Self-Organizational Architecture

Self-Organizational Architecture:
Design Through Form-Finding Methods

Allison Jean Isaacs
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Architecture
Georgia Institute of Technology
May 2008

Form-finding in Architecture looks at processes in nature to discover a more correct way in which to organize building. It is a study into the capability of discovering optimum form, dynamic adaptability, and exposes a set of unique relationships not relevant to Architecture previously. The beauty of these objects does not have to be designed.  It is an emergent property of natural form.

However, the wonder lies not in aesthetics, but in the manner in which natural forms come into being… seemingly without a plan, at a multitude of scales, and in a vast array of materials. Alone, pattern in nature opens a vast array of potentialities for the study into new methods of architectural design.

It is important to note that this inquiry will not be into the aesthetics of self-organized pattern, but the mathematical and procedural processes of formation itself. This study by Allison Jean Isaacs forms a set of principles, methodologies and tools for structuring a full-scale form-finding inquiry through the self-organization of pattern in nature.

Following this inquiry one should be able to apply the organizational principles of patterning in nature, specifically breakdown patterns, to inform the programmatic design and layout of shopping malls. The rules set forth outline the formation of breakdown patterns, and the ordering of shopping malls.

Through the use of parametric modeling software and computer programming language, sets of digital models efficiently explore of the vast number of potential pattern organizations by mimicking their formation in digital space. Through computational scripting, digital models also reveal formation changes due to the adaptation to site, circulatory loads, and spatial distribution, while still maintaining the laws of pattern formation.

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