CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

id 2005_599
authors Couceiro, Mauro
year 2005
title Architecture and Biological Analogies
source Digital Design: The Quest for New Paradigms [23nd eCAADe Conference Proceedings / ISBN 0-9541183-3-2] Lisbon (Portugal) 21-24 September 2005, pp. 599-606
summary The study described in this paper evolves within the larger context of a research aimed at inquiring into analogies between architecture and nature, and more specifically between architecture and biology. Biology is a recursive source of architectural inspiration due to the tight relationship between form and function, the natural balance of forces and the corresponding geometric solutions found in living beings. Roughly, one can classify historical analogies between architecture and biology into two main categories. The first tries to mimic biological forms and the second biological processes. The specific goal of the described study is to find how new technologies can redefine and support the process of constructing such analogies. It uses as a case study a tower project designed by the architect Manuel Gausa (ACTAR, Barcelona) called Tornado Tower because of its complex shape inspired in the frozen form of a tornado. Due to the geometric irregularities of the tower, Gausa’s team had difficulties in designing it, especially because solving the structural problems required constant redrawing. This paper describes the first part of the study which primary goal was to conceive a parametric program that encoded the overall shape of the Tornado Tower. The idea was to use the program to simplify the drawing process. This required a mathematical study of spirals and helices which are at the conceptual basis of the external structure and shape of the tower. However, the program encodes not only the shape of Gausa’s tower, but also the shapes of other buildings with conceptual similarities. Such class of shapes is very recurrent in nature with different scales and with different utilities. Therefore, one can argue that the program makes a mathematical connection between a given natural class of shapes and architecture. The second part of the study will be devoted to extending the program with a genetic algorithm with the goal of guiding the generation of solutions taking into account their structural fitness. This way, the analogy with genetic procedures will be emphasized by the study of the evolution of forms and its limits of feasibility. In summary, the bionic shape analogy is made by the generation of mimetic natural forms and a genetic process analogy starts with the parametric treatment of shape based on code manipulations. At the end the program will establish an analogy between architecture and biology both terms of form and process.
keywords Genetics; Evolutionary Systems; Parametric Design
series eCAADe
email mauro@bluebottle.com
full text file.pdf (420,443 bytes)
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100%; open Bentley, PJ (1999) Find in CUMINCAD An Introduction to Evolutionary Design by Computers , Morgan Kautmann, San Francisco, California
100%; open Caldas LG (2002) Find in CUMINCAD A Design Optimization Tool based on a Genetic Algorithm , Automation in Construction 11 (2), pp. 1-22
100%; open Duarte JP (2005) Find in CUMINCAD Customizing Mass Housing: A Discursive Grammar for Siza’s Malagueira Houses , Automation in Construction, 14 (2), pp. 265-275
100%; open Gero, John S (2004) Find in CUMINCAD Design Computing and Cognition 04 , Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht / Boston / London
100%; open Monks, MC (1999) Find in CUMINCAD Audioptimization: global-based acoustic design , PhD Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
100%; open Shea K and Cagan J (1999) Find in CUMINCAD The Design of Novel Roof Structures with Shape Annealing , Design Studies, 20 (4)
100%; open Whitley, D (2001) Find in CUMINCAD A Genetic Algorithm Tutorial , Computer Science Department, Colorado State University
100%; open Williams, HA (2003) Find in CUMINCAD Zoomorphic – New Animal Architecture , Laurence King Publishing Ltd, London

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