD Seminar
Diploma 2.2.2
Computational Design

Prof. A. Menges, S. Ahlquist

As architecture becomes more driven by the integration of form generation, manufacturing and assembly, the methodologies which capture and control these criteria become increasingly complex. Considering environmental factors and sustainability in the context of structural stability and efficiency falls out of the realm of being accomplished through manual design methods and can be even beyond that of digital, procedural techniques. The seminar will address this dilemma of insufficient means for developing complex integrated systems by researching the topic of evolutionary design through biological precedents and computational methods.

The seminar will begin with the topic of emergence, looking for an explanation of how extensibility arises from systems of simple components and means. This captures one part of the process, that which allows for control over increasingly complex forms. The second part of the process will be extracted from understanding Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Seeing not only the interaction of simple means as that which generates form, but embedding an influence of external factors to register the performance and viability of form.

A series of readings and design exercises will be done to apply these concepts to the design of architectural systems. An evolutionary design strategy is one that finds the balance between material constraints, external environmental pressures and spatial organization. From this seminar, it is intended that a hypothesis of process is formulated, one which can develop such highly informed architectures.

The seminar language is English.

Evolutionary Strategies Project 1
Evolutionary Strategies Project 2

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