Homeostatic Urban Morphologies: An Evolutionary Model For Intelligent Urban Proliferation

Ph.D. By Design | January 2017 to Present | Architectural Association (AA) | London | U.K.

Director of Studies: Dr. Michael Weinstock

Supervisor: Dr. George Jeronimidis


More at AA Ph.D.   &  AA 2017 Project Review

Mathematical representation of highly organized and dense fractal geometries generated by author

Complication and Relevance

Nature was conventionally considered a source of formal and metaphorical inspiration within the architectural discourse. However, the contemporary reconfiguration as it is reflected in the difference between the revised and original editions of Steadman, 1979 ‘The Evolution of Designs: Biological Analogy in Architecture and Applied Arts’, has changed the idea of nature from formal metaphor to a repository of interconnected dynamic processes available to be analyzed and simulated. Seeking deeper insights into the biological processes has sped up in the past two decades for reasons such as environmental crisis and a flourishing belief that architecture in closer conformity with nature needs to take lessons not only from organic forms but also from natural systems and processes. This research examines the potential of homeostatic principles, and their connection to growth and development in natural systems, to inform the design of singular and collective architectural assemblies across a range of scales.

Homeostasis is the term for the biological processes by which individual beings and collectives maintain equilibrium in their environment, and there is a wide range of morphological and behavioral traits across multiple species. Examine and reflecting on the interrelations of forms, processes, and behaviors can yield useful strategies for architectural design processes that require significant environmental performance enhancements. Although biomimicry has been established for many decades, and has made significant contributions to engineering and architecture, homeostasis has rarely been part of this field of research. The ambition of this research is to abstract principles of homeostasis, growth, and development of natural systems, to define and develop those principles through experiments to produce a computational design engine to generate testable mathematical models with specified degree of mutability, or adaptation to differing circumstances or environments, together with an expository conceptual and computationally simulated design, evaluations and principles of implementation.


Hypothesis and Research Question

Can analysis and computational simulation of homeostasis, together with identification of correlation between homeostatic processes, forms and behaviors of natural systems yield useful operative concepts, parameters and ways of implementation to develop a computational design system that generates homeostatic urban assemblies with fluid boundaries between inner and outer environments that offer significant environmental performance enhancements? 



Objective and Contribution

This research aims to propose a new computationally driven design system congruent to the environment (natural and man-made) to generate an alternate morphology to urban sprawl. The design research intends to employ this system to develop intelligent vertical urban assemblies to metamorphose urban morphology vertically through a comprehensive computational model of growing the design digitally and physically which culminates in highly organized and condensed vertical systems and structures



Result of the a simulation in early phases of the research to examine the potential of embedding homoestatic principles into the evolutoinary simulation. Generated by author

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