Coding randomness: accepting unpredictability in modular systems through the use of computation

  • YEAR
    Afonso, Filipe
    Jedenov, Kirill
    2015 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Generative, Parametric and Evolutionary Architecture


Through exploration of the dynamics of biological systems Kauffman (1992) found a ‘magic region’ of phase space where spontaneous organizations in nature reach a peak of complexity somewhat between periodic and chaotic arrangements, expressing a kind of random code. While the networks with which Kauffman was primarily concerned are biological, his analysis can be extended to architectural design. Positioned between too much and too little order, the moment of randomness is the medium in which new strategies for architecture could emerge. With these insights this paper introduces a series of possible housing structures that illustrate some of the key working methods available in digital systems such as ‘generating’ and ‘compositing’ taking as starting point computational strategies oriented to geometry and where the random factor plays a decisive role. Design can be inspired by this random nature, as nature is not designed with strict parameters, but it may evolve from a core of generative expressions of code. Architecture in fact could be conceived in a similar way the generative randomness develops into complex organisms, from the very bottom processes. This particular organizing principle – from code to shape – in Nature systems, acts along this paper only as an inspiration to the design process.


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