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 acadia08_088
authors Hynes, Hugh
year 2008
title When The Going Gets Tough, The Pluripotent Get Going: Resilient Developmental Models
source Silicon + Skin: Biological Processes and Computation, [Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) / ISBN 978-0-9789463-4-0] Minneapolis 16-19 October 2008, 88-93
summary Mechanisms of biological development, such as in embryogenesis, offer promising models for resilient architectural systems well-suited to volatile or unpredictable contextual conditions. The resilience of embryonic development as a process is such that successful development—“success” defined here as that which results in the birth of an organism that can survive—can sustain extreme shifts in a normal developmental process, triggered by mutations, environmental pressures, injury, or experimental intervention. More specifically, biological development combines mechanisms of standardization with mechanisms of customization to create open-ended or what biologists call pluripotent systems—poised (“-potent”) to develop into a wide range (“pluri-”) of potential forms—which we can endeavor to reproduce mimetically. ¶ This paper considers biomimesis less a matter of replicating these developmental mechanisms physically or formally, but rather borrowing aspects of the mechanisms’ operation in order to test project outcomes digitally. The discipline of developmental biology affords a virtually ready-made conceptual framework and terminology to guide an open-ended digital methodology, in the hope of incorporating increasing degrees of resilience into the resulting design work. Searching for a capacity to sustain a similar fluidity of differentiation afforded by organisms in early development, we explore a pluripotent architecture for which differentiation might occur over time, and which might be better able to absorb volatility.
keywords Adaptation; Differentiation; Morphogenesis; Resilience; Scenario
series ACADIA
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