Cast Dissection: Unstable Cellular Arrangement


Proposed Title:

          Homeomorphic Construct


          Topology, Morphology, Tectonics, Structure, Optimization, Growth, Construction Culture


          Investigate the production and advantages of a continuous structural system, which is informed by biological processes, to find harmonious balance between construction culture and optimum structural efficiency.

Subject Matter:

          In contemplating the performance of a biological form, we inevitably confront “the twofold problem of accumulated inheritance and perfect structural performance”  (Thompson, 1968, p. 966).  This complicated, dynamic relationship between what is inherited and what is purely efficient results in a final, causal form. Thus, the tension between these parallel modes necessitates an inquiry into the architectural relationship between structure and form.  This question of inheritance underpins the design methodology through a construction culture to which we are bound.  We have inherited our mass production and standardization, our labor force of diminishing specialization, our labor costs, and our infrastructural dependencies; all of these things have compounded over the years, shaping our constructed context.  These inherited qualities, some positive, some negative, have an explicit relationship with the way in which design and construction occur.  The cultural evolution surrounding construction, as it has been observed, has not always acted in the favor of a structural optimum.  The contemporary state has given way to an inherited set of construction systems which are reluctant to adapt and evolve.  This project serves to strike balance, or at the very least offer a means to redirect the cultural trajectory towards a balance between an inherited construction culture and structural optimization.


          In order to reconcile the stated differences between structural efficiency and synthetic construction methodology, research  will occur, focusing on biological growth and generative processes at various scales, and identifying their underlying relationships to mathematics and physics.  Physical models will be made as studies of optimal structures, based on this research.  Models will then be dissected to understand how a tectonic relationship can be formed which can exist in construction culture today.


Rachel Armstrong   -   Protocells project
D’arcy Wentworth Thompson   -   On Growth and Form
Heinrich Hertel   -   Structure-Form-Movement
Peter Von Buelow   -   Intelligent Genetic Design Tool
Frei Otto, Bodo Rauch   -   Finding Form: Towards an Architecture of the Minimal

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