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ESARQ, Barcelona, 2011. All rights reserved.

(Escola Tcnica Superior dArquitectura)


Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC)
Inmaculada, 22, 08017-Barcelona, Spain
Tel. +34-932 541 800
www.uic.es/esarq

Alberto T. Estvez, editor


De los textos, obras e imgenes, sus autores

Foto de portada / cover photo: Alberto T. Estvez, Strange landscape (strange planet)

Esta publicacin tiene su origen en


ser el libro de ponencias de la
International Conference of
Biodigital Architecture & Genetics
en Barcelona, del 1 al 3 de junio de 2011.
El ordn de aparicin de los textos
coincide con el orden en que fueron ledas las ponencias.

Debe agradecerse la ayuda a la investigacin dada en estos ltimos aos por la


Fundacin La Caixa y por el INCASOL de la Generalitat de Catalunya, que ha
permitido la consolidacin del Grupo de Investigacin Arquitecturas Genticas de la
Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, contexto en el cual se ha desarrollado esta
publicacin, dentro tambin de las actividades que le son propias al Mster
Universitario de Arquitectura Biodigital que lleva tal Grupo. Esta publicacin debe
igualmente su agradecimiento a la colaboracin de Alejandro Muio, Diego Navarro y
Judith Urbano como coordinadores de la mencionada Conferencia. Y de manera
especial, la confeccin del presente libro ha contado adems con la colaboracin de
Alejandro Muio.

Printed in Spain
ISBN: 978-84-936160-4-5
Dep. leg. B-16975-2012
Alberto T. Estvez (ed.)

CONFERENCIA INTERNACIONAL DE
arquitectura biodigital y gentica

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF
biodigital architecture & genetics
NDICE
INDEX

6 Conferencia Internacional de Arquitectura Biodigital y Gentica


International Conference Biodigital Architecture & Genetics
Alberto T. Estvez

10 Bio-logic and techno-logic convergence


Mauro Costa - Roger Pitiot

16 Intro investigacin biodigital Intro biodigital research


Alberto T. Estvez

20 Genetics for architecture


Aranzazu Balfagn - Agust Fontarnau

24 Genobits: Processes reactions in architecture of systems


David Antn

28 Constructing computacional models of nature for architecture


Elif Erdogan

40 New strategies on biodigital design


Pablo Baquero

44 Forma, energa y flores


Mireia Luzrraga

48 Historia natural
Alejandro Muio

54 Bio-logic and natures geometry in architecture


Sergio Hidalgo
60 Vertical zoology
Ricardo Muoz

64 Intro docencia biodigital Intro biodigital teaching


Alberto T. Estvez

68 Enseando software
Alejandro Muio

72 Teaching historical sources


Judith Urbano

76 Biodigital architecture: middle east experience / experiment


Aref Maksoud

80 Possible imaginary worlds


Julian Ardila

84 Architecture of the clash


Lamila Simisic

90 Optimization in architecture and design


Antonio Vacca

98 Fabricating the biodigital


Diego Cuevas

102 Emergent processes for advanced architecture


Juan Cardenal

106 Molding the algorithm


Alfa 301

110 Intro profesin biodigital Intro biodigital practice


Alberto T. Estvez

116 Soft & Furry


Diego Navarro

120 Animation methods in urban planning


Arne Riekstins

124 Procedural imagination


Egoitz Conte

130 Diseo natural


Fernando Paredes

134 Digital experiments / material realities


Jos Pedro Sousa

140 Cross-references: nature / science / technology


Gonalo Castro Henriques

148 Bionics as a tool for innovation in architecture


Rosa Cervera & Javier Pioz
CONFERENCIA Alberto T. Estvez
INTERNACIONAL Comisario

DE ARQUITECTURA
BIODIGITAL Y
GENTICA

6
En los aos 20 y 30 del siglo XX, cuando algunos arquitectos se
dispusieron a configurar sistemticamente el mundo moderno, lo hicieron
acuciados por una presin cultural, en pos de una correcta adaptacin
a los tiempos, luchando por unas condiciones mnimas para la existencia
humana. Sin embargo, hoy la urgencia es mayor. Se trata de la subsistencia
planetaria. La cuestin ya no es un simple capricho, ni un prurito intelectual,
ni una especial sensibilidad por los ms desfavorecidos. Ahora, la necesidad
es global, sin distinciones de clases, razas o religiones. El planeta entero est
frente al peligro de la no sostenibilidad para la completa humanidad.
Por suerte, en este crucial momento, se nos ofrecen nuevas tcnicas de
enorme potencial: tcnicas biolgicas y tcnicas digitales, e incluso la fusin
de ambas en algo que puede llamarse arquitectura biodigital. Una arquitectura
que incorpora las ventajas proporcionadas por la aplicacin de la gentica en
ambas vas, la biolgica y la digital, que permite afrontar con esperanza una
continuidad digna, esta vez para toda la Tierra.
Entonces, como los que con su esfuerzo rompieron con la tradicin clsica
para fundar la tradicin moderna, estamos ante el reto de crear una tradicin
futura biodigital y gentica. Para ello, como antes, es necesario que se trabaje
en tres campos claves, la investigacin, la docencia y la prctica profesional.
Esto es exactamente lo que hemos estado haciendo en Barcelona desde el ao
2000, con el Grupo de Investigacin y Programa de Doctorado Arquitecturas
Genticas, con el Mster Universitario de Arquitectura Biodigital, con la
Genetic Architectures Office. Aqu es donde aprendemos y enseamos, donde
hacemos investigacin, arquitectura y diseo: sabiendo que hay suficientes
parmetros diferenciales como para predecir un total cambio de era. Ahora,
despus de la primera dcada de nuestro siglo, es tiempo de explicar, chequear,
discutir, fascinaciones, inspiraciones, experiencias, que los graduados del
mencionado Grupo de Investigacin, del Mster y Doctorado, de la Oficina de
Arquitectura y Diseo han tenido y realizado en el desarrollo de la arquitectura
biodigital y gentica, hasta hoy.

Barcelona, primavera 2011

7
INTERNATIONAL Alberto T. Estvez
CONFERENCE OF Conference Chair

BIODIGITAL
ARCHITECTURE &
GENETICS

8
In the twenties and thirties of the 20th century, when some
archi-tects were disposed systematically to configure modern world, they did
it stimulated for a cultural pressure, for a correct adaptation to new times,
and fighting for minimum conditions of human existence. On the other hand,
today the urgency is bigger. It is about the entire planetary subsistence. The
question is not any more a simple caprice, neither an intellectual necessity,
neither sensibility for losing less favoured people. Now, the necessity is global,
without reservations of classes, races or religions. The whole planet is in front
of danger of no-sustainability for all mankind.
By chance, now in this crucial moment, are offered new techniques of an
enormous potential: biological techniques and digital techniques. And even
fusion of both, in something that can be named biodigital architecture. One
that has incorporated the advantages proportioned by the understanding of
genetics in both ways, the biological and the digital way, that permit to face
with hope some continuity also worthy, but this time a dignity for all The Earth.
Then, as the ones that made efforts to break with the ancient classical
tradition to found the new modern tradition, we are in front of the challenge of
creating the future tradition of biodigital and genetics. For this is necessary that
people work on three key elements: research, teaching and profession. This
is exactly what we have been doing in Barcelona from 2000, with the Genetic
Architecture Research Group and Ph.D. Programme, with the Biodigital
Architecture Masters Degree and with the Genetic Architectures Office. There
we learn & teach, we make research and we design: Knowing that there are
sufficient differential parameters to predict a complete ages change. Today,
after the first decade of our new Century, it is time to explain, to check, to
discuss, fascinations, inspirations, experiences, that the graduates of these
Research Group, Masters Degree and Architecture Office have done in the
developing of this biodigital architecture and genetics, up to now.

Barcelona, Spring 2011

9
BIO-LOGIC & Mauro Costa - Roger Pitiot
TECHNO-LOGIC
CONVERGENCE

10
Design learning lesson from nature
This workshop focuses on the programming strategies and techniques behind computer
simulations of natural systems. We explore topics ranging from basic mathematics and physics
concepts to more advanced simulations of complex systems.

Can we capture the unpredictable evolutionary and emergent properties of nature? Can
understanding the mathematical principles behind our physical world help us to create digital
based realities?
New theoretical contents in complexity studies, mainly provided by biology and cybernetic
fields, allow the use of biological analogies as a valid approach to architectural design and it may
offer new tools to organize and optimize models.
The beginning of bionic applications in design, as well as its contextualization, is presented
in this first part of the workshop, giving a special attention to geometric and structural methods
inspired by living beings.
Fascinated by the phenomenon of flight, Leonardo da Vinci produced detailed studies of the
flight of birds, and plans for several flying machines, including a helicopter powered by four men
and a light hang glider which could have flown.
Nature has always been a source of inspiration for all creators of any kind. In a time when
humanity is finally recognizing the importance of preserving it and finally realized the importance
of his actions on nature, it is worth remembering that it is and will remain an unlimited source of
knowledge and innovation.
An interdisciplinary approach to nature, gives us an opportunity to understand, learn, observe
and make good improvements from that power inspiring!

11
Where do shapes come from in the nature? Could we extend the principles & genetic of natural
shape to the design principle, the genetic of design?
Generative Design Process is about the modeling of initial conditions of an object (its
genetics) instead of modeling the final form.
Through research on topology optimization, generative design tools based on structural
algorithms found in nature (such as the structures which give our bones strength) have
been developed to help provide designers and architects design options, accelerate product
development and offer a baseline for a structurally sound design.
Mimicking natural processes also creates materially efficient forms because the technology
uses the minimal amount of material needed based on the function of the product or building
structure. This way, designers can have a new source of inspiration.
Output results can be interpreted by the designer literally or more freely making his/her design
truly unique. This is a key point: the technology does not alter the central role of the designer or
the architect.
Code (genetic and digital) has emerged as the reality common to all things, material and
immaterial.
A new kind of design practice is emerging. Information and code have become the basis for
understanding life, and the old, mechanistic models drawn in part from the Industrial revolution
have fallen away.
Originally, as a professional practice, industrial design was built upon a sturdy foundation
of manufacturing cycles, business needs, tooling costs, central distribution networks, planned
obsolescence, and seemingly abundant natural and synthetic resources. These conditions,
simply put, are no longer appropriate. Generative Design enables designers to explore more
possibilities, in less time, create better designs and efficiently create and manage complex
geometric relationships.
Generative Design allows to produce new designs by the push of a button. A basic
form, pattern, or object is automatically modified by an algorithm. The result: infinite random
modifications of the starting solution (within a solution space set by the designer).
We aspire to create the sense of possibility, because sustainable models already exist
right outside, a proven method for bringing natures ideas to the design table, a whole new way
of viewing and valuing the brilliance that surrounds us. We also aim to create awareness and
interest among students and prepare them for necessary alternatives to the mainstream Design
Paradigm.
The interface of engineering and biology, biological and ecological principles relevant to
design, organic architecture, sustainability challenges in industry and potential bio-inspired
solutions, practical application of Biomimicry as a design tool are some of the expected outcomes.
Generative modeling is undoubtedly becoming one of the most exciting CAD developments
adopted by the industry. While architectural practices lagged mechanical designers appetite for
3D by about 20 years, there has been a sharp increase in the use of 3D and advanced form-
creation tools. In this context Rhinoceros (Mc Neel) is one of the more popular applications
among students and professionals. Rhino modeling tool has played a predominant role within
that move to 3D because of its low cost, ease of use and powerful feature set. Today it is endemic
in the architectural design world.

12
For this workshop, the Grasshopper Rhinos Plug-in environment provides an intuitive way to
explore generative design without having to learn to script.
Grasshopper is a graphical algorithm editor tightly integrated with Rhinos 3-D modeling tools
for designers who are exploring new shapes using generative algorithms.

Grasshopper is a way for designers to look at design problems as a set of sophisticated


relationships and to map those relationships graphically and programmatically into a system that
allows them to play interactively with alternatives.
Unlike RhinoScript, Grasshopper requires no knowledge of programming or scripting, but still
allows designers to build form generators from the simple to the awe-inspiring.
Before Grasshopper, Scripting, .NET, or C++ code was the only way to do that in Rhino.
Writing code is not something designers really want to get their head into. Grasshopper works
within Rhino and uses standard Rhino geometry but has its own slick interface window. Algorithms
and manipulators are dragged, dropped and connected, as if they were being wired together
like effects pedals. It is about as easy as it gets to use but still requires a methodology and
understanding of geometry to get a desired result. (aecmag.com)
Bionic approach to Design & Architecture - Fundamentals of bionics applied to design,
geometric and structural inspirations - Generative process & coding.
New theoretical contents in complexity studies, mainly provided by biology and cybernetic
fields, allow the use of biological analogies as a valid approach to architectural design and it may
offer new tools to organize and optimize models.
The beginning of bionic applications in architecture, as well as its contextualization, is
presented in this first part of the workshop, giving a special attention to geometric and structural
methods inspired by living beings.

13
Phylogenetic Map of a Roof - Scientific and philosophical concepts and principles provided by
biology (Student: Claire Gondon)
In the second day of the workshop, scientific and philosophic concepts provided by biology
are analyzed and considered in a prospective way. The scientific and technological development
increases the possibilities of experimentation and generates a feedback process that can be
understood taking into account the more relevant theories about evolution, development and
auto-organization.

How biological concepts and principles may be applied to design through digital technologies.
(Student: Juan Jos Padro)
In the third part of the workshop, the attention is focused in how the complex scientific
concepts provided by the observation of biological processes may be connected to architectural
and design professional practice by the creative use of digital technologies. The evolution of the
cybernetics and biological inspired software, as well as the various morphing processes and
solutions enabled by the use of generative software, are also explored in this part.

Development of an algorithm, program, or a methodological process (Student: Homer Garcia


Santana)
In parallel to the theoretical research, it is created an algorithm, a program or a methodological
process in order to model architectural elements and to allow one to explore the relationship
between a generative code and a phenotypical expression, as well as some other genetic-like
properties, such as parameterization and mutation by recombined code.
In summary, the morphologic analogies lie on the emulation of natural shapes and additionally,
the genetic process analogy starts with the development of parameterized models and then
continues with the manipulation of the correspondent code following generative rules. With

14
the aim of stimulating the bio-logics applied by the architecture researchers, the knowledge
application should be done into the complex decision making process involved in sustainability
issues.

Participantes de la Internacional Conference


asistiendo a una de las ponencias.
Participants of the International Conference
attending one of the presentations.

15
INTRO Alberto T. Estvez
INVESTIGACIN
BIODIGITAL
(Breve) Presentacin del Grupo de
Investigacin Arquitecturas Genticas

Arquitecturas Genticas,
investigacin de frontera

16
Os imaginis el ahorro que supone tener plantas y rboles luminiscentes en
vez de lmparas y farolas? Y si por as decirlo las casas se vendieran en
los supermercados en bolsitas de semillas? O si dibujaseis la vuestra mientras
esperis el autobs, la mandaseis por e-mail, y cuando llegaseis al terreno, una
mquina parecida a las que hay en el edificio Alfa de la Universitat Internacional de
Catalunya en el Laboratorio de Arquitectura Digital ya os la hubiese construido?

Pocos son los recursos dedicados a la investigacin, pero grande es la expectacin


ante lo que se espera de ella para una sociedad con graves problemas por resolver como la
que somos. Por eso nuestra responsabilidad como investigadores es mayor, e hilar fino para
darle el mximo rendimiento y visibilidad. Algo que pasa por ser extraordinariamente incisivo
y equilibrado en el difcil combinado de palabras tales como relevancia/impacto, novedad/
innovacin, originalidad/singularidad para la definicin de objetivos a investigar. Entonces,
un par de palabras ms son las que permitirn una fcil y segura aparicin de todas ellas:
multidisciplinariedad e internacionalizacin.
As es como surgi el Grupo de Investigacin Arquitecturas Genticas, prendiendo la
chispa de la inslita aplicacin de la gentica a la arquitectura. Desarrollando una investigacin
de carcter multidisciplinar y de frontera que busca ser capaz de movilizar el conocimiento
complementario de diversos campos cientficos a favor de la solucin de los problemas que la
sociedad espaola, europea y mundial tienen en el siglo XXI. Y esto entre los Departamentos
de Arquitectura, Bioqumica/Ciencias Bsicas y Humanidades de la UIC. Logrando el primer
reconocimiento oficial de investigacin avanzada y la primera acreditacin de Grupo de
Investigacin Consolidado de la mencionada universidad. Contando adems con estudios
de postgrado propios, como es su Mster Universitario en Arquitectura Biodigital (oficial) y el
Programa de Doctorado Arquitecturas Genticas.
Por suerte, justo en momentos tan cruciales para la sostenibilidad de la Tierra, se nos ofrecen
unas nuevas tcnicas de prometedor horizonte, las biolgicas y las digitales. La fusin de ambas
es lo que podra llamarse arquitectura biodigital, la que incorpora las ventajas del entendimiento
de la gentica desde ambas vas, la biolgica y la digital. La idea clave es entender el vasto
potencial de trabajar con el ADN como si fuera un software biolgico, y las enormes posibilidades
de utilizar el software a modo de ADN digital: esta es la completa aplicacin de la gentica a la
arquitectura, cuando al final ambas cosas, ADN y software son lo mismo, fascinantes cadenas
de informacin, comandos, rdenes del orden, que controlan el orden procesal y formal.

Alberto T. Estvez, 2003-2006, primera fase de investigacin gentica sobre bioluminiscencia con aplicacin arquitectnica. Centro: comparacin
de hoja bioluminiscente y hoja normal, de limoneros del tipo fino, con y sin GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein), tomada con cmara fotogrfica con-
vencional. Derecha: la misma comparacin de hojas, genticamente tratada y sin tratar, tomada con cmara UV. Se trata de la primera vez en la
historia que se crea una planta bioluminiscente, en este caso 7 limoneros, con fines estrictamente funcionales, para iluminar espacios urbanos
y domsticos.

17
Alberto T. Estvez, 2007-2010, segunda
fase de investigacin gentica sobre biolu-
miniscencia con aplicacin arquitectnica:
creacin de la Biolamp, un tipo de pilas
bioluminiscentes, de luz viva, que permiten
mltiples colocaciones. Tambin en este
caso se trata de los primeros espacios
arquitectnicos de la historia ilumina-
dos (con fines estrictamente funciona-
les) con bioluminiscencia salida de un
laboratorio de gentica. Fotografas to-
madas con cmara convencional tal como
lo percibe el ojo humano.

Esta es justo la doble lnea de trabajo del Grupo, pionero mundial en la aplicacin real de la
gentica a la arquitectura, creando el primer y nico laboratorio de arquitectura gentica del
planeta, y el primer laboratorio espaol de produccin digital con sede en una institucin docente
de arquitectura. Cuando, por ejemplo, se encuentra de lleno ya en una tercera fase de la
investigacin que haga posible el uso de la bioluminiscencia en el mbito urbano y domstico. O
logrando resultados de fabricacin digital de arquitectura a escala real 1:1. Cuestiones que han
llevado a una indudable internacionalizacin de sus actividades, con miles de citas en Internet,
y a la publicacin de sus resultados en foros de alto impacto cientfico y tecnolgico como son
ACADIA, ECAADE, SIGRADI, Leonardo, etc.
Tal Grupo, en efecto, multidisciplinar e internacional, formado principalmente por arquitectos
y genetistas, adems de filsofos especialistas en el carcter emergente de la vida y en biotica,
naci el 30 de marzo del ao 2000 de la mano de quien esto firma. Iniciando de manera
sistemtica, segn se est comentando aqu, la investigacin pionera de la aplicacin de la
gentica a la arquitectura. Desde l y desde sus dos laboratorios, el biolgico y el digital, se
investiga cmo la arquitectura puede sacar ventajas de la gentica, y cmo su propio diseo
y fabricacin debe acceder a las posibilidades que ya le ofrece el mundo digital. Configurando
a su vez una completa red estable y fluida con los fundadores de la arquitectura digital del
mundo. Esta iniciativa de investigacin de fabricacin digital fue luego seguida por otros, como
por ejemplo aos despus por un instituto en Barcelona, a la vez que otros desde las escuelas
de Sevilla y Alicante se interesaron por el tema, as como ltimamente otro par de instituciones
barcelonesas ms. Iniciativa investigadora la del Grupo Arquitecturas Genticas que
permiti hacer realidad una investigacin indita en Espaa, sobre los procesos de proyectar y
construir con nuevas tecnologas digitales, nuevos procesos de produccin de una arquitectura
no estndar, ms prxima a la lgica del gen (variacin, mutacin, hibridacin), superando con
ello los procesos industrializados tradicionales. Investigando as el uso de las nuevas tecnologas
digitales de cara a producir arquitectura directamente a escala real 1:1. Hasta el punto de que,
por ejemplo, un buen nmero de grandes prototipos expuestos en el Centro Georges Pompidou
de Pars, en la ya mtica exposicin Arquitectura no estndar (2004), se fabricaron con Bernard
Cache, Mark Goulthorpe y Franois Roche en el mencionado laboratorio del Grupo, que contaba
desde el curso 2000-2001 con la primera mquina de control numrico (CNC machine, AXYZ) y
la primera impresora digital (3D Printer, Thermojet, sustituida luego por una Z-Corp) de todo el
panorama arquitectnico docente espaol y sudeuropeo.

18
Arrancando adems el Grupo, en el mismo ao 2000, un Mster (con su mismo nombre,
Arquitecturas Genticas), luego un Programa de Doctorado propio (en el ao 2003), y por fin su
aprobacin como Mster oficial Universitario (Arquitectura Biodigital). Con lo que esto conlleva
de DEAs (Diploma de Estudios Avanzados) y tesis doctorales ledas, dirigidas por el Investigador
Principal de este Grupo, autor de estas lneas. Adems de otras actividades que el Grupo lleva
a cabo, como son los seminarios anuales internacionales de arquitectura gentica (en la que
mayoritariamente participan los miembros del Grupo y los miembros de la mencionada red),
exposiciones, la publicacin de la coleccin de libros Arquitecturas Genticas (presentes en
numerosas universidades y bibliotecas, bilinges, ingls/espaol, que vieron la luz los aos
2003, 2005, 2009 y 2011), que son hoy en da libros de referencia con textos de los arquitectos
ms prestigiosos en el mundo de la arquitectura digital, habituales colaboradores del Grupo. Y
otros dos libros ms aparte, editados tambin por el Grupo, sobre la misma temtica (publicados
a su vez los aos 2004 y 2010).
Los logros del equipo quedan tambin avalados por las acreditaciones oficiales obtenidas,
segn se ha comentado, o por el reconocimiento de sexenios de investigacin, o ayudas
obtenidas en convocatorias competitivas y no competitivas, etc. Todo ello necesariamente
apoyado en resultados concretos de investigacin, que son tambin resultados del equipo.
Pudindose por ejemplo contrastar en Internet los objetivos alcanzados por el Grupo en el uso
original de las ltimas tecnologas digitales, con puntos de vista desde la gentica y la biologa.
Diseando y produciendo arquitectura a escala real con maquinaria digital, directamente
conducida desde los grficos en el laboratorio del Grupo. O viendo las contribuciones relativas
a las investigaciones genticas sobre bioluminiscencia aplicada a la arquitectura. Con unos
primeros 7 rboles limoneros sensiblemente bioluminiscentes por medio de la GFP, la Green
Fluorescent Protein (2005). Luego unas primeras biolamps, bateras bioluminiscentes, luz
viva, con diferentes aplicaciones arquitectnicas (2009). En la lnea de acometer objetivos de
bioluminiscencia gentica eficiente para uso urbano y domstico. Cuando, sobre todo despus
de unas ayudas pblicas y privadas (por parte de la Fundaci La Caixa y el Incasol de la
Generalitat de Catalunya), han propiciado en los ltimos aos consolidar definitivamente el
laboratorio de arquitectura gentica y su infraestructura.
S, la investigacin de arquitectura biodigital, la investigacin sobre la aplicacin a la
arquitectura de las ms avanzadas tcnicas biolgicas y digitales, con las ventajas que
aporta la inclusin de la gentica (ventajas de eficiencia, de economa, de uso de renovables,
de autoreplicacin, etc.), es hoy en da crucial, relevante y hasta urgente, antes de que sea
demasiado tarde para un planeta en el lmite de su sostenibilidad.

Alberto T. Estvez, 2003-hoy, investigacin gentica sobre bioluminiscencia con aplicacin urbana. Visualizacin de la imagen urbana y territorial
que se obtendra con su implantacin.

19
GENETICS FOR Aranzazu Balfagn
ARCHITECTURE Agust Fontarnau

20
Genetics, as well as architecture, consists of the union of elementary fragments (either
genes or bricks) bound by different methods, either cement or cellular enzymes to form a building
designed by man for specific purposes.
Genetic manipulation is real today and well see its limits when the time comes. But seems
clear that the planet has a limited capacity to absorb the evolution of man and finite resources
must give way to sustainable resources.
The purpose of plants in the ecosystem is supply oxygen, vital for life, and transform
inorganic elements in organic components of life. Why not take this and add other benefits to
these organisms?
Currently, using the same techniques for design vaccines in plants, we work in autonomous
light emission from ornamental plants. The future is towards a world where human welfare is
compatible with an ecologic sustainable habitat.
We are in advanced experimental phase. We designed a vector, the DNA backbone carrying
the expression cassette to introduce it in a particular organism.
The structure of this expression cassette is reflected in the image below. It shows flanking
sequences, located on both sides, and other genetic sequences essential for proper transcription
of genetic material: promoters, RBS (ribosome binding site) and terminator and a selectable
marker to allow selection of transformed species. The GOI, gene of interest, is in this case the
Lux operon.

The Lux operon is a set of genes involved in one metabolic pathway that produce autonomous
bioluminescence. The reaction is FMNH 2+ O 2+ R-CHO FMN + H2 O + R-COOH + h (490
nm). The figure 2 shows the genes, and enzymes that are derivate, involved in the reaction.

The expression cassette has been introduced in a higher plant, particularly in chloroplasts,
by bombardment of DNA coated gold particles and subsequent recombination of homologous

21
flanker regions.
The addition of coated gold particles into a cell is due to purely physical methods and it is
in a random way. The gold particles are shooting with helium at 1,100 psi against a leaf into a
vacuum chamber.

If the vector gets placed inside a plant cell, particularly in one of their chloroplasts, recombination
can occur and the foreign DNA is integrated into the genome of plastid DNA.

Once you have inserted a copy of the expression cassette is carried out several rounds of
selection to obtain homoplasmic plants.
Homoplasmy is the term for the plant species that has all the cells with the entire chloroplast
genome with the integrated foreign DNA.
Our final purpose is obtaining an autonomous light from ornamental plants, not only from the
model species.
Therefore, we developed several lines of in vitro culture of ornamentals looking for its
regeneration to transform them later.

22
Coordinadores de la Internacional Conference. De izquierda a derecha:
lex Muio, Judith Urbano, Alberto T. Estvez, Yolanda Espina, y Diego Navarro.
Coordinators of the International Conference. From left to right:
lex Muio, Judith Urbano, Alberto T. Estvez, Yolanda Espina, y Diego Navarro.

Modelos producidos con una mquina de rapid prototyping por alumnos del
Mster en Arquitectura Biodigital expuestos en la International Conference.
Prototypes produced with a rapid prototyping machine by students of the
Master in Biodigital Architecture presented at the International Conference.
GENOBITS: David Antn
PROCESSES
REACTIONS IN
ARCHITECTURE OF
SYSTEMS

24
There are uncomfortable truths in this life and one of them is to understand what role
should the human beings adopt in their relation with the environment.
At first there seems to be a cultural reality that causes us to act according to rules that doesn`t
progress according to a biological evolution. But the adaptability of younger generations makes
us think that there may lie the origins of new congenital features for the future. Even if we consider
the principle that species prevail because of what supports its survival, the result may be that the
prevailing rules of the game could be altered to promote new features. Although, there`s still a
major problem which is time; it can last too long when it comes to looking for reliable outcomes
because these ones are impossible to achieve in the short term. That is why I thought something
similar can happen to architecture: the changing in genetic features make renewal slow unless
another genetic material comes to play. As a seed, architecture just germinates finding answers
from the outside. Therefore any system has its own transformation rules but that`s only one part
of the complex language of reality (Fig.1).

The question here may not be to find a biological pattern that matches architecture, but a module
that allows new materials to join in that might be biological. So by following my biophysical study
you can find out that some active principles can be created in order to help to originate new life
(Fig. 2).

25
In this attempt to schedule reality a self programming process is needed, in which each
new pattern of behavior must be assumed so to join in an internal fractal reality, the same
as subconscious knowledge projects new external links stemming from its internal rules
of assimilation. So that, the ecosystems are role model of continuity for species of the same
environment, but it`s in this fight for survival where inner reality escapes the internal processes
to join the environment (Fig. 3).

Understanding that architecture is the wall that protects us and the window that illuminates us, it
must continue to interact with its reality by opening doors to new influences and being permeable
to the environment. It seems insufficient to germinate a building that expresses through its own
forms the diversity of shades our eyes can perceive from an object through light. Therefore
there are another senses to be introduced; the same happens with our own motor system when
discovering its surroundings. This shouldnt create an exclusion to individuals who are focused on
just one sense because of their own desire or simply by physical handicaps.
The building should not be a walk on an uncultivated field but a survival space to our capabilities
where ecosystem is hostile to the one who doesnt belong to it. It must be evocative of its natural
beauty.
The point is not to find a line or a function where processes must converge to get standardized,
but to create enough dispersion to make each species bloom in a flow of sensations. Its in
this interest for the unknown where respect for differency is born and that beyond enclosing it,
searches a behavior that recognizes its own way.
Some people seek the answer to the universe in the matter or in the vacuum but its in the
movement that you can find the answer for both issues. Its precisely in the movement where
architecture projects itself with its trajectories but it must conform itself with each iteration (Fig4).

26
Therefore it is not intended that the artist is no longer creative. The question here is to introduce
new values into their work, without interfering the essence of his discipline. To be accurate Its just
its own discipline form which must be improved.
Although taking them into account, a good architect does not include people in his project;
they are the ones who afterwards come to live together with it. Just the way the architecture
doesnt let people in his project, nature shouldnt appear to justify the value of the object; it should
grow by itself.
Architecture is occupating a space without having a sense of loss and this is the reason
why feelings are born with a renewed soul. This way waterlike circuits must be created that flow
through areas where living environments grow permitting to take advantage of new developments
in other fields as a way to achieve a design model.
Architecture with references can understand biodiversity as a means of adapting to the
environment. It`s not the overlapping of elements that contributes to improve this process, but
the mixing of them that creates interacting systems which keep their own characteristics. That
is, the external reality is not represented in a callous way but depends on the physical conditions
that can change their appearance. That Perfect mathematical structure reaches different levels
of perception through a transformation over time, seeking flexibility to simplify and reduce energy
consumption with models that are able to accompany the movements and improve circulation
among spaces, reflecting different degrees of resistance with structures that allow to go from
state to another always showing its own features (Fig. 5).

27
CONSTRUCTING Elif Erdogan
COMPUTATIONAL
MODELS OF NATURE
FOR ARCHITECTURE

28
The contemporary approach towards architecture is an outcome of cross-fertilization
of ideas between computation and biology. Computation, as an interface, instructs analyzing,
understanding and reinterpreting the informal structure of natural organizations (such as system,
information flow, and process through time) for artificial form generation. Consequently, with the
computational theory we are going through a rethinking about our environment and restructuring
its systems epochwhere processes, relations, and dependencies are major concern for
reconsidering and comprehending our environment. This paper will consider computation as
transcoding and nature as a model that present possibilities for extracting knowledge from
existing facts and its reinterpretation and application in built environment.

Process is more important than outcome.


When the outcome derives the process we will only ever go to where weve already been.
If process drives outcome we may not know where were going, but we will know we want
to be there. 1

Computation, becoming an overarching theory and interface, presents both methods


and mediums and technologies for [re]understanding, [re]interpreting and [re]building our
environment. Through its models and structure of thinking, computation can describe natural
and artificial phenomena with their underlying algorithmic patterns and make future projections
about the alteration/variation of their generative systems through time; thus processes, relations,
and dependencies turn out to be the major concerns of such a computational resolution of the
world. Therefore, the major concern of architecture is shifting from designing an end-product
to designing the process. The current trend in contemporary architecture approachesprocess
in terms of elucidating the structure of an interactive knowledge constitutionwith guidance of
information technologies, computational thinking, and developments in various disciplines as
their echoes. Through this search for a revised/remodeled architecture, which is defined by and
applied through computational operations and media, natural form generation turns into a major
lead to configure information flow, and to understand the complexity of dynamic systems.
In 1971 Charles Jencks predicted that architecture would go through a biomorphic movement
from 1980s on, which corresponds with the period after the parametric design movement and
cybernetic approach of 1970s2. This correspondence may not be accidental; since computational
thinking has extensively changed the way we configure our ideasand analyze existing facts.
Restructuring design thinking process led to rethinking natural and artificial processes;and this
approach evoked a cross-fertilization of information between the natural and the artificial.
From a biologists point of view, Janine Benyus argues that humanity is living a Biomimicry
Revolution in various disciplines, depending on what we learn from nature now is extensively
different from the past attempts of formal inspiration3. It is possible to go beyond inspiration
and re-analyze nature as a model, measure, and mentor with the new methods and tools that
computational thinking offers.

1 Mau, B., An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, Available from: 2 Charles Jencks, Architecture 2000: Predictions and Methods,
http://umcf.umn.edu/events/past/04nov-manifesto.pdf, 1998. International Thomson Punlishing, London, 1971.

29
Why nature is a source for learning?
Knowledge constitution is closely interrelated with learning and intelligence phenomena,
discovery and invention concepts which are included in the studies on cognition. Arguments on
this starts with a more general dichotomy: if knowledge is extrinsic, extracted by experiencing
the physical and social environment, or intrinsic, which is a mental process. Kostas Terzidis, who
has extensive studies on algorithmic thinking, asks if ideas are results of a human creation or
a glimpse of an already existing universe independent from human beings. It is evident that
there is no direct choice between the two but a mutual interrelation of both processes, if we
take the Euclidean geometry as an example: it was derived from the physical reality of the world
for measuring and calculating distances and still it is consisted of platonic shapes of triangles,
squares, and circles which represent logically idealized approximations of existing geometries in
nature4. In scientific discovery, there is an intertwined position of theoretical and factual novelty,
both an invention and a discovery5.
The curiosity for explaining knowledge constitution queries how we acquire specific data
from ourexperiences of nature. It is a mutual effectof what we see and how we understand it;
it is a consequence of both the physical reality and the method of explanation. In other words,
information experienced in the physical world is constructed as knowledge, with a theory behind.
In renaissance for instance, a revolutionary new process was proposed to examine the world
and to extract the information it embodied: the scientific method which is based on empirical
evidence, mathematics, and mechanical philosophy. The interest for explaining the complexity of
life brought forth researches on underlying logic; these researches explained natural phenomena
with mathematical and physical principles complete in a system, a structure6. The enthusiasm
for knowledge of the era was led by the mathematical theory, and led to significant discoveries in
astronomy, physics, biology, and anatomy. With these contributions, the vision of the world, the
way we see and comprehend natural phenomena changed extensively, comparable to todays
computation based practice7.
Theory, then, is the most determinant factor of how we systematize ideas and analyze
existing situations. Michael Hays states that theory is an appetite for modifying and expanding
reality, a desire to organize a new vision of a world perceived as unsatisfactory or incomplete8.
It may be concluded that as theory shifts occur, the way we see and understand the universe
changes. Therefore theory and experience enhance each other for knowledge constitution:
experience is informative when it is under a theory, and at the same time each experience
modifies or strengthens the theoretical construction. Hence, computational models of reality

3 Janine M. Benyus, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, Chicago, 1970 (originally published in 1962) pp. 52-53.
New York: William Morrow and Company Inc. 1997. p. 2. Benyus 6 In the case of studies on perspective, geometry as a rational
is the first to define the word biomimicry as nature as a model, foundation for construzione legittima became the explanatory
nature as a measure, and nature as a mentor. medium to construct the system through Renaissance. Hubert
4 Kostas Terzidis, Algorithmic Architecture, Boston: Architectural Damish, The Origin of Perspective, translated by John Goodman.
Press, 2006, p. 8. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994. p. xvi.
Terzidis connects this argument with architecture as well, stating 7 Jerry Brotton, Science and Philosophy, The Renaissance: A
that Likewise, architecture can be regarded as either a simulation Very Short Introduction. OUP, 2006.
of the laws and structure of nature or as a world of fantasy and 8 K. Michael Hays, Architecture Theory Since 1968, MIT Press,
imagination. Cambridge ,1998. p. xiv.
5 Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd. Ed.

30
are manifestations of the theory of computation. They show the theoretical construction with
computation both in the production of the model and in the structure of it.

Is it possible to say that we are going through a new phase of comprehending the universe
with computational theory?
The universe is consisted of various kinds of information; this information is set differently each
time human mind intends to define it as a system under a theory. Therefore, the model of a natural
or man-made organization may have different configurations according to the analyzing, learning,
thinking modes of the individual. Each mode generates a legitimate model of the existing data;
in other words each mindset derives a new setting of the universe9. At this point of defining
the mindset, the inner logic of computers turned into a guide more than a tool in terms of their
algorithmic processes and their reflections/contributions in human reasoning.
Building structured descriptions of mental constructions, natural and artificial phenomena
with a level of abstraction and detail is called modeling. Models are structural representations
of an idea or reality which is a means of thinking, comprehending, interpreting, communicating
and making future projections. Oxford dictionary defines models as a simplified description,
especially a mathematical one, of a system or process, to assist calculations and predictions10.
Hence, each model has its own function/interest and character: a framework which sets up the
data inherited, and an operative system which includesrules, symbols and pattern of relations.
Correspondingly, -mapping-is a visual mode of modeling which varies in function, information,
visual, vocabulary, and grammar. Maps may appeal to different functions regarding the
information it intends to include/transmit and the subject area or discipline it intends to serve.
They may use different visual syntactic rule sets and graphic constructions in order to rewrite
the projected information in totality and consistency. Common to all mapping processes, there
are deriving operations which translate the intended data extracted from reality to the targetmap
language (symbols, graphics, etc.). For instance, navalmaps aim to serve to navigational usage
for sea captains. They include required information for navigation in the sea and they are build
in a universal visual language which is able to represent seawater depth, detailed border lines
of land, marinas, country frontiers at the sea, etc. A zoologist, investigating fish species in the
same section of the sea, may not find fundamental information about his subject of study through
this map and he may not be even using this map for his navigation as effective as a sailor.Thus,
the driving forces of mapping are the intended audience that the map is going to appeal, and the
system that will determine how information is going to be rephrased in order to represent the

9 Mindset and minshift terms are borrowed from:


Arzu Gnen Sorgu, Bilgisayarak renmek, Bilgisayarla
renmek, Sosyal Psikiyatri Kongresi, Safranbolu, 4-8 July 2009.
Arzu Gnen Sorgu, Semra Arslan, Art and Literature as a Teach-
ing/Learning Interface of Mathematics for Students of Architecture,
ECAADE 2009, Istanbul, September 2009.
10 Oxford dictionaries Online. Available from: http://oxforddictionar-
ies.com/ resumed in 05.04.2011.

31
specific data from reality with a level of abstraction.Naval maps would not able to be depicted
properly and user-friendly, if the information were explained by written language and verbal
system, or algebra and mathematical formulas.
In the process of modeling,the particular behavior or feature of the phenomena,which will
be explained/structured/systematized, settles the constructive system that determines the set of
rules, principles, methods, techniques and organization schema. In other words, the explanatory
system characterizes themodel and how the model will structuredata assembly by establishing
the way of thinking, information flow, inscription language, syntax and vocabulary. Galileo, as a
physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher of 16th and 17th century, had explained his
theorem of uniform motion with a constant speed in verbal system of written language. If Galileo
was introduced to the thinking system and tools of modern algebra which did not exist until 50
years later, he may have built his theorems of in a coherent structure. Algebra is a better fit than
literature for the purpose of depicting Galileos theorembecause it enables usage of equations
and offers the possibility basic manipulations11. The mathematically modeled theorem of Galileo,
defines uniform motion under constant speed leading to proper comprehension of the idea,
and allowing for further interpretations, modifications, developments. Thus, every systematized
explanatory system elaborates properly a particular kind of information. The projected data that
the model will transmit and the descriptive/representative language that will build the model
are closely interrelated: the input data and information flow construction necessary for weather
forecasting may not be systematized with total integration or stillbe easily editable and generative,
if it were constructed by written language or calculus instead of computation.
As the grammar and vocabulary to define the existing fact are defined by computational
medium now, the way we see, understand, systematize, and model the worlds entities changed
comprehensively, creating a mind shift. Now with computational theory, process gains importance
rather than equations to describe a system where non-dimensional algorithms work, and where
numerical mathematics is replaced by computational operations. In a computational description of
the world, there is a continuous space-time-information flow which proposes dynamic processes
rather than static, multiple equilibriums in movement throughout the system rather than a single
state of equilibrium, topological properties rather than numerical, multi-dimensional relationships
and dependencies rather than fixed rules12. Consequently, there occurs a new vision of the world
and its systems: the information we see and extract differs, since computation as an interface
offers new means of interpretation and representation of the existing reality. In this way, the
theory and media of computation are remodeling nature and its systems again.
Models explain the behavior of a phenomenon through systematizing existing variables/
parameters and through structuring the dependency of these specifications on each other. As
an example of digital models, computer aided weather forecasting is the systematic construction

11 Andrea diSessa. Changing Minds: Computers, Learning, and


Literacy. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001.
12 Paraphrasing the table structured by Manuel Gausa. Dynamic
time - <n>formal order: <un>disciplined trajectories, The Metapolis
Dictionary of Advanced Architecture. Barcelona: Actar, 2003. p. 626.
First published in Quaderns 222, 1999.

32
of parameters and variables by computational tools/operations and in algorithmic information
flow possibilities13. Consequently, computational weather models are revealing the parameter-
based infrastructure of weather condition alterations. Once the parameters and their linkage
are set in the computational model, future projections about alterations in weather conditions
can be obtained through observing changes in these parameters and redefining their values.
Hence, modeling is not about building an explanation that will merely enlightena phenomenon at
a frozen time interval. Instead, modeling is about constructing a universal system and logic that
will include explanations and definitions for all possible behaviors of the concerned phenomenon.
Computational models provide doing several trials of a system with different variables in a short
time; because of their editable parameter-based algorithmic structure, their rapid processing time
and their ability to process complex, multivariate systems.

Why computational thinking is a method of discovery?


Stephan Wolfram argues that a new kind of science is emerging with computational thinking:
a reconsideration of natural world depending on more general types of rules that express the
underlying process14. The considerable difference of computation from traditional mathematics
is that it is based not only on static equations or numerical formulas to explain a system, but it
focuses on basic relations, universal dependencies to describe complex systems with dynamic
processes. The universality of computation is considered by its degrees of freedom: the flexible
language of rules and logical procedures that can instantly transform the conclusion from one to
another. Therefore the difference offered by universal process of computation makes it possible
to explain and reformulate all kinds of artificial and natural phenomena. Accordingly, computation
becomes an interface for information interchange between different subject areas, since
constructing computational models clarifies the information processing of a related phenomenon
by determining simple rules and initials generating a system and turns it into a source for learning
about data management.
Modeling is also used in order to understand behavior of different organizations by
establishing analogies between them. Modes of analogy depend on level of abstraction and
the highlighted property the model intends to extract from investigated objects. As a commonly
usedobjectofanalogy, trees have been modeled in order to depict branching information flow or
mental constructions, to illustrate blood vessels of human body, family pedigree or kinship of
animal species, to mathematically explainlength-radius relativity in dimensions, to be represented
in digital media for renderings and graphics. However; common to all models of trees systematized
under different systems, they have reduced the complexity of trees at a level of simplification
so that the model inherits/includes the adequate knowledge servingthe analogy without leading
to confusions or misunderstandings. Computational model of a tree is different than the solely

13 John H. Holland, Emergence: From Chaos To Order, Basic discoveries of this book is that in fact there are systems whose
Books, 1999. rules are simple enough to describe in just one sentence that are
14 Stephan Wolfram, The New Kind of Science, Wolfram Media, nevertheless universal. And this immediately suggests that the
Canada, 2002. In this study on cellular automate, Wolfram sum- phenomenon of universality is vastly more common and important
marizes his departure from traditional mathematical explanations in both abstract systems and nature- that has never been imagined
of natural and artificial phenomena: One of the most surprising before. p. 5.

33
geometrical, mathematical, visual or philosophical. A computational model of a tree may include
them all and more; since it defines a tree by its growth system depending on relations and
dependencies of various parameters and variables. It includes mathematical equations using
alterable variables, so that the model will generate a tree system which in turn may not look like a
tree but a fractal snowflake. That is to say, computational thinking structure models, which prove
that two or more different natural organizations may be just different possible worlds of the same
system.

Nature as a model Computation as transcoding


In the search of possible architectural solutions as an extension of natural organizations,
architecture needs to redraw its own computational models of natural phenomena in order to
comprehend and reinterpret processes of natural form generation.This rewritingthe systems
of natural and man-made organizations with computational principles brings forth a new vision
towards life, as well as presenting a new method of generating them including the discipline of
architecture. Michael Weinstockaffirmscomputational association of the man-made and natural
organizations emphasizing its potential impacts onexpectations from built environment:

Architecture is on the cusp of systematic change, driven by the Dynamics of climate and
economy, of new Technologies and new means of production. There is growing interest
in the Dynamics of fluidity, in Networks and in the new topologies of surfaces and soft
boundaries. This is part of a general cultural response to the contemporary reconfiguration
of the concept of nature within the discourse of architecture; a change from metaphor to
model, from nature as a source of formal inspiration to nature as a mine of interrelated
dynamic processes that are available for analysis and digital simulation.15

Thissystematic change in how we interpret our environment and how we apply that knowledge into
man-made organizationsfundamentally derivesfrom theoretical construction and computational
thinking. Interpreting theory as a mediatory device for understanding two or more different types of
entities, Frederic Jameson put forth the concept of transcoding: the invention of a set of terms,
the strategic choice of a particular code or language, such that the same terminology can be used
to analyze and articulate two distinct types of objects or texts, or two different levels of structural
reality.16 As a form of transcoding, computation is an interface tointerpret and express natural
and artificial reality as a total system instead of explainingonly several fractions or properties. As
computation provides a uniform framework in which to discuss different processes, it is possible
to think of any process that follows definite rules as being a computation regardless of the kinds
of elements it involves17. Moreover, with the idea of computational transcoding, the universal
processes occurring in each entity can be comprehended with the same constructive demonstra
tion,enablingconversations of knowledge between varying disciplines.

15 Michael Weinstock. Metabolism and Morphology, Versatility Press, Ithaca, 1981. p. 40.
and Vicissitude, Architectural Design, Vol 78 No 2 . p.26. 17 Op-cit, Wolfram(2002). p. 716.
16 Frederic Jameson, The Political Unconcious, Cornell University

34
The disciplines have lost their strict boundaries, while with interactive feedbacks they are
embracing a common idea of algorithmic procedure to understand the universe, its systems and
its processes. An algorithm is not only a computer implementation, a series of lines of code
in a program, or a language, it is also a theoretical construct with deep philosophical, social,
design, and artistic repercussions.18 By the introduction of algorithms and systems working with
representation, how we think began to be discussed more than what we think.
Terzidis emphasizes the existing change of the architects role with his interpretation of
algorithmic architecture from architecture programming to programming architecture.19 It
should be mentioned that computation and computerization are mainly confused in contemporary
practice. Computerization is just the concept of using computers for production of final drawings of
an end-product, while computation focuses on the process of generating architectural products.20
Computerization is using computer as a black-box,the underlying structure of production is
not essential. On the other hand, the latter is concerned with the inner logic of computational
systems; the main concern is to examine and design the process. Terzidis proposes: By using
scripting languages designers can go beyond the mouse, transcending the factory-set limitations
of current 3D software. Algorithmic design does not eradicate differences but incorporates both
computational complexity and creative use of computers.The mindset that computational
thinking and its tools offer, should result in a mind shift in architecture:a new way of analyzing,
interpreting, and applying relevant information.21
In the discipline of biology, the developments and discoveries in genetics are also supporting
and embracing the idea of codes and algorithm that lay in the base of all living organisms that
would rule their growth and pattern development. In the case of biology the name of the code
of an algorithm changes into genetic code which determines form and pattern. The recent ideas
on biological growth and form generation, such as interactive feedback mechanisms, self-
organizations of parts, metabolism equilibriums are constituted by computational theories.
In various disciplines of science and engineering, the world has discovered the power of
symbols and algorithms, how they exist in all the physical objects around us, and how they
are capable of controlling the overall organization growing from the very beginning with simple
initial rules. In this way, the computational paradigm traversed many disciplines; philosophical
thoughts, mathematical researches, biological discoveries and the invention of the computing
machine are weaving the disciplines of basic sciences with each other.Through this process,the
disciplines were interchanging, sharing, bracing and feeding each others ideas with their multi-
directional informationtransfers and feedback loops, praising an interdisciplinary even trans-
disciplinary environment.22
Architecture is an interdisciplinary study; architectural knowledge is comprisedof information
from various disciplines, such as mathematics as an abstract construction, engineering as an
application of data to reality, and social sciences as a research in human-made world. The
global hermeneutic structure of information flow, which is determining the relationships and

18 Op-cit. Terzidis(2006) p. xiii. Cultures: Art and Architecture in the Age of Software, Architectural
19 Op-cit. Terzidis(2006) p.xii. Design, Vol 76, No 4, 2006. p. 23.
20 Ingeborg M. Rocker. When Code Matters, Programming 21 Op-cit. Sorgu(2009)

35
dependencies in a bottom-up approach, is the underground mission of the individual architect.
The role of an architectalso includes introducing an interface, which will enable harvesting all
the varying data with the same logic such that it will be possible to transfer it to the discipline of
architecture.
Hence, computation presents both theory and medium for architecture. Computational
transcodingacts as a theory to understand the systems of universe, natural and man-made,
biological and architectural, as well as a medium in the transfer and application of the extracted
knowledge. Computation, as transcoding andas an interface for trans-disciplinary knowledge
constitution, instructs analyzing, understanding and reinterpreting the informal structure of
natural organizations (such as system, information flow, and process through time) for artificial
form generation.

Architecture of computational approaches taking nature as a model


Computational theory and algorithmic thinking led enthusiastic challenges to explain natural and
artificial phenomena. In other words, computation as a transcoding interface became both the
major guide and medium for the search for describing the universe and its systems accurately.
Traditional mathematics and static systemsproved insufficient to include the complexity of nature;
for that reasonas anothermindset, computational concepts and theoriesled the exploration to
explicate natural processes in a different model. In the search for establishing complex behavior
in artificial systems, computational processes that behave emergent shall be counted as ancestor
attempts: cellular automata, and L-systems, which try to model the information flow of natural
organizations. In cellular automata, initial rules are operated in several generations with self-
organization and repetition where each step is defined by the previous stage and determinant on
the next. The local cellular interactions define the global outcome. Even though the first inputs
such as rules, relations, and parameters are simple, the system may merge into a complex ending.
As a branch of research on cellular automaton, L-systems proposed a process for modeling the
growth of plants. The concept of morphogenesis brought forth new models to enlighten such
phenomena, while at the same time this approach presented new insights for architecture to
use digital media as a generative mechanism for process of design. On morphogenesis in
architecture, BrankoKolarevic states:

The digital generative processes are opening up new territories for conceptual, formal
and tectonic exploration, articulating an architectural morphology focused on the
emergent and adaptive properties of form. The emphasis shifts from the making of form
to the finding of form, which various digitally-based generative techniques seem to bring
about intentionally. In the realm of form, the stable is replaced by the variable, singularity

22 Prof. Mark Burry from RMIT puts his own explanation of the http://rmit.edu.au/browse/Our%20Organisation/Research/Re-
term trans-disciplinarys meaning as: Transdisciplinary, put simply, search%20Institutes/Design%20Research%20Institute/ resumed
means teams of designers who assert their professional expertise in 03.01.2010.
within a diverse group of creative thinkers, but in working closely 23 Op-cit, Ingeborg M. Rocker(2006) p. 21.
with other design disciplines, enrich their own with new understand-
ings that come from working towards a shared solution or concept.

36
by multiplicity.24

Kolarevic goes on defining taxonomy of computational techniques for architectureincludingnew


territories as key shape animation, genetic algorithms, topological architecture, and blobs.
There is an organized complexity in nature: many variables and interactions with an
underlying definable structure. Emergence theory is introduced to explain the natural phenomena
with properties such as self-organization, pattern recognition, feedback mechanism and indirect
controlby adaptive learning. Emergence, in its common meaning, describes an entity which
is more than the sum of its parts: a complete system which cannot be reduced to their sum
or their difference.25 Emergent behavior appears at different scales of natural and man-made
organizations, from interactive increment of cells to ant colonies, from software systems to cities
growth.26
Michael Weinstock argues that there is a lot for architecture to learn from the emergent
systems, from its mathematical basis of processes where high-level entities are constructed from
the low-level interactions:

The task of architecture is to delineate a working concept of emergence and to outline


the mathematics and processes that can make it useful to us as designers. This means
we must search for the principles and dynamics of organization and interaction, for
mathematical laws that natural systems obey and that can be utilized by artificially
constructed systems. We should start by asking: What is it that emerges, what does it
emerge from, and how is emergence produced?27

Transcodingof computation flourishesin the interdisciplinary environment in architecture with the


contributions of incoming information from biology, genetics, computer science, mathematics, and
more.Computation as a transcoding first decodes the information of various disciplines under the
same syntax such that the data has a universal language, not limited within any regulated specific
work environment. Secondly, this data is rebuilt with computational structures for conducting a
more specialized assignment in the relevant work environment. In this way, architecture turns
into a collaborative study where each kind of data finds its own place accurately and interacts
accordingly with the over-all information structure. In other words, the information flow is
organized such that any local input of information has a consequence in the global outcome. The
over-all design evolves each time the parameters are revaluated, leading to performance-based
conclusions for architectural products.
With the rise of computational thinking, nature began to be observed in a diverse way that
was enlightened with the collaboration of many disciplines; the edges between different science

24 Branko Kolarevic, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and found in the book: Steven Johnson, Emergence: The connected
Manufacturing ,Spon Press, New York, 2003. Digital Morphogen- lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software, Scribner, New York, 2004.
esis chapter by Branko Kolarevic p. 13. 27 Michael Weinstock, Morphogenesis and the Mathematics
25 Emergence, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence, resumed of Emergence, Emergence: Morphogenetic Design Strategies,
on 01.14.2010. Architectural Design, Vol 74, No 3, 2004. p. 11.
26 Further reading about emergence of various systems can be

37
disciplines have turned into vague.28 The new way of scientific thinking, computation, has gained
strength with discoveries in biology, developments in physics and the contribution of mathematics.
Relatively, the branch of philosophy of science and nature has been reformed.29 Now natural
processes can be integrated into architecture, with the changes about how we interpret natural
organizations and how we should analyze it.
Consequently, learning/revisiting nature through computation opens up new visions in
generating architecture. Biological concepts are beyond just being example or inspiration to
obtain soft forms for architecture. They provide us observable real cases to learn about the
process of systems, natural and artificial.

28 The Emergence and Design Group, Emergence in Architecture 29 Whiteheads objections towards the previous theory of nature
,Emergence: Morphogenetic Design Strategies, Architectural are stated more in detail in his book: Alfred North Whitehead, The
Design, Vol 74, No 3, 2004. p. 6. Concept of Nature, Cambridge the University Press, 1964. p. 39.

38
Mesa redonda con los ponentes a la finalizacin del primer da en la International Conference.
Round table with speakers at the end of the first day at the International Conference.

39
NEW STRATEGIES Pablo Baquero
ON BIODIGITAL
DESIGN

40
In nature organic agents generate complex folded structures through real time
sensing and negotiation. Swarms, hives, and flocks are all collectives of agents, showing distinct
global behavioral patterns. However, the individual agents have only local awareness; they
respond to sensory input from their direct local environment.

Specially in Termite mountains, Organic agents, classically, generate a pheromone into the
packet of material they have just deposited. Pheromones are olfactory volatile hydrocarbons,
quite literally perfumes. Organic agents use any number of them and perceive their olfactory
world as colorfully as we do with vision. Pheromones (like hormones) diffuse at certain rates, so
any agent approaching new construction activity receive a massive stimulus, which overrides its
own intentions and so the structure grows. What emerges is a positive feedback excitement and
this is called stigmergy.
Agents operate in a simple feedback loop by i) sensing, ii) making decisions, based on their
intentions and iii) acting to change their local environment to their own ends. Agents perceive
environmental factors as forces which must be channelled and accommodated. Construction
agents go one stage further; they build structures which they embody these processes within, an
extension of their own organism.
The Agent Construction cluster explored a thoroughly bottom-up approach to construction by
placing participants as agents in an emergent system. David Andreen, Petra Jenning, and Rupert
Soar is a co-founder of Freeform Construction, a multidisciplinary organization expert in rapid
prototyping and professor at the Greenwich University in London. The tools that were used are
maya, Generative Components, Grasshopper, Proccessing, scripting, 3D scanner.

Objetives
Some of the objectives are to demonstrate a feedback loop where generation happens real
time in physical space and analysis/observation happens virtually. This is as opposed to the
common digital design process -build virtually and test physically. Also to build a program which
incorporates the processes used by agent systems to create structures. The virtual agents act
individually and through their interaction negotiate a structural solution. The physical construction
was as a precedent to analyse and learn from, in order to inform the code students generated -it
was a search for the purely local rules which drive the construction as opposed to the global ones
we often perceive and operate on as designers.

41
Physical Build
The attempt is to reverse engineer by looking at how natural processes and complex structures
emerge in nature. The goal was to build on two construction processes -one in vivo and one in
silico and on the interface between the two. There were no fixed roles -(everyone can move
between the different aspects freely, and contribute where needed). Truncated octahedrons were
the testing ground for the virtual simulations build at the same time. The location of each one was
digitally captured with a 3D scanner as it evolved, and was loaded in the computer.

The simulation of the structure as it evolved was taking into account by agents to analyze
and generate the construct in terms of airflow, light, structure, deflection. After this step there
were built algorithms for generative agents acting on a similar virtual version as the physical
building process. These sub-routines were operated within a code framework, but developed
independently and integrated with each other.

Process
_Build. continuously building on a physical structure during. This is a testing ground for the virtual
simulations we are building at the same time. Using truncated octahedrons -a space tesselating,
uniform polyhedron.
_Digitize. Scan the structure using a Leica T-probe as it evolves.
_Analyse. perform simulation of the structure as it emerges. Primarily this useful for learn
from light, attractors and CFD analysis to generate a visual landscape of how it responds to and
affects air-flows.
_Observe / learn _Code. We were building algorithms for generative agents acting on a
similar virtual version of the physical building process. These sub-routines operate within the
framework code, but developed independently and integrated with each other. The assumption is
to use the framework code developed (cell-division algorithm, or cellular automata), but emerge
better alternatives during this development.
_in-silico structure, virtual prototypes are made to be able to visualize the actual behavior
from the construct in from the code framework.

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Attractors, void, growth sequence, attraction intesities

Cfd agent optimization diagram of process, showing the workflow to killed cell according it
proximity. comparation is been development with GC scripting.
Process of killing cells by distances, been modify by the air flow, particles Pressure vectors
on affected surface colors. Vector analysis of airflow affected by the cells showing the pressures
by colors and turbulence generation.

Conclutions
Develop virtual particle fluid agents that could interact with each other and with a base growth
algorithm in order to generate structures which drive certain performance. To achieve this is by
using particle agents and agent programming . The particle agents undertake a negotiation in the
construction where the process is captured and learn from ifself for any building blocks added or
taken away. The code generate and corelate scripts which seek the same functional components
as is expressed in the physical construction. I hope that this may reveal underlying patterns
within the agent behaviours as well as identifying how process components unfold. To establish
fundamental process algorithms which can be reverse engineered from physical construction
practice and which could form the root code to an agent negotiation architecture.

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FORMA, Mireia Luzrraga
ENERGA Y
FLORES

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S, podramos empezar por ejemplo desde aqu, refirindonos al proyecto como un
espacio circular, un espacio donde uno puede entrar y simplemente experimentar con diferentes
sensaciones a travs de la vista, el tacto y el olfato. Podramos explicar que fue construido para
un festival de arquitectura en Barcelona, aunque eso no fuera lo importante, pero s que dur tan
solo tres das, porque al contrario de lo que pareca un impedimento, el hecho de que fuera a
existir durante un plazo tan corto de tiempo y rodeado de elementos tan dispares, en realidad se
convirti en una oportunidad de trabajar con cosas a las que no estamos acostumbrados, cosas
leves y ligeras, casi evanescentes.
Podramos entonces decir tambin que el proyecto se configur a travs de la articulacin
de tres espacios de los cuales acab emergiendo la volumetra final del proyecto. Una persona
que se acercara, primero vera una forma ovalada, estirada desde uno de sus extremos, y una
vez dentro, se encontrara con otra, tambin circular pero ms pequea percatndose entonces
de que entre medias haba un tercer espacio que absorba las diferencias. Exlicaramos que
ese espacio intermedio contena las especies aromticas y el olor que lo envolva todo, y que
tambin gracias a ese espacio la luz inundaba el interior, de manera que no sabas muy bien
por donde entraba por que como sucede en Borromini, pareca que entraba por todas partes, y
entonces podramos explicar que esto suceda porque en realidad todo el proyecto no era ms
que un tejido a partir de pequeas piezas iguales que repetidas de una cierta manera creaban
una piel calada con tendencia a cerrarse sobre s misma.
Podramos decir tambin cmo lo construimos. Durante una semana mezclando la fabricacin
manual con la fabricacin digital, y que gracias a ello pudimos trabajar sobre lo especfico de
manera ms libre, para finalmente acabar de la misma manera que empezamos este texto,
refirindonos a la circularidad del proyecto, circularidad que define la propuesta y que permite
llegar a un punto en el que acaba difuminndose que es lo que fue antes, si forma o uso, si
espacio o estructura, o si interior o exterior.
Hay muchas maneras de hacer arquitectura, -igual que de empezar y acabar una memoria-,
pero en este caso lo importante es precisamente eso, que como este texto, sea circular.

THE WALLS ARE COMING DOWN


espacios para la activacin sensorial

Premio FAD de opinin en intervenciones efmeras 2011

The walls are coming down es una doble piel de 5 553 piezas de foam blanco hechas mediante
ms de 35 000 cortes y puntos de unin colonizadas por 3 variedades de flores diferentes: 350
margaritas, 60 liliums y 150 claveles tejidos mediante 50m de hilo de nailon y cosidos alrededor
de una estructura de 48 piezas de DM lacadas en blanco y ensambladas en 6 secciones
verticales y 6 horizontales.

Crditos:
arquitectos: takk // mireia luzrraga + alejandro muio
agradecimientos: Alberto T. Estvez, Enric Ruiz-Geli, y el Laboratorio de Fabricacin Digital
ESARQ-UIC

45
47
HISTORIA Alejandro Muio
NATURAL

48
El siguiente texto tiene por objetivo poner negro sobre blanco la conferencia que
con motivo del Internacional Conference on Biodigital Architecture and Genetics que se llevo a
cabo del 1 al 3 de abril de 2011 en la ESARQ (UIC) en Barcelona, y que intentaba explicar parte
del trabajo realizado junto a Mireia Luzrraga en el Mster en Arquitectura Biodigital en torno
a una lnea de investigacin articulada bajo un concepto que de un tiempo a esta parte hemos
empezado a denominar como historia natural.
El concepto hace referencia a una estrategia proyectual por la cual se entiende el objeto
arquitectnico (ya sea edificio o paisaje), como el resultado de un proceso aditivo donde la
intervencin de ciertas caractersticas materiales presentes en la naturaleza (gravedad, viento,
luz, etc.) definen las principales caractersticas del proyecto. O dicho de otro modo, una estrategia
proyectual basada en la interaccin operativa con el entorno frente a todas otras que ya sea o
bien por omisin o bien por oposicin lo ignoran.
De esta definicin encontramos pues que el termino historia natural hace referencia a operaciones
proyectuales que den como resultado arquitecturas de las que se pueda dar cuenta una vez que
se viven del proceso que se ha llevado a cabo para pensarlas ya que estas operaciones son
legibles como si de la reconstruccin de su historia se tratase a partir de las caractersticas
morfolgicas propias del proyecto.
Esta forma de actuar, o en este caso de proyectar, no es totalmente nueva. Muchas
experiencias han investigado sobre parmetros similares a la hora de enfrentarse a la resolucin
de un problema arquitectnico. Sobre todo aquellas que debido a su contexto geogrfico la
presencia del entorno es ms significativa. Si bien de esta manera podemos encontrar como
fuente de estas prcticas aquellas arquitecturas tradicionales o vernculas, este saber ancestral
ha impregnado en mayor o menor medida la arquitectura hasta nuestros das, desde Le Corbusier,
Aalto, o Utzon hasta arquitectos ms contemporneos como Holl o Zumthor. Arquitecturas
masivas, fuentes de sombras y ventilacin natural de los desiertos africanos o construcciones
en forma de granjas o cabaas de los pases nrdicos organizadas alrededor del recorrido de la
luz solar son slo algunos ejemplos de arquitecturas que podemos encontrar en los cuadernos
y libros de anotaciones y viajes de cualquiera de estos arquitectos.
Pero con el cambio de siglo al menos dos nuevas consideraciones han aparecido que nos
permiten dar un paso adelante. Por un lado el entorno ya no es slo aquello de los que nos
podemos beneficiar para hacer nuestra vida ms bella y cmoda, sino que ahora se trata de un
bien limitado a conservar y proteger ntimamente ligado a nuestro desarrollo. Por otro el avance
de la tcnica, tambin constructiva, permite buscar relaciones ms eficazmente. Este nuevo
escenario coloca en primer plano del proyecto arquitectnico aquellos parmetros que tienen
que ver con la relacin con el entorno, y no slo desde un punto de vista funcional representado
por las opciones ms bienintencionadas del mbito green, sino como estrategia de proyecto y
comunicacin contemporneo.
En este sentido los proyectos aqu presentados recogen, dentro las caractersticas propias
del mbito de un postgrado de proyectos en el que el trabajo de experimentacin es, sobre
otras cuestiones ms realistas o funcionales, lo ms importante, el inters del autor por estas
cuestiones. As, elementos como forma, estructura, espacio, o cualidad ambiental, en estos
proyectos se entienden como un todo que tiene como objetivo potenciar la experiencia del
espectador. Experiencia que si bien es en primer trmino sentida, es en ltima instancia un

49
mecanismo de anlisis y comprensin de aquello que nos rodea. Algo as como pensar con el
cuerpo.
El primero de los dos proyectos que comentaremos tiene por ttulo Its warm, it rains inside,
and smells like flowers. La propuesta se desarrolla en la costa de Barcelona y propone unas
torres de desalinizacin de agua marina como una nueva herramienta para abastecer las
necesidades de agua potable de la ciudad. Barcelona es una de las ciudades ms densas y
con menor nmero de metros cuadrados de espacio pblico por habitante de Europa. Con un
difcil crecimiento debido a su enclaustramiento, la ciudad es la segunda ciudad del planeta con
mayor nmero de visitantes, siendo el verano la poca de mayor concentracin de poblacin y
demanda de agua coincidiendo con las pocas de mayor sequa. La propuesta pretende generar
nuevas mtodos de abastecimiento a la vez que reactiva el espacio pblico creando una serie
de sistemas atmosfricos artificiales.

La forma de las torres responde a las caractersticas de su localizacin a travs de


la generacin de unos agujeros pasantes que permiten que el viento que se produce como
consecuencia de las diferencias de temperatura entre el mar y la tierra localizadas en la lnea
de costa las atraviese. A partir de estos agujeros el sistema estructural de las torres planteado a
travs de filamentos tubulares y hexgonos irregulares se organiza de tal manera que responda
a las necesidades del programa.

50
As, mientras unos agujeros, los pasantes, albergan micro molinos de viento que ayudan
a generar la energa necesaria para hacer funcionar el sistema, otros agujero, los interiores,
albergan los diferentes programas pblicos relacionados con el disfrute del agua y plantas
aromatizantes. Baos turcos, saunas, o spas, se distribuyen a lo largo de las torres, mientras
unos jardines colgantes ocupan la parte central. El agua marina sube hasta la parte ms alta de
las torres para posteriormente descender a travs de los filamentos tubulares por accin de la
gravedad atravesando diferentes fases de desalinizacin producida por las diferentes especies
de plantas. Una vez abajo y al final del recorrido, el agua desalinizada es almacenada en los
diferentes depsitos de la costa ya al servicio de la ciudad.
El segundo proyecto titulado Totoro es una propuesta de bar y mariposario situado en el
Parc Gell de Barcelona. Actualmente este espacio de la ciudad est totalmente colonizado
por el turismo de masas atrada por la marca Gaud y potenciada por la aparicin en pelculas
de Hollywood de xito mundial siendo la anttesis de lo que un da signific como espacio de
relacin y recreo para los habitantes de Barcelona. A travs de unas micro operaciones se
propone colonizar el parque a travs de programas pblicos que potencien de nuevo este tipo
de relaciones a la vez que se generan una red de puntos de actividad a lo largo de todo el parque
que distribuyan el turismo.

El proyecto se desarrolla a travs de una bsqueda morfolgica que establezca relaciones


entre los espacios para las personas y los espacios para las mariposas an y conservando
las caractersticas climticas y de seguridad de cada una de ellas. As el edificio se plantea
como una estructura tubular plegada sobre s misma donde dos tipos de espacio, uno interior
y otro exterior, se desarrollan en continuidad. El espacio exterior, destinado a las mariposas
queda delimitado por una red de tubos por donde circula agua caliente que eleva la temperatura
hasta los 22 grados de temperatura constante que necesitan las mariposas, mientras que el
espacio interior un tejido plstico coloreado y semitransparente alberga el espacio de bar. Estos
dos espacios adquieren diferentes disposiciones a lo largo del proyecto haciendo que estos se
encuentren ntimamente ligados definiendo simultneamente espacio interior y espacio exterior.
El edificio desde el exterior se presenta como una estructura vertical coloreada segn tonos de
la flora caracterstica que se adapta al terreno en pendiente y se beneficia de las vistas sobre la
ciudad. La apariencia biomrfica del proyecto avisa del programa que alberga a la vez que nos
permite entender las leyes de formacin como si de un ejercicio gimnstico se tratara.

52
Tanto en un proyecto como en otro el punto de partida es similar. Las propuestas se plantean
ms como instrumentos para realizar una operacin que como objeto a admirar a partir de
intersecciones entre diferentes cosas, entre forma y funcin, entre estructura y forma, y entre
dentro y fuera.

53
BIO-LOGIC Sergio Hidalgo
AND NATURES
GEOMETRY IN
ARCHITECTURE

54
After the Master in Biodigital Architecture version 2009, I developed in the
final thesis a scheme that summarizes my conclusions about the processes that influence an
architecture project in contrast with the contents learned and developed during the masters
lectures and exercises.

Masters thesis
The design process proposed has two major parts, the biological and the digital, both taken
together and also as separate processes. In order to initiate the design process, we started with
an investigation phase and a work methodology more related to scientific processes than to
the request itself. Then, we proposed hypothesis about the project. With this methodology, we
developed three projects in the master: the skyscraper, the butterfly house and the museum,
each of them from a different point of view proposed by the teachers and by the working teams.
The skyscraper was analyzed from an ecological and environmental point of view, basing
the proposal on the photosynthesis and the vegetables functioning through this process. The
butterfly house was analyzed from an evolutionary growth perspective, by studying the flowers
morphology, in this case studying the Petunia violacea. Finally, the museum was analyzed from
a growth system based in geometric rules proposed by the work team, starting from a simple
polyhedron.

As a result of the process mentioned before, we got the how, the way in which we were
going to solve the projects and the hypothesis proposed from the scientific point of view. What
we had to do next was to register the answers in the digital field, and to develop the projects and
the materials in a systematized way. This is how we got the final answers. In the case of the

55
skyscraper, the development of its formal components was done through the CNC machine, with
which we developed study models in order to check the fabrication advantages in a potential
construction. In the case of the butterfly house, we used the software TOPMOD in order to
provide the evolutionary growths from a root, as requested. Finally, in the museum project, the
process to elaborate the solutions was created by each work team. We created a geometrical
growth system with the software TEGEN, which makes morphological transformations through
the creation of different polygons types, according to the rules imposed by the team.
As a consequence of developing the skyscraper project, I found out the need to recognize the
importance of incorporating sustainability and energetic sufficiency into architectural projects, as
primary elements when designing the request.

Solar energy
During the last years, we have seen how the use of renewal energies has become essential to
satisfy the energetic demands of the countries, the cities and the buildings, and even more now
that natural disasters have proven the precariousness of some systems and sources of energy.
This issue motivated my intention of integrating the process of design exposed before with
the energetic needs of each project and its possible solutions. My investigation is now centered
in finding different solution for different types of constructions.

Nowadays, the most used solar technologies are:


Thermal Solar: production of hot water at low temperatures for domestic sanitary use and
heating. Even cold air (air conditioning) can be created through the reception of heat in the solar
sensors.
Photovoltaic Solar: the sun is used to produce electricity in a direct way, without thermodynamic
processes, through a silicon device called photovoltaic cell. Nowadays, there are some new
technologies for producing the maximum energy possible. Through optical systems it is possible
to concentrate solar energy and make the system more efficient and also with higher temperature.
Examples of these systems are: solar towers, solar ovens, holographic concentrators, fluorescent
concentrators, etc.
In the case of solar towers, we can appreciate that, for its efficient construction, concentrators
are located, just like chloroplast is located in a plant, according to the movement of the sun and
to the field where the concentrators are placed. The concentrators capture the solar energy
and direct it to a point in the tower where it is received and stored. This point has a relation

56
with the growths and biodigital evolutions, because through the use of softwares we can obtain
the orientations, distances and hierarchies of order of these concentration panels. This order
corresponds, as mentioned before, to the movement of the sun that allows its maximum use.
Besides, each of these concentrators has an engine and rotation systems automated to follow
the source of energy during the day, achieving a higher grade of efficiency.

Energetic demand
If we take the elements that influence de thermal comfort of a building and define what is that
comfort in terms of temperature, we will have the difference or surplus of some of these elements,
which is equivalent to the energetic demand. There might be gains of energy because of external
and internal elements and there might be losses, due to ventilation or conduction.
In order to calculate the energetic demand we use softwares of simulation, such as:
TRANSOL: Transol incorporates an extensive database of references and a set of climatic
data interpolation to simulate the behavior of a solar thermal system anywhere in the world. Also,
the program can select the components of the system in a comprehensive database of solar
panels, batteries, boilers, heat exchangers and adsorption/absorption machines.

Simulation results are presented in MS EXCEL detailed reports that include general system
information, information on demand, balance of system efficiency, consumption and parasites
losses analysis.

ENERGY PLUS: is an open source software that is used in combination with Google sketch
up, for the simulation of the thermal demands of a building. It is an easy and complete tool that

57
incorporates variables like: use, materials, ventilations, heating, illumination, and construction
quality. This is combined with the 3d modeling from Google Sketch up with the plug-in open
studio. The same file can be modified in both softwares and it allows us to simulate the energetic
demands and obtain precise data for the measurment of energy systems.
Both softwares presented generate a sequence of quantifiable data that indicates us the
environmental conditions of a building and its energetic demand. It is really important to use
that data for the creation of energetic solutions and for the design of a building, generating
morphological proposals according to its thermal behavior.
One example of solar energy project developed in line with nature systems and achieved
through digital automating processes, which illustrates the ideas presented here, is a project
by the designer Neville Mars. This project is, as it name says it, a solar forest, represented
by a sequence of branches facing the sun, in order to obtain the necessary energy to charge
any element that requires energy, in this case, electric vehicles. You can appreciate through its
design that it tries to be a forest in the way that its elements capture the solar light. Although
the photovoltaic system is not very developed, the project is correct and allows us to imagine
elements like this in the city.
The reason of showing this project is to demonstrate the importance of combining the existent
solutions proposed by nature for energetic efficiency and the possibilities that we designers have
to make real, sustainable and creative proposals for developing a new way of inhabiting, in
relation with the new technologies.

58
VERTICAL Ricardo Muoz
ZOOLOGY

60
My name is Ricardo Munoz Kuri Mexican architect and I am proud to be here as a master
graduate of the genetic architecture of this university.
First of all I would like to thank the International University of Catalonia and in particular to the
PhD Alberto Estvez for this invitation.
The title of my presentation is Vertical Zoology, I do not intend to talk about the processes of
digital technology as an empowering tool for the development of architectural projects as this is
a matter of Workshops.
I prefer to talk about how we can apply this technology by using rigorous design concepts that
are directed towards a biodigital or genetic architecture. Therefore I will speak more about the
development of thought and analysis instead of the technical part in the implementation of a high
performance sofwere digital design.
It is important to understand that in the processes of genetic or biodigital architecture design
there exist two fundamental aspects: on the one hand is the technical part in the management of
digital design parametrics where we can find powerful tools (TopSolid, Rhinoceros, Maya, Katia
and others) accompanied by powerful plug-ins that are not handled by themselves.
On the other hand is the human factor in which both analytical and systemic thinking bring
meaning and design direction by means of precise instructions to organize information enabeling
software to operate properly.
So I will talk about the context in which development of a conceptual Project was brought
about.
Our project comes about in the context of an international architectural competition organized
by Arquitectum in Buenos Aires Argentina for the development of a conceptual project for a
Vertical Zoo in Puerto Maderos ecological reserve.
As an idea we found it interesting, However we believe it makes no sense talking in biological
terms confining organisms vertically whose relationship to the environment depends on the use
of ample territories, the competition asked to bring specimens from other continents that live in
specific ecosystems: (Bengal tigers, pandas, lions, anteaters, orangutans, hyena, and others as
if they were humans who will live in a building) we therefore decided to break the rules and submit
a different approach.
It is clear that this was the cause for our disqualification
We begun with an analysis of local and migratory species as well as the characteristics of
their habitats, where I do a brief pause here to explain the importance of zoology in the role of
architecture.
As everyone knows, this is a biological discipline that deals with the study and classification of
animals and their relationship to the ecosystem in which they live. Zoology classifies organisms
according to their physical, biological, genetic, and the kingdom to which they belong.
To know and understand how an ecosystem works and how it is composed mainly of
organisms is simply a question of survival because flora and fauna are part of the human habitat.
Under this premiss we place a narrative that tells its story through time. The Puerto Madero
Ecological Reserve originated on par with the growth processes that led to the city of Buenos
Aires during the last 40 years, land deposits generated by excavation or construction debris that
with the passage of time were deposited on the banks of the Rio de la Plata thus taking area from
the rive. It should be noted, that a process can also generate an artificial environment.

61
In parallel we analyzed the territory, especially Puerto Maderos ecological reserve, paths,
and crossed the Buenos Aires main urban area, over the parks ecological reserve, in order to
locate the most important location for our building. The intersection of the axis will generate a
point at which we decided to uproot our tower.
Dimensions compared with other reserve park (Central Park in New York and the Chapultepec
Park in Mexico City a while to understand the dimensions of the land on which was worked
This is where we think of the seed of life idea, and developed our idea through an analogy to
the concept of artificial reef, the same idea applied to the land surface.
We intended the tower to be a nest to which plants, insects and birds attached themselves to.
This in turn brings a series of trades of other species. Within the interior of the tower a number
of different areas for incubation are propposed. At a certain age reptiles in the reserve would be
released, as is proposed in aquarium fish nesting in its early stages, and as juveniles are returned
to the reserve or the Rio de la Plata.
While researching seeds and the way they work, we came across a very small seed whos
structure captured our imagination, Lamourouxia viscous original of Latin America.
Far from having an aerodynamic shape, this seed has a hexagon-shaped exoskeleton that
serves to protect the seed and that allows the wind to disperse it, over time dissolving and
releasing it from its exoskeleton, the seed is then ready to take root.
Inspired by this small structure we developed our proposal which consists of a tower 113
meters high which is designed to promote knowledge of local flora and fauna and as an incubator
for local species.
Generation of a double membrane structural nature gives the tower its bearing capacity
based on the principle of pentagonal geometry, where more open pentagons correspond to the
bottom of the tower, it rises to form pentagons are closed.

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INTRO DOCENCIA Alberto T. Estvez
BIODIGITAL
INTRO BIODIGITAL
TEACHING
(Breve) Presentacin del Master
Universitario en Arquitectura Biodigital

Estudio avanzados y pioneros:


el primer ttulo oficial de esta temtica

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Se introducen aqu algunas cuestiones sobre la docencia que tiene que ver con
la idea de lo biodigital. En primera instancia considerando el hecho de que la ESARQ (UIC), en
Barcelona, en Espaa, en todo el sur de Europa, ha sido la primera institucin en ensear estos
temas, ya desde el curso 2000-2001, en que se inici el Mster de Arquitecturas Genticas, como
un programa de postgrado pionero. El primero en tratar sobre la arquitectura entendida desde
puntos de vista biolgicos y digitales, el primero en hacer converger de manera sistemtica a los
fundadores del organicismo digital, la nueva vanguardia del siglo XXI.
As, siendo tambin singular por encontrarse dentro del contexto y directamente imbricado con
la investigacin que desarrolla el Grupo de Investigacin Arquitecturas Genticas presentado
en las pginas anteriores, se pone especial atencin al nuevo proyectar ciberntico-digital y
ecolgico-medioambiental, para desarrollar conceptos como gentico y generativo, la idea de
emergencia dentro del mundo natural y digital, biommesis, bioaprendizaje, morfognesis, etc.
Experimentando con software de motor gentico, procesos evolutivos, sistemas emergentes,
algoritmos, con lo paramtrico, scripting, etc. Las nuevas tecnologas nos han dado nuevas
posibilidades de produccin (Data-Driven, mquinas CNC de control numrico, impresoras 3D),
que llevan a formulaciones de una nueva arquitectura no-standard, desde principios genticos
(variacin, mutacin, hibridacin).
Luego, cuando aparecieron las leyes sobre la oficialidad de los msters en Espaa, por
requerimientos de las autoridades competentes en materias educativas, para ser reconocidos
por el Ministerio de Educacin, pas a llamarse Mster Universitario de Arquitectura Biodigital,
aclarndose con ello entonces ya desde su ttulo su enfoque en torno a la aplicacin de
las tcnicas biolgicas y digitales a la arquitectura. As, fue a su vez el primer mster con tales
contenidos, reconocido como enseanza reglada oficialmente por primera vez en la historia,
si bien se tuvo que luchar, por la falta de entendimiento que encontr. Mientras, su carcter
avanzado continu, al ser tambin el primer programa de doctorado en versar sobre lo biodigital,
bajo aquel primer nombre Arquitecturas Genticas, fluyendo a su vez las primeras tesis
doctorales presentadas en un marco de arquitectura avanzada como este. Y ese carcter se
ha mantenido en solitario en nuestra geografa. Pues sigue siendo la nica titulacin especfica
sobre arquitectura digital, y ms singular an por sus enfoques desde la biologa y la gentica.
Ya que los dems msters ofrecen una titulacin genrica sobre arquitectura, aunque ofrezcan
luego especializaciones concretas sobre urbanismo, sobre cuestiones tcnicas o sobre el mundo
de lo digital, como pudiera ser sobre cualquier otro aspecto de la arquitectura.

Investigaciones sobre resoluciones de estrategias biodigitales proyectuales aplicadas a supuestas islas, modelos digitales, Studio Prof. Alberto T.
Estvez, Mster de Arquitectura Biodigital, ESARQ (UIC), Barcelona, 2011 (fotos: Alberto T. Estvez).

En definitiva, estos estudios se estructuran primero con una Introduccin a la Arquitectura


Biodigital y Gentica, seguido de seminarios y conferencias sobre Metafsica y Computacin,
Teoras de Emergencia, Fundamentos de Gentica, El Carcter Emergente de la Vida, Eco-
Manipulaciones, Gentico vs. Generativo, Nuevas Tcnicas Biolgicas y Digitales, La Obra de
Antoni Gaud y Salvador Dal como races de la Arquitectura Biodigital, Sistemas de Informacin

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Investigaciones sobre resoluciones estructurales de puentes, modelos digitales, Studio Prof. Dennis Dollens, Mster de Arquitectura Biodigital,
ESARQ (UIC), Barcelona, 2011 (fotos: Alberto T. Estvez).

(Herramientas Digitales y Formas Orgnicas), clases prcticas de formacin de herramientas


digitales, software generativo, software paramtrico-asociativo, scripting, herramientas
de produccin y mecanizado CAD-CAM, ligado al desarrollo de proyectos en los Genetic &
Biodigital Architectural Design Studios y talleres con tutoras personalizadas para el desarrollo
de los respectivos proyectos e investigaciones.
Como directores de tales estudios, se cuenta con un distinguido profesorado internacional
que ha hecho relevantes aportaciones en este panorama de la nueva vanguardia arquitectnica
biodigital. Todos ellos seleccionados entre los ms prestigiosos pioneros mundiales de la
arquitectura digital, y no como meros conferenciantes invitados sueltos, que suele ser lo habitual
en el resto de programas docentes, sino integrados de manera orgnica y estable en su docencia.
As, por ejemplo, han tenido y tienen sus estudios dentro del Mster personajes tales como
Bernard Cache, Karl Chu, Dennis Dollens, Evan Douglis, Mark Goulthorpe, Michael Hensel, Kas
Oosterhuis, Franois Roche, Lars Spuybroek, Mike Weinstock, entre otros.
As, la mirada al futuro que se realiza a travs de este programa docente segn se recoga
ya en el ao 2003, en el primer libro de la serie-coleccin Genetic Architectures / Arquitecturas
genticas se ha convertido en el epicentro de una investigacin avanzada, que alrededor de
una reflexin, debate y proyecto quiere establecer un foco estratgico docente en el mbito
mediterrneo de gran ambicin, trascendiendo al mbito mundial, como es la misma procedencia
de sus estudiantes, transformndose en un centro dinmico de intercambio de experiencias
y experimentos que est desembocando, ahora, en una nueva forma de ejercer la profesin:
programacin, software de visualizacin, produccin rpida de maquetas espaciales, fabricacin
de piezas reales de arquitectura a escala natural, 1:1, interaccin entre referentes cientficos,
histricos, filosficos y el diseo arquitectnico.
Cabe decir que un gran nmero de titulados a lo largo de todos estos aos se han convertido
a su vez en los primersimos en introducir esta arquitectura avanzada en sus pases de origen,
como Arne Rietkins en Letonia, Aref Masoud en Siria, Maruan Halabi en Lbano, etc. Cuando la
mayora de ellos se han colocado en posiciones acadmicas en universidades de todo el mundo,
como Emmanuel Caldern en Austria, Mauro Costa en Portugal, Ernesto Bueno en Brasil,
etc. Pues, la tecnologia de vanguardia en la arquitectura ha hecho surgir en los ltimos aos
especiales intereses por parte de jvenes arquitectos. A pesar de que en el campo arquitectnico
slo escasos grupos trabajan con las ltimas tecnologas digitales, y mucho ms escasos en
Espaa. Ms an cuando todava nadie en el mundo de la arquitectura trabaja con gentica
real, como s es el caso del Grupo Arquitecturas Genticas, en la frontera del conocimiento.
As, muchos de estos jvenes investigadores interesados en tales innovaciones tecnolgicas
encuentran en el Mster de Arquitectura Biodigital un lugar donde descubrir y profundizar en el
conocimiento de estos nuevos mbitos de arquitectura.

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The UIC Biodigital Architecture Masters Degree was created in 2000 as a pioneering
postgraduate programme: also together with the Genetic Architectures Ph.D. Programme,
is the first that treated the subject of architecture from the biological and digital perspectives,
and the first to provide systematic studios, workshops and seminars with the founders of digital
organicism, the new cutting edge of the 21st century, its first avant-garde. Within the context of
the Genetic Architectures Research Group at the ESARQ School of Architecture, students pay
special attention to new cybernetic-digital and new ecologic-environmental architectural design
as a way of developing biodigital architecture, emergence, genetic and generative concepts in
the biological and digital worlds, biomimesis, biolearning, morphogenesis, etc. Students will also
experiment with genetic-driven software, evolutionary processes, emerging systems, algorithms,
parametrics, scripting, etc. New technologies have given us new production possibilities (Data-
Driven Production, CNC machines, 3D printers) that lead to new formulations of non-standard
architecture based on genetic principles (variation, mutation, hybridization): new architecture for
new possibilities.
This programme can be followed indiscriminately in English and/or Spanish. And the
contents are first an Introduction to Genetics and Biodigital Architecture, followed by seminars
and conferences on Metaphysics and Computation, Theories of Emergence, The Fundamentals
of Genetics, The Emergent Character of Life, Eco-Manipulations, Genetic vs. Generative, New
Bio & Digital Techniques, The Work of Antoni Gaud and Salvador Dal like sources of Biodigital
Architecture, Information Systems (Digital Tools and Organic Forms), practical classes with
training on digital tools such as generative software, parametric associative software, scripting,
production tools and CAD/CAM machining, linked to project development. All together with
Genetic & Biodigital Architectural Design Studios and workshops with personalized tutorials for
the development of designs and research. Indeed, all the international professors and lecturers
have made relevant contributions in cutting-edge areas of biodigital architecture.
The timetable and development begins in November and December, when students do
an online preliminary study that involves reading a specific list of books, articles and software
manuals. And from January to July is a full-time daily onsite work programme (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) at
the ESARQ School of Architecture, Barcelona. So, the duration is 1 academic year of 9 months,
1.800 hours (60 credits, 60 ECTS). And the target students are holders of university degrees,
especially in the areas of Architecture, Engineering, Fine Arts, Design, Landscape Design and
even Biology, Genetics (no prior specialized knowledge of software, cybernetics or ecology are
required).

Research on genetic and digital strategies resolutions, Studio Prof. Karl Chu, Masters Degree in Biodigital Architecture, ESARQ (UIC), Barcelona, 2011.

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ENSEANDO Alejandro Muio
SOFTWARE

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Desde el ao 2000, cuando el Mster en Arquitectura Biodigital arranc como
laboratorio de investigacin y experimentacin sobre un nuevo acercamiento a la arquitectura
basado en el estudio de la naturaleza como gua para el desarrollo de una arquitectura ms
sostenible, integrada y contempornea, las herramientas digitales han venido siendo la
herramienta clave para permitir que esto se haga realidad.
Mientras que el uso comn de estas tecnologas en el mbito arquitectnico eran utilizadas
nica y exclusivamente como herramientas de representacin de una arquitectura corriente,
con la consecuente popularizacin de trminos como renders, aqu se empezaba a fraguar por
primera vez en Espaa una nueva forma de utilizarlas.
S durante toda la historia, el descubrimiento de nuevos materiales, tcnicas constructivas
o mtodos de representacin, haban empujado la arquitectura haca nuevos horizontes, porque
la implantacin de la revolucin digital, con sus nuevas tcnicas y procedimientos de lmites
que todava hoy no conocemos, no iban a posibilitar la creacin de al menos nuevas vas de
investigacin realmente coherentes? Y eso es precisamente lo que sucedi aqu, en Barcelona,
en el ao 2000, cuando un grupo de arquitectos internacionales que empezaban a estudiar las
posibilidades de estas nuevas herramientas, dirigidos por Alberto T. Estvez, organizaron la
primera edicin del entonces denominado Mster en Arquitecturas Genticas. Hoy, doce aos
ms tarde, a estos arquitectos se les considera los fundadores de la Arquitectura Digital.
Nombres como Karl S. Chu, Dennis Dollens, Bernard Cache o Kas Oosterhuis que iniciaron
su andadura entonces, siguen, junto a la incorporacin de una segunda generacin de arquitectos
jvenes inspirada por estos encabezada por Matias del Campo o Franois Roche, realizando
ao tras ao parte de sus investigaciones aqu, dirigiendo los diferentes studios por los que han
pasado ya ms de doscientos alumnos venidos desde los cinco continentes del mundo.
Marca de la casa desde el inicio ha sido entender el Mster como una suma de visiones,
ms que una simplificacin en su mnimo comn denominador. Bajo una misma idea que
organiza y da ttulo al Mster, arquitectura Bio y Digital, cada studio orienta su mirada haca
unos parmetros y metodologa concretas. Apoyada por el avance rpido de las herramientas
digitales, cada profesor invitado explora sus propias vas de experimentacin, desarrollando
visiones arquitectnicas heterogneas todas ellas dentro del marco conceptual del Mster. Los
alumnos ven, estudian, y prueban diferentes formas de enfrentarse al proyecto arquitectnico
contemporneo vinculando cada propuesta a un tipo de software especfico. Durante el Mster,
los alumnos son capaces de aprender hasta ocho programas de modelado, fabricacin y
visualizacin diferentes, mezclando software comercial y entornos de programacin, tutorizados
en cada caso por un experto en la materia. Las tcnicas digitales ya no se entienden como una
herramienta separada del propio proceso de creacin arquitectnica. Aqu idea y herramienta
son un binomio indisoluble.
Podramos organizar las diferentes vas de acercamiento a la arquitectura Biodigital y por
lo tanto los diferentes tipos de software que se ven en el Mster en tres grandes grupos. El
acercamiento biomimtico o como Alberto T. Estvez tambin ha definido de bioaprendizaje o
biolearning, el acercamiento morfodinmico, y el acercamiento morfogentico. Estas tres vas
abren a su vez actitudes especficas representadas por los diferentes profesores segn inclinen
la balanza ms haca un acercamiento o otro, pero esta divisin en tres grandes grupos, apoyada
por la clara diferenciacin de sotware utilizada en cada una de ellas, explica muy bien no slo

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el trabajo desarrollado en el Mster, sino una buena radiografa de lo que est sucediendo
actualmente en la arquitectura biolgica y digital en todo el mundo.
De estos tres grupos, quiz el acercamiento biomimtico sea el ms conocido para la mayora
de la gente. Este acercamiento lo que prioriza es el estudio de estructuras y procedimientos
formales de la naturaleza para sintetizarlos y aplicarlos a la arquitectura. Sus objetivos son
aprender de sistemas que han evolucionado durante millones de aos haca la eficiencia y
economa energtica y tomarlos como modelo para el desarrollo de la arquitectura bajo esos
mismos parmetros. Arquitectos del Mster como Dennis Dollens, Mike Weinstock o el propio
Alberto T. Estvez, orientan sus respectivos studios hacia estas consideraciones. El alumno
toma como referente un modelo formal natural especfico, siempre de un elemento vivo, ya
sea por ejemplo la estructura sea de un ala o por ejemplo el sistema de escamas de una piel,
y desarrolla un proyecto a partir de l. En este sentido el trabajo de Alberto T. Estvez con el
microscopio de barrido electrnico y las bases del sistema formal de la materia viva son un
referente obligado.
El software utilizado en estos studios se basa en programas conocidos como software de
modelado poligonal. Estos programas, en el Mster se utilizan los dos ms conocidos y completos
de ellos, 3ds Max y Maya, se basan en una matemtica interna que produce las formas a partir
de superficies, de tres o cuatro lados, y algoritmos de suavizado. Este tipo de tecnologa permitir
modelar cualquier tipo de forma de manera rpida e intuitiva haciendo, por compleja e intrincada
que esta sea, haciendo que estos programas se ajusten perfectamente al tipo de geometras
orgnicas que se estudian como base del proyecto. El alumno se acerca a la forma buscada a
travs del modelado, cada vez ms exacto y ajustado, de polgonos ms o menos regulares. El
trabajo en este tipo de programas se podra asociar al de un escultor, en el que empezando por
un gran bloque de piedra, el artista va aproximndose poco a poco al resultado final.
Este acercamiento prima la mmesis, o el estudio de un elemento ya existente, por lo que el
software utilizado debe ser verstil y completo. El trabajo de los alumnos muestra como al mes
de haber empezado a familiarizarse con estos programas, colocados expresamente al inicio del
Mster, los proyectos resultantes alcanzan una gran complejidad formal, permitiendo contrastar
las ideas extradas del modelo natural.

Si el acercamiento biomrfico toma como base el estudio de modelos naturales vivos,


centrndose en animales y plantas, el acercamiento morfdinamico podramos decir que cambia
de orden o magnitud los modelos con los que se rige. Aqu, los studios dirigidos por profesores
como Michael Hensel, Matias del Campo o incluso Franois Roche, amplan su mirada hasta
procesos donde o bien interviene una fuerza natural, ya sea la gravedad, el viento, las mareas,
etc, o bien esta producida por una gran cantidad de agentes, desde la organizacin de un
termitero, al devenir de una ciudad a lo largo de los siglos. Es imposible explicar la complejidad

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y el alcance no slo de este enfoque, sino de cualquiera de estos acercamientos en un texto
como este destinado a explicar sucintamente la utilizacin del software en nuestro Mster, pero
para acotar el acercamiento morfodinmico diremos que este se basa en aquellos procesos
por naturales en los cuales interviene el concepto del tiempo ya que la forma sufre un proceso
de transformacin (y por lo tanto de movimiento o dinmico) desde un instante 0 a un instante
1. El software utilizado en este caso debe ser por tanto capaz de producir esta trasformacin e
incorporar el tiempo como un proceso especfico en la estructura del programa. En este caso la
herramientas utilizadas en el Mster son entornos de programacin conocidos como Processing
o Kangaroo a travs de Grasshopper y Rhino. Estos entornos permiten al alumno proyectar
no tanto la forma final de un objeto como suceda en la estrategia biomrfica, sino el proceso
de cambio o organizacin a travs de la definicin de unas reglas especficas que ha podido
observar en un proceso natural.
Los proyectos desarrollados a travs de este tipo de tcticas conducen a resultados ms
abstractos, que no tienen porque recordar a elementos naturales a primera vista, pero que
si que guardan los mismos procesos de organizacin resultando estructuras complejas y
frecuentemente producidas mediante adicin la adicin de pequeas piezas o mdulos.

El ltimo acercamiento de los tres grandes grupos a los que hacamos referencia, es el
acercamiento morfogentico. Representado por Karl S. Chu, verdadero pionero de las prcticas
digitales a escala internacional y referente constante, esta tctica involucra en los procesos de
diseo ya no condiciones que podramos denominar como exteriores de la naturaleza, sino la
propia comprensin interna de la estructura natural. Es decir, A, B, C, y D, los cuatro elementos
responsables de la organizacin gentica de todo ser vivo, y por analoga, los 1 y 0 informticos,
que segn los fsicos y matemticos estn detrs de la organizacin de todo el universo. Aqu
el estudio se basa en la compresin matemtica de la leyes de organizacin de la materia.
Utilizando lenguajes de programacin como Rhinoscript, el alumno crea cdigos de organizacin
que construyen espacios. Dichos espacios no se entienden como resultado de un procesos sino
como la propia organizacin echa proyecto. Sin duda au la palabra herramienta traspasa los
lmites de su definicin clsica.
Como decamos el proyecto biodigital es un binomio indisoluble, y prueba de ello es el
avance de estas prcticas en todo el mundo. Nos queda toda la historia por delante.

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TEACHING Judith Urbano
HISTORICAL
SOURCES

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We find what could be the origin of genetic architecture or, rather, its premonition,
not only in the body of work of Antoni Gaud and Salvador Dal, but also in their writings and
ideas. This is our point of departure in order to introduce the students of the Master in Biodigital
Architecture into the world of these two artists as focus of modernity and influence. We try to link
different things from the past and the present of art and research now in Catalonia.
Dal glimpsed signs of Surrealism in Gauds architecture: organic elements, taken from
nature, dream spaces, awaiting Freudian psychoanalysis. We only have to think about the
terrace of La Pedrera or in the forms of Sagrada Familia, just to put some examples. But other
Surrealists saw them too, as Andre Breton that said: Goya tait dj surraliste, au mme titre
que Dante, ou quUcello, ou que Lautramont, ou que Gaud; or after some days in Barcelona
in 1922, he sent a postcard with the photo of Sagrada Familia to Pablo Picasso, and wrote in it
Do you know this marvel? Or Joan Mir, that when he was young, knew personally Gaud in the
Cercle Artstic de Sant Lluc when he went there to take some drawing lessons said The church
of the Sagrada Familia is a mental, even a delirious, universe using the favourite adjective of the
Surrealists, or of Dal himself: a work of architecture can be delirious, can lead us through the
fantastic, magical, imaginary universes of its creator.
Its true that Gaud translated his famous sentence, Originality is going back to the origin,
into a search for natural forms. He explored nature since he was a boy and he translated these
nature forms in architecture. He also searched in nature the laws of geometry and apply them
also to architecture as can be seen now very clear in the Sagrada Familia aisles, covered since
last year.
But in Dal, too, there was an element of nature. It was a landscape the source of inspiration
for his double-image paintings, thanks to the games he played when he was a child with his sister
Anna Maria in Cap de Creus, a rocky headland eroded by seawater and the strong Tramuntana
wind. It was a childish pastime, rather like making out objects in the clouds, but in this case the
place offered its rock formations. We must also remember his article in the Surrealist magazine
Minotaure: De la beaut trrifiante et comestible de larchitecture modernstyle. Before this text
he had already talked about his fascination for art nouveau in Le surralisme au service de la
rvolution in 1929. But in the article of 1933 in Minotaure, the most famous, he also included
photographs made by Man Ray (Park Gell and La Pedrera) and Brassa (the works of Hector
Guimard: Castel Branger and the metro exits in Paris). In many of Dals paintings appear
architecture-like formations, some soft, with holes, or even windows and doors, accompanied
by small figures to show the scale. Some with an organic sensation, others are a reference
to another of his obsessions: the figures in Jean-Franois Millets Angelus (Archaeological
Reminiscences of Millets Angelus, 1935), even converted into New York City skyscrapers in a
drawing dated 1938.
Going now to present days, in the School of Architecture of the Universitat Internacional de
Catalunya we began in 2000 a research line and a master program in biodigital and genetic
architecture, thinking about Gauds osseous, organic, curved structures, and Dals ideas about
future, edible, soft, furry architecture, linking those artists and their production with the most
advanced architecture now called genetic and biodigital. Working with genetics means working
with DNA to obtain advantages. We can imagine buildings that are alive, that grew alone. Or
luminiscent plants that have light for themselves so we can stop worrying for electricity. On

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the other hand, working with digital techniques allows to design and have machines that built
automatically those designs made by a computer to a scale 1:1. DNA is a code, a genetic code.
We design digital codes to built objects or architecture. Maybe in a future we can link both things:
genetic and digital.
Many authors have seen in Gaud a visionary, an architect ahead of his time or one who
served as a departure point for future artists in different movements: Futurism, Expressionism,
Surrealism. Perhaps we should also see him as the inspiration for a new generation of 21st-
century architects in search of new, sustainable, ecological forms of expressing their work, in
keeping with these new expressions for the new century.
In Dal, we find a true precursor of genetic architecture. When he met Le Corbusier, the latter
asked him for his opinion about the future of architecture; the painter replied architecture will be
soft and furry. This could be the leitmotiv of genetic architecture! Years later, in 1973, recalling
that meeting with the famous architect, Dal added: I have not changed my mind and I hope that
one day technology will catch up with me, because it is still lagging behind. Perhaps technology
is now ready or at least working on how to materialize the ideas that were so well defined by
the Surrealist painter. Its also in Catalonia, the same land for Gaud and Dal that we have the
first genetic architecture laboratory. For all these reasons we put in contact the students with the
knowledge and ideas of the two artists and we visit together the Teatre-Museu Dal in Figueras,
a good way to visualize his mind and his thoughts about surrealist architecture and scenography.
We visit also Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera. All in the first week of the course, in order to set in
their minds a good background of images, sources, influences to begin to work with the newest
technology.

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Visita a las obras de la Sagrada Famlia el ltimo da de la Internacional Conference.
Visit to the works of the Sagrada Famlia on the last day of the International Conference.
BIODIGITAL Aref Maksoud
ARCHITECTURE:
MIDDLE EAST
EXPERIENCE /
EXPERIMENT

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Eco Park Competition (first prize):
An exploration throw parametric design to illustrate the various uses of the information systems and
digital tools, understanding of New Architectural Form and Tectonics providing an Understanding
of the digital tools as a design strategy.

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Tabubble:
Tabubble explores the conceptual idea of mapping performances in the urban scene. This idea
is then the generator for the design process. The result is a datascape that uses the computing
brain to be the means of form finding through a set of parameters inputted by the human brain.
The construction of the table will use EPS (expanded polystyrene) product. EPS, composed of
98% air, will allow the piece to be lightweight and structurally stable due to the ability to mold EPS
in any density. The EPS product exploits the essentials of sustainable materials for the future with
its 100% recyclable capabilities.

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HydrBubble:
The project fights against the uniformity of mass produced space and asserts the significance of
spatial forms, its not spectacle, its meaning throug form within function. Trying to creating live
project that can mantain a good balance between nature and city, function and form, life and
synthesis, oxygen and CO2. Thinking ecologically in our design, as an adaptive system that
incorporate feedback and change, and we tried to study as much information as we could and
apply it as a rules of our strategy to keep the system alive.
POSSIBLE Julian Ardila
IMAGINARY WORLDS

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En un comunicado dirigido a NAAB (National Architectural Accrediting Board)
titulado: DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY & ARCHITECTURE White Paper, realizado por ACADIA
(Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture) en 2003, dan a considerar todas las
implicaciones que tienen las tecnologas digitales en la arquitectura como un hecho que es
necesario e inevitable, dada su ubicuidad y las amplias repercusiones que estas tendrn en la
arquitectura, la enseanza y la investigacin.
ACADIA, en este comunicado tambin manifiesta que est surgiendo un discurso digital
innovador que ofrece nuevos e inesperados campos para el ejercicio prctico profesional en
la arquitectura.
Este discurso digital, est generando un conjunto particular de importantes conceptos
tales como: la Pedagoga Digital, Herramientas Digitales, Produccin y Fabricacin Digital,
Visualizacin Digital, Proyectos Digitales, Diseo Digital, Representacin Digital, Pensamiento
Digital y Prctica Digital. Tales conceptos nos conducen a indagar sobre nuevas ideas, nuevas
tcnicas, nuevas disciplinas y nuevas tecnologas, campos inexplorados anteriormente por la
arquitectura.
Ahora, todo lo que podemos apreciar a nuestro alrededor, en mayor o en menor grado,
est siendo afectado por la revolucin tecnolgica, los impactos tecnolgicos, los sistemas de
informacin y los procesos de produccin estn cambiando significativamente el cmo vemos
el mundo en el que vivimos.
Es en este periodo de tiempo, cuando palabras como postmodernismo, deconstructivismo,
minimalismo, entre otras, han dejado de sonar contemporneas, el uso de las herramientas
digitales aplicadas a la arquitectura, se muestran como un nuevo horizonte lleno de
posibilidades donde estas nuevas tcnicas nos permiten volver a la prctica profesional con
nuevas estrategias para proyectar.
As bien, la introduccin de la computacin en la arquitectura marca un punto definitivo donde
el ordenador nos abre a una lgica propia, que nos permite no slo operar de forma mas
ptima, sino tambin entrar en nuevas lgicas, crear sistemas eficientes completos o sistemas
emergentes.
En consecuencia, tanto las nuevas herramientas como las nuevas necesidades creadas en el
Siglo XXI nos obligan a replantear las estrategias de diseo, los procesos y el pensamiento
utilizados hasta el momento.

Realidad - profesin
La verdad es que el exceso de pragmatismo en la profesin, marca un mal camino para
la profesin, por esa misma razn necesitamos hacer teora esttica para la arquitectura
haber si pasamos a pensar en cosas distintas, el problema es que la mayora est en el juego
especulativo inmobiliario y eso no slo atrasa, sino que embrutece y produce ms daos
planetarios que los que se perciben localmente.
Este diagnostico de la situacin actual descrita por Ral Nio Bernal, Profesor Investigador
en el Departamento de Esttica de la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, deja entrever una
realidad que se ha vuelto una constante en el contexto colombiano.
Si bien existe un afn por generar una infraestructura que supla el dficit en equipamientos
educativos, deportivos, culturales, institucionales, de vivienda y transporte; este afn no nos

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puede llevar a cometer errores sensibles no slo en las dinmicas urbanas sino tambin en la
arquitectura, lo que se ensea y lo que se investiga.
Esta realidad no se presenta como un problema, sino como una oportunidad para investigar,
desarrollar e implementar un pensar, hacer y crear digital. Para lograr este fin, las tecnologas
digitales brindan toda una gama de posibilidades las cuales nos plantean nuevos retos frente al
que hacer arquitectnico.

Propuesta - enseanza
Mediante la ayuda de las tecnologas digitales crear un discurso que hable de una arquitectura
no estndar que est ms cercana a la bsqueda y la exploracin sobre nuevas formas y del
como mediante procesos como la fabricacin digital, estas formas pueden pasar del plano digital
al plano real.
Para ello, esta propuesta proyecto de investigacin tendr como pilares fundamentales los
siguientes aspectos:

Investigacin /// Sistemas_Componente Terico


El estudio de la complejidad y de los sistemas dinmicos ha reabierto el inters por el estudio de
las redes, los mtodos bottom-up, los sistemas adaptativos, la gentica y la creacin automtica
de formas, como fundamentos de una nueva generacin de tcnicas proyectuales. Centrar
propuestas metodolgicas en esta seccin abrir el campo de las posibilidades de la arquitectura,
ya que establece puentes slidos entre la teora y la praxis de las nuevas formas de proyectar.
Palabras claves: Sistemas Emergentes, Sistemas Bottom-Up, Entornos de Respuesta,
Sistemas Formales, Tiempo y Complejidad, Entornos Robticos y Vida Artificial, Computacin
Evolucionaria, Algoritmos Genticos, Morfologa, Ornamentacin, Sostenible, Global, Ecolgico,
Climatolgico, Materiales, Sistemas, Tecnologa Digital, Diseo Paramtrico.

Desarrollo /// Tecnologas Digitales _Componente Prctico


Arquitectura que es posible gracias a los ltimos avances tecnolgicos digitales, herramientas
que nos permiten producir y pensar. Arquitecturas de propuestas exuberantes a las cuales les
siguen unos sistemas de modelado, diseo y produccin, que nos posibilitan un control sobre la
geometra y la fabricacin con un altsimo rigor.
Palabras Claves: Complejidad y Automatizacin, Disear y Hacer, Data Driven Production,
Fabricacin Digital, Nuevas Tecnologas, Representaciones Digitales, Modelado Paramtrico,
Sntesis Digital Natural, Reconocimiento de Patrones.

Aplicacin /// Materiales_Componente Tangencial


Toda la arquitectura o el diseo que se genere formalmente, estructuralmente y organizativamente
a partir del estudio del comportamiento de los materiales. Arquitecturas o diseos altamente
eficientes, no ptimos, basados en la multifuncin. Modelos que aborden la ecologa no slo
desde la reutilizacin de materiales y el reciclaje, sino tambin, desde la idea que como ms
eficiente, barato y multifuncional sea un sistema, ms ecolgico es.
Palabras Claves: Sistemas Naturales, Nuevos Materiales, Materiales Inteligentes,
Estructuras de Crecimiento, Estructuras de Respuesta, Pieles Inteligentes, Biomecnica,

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Biomimtica, Arquitectura y Movimiento, Rendimiento y Realizacin de Espacios, Forma de
encontrar Estructuras, Geometra de Patrones Naturales, Auto-Organizacin.
Concretamente, esta ponencia dar una muestra clara de trabajos realizados y experiencias
profesionales en el periodo comprendido entre el ao 2009 y 2011. El cmo las tcnicas biolgicas
y las tcnicas digitales estn inmersas dentro de estos resultados, sern estos quienes nos
planteen nuevos retos y nos formulen nuevas inquietudes frente al que hacer arquitectnico
desde el punto de vista de la investigacin, la enseanza y la profesin.

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ARCHITECTURE OF Lamila Simisic
THE CLASH

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Title of my lecture Architecture of the Clash comes from the idea of confrontation, as
well as the idea of revolution, referring to the punk-rock band of the same name. The architecture,
as other branches of art, the technology and science, demonstrates its transparency. It results
as a product of confrontation. It emerges as a response of the revolution, not in a sense of
revolutionary rebellions, but revolutionary introduction of a new comprehension, which will
provide it evolution. From the clash of knowledge, the idea is to portray the dynamism of the
world we are living in.
The development of genetics opens a numerous possibilities for the comprehension of life
and the world, and thus the architecture in it. On the other hand, using digital technology as a
direct participant in the design process, enabling us to explore new limits or to open new frontiers
of architectural creativity and all what can result from such experiments. Architectural design is
experiencing its complexity and tries to re-analyze the subjects in the creation of architectural
objects and Vice Versa.
Technology of construction is now different: a brick wanted to became something by now, and
today bit wants to become something. The whole is more than the sum of its parts.1

Beauty >> Process


My research is trying to find the right pattern for architecture and to map genesis of information
inside of the patterns in order to materialize new architectural form. Objects of the future are not
created by inserting chips into shells of the shelters; those objects are bearing the information
which is dynamic, and permeates not only through the object itself, but the entire network in the
world. The information flows and the idea is not to stop its flow, but to create a route - net. How
to create the systems which will continuously match the flow of information, and at the same time
keep the integrity, which will allow systems to transmit the information to the other systems, as
well as to transform and evolve it in that process.

1 H. Lawson-Tancred, Aristotles Metaphysics, Penguin, London,


1998.

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The theme of investigation is the membranes of future architectural beings that are designed by
weaving information into their network-pattern, in order to adapt to different conditions from the
outer world. Using knowledge of patterns find in nature as well as cognitive patterns made by
humans the idea is to invent membranes that are able to change their local distribution of matter
by receiving information from environment.
Patterns find in nature such as those of plant leaves, which are tissue of multitude of tubes that
use their network to capture light, transport fluid to farthest points by own transport mechanisms
and support their own structure, demonstrate its multi functionality2.

In order to accept the environmental conditions nature has a way to change its local matter
distribution and give an answer for the change in surroundings. Signals from the outside world
can change a cell gene expression3. One single plant can have different shapes of leaves
depending on their position on the plant4.
On the other hand we have human made patterns expressing immense complexity. Nuns
of the Benedicts monasteries in the island of Hvar, Croatia, traditionally produce lace, last 100
years. Their knowledge of lace making, made by agave treads, Benedictine nuns are passing
from generation to generation. Since there is no written code it is impossible to copy and paste
their patterns. There are three different methods of lace making regarding technique: from center
to the edge, from the edge towards center and from the net5.

2 Michael Hensel, Achim Menges, Michael Weinstock, Techniques intro/, 2010. 4 Stephen Wolfram, Stephen Wolframs New Kind of
and Technologies in Morphogenetic Design, AD: Architectural Science, Available: http://www.wolframscience.com/nksonline/page-
Design, vol. 76, Issue 2, 2006, p. 20 1005b-text 2010, p. 1005.
3 The University of Utah, Genetic Science Learning Center, 5 Hanibal Lucic Museum, Benedictine Convent, Hvar, Croatia,
Available:http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/ Dalmacijapapir d.o.o., 2010, p. 4

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The look of those laces seems to be influenced by the forms find in nature and works of the
DArcy Thompson, Alan Turing and Ernest Heackel. It is irrelevant to discuss if the nuns of the
Benedicts monasteries use the computer techniques and algorithms for the production of the
Hvar lace but their work strongly remind to the form expressed in the work of evolutionary artists
like Andy Lomas and his project Aggregation.
Focusing on process instead of outcomes, patterns are not presented just as a motive, but
also as a picture of the processes behind them. The idea of reading data and process behind
patterns is possible to find in the work of Rosalind Franklin. In order to capture structure of DNA,
Rosalind Franklin, used technique of X-ray diffraction6.
The final goal coming from this research is to create objects, which participate in the
environment through their own membranes, with inclusion and democracy and to make those
objects equivalent to the real world. The digital era is clever, invisible, self-sustainable, ethical
and poetical. Architecture of this era is not an isolated egocentric, but the direct participant in the
worlds order.

Work in Process
The objects of the past find themselves in the era of Posthumanism, to which the most vital ones
will adjust. Ruins of the present time occur under different conditions, as in case of unpleasant
circumstances that have happened in recent history of my home city of Sarajevo.
This project is still in progress and the idea is to give those ruins opportunity to participate in
life of the citizens of Sarajevo. This synergy of objects and citizens increases quality of the city.
With temporal intervention, as an intervention of the emergency, I would like to transform those
negative objects into the positive ones. Curiosity about those objects is how nature finds the way
to continue its own process and to intervene in these objects.

6 See: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/DNA-photograph.html

87
This project will try to imagine information as physical form. Since information is always in change
the fundamental property of those structures, should be ability to rebuild, reuse, regenerate and
redefine! Idea is to try to map reminiscence of those objects as the wind, the smell, the sound,
the light, the weather, and in that way to paint how different world can be.
The aim is to justify beauty by justifying process behind that beauty, and to try to harmonize
beautiful and good in order to achieve Kalokagathia. Like ballerinas on a dancing floor which are
in a permanent confrontation with the force, energy, momentum, inertia, velocity, and acceleration
the elegance or beauty of their body manipulations is not a simple reflection of their movements
sum, resisting forces around them, but also comes from a skill of a dancer who creates the
illusion of performing the impossible7.
From various faiths and beliefs that this world can be improved, the belief in the embassy of
beauty as something that could really serve as an improvement of reality, perhaps its naive, but
not devoid of any authenticity.8

Acknowledgement:
Some of the parts of this article where published in paper call Beauty of Digital Era in The
Proceedings of the 1st International Graduate Research Symposium on the Built Environment,
METU, Ankara, Turkey, 2010. Some parts and projects are part of my Master thesis from 2008,
Universitat International de Catalunya.

7 Laws Kenneth, Physics and the, Art of Dance: Understanding


Movement, Oxford University Press, 2002
8 Miroslav Krleza, Dnevnik (Diary), vol. 5, 1922, Sarajevo, Oslo-
bodjenje, 1977.

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Jordi Faul explicando la geometra de las obras de Gaud a los asistentes
de la Internacional Conference en las escuelas de la Sagrada Familia.
Jordi Faul explaining the geometry of Gaudis works to the attendees
of the Internacional Conference at the Sagrada Familia schools.

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OPTIMIZATION Antonio Vacca
IN NATURE AND
DESIGN

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The discourse that this text pretend to deal with is Optimization nature and design.
The intention is to think about optimization in a different way, taking also care about one of the
biggest matter in Bio-digital architecture: the scale (in term of proportion). A lot of critics say that
Bio-digital is just about blobs or eccentric shapes or they just say that there are a lot of speakings,
some good philosophical essays, but nothing is really built.
On the contrary one of biggest and frequent question is about Scale. In which scale do Bio-
digital architecture and Bio-digital concepts need to be applied?
One of the reasons because architects are now interested in Emergent, bio-digital and
genetic architecture is the urgent needing to do an effort to optimize our resources. This way its
not the only one, and maybe not the best one, but there is of course the effort to understand and
use techniques and concepts not based just in the past but projected in the future.
The first definition of optimization, in our global brain Google, is the Wikipedia definition for
Mathematical optimization:
In mathematics and computer science, optimization refers to the selection of a best element
from some set of available alternatives,[..] and more generally, in a mathematical way, it means
finding the best available values of some objective function, given a defined domain, including
a variety of different types of objective functions and different types of domains.1
So if this definition is the start point, Optimization means to find the best. But what is the
best? What is the best talking about design? What is the best in Nature?
Its not a mere case that the word, from the Latin Optimus, has its origin in the nineteenth
century biology, and the meaning was the most favorable or better desirable. In that case they
were speaking about the concepts of the best for a singular goal, in a Cartesian vision, in a
rational way and looking for truth, and its referred to the best condition for an organism to flourish.
Translating it in nature and design terms we could say that in every optimization process the main
calculation is a synthetic search for a best state.
So apparently when some system is optimized, it doesnt matter if we are talking about
architectural design or biological system, or about a micro or macro scale. It means to set a goal,
and some restrictions or condition that we have to follow to achieve the goal.
The research for this optimum is not linked with the type of the used algorithm, it could
be deterministic or stochastic, but the optimal state is always relative to the factors we are
considering within the model2.
It introduces also a paradox in the search of the best. Could we call, in fact, the best a
relative best, found through restrictions and conditions?
Setting restrictions and conditions, is the only way to understand, in depth, optimization
concept and to apply it correctly. Sometimes the word Optimization is confused with the
research of perfection, with the research of the perfect shape and so on. We have to assume that
the perfect architecture doesnt exist, that the best shape is an Illusion.

1 www.wikipedia.org Thames & Hudson, November 2010, p.117-119.


2 Jane Burry, Mark Burry, The New Mathematics of architecture,

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So technology will not provide architects of the final software that, just plugging in all the
data information relative to the site and the needs of the client, automatically designs the optimum
building. Or better, maybe it will exist, but it will really be the final optimum design? Are we going
to live in the perfect world, in perfect buildings, designed by perfect software?
Its not so sure. There will be always some random variables, Like in NATURE, that are
ungovernable, unpredictable, that in some point will make that optimum obsolete and not
anymore the most favorable.And this fact introduces another point of view: all human creations
are in a way Nature too and submitted to evolution rules too.
In Nature the evolution works like a blind algorithm that accidentally find the optimum, and
It has not a second or final aim. In Architecture the Designers and some says even in software,
have several second aims, and the final one is to find the best solution for a specific situation.
Werner Nachtigall states that the nature optimizes everything, and bionics (as human
products)are on a constant search for a specific optima, so they are similar but not the same.
In fact He introduces a crucial debate between differences and analogies between
Optimization in Nature and in technological systems.
Furthernore he says that In both of these elds, optima can usually be arrived at via
mathematical optimization computations In biology, the complexity of the inuencing factors
and optimization criteria is usually too great to formulate a denite objective function.3
Sometimes for this reason biology systems respond often with redundancy and not with
optimization.
The nature maybe is not so clever, it had just a lot of time to do a lot of attempt, or better a lot
of computation to solve huge problems. So in this way technological systems are a step forward.
In fact there are tools based on evolutionary strategy that compress time thanks to artificial
processors.
In Nature, for example in the development or evolution of an organism, the basic inputs for
optimization are really dynamic and environmental condition are constantly changing.
On the other hand, organisms and biological systems are in a continue loop of positive and
negative feedbacks with the physical environment, and in a way defines also the way of
optimization.
In architecture, in order to construct and to materialize through manufacts it is necessary
to set some fixed, and sometimes rigid, rule and until now it has been almost impossible to
build a real building that evolve like a living organism. Maybe Digital Softwares or better digital
applications will allow us to optimize a building, like Nature Does in terms of process engineering
and efficiency.

Nano-scale
Evolution in each living being from virus to the more complex mammal begins Its job from

3 Petra Gruber, Biomimetics in architecture,architecture of life and


buildings, SpringerWien, NewYork, 2011, p.15.

92
the smallest component to the whole.Architecture, contrary to biology, is not so much into the
molecular scale.
The science of construction materials is really dynamic but frequently applies technologies
and materials developed are discovered in other disciplines. Moreover in the profession we use
just the products, more worried about technical performance than the chain of production in terms
of energy consumption and efficiency.
Talking for example about Nano-material, usually they become popular when some product
that uses that technology is ready for the market and they are sold like high-performance products.
Within Nano-materials, Thin-films to apply to special glasses or additives for example in high-
strength concrete, are used to optimize performances of semi-finished products or materials.
Contrary to the dictum that new technologies bring about new morphologies, until now
Nano-engineering is improving the components, and the set-up structure is optimized just in
terms of process engineering. It means that materials are incredibly better, more durable, and
more efficient and sometimes more green than even before, but with same shapes and same
functions.
On the other hand we have the so-called Evolutionary Nano-technologies , developed
through self-assembly processes to find more complex and original conformation of atoms and
molecules.
Its really a big effort to apply self-organization in this scale, and the chaotic nature of Nano-
cosmos is incontrollable at that scale (or still incontrollable).
The behavior of these processes is unpredictable and its almost impossible to program or
to guide a process of optimization to achieve a certain product. But the research is on the way
and Jones states that, contrary to hard-nanostructures studied in the Eighties, this kind of Soft
Nano-Machines are made of soft biological building material and because their similarity to
Nano-machines constructed by Nature, function better in Nano scale4.
Like architects its impossible to have the control about this process of optimization in terms of
production and application. But its important to know that the Nano-scale probably, will introduce
a revolution, and its basic to understand all the potential of this technology and how it could
change the way we use this kind of materials.

Component and object scale


In component and object scale, maybe thanks to the scale range, Nature and Biology give a lot of
inputs in terms of optimization. It could be related that growth and proportion of nature are closer
to an Industrial design object scale.
One of the more interesting examples is the Claus Mattleck approach. He elaborated a
procedure called SKO (soft kill optimization) and another one called CAO, (computer aided
optimization). These two techniques imitate the adaptive growth of trees due to tropism by

4. Thorsten Klooster, Smart Surfaces, Birkhauser, 2008, p. 68-84.

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technical means. It could be applied in optimization process of mechanical elements to avoid
unexpected breaks.
The car company Opel developed a specific software topology optimization to design and
model constructive parts.
Some claims that is too much bio-morphic but in a way, is a good attempt to go over the
first step and to focus on the process of optimization made by tree and apply it to mechanical
structures.
Its a quite old technique and today, 3d parametric modelers and respective plug-ins (like
karamba or kangaroo for rhinoneros+grasshopper) are really powerful in this sense and could
help us to model and simulate the performance and in some case the multi-performance behavior
of a component or a object.
And in this field, the designer could achieve through this techniques, to model the object,
and to have almost the entire control of the design process and to simulate the real behaviors of
both in the fabrication process and in the real use.

Building scale
Some claims that the problem starts when we move from the object scale to the building scale,
but not just for a size matter but because a building its not just the sum of its parts like an
engineering product (due to industrial inheritance, once again).
A building is a complex system where structural materiality, functions and human sensibility
play the entire game. And the question is: Is it possible to optimize an entire building according
with its environment and all the variables?
It could be possible to optimize every single element of our designs but still remains a
software capable of assisting designers in a real time multi-performative optimization. A software
that care about all the building thought, like a unique complex system.Here there is the lack. In
some point the construction industry (in design, production and assembly) needs to open its eyes
and focus on the transformation and permutations of elements rather than on single parts and
separate materials.
Its the only way to go over industrial inheritance.
Maybe we are really close to this point and architects, engineers, informatics and humanist
as well need to work in interdisciplinary teams to find valid results.
Moreover Branko Kolarevic Says:
The sinuous, highly curvilinear forms could become not only an expression of new
aesthetics, or a particular cultural and socio-economic moment born out of the digital revolution,
but also an optimal formal expression for the new ecological consciousness that calls for
sustainable building.5
Could a shape be categorized as optimal and a formal expression could be aesthetically

5. Branko Kolarevic, Architecture in the digital age: design and


manufacturing, Spon Press, Taylor & Francis, 2003, p. 41.

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optimized?

Urban Media (global-social-enviromental) scale


After this question letswitch to the Urban-Media scale
Digital and euristich approaches in urban scale are, at the same time, a way to analyze data
and tool to create and organize information.
Cities are often compared with termites nest because of their complexity and relationship
between the inhabitants and the built space. We agree that both of them are ecosystems that
through positive and negative feedback can survive. There is no equilibrium but a continuum flow
of matter, energy and information.
Its really hard to optimize systems so complex, and termites manage to do it with simple rules
and with pheromone tracks, through a bottom up process.
Cities until now are open-mixed systems, officially Governed from top to down but with
many bottom up processes that interact between themselves and with the headquarters.
New technologies like smart-phones and the countless applications customized for the
urban life recollect information about our position, needs, routes and the quality of information is
comparable to the pheromone traces of the termites. This flow of information will transform our
lifestyle and our cities, and it will optimize the whole mechanism from the bottom and through
relative raw information.
What will the role of architecture be in this Era?
Keiichi Matsuda says that Architecture may be compared to cloud computing, in which
processing and storage requirements are removed from the local disk and handle by a distributed
network of servers (termed the cloud), accessed over the internet. Faster connection speeds
have made this a viable alternative to owning local processing and storage resources, which
lay dormant for most of the time. The cloud simultaneously serves multiple users performing a
wide variety of tasks; it is an on-demand infrastructure that facilitates any operation requested by
the user. The built environment becomes comparable to the servers that constitute the clouds
infrastructure, providing basic shelter and backend facilities, while programme is soft, handled
in the augmented perception of space.6
This vision of augmented-Space and augmented reality is well shown in his two videos:
Augmented (hyper)Reality: Domestic Robocop7 and Augmented City 3D8.

Consideration and conclusion


Talking with Keiichi Matsuda about the role of augmented devices in human life, and the
possibility to see them like a sort of optimization devices for our lives, and for the infrastructures
we use in our cities (or lets say in our global ecological system). He says that in These two videos
he really want to question whether these technologies really impact on efficiency, or could also

6 Keiichi Matsuda, DOMESTI/CITY the dislocated home in aug- 7 http://vimeo.com/8569187


mented space, 2010, pag 34 8 http://vimeo.com/14294054

95
serve as unwanted distraction/invasion.
In the end it could be a biological system or an architectural or a structural system or an
application for our smart device, or a philosophical way of living, or just the organization for a
normal day of our life.
We could optimize all. Our time, our energies, like an organism could optimize the vital function
of its body and a freak informatics could optimize the way its writing the code of an application
for the definitive application we are always in doubt about the real meaning of optimization and
its scale of application.
All this unanswered questions and inputs could be the first step for a different look to
optimization and Its role in architecture, nature and human life.

Miembros de Alfa 301 (abajo), junto al Conference Chair. De izquierda a derecha:


Antonio Vacca, Alberto T. Estvez, Diego Cuevas, Alessio Erioli, y Juan Cardenal.
Members of the Alpha 301 (below), together with the Conference Chair. From left to right:
Antonio Vacca, Alberto T. Estvez, Diego Cuevas, Alessio Erioli, and Juan Cardenal.

96
97
FABRICATING THE Diego Cuevas
BIODIGITAL

98
ControlMAD is founded by two spanish Architects and ART:
Diego Garcia Cuevas, M.Arch in Biodigital Architecture from the ESARQ (UIC) in Barcelona
Sergio Alonso Del Campo, M.Arch. In Structural Analysis of Monuments and Historical
Constructions, UPC, Barcelona.
ControlMAD Advanced Design Center S.L. is a small-medium scale atelier. It is placed in
Madrid, close to the town center and important landmarks as Atocha, the biggest railway station
in Spain, or El Matadero, the most important public Contemporary and experimental Art Center
in Spain.
The name of ControlMAD is compound of two words, Control because of the Numerical
Control technology and the first three letters of MADrid (even that MAD in english, in oppotition
to CONTROL has something of suggestive).
The office (140 sq.meters) is divided into three main parts; the classroom with capacity for
15 students, the soundproof CNC milling machine camera, and the technical office with 3, up to
5 working places.
ControlMAD is borned this year, 2011, officially in June, but we started Rhino, Arduino,
Grasshopper, Vray and Digital Fabrication courses in february.
Students with no knowledge of 3D come and they not only learn to take control of the 3D
model to obtain plans but also to fabricate parts or the whole of the objects. That is the most
appreciated part of every workshop, even saying one of the students this workshop is the best
investment of my life.

Importance of the physical object


As architects, we need to see our projects built, fabricated, or at least fabricated at a certain
scale. Rendering and images are ok, but the range of experiences that the material offers is
much bigger than the image or the 3D model visualization. We need to talk about touch of the
milled wood depending on the finishing, about changes of appearance, colours, brights, of the
milled stock, the smell, presence of the 1:1 scale prototipe... and all this feelings are only possible
thanks to the digital fabrication tools.

The importance of the Know-How


In previous experiencies, we have been working on buildings, furniture and sculptures (Taronja)
whose competitions were design and developed in Rhino, and since the beguinning, thought
to be prototiped and finally manufactured 1:1 scale with digital tools. Because of the scale (we
are used to develop architecture), our most used tool has been the 3 axis milling machine, with
standard architectural dimensions of the base, so we could place on it 1,22m. X 2,44m. boards.
We know about complex furniture shapes, doble-curved surfaces, and how to make them real
(tolerances, different kind of tools as ball, flat, drilling, etc. and how to use them to get to the
desired product).

Origins of ControlMAd and previous experiencies


Before creating ControlMAD, we have had previous experiencies with Rhino and Digital
Fabrication. Personally, I knew (Diego) Rhino when working for the architect Dominique Perrault
at Paris, winner of Mies Van Der Rohe award, and one of the most popular in the world. They

99
used Rhino to develop complex architecture, towers, for competitions and production. After that
experience in 2007, I entered the Official Master course in Biodigital Architecture at International
University of Catalonia (Barcelona), were we explored with software and natural processes until
its limits.
Sergio has just finished its Official Master course in Structural Analysis of Monuments and
Historical Constructions. It provides us with additional knowledge about structural calculation of
complex shapes with Finite Elements Method (FEM)
When the master in Biodigital Architecture was finished, some partners founded the Research
in natural systems applied to architecture group, ALFA301. We won a competition against 83
professional sculptors for a sculpture in Valencia (Spain). It was called Taronja. We developed it
completely in Rhino, and the 5m. long mold for the reinforzed white concrete was made with a
huge CNC milling machine.
Also we teach at the School of Architecture of University of Valladolid (Spain), Rhino,
Grasshopper, and digital strategies for fabrication, what gives us the opportunity to interact with
hundreds of students and future architects along the year.
Independently of this, all our students are invited to bring their *.3dm files for fabrication.
Usually they are surprised that getting their prototipes or their models built would be so easy. So
we expect that ControlMAD will soon be a place were people meet, fabricate, learn and discuss
about digital strategies, digital fabrication and 3d design with Rhino and parametrics.
Because of all this, and because we firmly think that the future of architecture goes through
the advanced design and digital tools for fabrication, we have created ControlMAD Advanced
Design Center.

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101
EMERGENT Juan Cardenal
PROCESSES
FOR ADVANCED
ARCHITECTURE

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During the final critics of our master course, a couple of years ago, the Professor
Pau Sola-Morales from the jury asked my group the following question: In what sense was
our design better than a project by Rafael Moneo? Or in other words, What makes emergent
processes and generative design for advanced architecture to improve the actual (unsustainable)
status based on subordination to rationalism?
At that moment, none of us could answer back something very coherent; we were perhaps
too submerged in the explanation of the process and the fabrication of the structural membrane,
so we ended up repeating conceptual relations of the form-finding and the generative algorithms.
Now, in this essay I would like to propose a few clues that may help answering to that question
and at the same time lead us to some others; like a brief mediation on the real practice and utility
of the emergent strategies for architectural needs.

Typologies
For a start, we could have a look at the different families of abstract results that represent
emergent behaviours in order to make groups with common formal capacities:
A.Singularities: Pods, Cells, Topological geometries
B.Repetitions / Variations / Mutations
C.Hierarchical: Fractals and Branching systems
D.Non-Hierarchical: Patterns/Matrix and Weaving systems
E.Chaotic
Normally one group will perform a certain action by applying simple rules to produce the next
family, gaining in complexity, until eventually reach a chaotic sequence of elements. Complex
systems may exhibit behaviours that are emergent.

Levels
Next, we might want to have a classification table. where advanced architecture projects may be
shortlisted depending to what range the parts or the whole, perform emergent results, regardless
to the strategy or process used along the design such as Parametric algorithms, Bio-mimetic
Strategies, Form-finding, Generative software, Bottom-up developments, etc.
This is, in a scale from 1 to 10:
1.Printing/Painting on glass or walls.
2.Superficial treatment on materials.
3.Furniture Design.
4.Windows and Ceilings.
5.Floors or slabs.
6.Pillars/beams.
7.Structural membrane (Skin)
8.Structural membrane (Inside & Outside)
9.(Generative) Spatial structure
10.Nature + Computation = DNA + Software

Properties
Last, and answering more directly to the question of this essay, we need to define what properties

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belong intrinsically to this kind of emergent architecture developed under digital and/or biological
approaches:
i.Self-Sufficient > More sustainable designs where material waste can be controlled and
minimized from the design to the fabrication. Projects respond to environmental analysis
and inherit natural properties that make them more independent from other resources.
The economy of form.
ii.Inter-Act > Many buildings can respond to external stimuli, such as climate or people,
they can see, talk, feel or even have memory.
iii.Adaptative Spaces > Space is richer now because projects can change trough time and
adapt to the circumstances. We no longer live in static boxes. It has a lot to do speed also.
iv.Self-Organizative > Natural growing systems or repetitive patterns, quite independent
to our own decisions; this means designs are less subjective? Do you think nature
is objective? Nevertheless, it seems we are not imposing our ideas from the beginning
or representing our feelings but perhaps undergoing a more scientific even democratic
approach.
v.Freedom = Freeform > Within the city there are many limitations, urban legislations,
client requests and physical environments that ought to be respected (or maybe not).
Perhaps, this is one of the reasons, why a number of emergent ideas can only be
developed into temporary Pavilions, outside our Schools or in Universal Exhibitions; only
with big investments they can be translated into real Buildings some place around the
world. But in the digital space there are no boundaries whatsoever; structures tend to
grow in every direction under different laws Shouldnt we bring out such freedom from
the computers to the streets, towns and cities?

Challenges
In conclusion, people are asking more of architecture and as architects we should be required
to design inhabitable organisms that are capable of developing functions and integrating the
processes of the natural world, not only for aesthetic desires but also for constructive, economic
and sociological purposes. All we need is to define which are the real frontiers and set up clear
challenges for the emergent practice of advanced architecture.
On one hand, how can we achieve cheaper constructions for this time of crisis when the
more contemporary a building looks like, the more expensive it becomes? Moreover, in what
ways can we collaborate with contractors, builders, private clients and public administrations to
understand the possibilities of these new and sometimes too complex strategies?
But on the other hand, architecture is always facing the responsibility of responding to
emergent needs, technologies and ever-changing programmes. Teams of engineers, biologists,
geneticists, programmers, architects and artists are already working together with common goals,
because it is necessary to generate complex knowledge with a multi-layered reading of realities
that traditionally have been thought of as separate. With a vision that embraces different fields of
research it is now time for interaction between disciplines.
Finally, every new urban or architectural production needs to update its materiality and
reinterpret centuries-old construction techniques, which are very directly based on the
transformation of locally available materials. Energy manipulation, nature, urban mobility,

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dwelling, systems of production and fabrication, the development of software and information
networks, etc. will allow the possibility for new prototypes of architecture, capable of engaging
with complex and changing environments.
MOLDING THE Alfa 301
ALGORITHM

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Taronja es una escultura que nace del estudio de la organografa interior de la naranja,
fruta muy presente en la agricultura de la Comunidad Valenciana, donde se encuentra el otrora
pueblo pesquero de Oropesa del Mar, hoy transformado en villa turstica. La escultura condensa
su esencia, sus formas, transmitiendo su riqueza interior y su vida. En un gesto elegante, en una
plaza al borde de la huerta, emerge como se yergue el frutal que brota de la tierra: con fuerza,
desnudez y como smbolo de la madre naturaleza.
Est generada a partir de un algoritmo de crecimiento natural basado en L-systems. Estos
sistemas matemticos perteneciente a los fractales, simulan las reglas de crecimiento de ciertas
estructuras naturales ramificadas, como los rboles, las algas o en este caso las nervaduras
interiores de una naranja.

Desarrollo
El anlisis de la organografa interna de la naranja, se centra en el endocarpio (parte interna, del
tipo carnosa-pulposa). Se realiz mediante la observacin macroscpica de una fina lmina del
interior de la misma a travs de la luz. A simple vista se puede apreciar la estructura ramificada
que la compone. Con la ayuda del software Starlogo, se gener una geometra similar, a partir
de unos algoritmos bsicos, replicando el crecimiento de manera anloga en un soporte digital.
Durante esta parte del proceso de diseo, la obra est generada bottom-up, y las decisiones
sobre la composicin de las formas y los huecos no las toma el arquitecto (escultor en este
caso) directamente, sino que se obtienen conclusiones a partir del propio crecimiento natural o
gentico-generativo para poder implementarlas en las distintas fases del proceso.

Ubicacin
La escultura se ubica en el cuadrante de la plaza ms cercano a las huertas para reforzar la idea
de convertirse en un hito de la memoria colectiva de la ciudad que crece cada da y ocupa el
espacio destinado anteriormente a las huertas. Se posa en uno de los extremos de la plaza en
un intento por respetar la importancia de la naturaleza representada explcitamente en la plaza
por el gran rbol central.
La cara anterior-interior de la escultura se inclina mirando hacia las huertas que rodean el
municipio de Oropesa. Sin embargo, la parte posterior-exterior de carcter protector, es lisa
a excepcin de unos pequeos poros de respiracin drmica, coincidentes con los centros de
gravedad de los alvolos interiores. Se consigue una abstraccin mimtica de la sofisticada piel
de la naranja que asla el fruto de los agentes atmosfricos, dando la espalda a la ciudad.

Construccin
Al tratarse de una escultura generada digitalmente, su construccin esta controlada en
todas sus dimensiones. Para la construccin a escala real en la plaza, se fresan los moldes
correspondientes a las dos caras en una mquina de control numrico (CNC), a partir del mismo
archivo tridimensional que produjo la maqueta. El molde final de poliestireno de media densidad
convenientemente asegurado, despus de ser mecanizado en taller y transportado a la plaza,
servir a modo de encofrado para el hormign armado realizado in situ consiguiendo el acabado
y la forma definitiva de la escultura:

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-Primeramente se proyecto y fabric un prototipo a escala 1:5 en poliuretano de media
densidad (450kg/m3), mecanizado mediante tecnologa CAD/CAM en una fresadora de control
numrico de 3 ejes, a partir del modelo tridimensional utilizando el plugin especifico RhinoCam.
-Posteriormente se pas a realizar el contra-molde a escala real 1:1 en poliestireno
expandido, en una maquina CNC de mayor capacidad. Como ya se mencionado, se trataba de
un encofrado formado por dos piezas (base y tapa) con espesor de 50 cm. de refuerzo en todas
sus dimensiones. En el interior se produca el volumen vaciado de la escultura, para su posterior
rellenado con hormign armado de color blanco.
- La armadura, tambin pudo ser creada y controlada en todas sus dimensiones gracias a
haber sido generada tambin digitalmente, disendose los dimetros anillos al milmetro dentro
de una malla electro-soldada alrededor de los agujeros.
- Las ltimas fases en la construccin fueron el vertido manual y posterior vibracin del
hormign; el empresillado del conjunto con una estructura prefabricada de madera con
bastidores alrededor de la caja para contrarrestar el empuje de la tapa adems de para facilitar
su transporte y colocacin; el desencofrado; y la colocacin en la plaza, mediante un sistema de
vainas de anclaje y roscas en acero preparadas en la zapata un mes antes para dicha funcin.
Las dimensiones finales de la Taronja son de 3.15m x 1.45m x 0.4m y un peso estimado de
3.400 kg.

Crticas
El Certamen de Escultura de Oropesa del Mar, es un concurso consolidado, de carcter
internacional, al que se presentaron durante esta X edicin 82 propuestas.
El jurado estaba compuesto por escultores y crticos del mundo del arte:
Taronja es la constatacin del auge que las nuevas tecnologas tienen en todos los mbitos
de la vida y tambin del arte. Logra plasmar por un lado la belleza de las formas orgnicas
que se suceden en la naturaleza y por otro denota todo un interesante y complejo desarrollo
informtico que la hace muy sugerente. Toni Caldern (crtico de arte)
Tambin crea una confrontacin del material (hormign armado) con una imagen blanda y
orgnica en sus formas, lo que es una aportacin interesante. Jacinto Moros (escultor).
La excelente pieza ganadora parece generada con los mgicos recursos que el ordenador
presta a quien tiene la capacidad para usarlo y el sentimiento para extraer de l formas poticas.
Rosala Torrent (crtico de arte).

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109
INTRO Alberto T. Estvez
PROFESIN
BIODIGITAL
(Breve) Presentacin del
despacho profesional
Genetic Architectures Office

El primer estudio profesional de arquitectu-


ra y diseo, avanzado, pionero en Espaa,
conectado directamente con laboratorios de
gentica real y de produccin digital para
implementar sistemticamente tcnicas
biolgicas y digitales, y construir entera-
mente con medios digitales a escala natural
1:1. Algo que lo sita a la vanguardia mun-
dial, en estos comienzos del siglo XXI, en
que la tendencia consolidada del organicis-
mo digital va fundindose poco a poco con
la nueva bioarquitectura

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Junto a la creacin del Grupo de Investigacin Arquitecturas Genticas, que
lleva el Mster Universitario (oficial) de Arquitectura Biodigital y el Programa de Doctorado
Arquitecturas Genticas, naci necesariamente la tercera pata que soporta el conjunto de este
nuevo entendimiento de la arquitectura biodigital y gentica, la pata profesional: la Genetic
Architectures Office, un despacho profesional de arquitectura y diseo que hila las experiencias
provenientes de los campos de la investigacin y docencia en proyectos reales, concretos,
algunos de los cuales se presentan aqu y ahora, realizados desde la mencionada prctica
profesional. Algo que, viendo la realidad de cmo se desempea el trabajo del arquitecto con
estas nuevas herramientas biolgicas y digitales, hacen pensar en que el nuevo profesional
de la arquitectura y el diseo del siglo XXI pasar del casco blanco a la bata blanca (por lo
menos en parte), de la obra artesanal al laboratorio cientfico. Pues, se est desarrollando un
nuevo reto de futuro, que encuentra en los jvenes arquitectos de todo el mundo cada vez ms
inters. Nuevas tcnicas biolgicas, nuevas tcnicas digitales, dan nuevas posibilidades, nuevas
ventajas, que corresponden a una nueva arquitectura a explorar. Los fundamentos tericos y
las investigaciones que se estn llevando a cabo, apuntadas en captulos anteriores, es lo que
acaba cuajando en proyectos como estos.

Alberto T. Estvez (Genetic Architectures Office), Sporopollenin houses, 2009-2010.

Trabajos que van desde la gran escala a la ms pequea, desde la fusin de la arquitectura con
el paisaje ilustrado con el conjunto residencial entre Europa y Asia, o el parque metafsico
en la zona mediterrnea, cuyas imgenes se adjuntan o edificios concretos, como el
rascacielos biodigital en el frente martimo barcelons o las Sporopollenin houses, hasta una
serie de lmparas, pasando por mobiliario e interiores de por ejemplo el centro mdico en
Barcelona. Segn se puede apreciar, su realizacin con herramientas digitales propician sus
formas orgnicas, pudindose entonces enmarcarse en el movimiento del organicismo digital,
que se ha convertido en la primera vanguardia consolidada de la arquitectura del siglo XXI. Pero
previamente se concibe su intuicin arquitectnica desde el biolearning. Y ms all, al aplicarse
enfoques y tcnicas biolgicas y digitales, se asoman a la que ser la segunda vanguardia de
nuestra poca, hoy en da en pleno proceso de desarrollo, la arquitectura biodigital, justo la que
tiene en cuenta ambas vertientes, la biolgica y la digital.
Claro que cualquier construccin biodigital ha debido aprender tambin de los sistemas
estructurales que la naturaleza nos muestra como los ms eficientes, los ms testeados a lo
largo de millones de aos de ensayos prueba-error, los que mejor relacin resistencia-ahorro de
material tienen, que ha hecho que el laboratorio de la naturaleza nos lleve una ventaja difcil de
alcanzar, por lo que simplemente se trata de asumir la leccin.

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Alberto T. Estvez, detalles de bamb, de izquierda a derecha, aumentos 1x, 200x, 400x, 3000x, realizado con microscopio electrnico de barrido
FEI Quanta 200 (SCT-UB): investigacin sobre estructuras microscpicas, sobre el primer nivel en que las masas indeterminadas de clulas se
organizan, viendo en este caso como el bamb se forma de pequeos bambs, que a su vez se conforman de pequeos bambs, segn es la
manera en que tales masas indeterminadas de clulas crecen desde una primera instancia genesaca, primigenia.

Esto incluye por tanto la paradoja del cepillo, la del bpedo versus el ciempis, la de que una
hormiga o un ser humano no pueden aumentarse de escala sin ms, 10, 15, 20 veces su tamao,
sin que colapse su propia estructura. En cambio s puede construirse una gran hormiga a base
de pequeas hormigas, como las torres humanas en Catalua, que llegan a espectaculares
alturas formadas por muchas personas una sobre otra, y apoyndose entre todos. Estructuras,
pues, con varios niveles de fractalidad, como se ve en las estructuras de las esponjas formadas
a su vez de minsculas esponjas que las integran (desarrollado en el rascacielos biodigital de
Barcelona), o en el bamb, segn hemos estado investigando con el microscopio electrnico
de barrido. Herramienta clave para estudiar estructuras naturales en su nivel ms relevante,
genesaco y primigenio. Tal investigacin, por trabajar con tcnicas genticas, por tener como
objetivo principal la aplicacin de la gentica a la arquitectura, se concentra en el estrato en el
cual las masas celulares emergen y se auto-organizan como primer escaln estructural. As,
con ese microscopio se puede bajar hasta una perspectiva de miles de aumentos. Y entonces,
de pronto, esto abre una dimensin an poco conocida de la realidad, que segn la lectura
e interpretacin que se haga de las imgenes, inditas, extraas, sorprendentes, lleva a una
fascinante surrealidad. Visin que crea un entorno ms propicio para aproximarse al organicismo
digital, para justificarlo, y hasta para redimirlo si se quisiera estigmatizar la expresividad y la
plasticidad en la arquitectura. Es en ese momento cuando las obras que siguen estas vas
despliegan un enigmtico poder evocador, merced a lo que es autntica competencia del
arquitecto, una verdadera especializacin, el trabajo con la escala.

De izquierda a derecha: Alberto T. Estvez (Genetic Architectures Office), parque metafsico Green is not a colour y conjunto residencial
bioluminiscente Coals & sapphires, 2009-2010, Biodigital Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona, 2008-2009. Despus de procesos de biolearning, uso de
tecnologas CAD-CAM para producir elementos de arquitectura y diseo, directamente, a escala natural 1:1, fabricados con CNC y/o impresora 3D.

112
Tomando un primer trabajo, como suele hacerse en los proyectos de arquitectura biodigital, la obra
del centro mdico de Barcelona parte desde el biolearning, desde la investigacin microscpica,
en este caso desde estructuras de polen y radiolarias, desde sistemas naturales que han sido
perfeccionados durante millones de aos de evolucin, hasta alcanzar la alta relacin eficiencia/
economa que les es propia. Algo corroborado al observarse en nuestras investigaciones que
en ese nivel original, en el origen del hecho estructural, las estructuras animales y vegetales
siguen las mismas estrategias y formas: el polen (vegetal) y la radiolaria (animal), los pelillos
de plataneros (vegetal) y los huesos (animal), las semillas del arce (vegetal) y el coral (animal),
etc. Su aplicacin a la arquitectura conllevar tambin las ventajas que encuentra la naturaleza.
En esa lnea arrancan entonces los estudios para extraer las reglas genticas y los parmetros
estructurales para configurar el proyecto con herramientas digitales. As, la potencia de estas
herramientas y su paralelismo con lo gentico, en su aplicacin, permitir su replicacin, su
mutacin, su adaptacin. Todo con simultaneidad, como si se estuviese en el laboratorio de la
evolucin, como si en pocos minutos de diseo se pudiese desarrollar delante de nuestros ojos
lo que la naturaleza hubiese necesitado millones de aos.
Pues, para resolver espacialmente este centro mdico, obtenido su ADN digital, que permite
incluso que el proyecto arquitectnico emerja solo, se fabric digitalmente, sin ahorrarse el
esfuerzo de cumplir estrictamente con el Manifiesto no models, no moulds!. Es decir, con
tecnologas CAD-CAM, nicamente trabajando con produccin digital directa de elementos
de arquitectura a escala natural 1:1, desde los mencionados puntos de vista de arquitecturas
genticas enfocados por el biolearning.

Alberto T. Estvez (Genetic Architectures Office), centro mdico, Barcelona, 2008-2009 (-2011): despus de un proceso de biolearning, se trabaja
con tecnologas CAD-CAM para producir los elementos arquitectnicos directamente a escala natural 1:1, desde puntos de vista genticos.
Arriba, de izquierda a derecha: dibujo digital, fabricacin digital (con escala humana detrs), instalacin con Biolamps y vista del interior.
Abajo, de izquierda a derecha: detalles de polen, a 6000x y 20000x aumentos, tomados con microscopio electrnico de barrido FEI Quanta 200
(SCT-UB), fabricacin digital con CNC a escala natural 1:1, a modo de cielo raso, y cielo raso con aplicacin de Biolamps fotografiado segn lo ve
el ojo humano.

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De la misma manera que se ha comentado para el centro mdico, sucedera en el rascacielos,
el Biodigital Barcelona Skyscraper, partiendo en este caso de una investigacin sobre esponjas
marinas, para un edificio que debera situarse en el mar, junto a la costa barcelonesa. Tras
investigar su estructura mediante el microscopio electrnico de barrido, se realizaron tambin
estudios experimentales bioparamtricos, para extraer otra vez las reglas genticas y los
parmetros estructurales para su desarrollo con herramientas digitales. Algo que de nuevo
permitira incluso que el diseo arquitectnico emergiese solo. En el entendimiento de que
merced a la consecucin de un ADN digital puede producirse ntegramente de manera digital,
pues What can be drawn can be built. En efecto, hoy en da lo que se puede dibujar se puede
construir. Y ms an, lo que se puede capturar digitalmente se puede construir.
Y como un protocolo de investigacin gentica puede llegar a obtener y/o montar el ADN
biolgico, natural, real, que interese, la va definitiva sera la fusin de ambas tecnologas, las
biolgicas y las digitales, en constante eleccin para cada parte del edificio, chequeando el
proceso ms eficiente para su aplicacin fsica. As, en este caso, la estructura sera fabricada
digitalmente in situ, con mquinas de control numrico e impresoras 3D especialmente pensadas
para la arquitectura. Cuando en este comienzo de siglo somos los arquitectos los que vamos ms
avanzados que los ingenieros, pues, a pesar de que la tecnologa ya est lista, an no nos han
preparado las mquinas que necesitamos hoy en da para construir lo que ya podemos dibujar.
Que por tanto deben estar diseadas para moverse automatizadamente por la obra, adaptadas,
con rales, ruedas, gras. Simultneamente, tras su correspondiente investigacin gentica
que lo haga posible, se hara crecer de manera natural esponjas marinas bioluminiscentes, a
modo de densa celosa de cierre y panel luminoso vivo. Llegados a este punto, es como si todo
estuviese an por hacer (por nacer)...

Alberto T. Estvez - Aref Maksoud (Genetic Architectures Office), Biodigital Barcelona Skyscraper, frente martimo de Barcelona, 2008-2009.
Las 4 primeras fotos de la izquierda son renders del archivo de scripting 3D mostrando los resultados con herramientas paramtricas de las impli-
caciones de las reglas genticas y estructurales de la investigacin microscpica sobre esponjas marinas. Las tres fotos centrales son detalles de
esponjas marinas, a 100x, 400x y 3000x aumentos, fotografiado por Alberto T. Estvez con microscopio electrnico de barrido FEI Quanta 200 (SCT-
UB). Y la imagen de la derecha es una vista del rascacielos biodigital.

Sigue aqu ahora la lnea de lmparas y mobiliario biodigital, que, una vez sintetizado su ADN
digital, permite replicaciones, adaptaciones, mutaciones, variaciones, todo el rico recorrido que
se verifica en el desarrollo de la naturaleza. En este caso tambin con aplicaciones de Biolamps,
de luz viva, sin electricidad ni instalaciones, creadas en la segunda fase de bsqueda de una
eficiente bioluminiscencia, llevadas a cabo por el Grupo de Investigacin Arquitecturas Genticas.
Otras ejemplificaciones que tambin presentan lo que se est comentando en estas pginas
sera el Biodigital Barcelona Pavilion, que supone un paso ms en la ideacin de espacios

114
Alberto T. Estvez - Diego Navarro (Genetic Architectures Office), Biodigital Barcelona Furniture & Lamps, Barcelona, 2010
(para fabricacin digital con CNC y/o impresora 3D: en el centro con aplicacin de Biolamps).

y estructuras respecto de la Instalacin Arquitectura Biodigital de eme3 (CCCB, Barcelona,


2010), que a su vez procede de nuevos desarrollos (replicaciones, adaptaciones, mutaciones,
variaciones) de los paneles iniciados para el centro mdico de Barcelona.
Y por ltimo se puede a sacar a colacin el Kindergarten, que sigue tambin los procesos
de diseo y produccin vistos anteriormente, de lo que se est explicando se entiende por
arquitectura biodigital. Consiguiendo un paisaje mgico, ambivalente y en continuidad interior-
exterior, acogiendo a sus usuarios bajo emparrados en el contexto de la importante zona de
viedos en que se ubica. Un proyecto que, en su retorno al origen siguiendo el biolearning,
paradjicamente ofrece surrealidad al hacerse realidad.
Pues bien, al igual que ocurre con cualquier ser vivo, que tiene un ADN nico que lo
condiciona por entero, en todos estos proyectos la morfognesis de cada una de sus partes se
rige por las mismas leyes subyacentes, ecuaciones matemticas comunes que controlan todo el
dibujo digital, las mismas que permitirn su fabricacin automatizada, y que por tanto conceden
un carcter emergente a la armona de las partes en el todo: como en la naturaleza.

Alberto T. Estvez - Diego Navarro (Genetic Architectures Office), Kindergarten, Vilob del Peneds, 2009 (para fabricacin digital con CNC).
Fotos izquierda, arriba y abajo: Alberto T. Estvez, investigacin sobre bioestructuras, con microscopio electrnico de barrido FEI Quanta 200
(SCT-UB).

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SOFT & FURRY Diego Navarro

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Con motivo del festival de arquitectura eme3, que tuvo lugar en el CCCB, para su
edicin del 2011, se encarg a la Genetic Architectures Office una topografa, un objeto o entorno
que ocupase los espacios vacos que las instalaciones de bienvenida dejaban, y que adems
resultase til para los actos que all se celebraran.
Ya de por si, la naturaleza dura del patio del CCCB (piedra, vidrio y acero) invitaba al
agradable contraste de las blandas, curvas y suaves formas orgnicas. Pero el proyecto del que
aqu se habla, un elemento bautizado como Biodigital Barcelona Chair, no es slo un juego de
contrastes entre lo urbano y lo natural, sino la creencia de una nueva naturaleza arquitectonizada,
modelada y diseada para suplir las necesidades de las personas, es el retorno de lo ms
primigenio y natural a travs de las tcnicas ms avanzadas.
Usando software de modelado orgnico se dise un elemento, un banco, con unos puntos
necesarios (secciones donde una persona ha de poder sentarse o acostarse) y se calcularon las
transiciones entre tales puntos, repartiendo de una manera homognea en toda la superficie los
esfuerzos y tensiones superficiales.
En su inicio, la idea era disear y producir slo con medios digitales una malla estructural
lo suficientemente densa como para resistir el peso y contener tierra en su interior sin perder la
forma: tierra que en ltima instancia quedara tambin sujeta por una lamina de geotextil. Para
desarrollar dicha estructura, cuyas piezas son cada una singular y distinta del resto, es necesario
aplicar programas de CAM y mquinas de control numrico que nos permitan fabricarlas con la
mayor precisin y con el menor gasto. Claro que esta opcin, con una estructura y tierra dentro,
supona una intervencin fija, permanente, de un mueble inmvil, aunque resulte ser una
solucin ms adecuada para el crecimiento del csped u otras plantas que se deseen integrar
en el banco.
Sin embargo, para la accin que se requera en el CCCB, se opt por una versin ligera
de la topologa, donde el cuerpo y estructura estuviesen formados a partir de la mecanizacin
de bloques de poliestireno expandido. La ligereza del material permite as dividirlo en piezas y
transportarlo con facilidad hasta el lugar de la intervencin, listo para ser plantado. De la misma
manera que, a su vez, facilit tambin su desmontaje.
En ambas versiones el csped se aplica en rollos desplegables que son anclados a los
respectivos materiales, adaptando as el csped a las formas del confort humano, a la forma
del banco, quedando todo l recubierto de un elemento natural, vegetal, conocido por su
domesticacin y comodidad.

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El proyecto de un parvulario en Vilob del Peneds nace como la unin de una edificacin
preocupada por la integracin en su entorno y el uso de los elementos arquitectnicos ms
bsicos. En contraposicin, dicha arquitectura se desarrolla, al igual que otros proyectos del
Genetic Architectures Office,a travs de una mirada en el mundo microscpico y las maravillas
que este oculta.
Anunciado como centro de educacin infantil, el proyecto extiende una enorme prgola
cubierta de parras reminiscencia de la cultura vincola y los emparrados propios de la zona
que define el espacio de recreo y ocio, nicamente interrumpida por protuberancias puntuales
que albergan usos y otros sucesos singulares como rboles, estanques, accesos, etc.
El resultado es un paisaje enigmtico, definido por una topologa amable y natural pero a
la vez claramente digitalizada y estructurada mediante vigas de madera laminada para que
resulte fcil de ejecutar. Vuelve a ser, como se explicaba al comienzo, una nueva naturaleza
arquitectonizada a travs de la efervescencia digital.

El Biodigital Barcelona Pavilion y la lnea de mobiliario llamada Biodigital conforma la prueba real
y resultado de la unin de los conceptos que definen los objetivos del Grupo de Investigacin
Arquitecturas Gneticas y el trabajo profesional de la Genetic Architectures Office.
A partir del estudio realizado con microscopio de barrido electrnico de elementos biolgicos
vegetales y animales (en este caso, polen y radiolarias) se extrapolan geometras de fascinante
complejidad con propiedades que bien pueden ser readecuadas para necesidades propias
de una mayor escala. Descubrir la increble capacidad de adaptacin y heterogeneidad de la
naturaleza es abrir un campo lleno de posibilidades y opciones en el mundo de la arquitectura.
Y esta complejidad requiere a su vez una comprensin geomtrico-descriptiva y material.
Requiere un esfuerzo de abstraccin para comprender su funcionamiento y poder replicarlo en
beneficio propio. Una vez entendido en su esencia, compositiva, abstracta, se puede deformar
para encajar en las necesidades de un pabelln o de una pieza de mobiliario.
La descripcin geomtrica a travs de programas paramtricos permite modificar dichas
formas constantemente, a partir de su origen, sin dificultad, produciendo una coleccin de
objetos distintos pero sujetos a unas caractersticas comunes que reflejan la esencia de la
abstraccin geomtrica que los define. En el caso del mobiliario es sencillo distinguir cmo un
mismo elemento se transforma para cubrir distintas solicitaciones. Y en el caso del pabelln cada
uno de los huecos es distinto, respondiendo a las necesidades estructurales y formales.

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Por ltimo, aludir al proceso de fabricacin, el cual no se podra llevar a cabo sin el joven
dilogo que entablan CAM (computed assisted manufacturing) y CAD (computed assisted
design). Gracias a l, no supone ms esfuerzo producir cien piezas distintas que cien iguales,
anunciando as una nueva tipologa en los procesos de la construccin arquitectnica.
ANIMATION Arne Riekstins
METHODS IN URBAN
PLANNING

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Animation Methods in Urban Planning is one of six experiments done by author for the
PhD research thesis Innovative Digital Systems in Contemporary Architecture. This PhD thesis
researches the contribution of digital systems and their usage extents in the real-life architectural
design, defining main advantages of these systems and reviewing their innovative potentials. In
world, the accomplishment of many contemporary architectural trends has been possible only
due to digital design tools. The research of these digital systems is essentially actual in Latvia,
because so far they have not reached the comprehensive usage level if being compared to the
world experience.
Author emphasizes to design in utterly new ways, architects must use innovative design
software and hardware that at the same time breaks the classical notions about the art of making
architecture. New kind of strategies need to be developed and applied. It is possible to promote
the variety of creativity in architecture by just using the innovative and unconventional digital
systems. Only by experimenting and developing advanced ways of design, it is possible to learn
new construction methods and not vice versa.

Urban Architecture
People have been designing our World since the times of the Ancient empires. The utmost
accumulation of design in a broader scale is being seen as urban architecture. Historically, also
the theories behind urban planning have been developing, but still architecture is one of the
slowest to be moved along with the latest achievements in all other design industries. The reason
for it is the scale and existing built structures in contemporary cities. Most large developments
have happened during dynamic booming of economies. We must also be aware that incredibly
complex processes of artistic expression, politics, finance, as well as most public and private
interests nowadays affect any design decision. According to Karl Chu (as he said in lecture on
February 29, 2008 at UIC ESARQ, Barcelona), the founder of theory on genetic architectures, we
have exhausted what we have been doing.

Process of the Experiment


Author has participated in an international biennale Advanced Architecture Settimo Tokyo
workshop Design with Maya, MEL script and plug-in, held in Italy, in June 2009. In the final
design task author made an academic cooperation project with Matteo Lo Prete, an architect
from Italy to design an addition for Torino Lingotto master plan, originally designed by architect
Massimiliano Fuksas. Workshop tutors represented two leading project architects of Zaha Hadid
Architects, London Fulvio Wirz and Ludovico Lombardi.
Design involved several consecutive design steps and lots of modeling, programming scripts
and setting parametric relations. Whole task was to experiment and find if there is any limit
of possibilities in Fluid Urbanism approach using latest computational tools and theory behind
generative design. Initial stage was to import existing urban canvas and street network of the
Torino Lingotto area as a 3D model. After that, a new grid was formed which later on will be used
to manipulate geometries and affect unexpected form solutions, obtained by previously defined
and set-up design decisions. At this point authors set up programmatic rules for virtual fluid
emissions in various colors that would define how the programmed script would express building
typologies.

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Three main zones were chosen and defined: blue high-rise area, red low-rise area and green
landscape architecture. The zones were chosen manually only defining the emission points,
regarding future needs for them in the context of the planning addition. The emissions were
calibrated so that they disperse in the territory taking into consideration existing built structures
as obstacles to flow around them.
Authors then programmed a behavioral script that would stretch and squeeze previously
set up grid to correspond the emitted flows. The new grid with its structures and street network
seamlessly continued to surrounding blocks of the city leaving no traces of joining points, because
any transformation that was happening inside of the new grid was still linked to surrounding area.

Once the grid was animated and the right variant chosen from the sequence of possibilities that,
according to authors, suited the best vertical elevation of new structures was modeled. New
high-rise buildings were adjusted to fit in major viewpoints and panoramic silhouettes.

Authors did several smoothing operations and modeled the high-rises to suit aerodynamic and
esthetic conditions, whereas lower level of the grid was converted into landscape architecture. As
authors made a decision to run all traffic underground, this decision freed up whole street level to

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pedestrians allowing new landscape architecture park structure to flow into area.
This experiment has proven that such animation methods as Fluid Urbanism approach
may be obtained with various computer tools that derive from non-architectural fields. Today
we can handle urban dynamics in animation softwares that have been developed for the use in
Hollywood and other movie industries. Cleverly linking contemporary theories and visualization
possibilities we may come up to the extension of the classic urban planning, that is being slowly
pushed into futuristic trends and new horizons. In the design process of Fluid Urbanism there are
practically no limits.
We may already say that architects have a great influence on cities that evolve and are
in constant developments towards the needs of modern society. Urban planning architecture
is gaining a new horizon and becoming a playground for new possibilities we never thought
about before, rejecting the tired standards reserved for building and compel us to reflect on the
architects role as it is being reprogrammed by technical evolutions. Fluid Urbanism is ultimately
balanced between radical progress, considered inquiry and poetic reflection.

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PROCEDURAL Egoitz Conte
IMAGINATION

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As I read in the Metapolis Dictionary, the imagination is the quality of the advanced
architectonic production. The imagination transforms the reality, stablish relations where they
were unexpected. It show us the paths to scale the problems. But the imagination needs to have
memory and a certain base of knowledge.
This knowledge is not only based in what we have learnt, is also based in what we have to
learn from our environment. We can create processes from our learning. The learning must be
thought as the searching of a way to proceed, which is the the result of the explanation of the
reality. Project is explanation. To project is to explain.
The architectonic projects that are going to be show later respond to this learning. Are the
result of different processes.

LM_fluxe
This project is situated in the town of Ordua. Because of a big flood, the swimming pools of
the town where ruined. The objective of the contest proposed was to rebuild all the affected area
with the idea of not to be flooded again.
The concept for the project was developed by the next idea. As in the engravings of Piranesi,
the contemporary environment could be understood today as an infinite interior without defined
limits where the habitants are placed as flow, are converted to circulation.
In this context the hydrology has an important role establishing an order not responding to
formal criterion, it responds to natural dynamics that creates marks with temporal meanings.
The flow, understood as energy, can create systems that interconnect different
strategical points placed in the environment. This system becomes the guideline of the
proposal.

The hydrological analysis is also an important part for the new configuration of the new landscape.
From this analysis we can understood the different hydrological avenues. For the new buildings
not to be affected by the flood, is important to know in which height is situated the 500 years
flooding avenue.
As projecting tool to develop the idea proposed we used the electric field plug-in for the
Rhinoceros 3D software. As we understood the energy that connect different nodes over the
terrain like an electrical impulse, we saw that this tool worked for the approach. With this tool,
we can represent different electric fields but we have to reinterpret the information given by the
software.

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After the analysis of the field and found the strategical points of the environment, we proceed to
configure the system. In different steps and with a better learning of the new space that could
be created in each one, we arrive to a representation of the system where the flows create
an harmonic link between all the surrounding elements. This system becomes the guideline of
the proposal. Each element of the project (buildings, topography, itineraries and equipments) is
conditioned by the energy flow.

A new topography is created with the objective to place the buildings over the 500 hundreds
year hydrological avenue as said before. The new paths that are created to connect different
spaces are a reflex of the energy flow. The buildings enclosures blend with the paths and could
be understood as a part of the new topography. The whole proposal becomes an organic and
functional complex where all the different elements creates an only unit.

Hurreitz
The objective of the contest was to build a canopy for one of the main streets of Urretxu. This
street was used for the town market and the new structure was to be thought for support this use.
The concept of the project comes from the etymological origin of Urretxu. It is an uncertain
origin but the most extended hypothesis considers that the name comes from the basque

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language and means something similar to a hazels forest. The word is a phytonym derived
from hurr(e)itz, that means hazel in basque.
The hazel is taken as the identity element of the metropolis. The objective is to create a
relation between the canopy, the environment and the identity of the place. The leaf of the
hazel is taken as the element that inspires the intervention.

Taken the leaf of the hazel as the starting point, we embrace a biomimetic process, not in the way
of copying the shapes of the leaf, in the way that we learn from the hazel, we synthesize it and
we aplly what we have learnt with the use of digital tools.
In the analysis we made, we found that there was a main structure. In this structure, all the
leaf was hold. Attached to this main structure is a secondary one. This secondary structure grows
in each side of the main structure in an alternative position. Its also important to see that this
structure grows following the shape of a parabola. Finally, we have the membranes that grow
from the ending points of the secondary structure with the shape of a saw.
We can synthesize the underlying mathematical laws which are present in the leaf and apply
them with a digital system to create a model.

Using the tool Grasshopper we can programme all the system that manages all the information
obtained from the analysis. We can control different parameters with the objective to get different
elements of the same family. We can vary the height, the wideness, the number of the structural
elements... We have the control of the process.
For our proposal, we organize all the area with two shapes, repeated many times. With this,
we can close all the street. The structure will be done in steel and the membranes with a high
resistance textile material compound by fibre glass and silicone. The base of the structure have
the idea to be a container for the grass so, with the shapes of the elements, we could bring the
rainwater to them.

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As said before, we had projected a canopy that creates a relation between the environment
and the identity of the place.

Shlvs
The project was the reform of an old flat. The new proposal was thought to create a great main
open space separated from the bedrooms by a furniture. There was the need to create a furniture
able to respond to spacial and practical questions. The furniture couldnt be closed, being only a
definition for the space.
With this start point, the idea was to create a system that responds to this specific case
but could be applied in other situations.

The shelve system proposed respond to a very easy ruleset. With four points we are able to
define the space in where the system must be. And with other four points, the tangents to create
the shapes of the shelves.

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With this main ruleset, it was easy to build the system in Grasshopper and give more
parameters to the system. With this parameters we could manage to make the system take part
of the surrounding area creating complexer shapes.
To parametrize all the structure makes also to be adaptable to different starting condition.
This makes the design could be use in other spaces, creating for each one a unique piece part
of a family.
After the definition of the project came the contest of building it. The firs idea was to use a
CNC machine, but it was not affordable economically by the client. So finally we took the decision
to make it manually. We could manage to build it, because of that, we can say that we succeed
in the construction.

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DISEO NATURAL Fernando Paredes

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La cultura chamnica utiliza un ritual muy particular de iniciacin, el ritual del
olvido, para poder escuchar a la sabia naturaleza es necesario olvidar lo aprendido del hombre,
el hombre no crea descubre, dice Gaud, como arquitectos, diseamos espacio para un
ser humano, debemos entonces comprender su naturaleza para poder generar su entorno,
emprendamos pues esta bsqueda del diseo natural siguiendo algunos indicios, hagamos
una regresin, viajemos en el tiempo al momento de la misma creacin, donde una increble
explosin de poder da lugar al universo, un big bang funda los primeros tomos, los primeros
elementos, la vida primera, el nacimiento de un mundo que desarrolla gradualmente en los
aos venideros, progresando desde organismos evolucionados a la evolucin de la vida misma,
millones de especies habitan nuestro planeta, entre ellos un mecanismo biolgico nico, el ser
humano. Para nosotros la vida inicia en dos componentes primordiales, el vulo y el esperma,
ambos se unen para crear una clula nica que refugiada en el tero materno se multiplica hasta
25 billones, conformando un mismo organismo, un milagro de vida.
En toda esta secuencia evolutiva que presenciamos, a travs de esta retrospeccin de
quienes somos, macro y micro, hombre y universo. Cabe preguntarnos, Cual es lenguaje que
utiliza la naturaleza? Para ser ms explcitos, existen lneas rectas en todo el proceso
Luigi Collani dice el ser humano, el ultimo animal en poblar este planeta fue quien invento la
lnea recta, y es que la naturaleza est mayoritariamente compuesta de curvas.
Ser que la utilizacin de la recta como lenguaje en nuestro diseo del espacio genera
entornos contra natura?
Puede esto causar un efecto psicolgico negativo en el cotidiano del hombre, en tal reflexin
recomiendo al hombre encajonado de Javier Senosain.

Entre rectas y curvas


En la arquitectura actual prima la recta y el ortogonal, sin embargo en la naturaleza siempre ha
prevalecido un lenguaje fluido, comparando compositivamente ambos lenguajes, encontramos
que una recta est compuesta de 2 puntos mientras que la curva nace de tres, es este punto
extra el que conquista la tercera dimensin ubicando la lnea en el espacio, as podramos deducir
que las curvas son un lenguaje tridimensional, a travs de ellas podemos lograr diferentes
prestaciones que difcilmente con las rectas, veamos algunos ejemplos:
Una reflexin de Buckmister Fuller cuando diseaba una casa a partir de un silo de
almacenaje de maz, comparaba dos lenguajes geomtricos, a igual permetro un crculo alberga
aprox. 30 % ms espacio que un cuadrado, en tres dimensiones este fenmeno mejora a un
40%. Eso en trminos constructivos es definitivamente economizar material.
Otra caracterstica de las curvas es su capacidad de lograr estructuras dinmicas, Con el
lenguaje ortogonal solo generamos esquinas y la formula es sencilla, las esquinas se rompen,
sino preguntemos a un fabricante de barcos, el lenguaje formal influye directamente en el
comportamiento estructural, los arcos distribuyen mejor los esfuerzos dinmicos.
Tambin a travs de las curvas logramos flexibilidad, un buen comparativo seria la relacin
arco y flecha, o prolongaciones que generan espirales como los que se encuentran en la
amortiguacin de un vehculo o en los sarcillos de una enredadera.

Geometras de la naturaleza

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Alguien dijo Dios tiene buen gusto, sin duda la belleza natural no tiene comparacin, presente una
suerte de programacin fractal en geometras que componen algoritmos recursivos, estructuras
bsicas se repiten a diferentes escalas produciendo auto similitudes, nubes, montaas, arboles
o copos de nieve, una clula es el mejor ejemplo, su multiplicacin e interaccin permite la
formacin de tejido dando lugar a un organismo vivo, sin duda este principio aplicado a la
arquitectura industrial representara lograr mucho con muy poco.
A medida que geometras naturales van surgiendo, la naturaleza va revelando sus secretos,
simetras y asimetras, expresiones matemticas manifestadas por fuerzas vivas.
Podemos generar vida?

Bionica
En busca de un diseo natural, identificado ya el lenguaje generatriz, enfilamos a concebir una
arquitectura viva, la binica es el ejemplo de una ciencia tan antigua como el hombre que
genera organismos artificiales que han tomado como modelo a lenguajes naturales vivos.
Desde siempre el ser humano ha imitado a la naturaleza para resolver problemas de diseo, en
su momento lo hizo Leonardo Da Vinci, hoy en da la binica genera tecnologa tan avanzada
que es capaz de reemplazar miembros vivos de un cuerpo humano, incluyendo el corazn.
Podramos imaginar una arquitectura Binica que aplica funciones y formas anlogas a la
biodiversidad natural?

Gentica
Otra caracterstica del diseo natural es su cualidad evolutiva, no somos perfectos, somos
perfectibles, el cambio es una constante, el cambio es evolucin, la gentica es una rama de
la ciencia que estudia al gen, un fenmeno biolgico que transmite las caractersticas de una
generacin a otra y al mismo tiempo es mecanismo generador de una constante mutacin en
pos de supervivencia al entorno.
Ahora cave preguntamos como lograr un lenguaje evolutivo en la arquitectura?

Automotion
Una de las ramas ms avanzadas de tecnologa en diseo es la automocin, esta industria
disea entornos evolutivos y ha logrado crear vida artificial, hoy en da al cortar un coche por la
mitad veramos organismos que sangran y mueren, como han llegado hasta ah?.
En realidad el proceso industrial ha dado la respuesta por que aplica gentica desde un punto
de vista competitivo, cada marca al ao lanza su ltimo modelo, cada producto tarda apenas
tres aos en reinventase como una nueva generacin, sin embargo este replanteo respeta un
ADN, lo que en automocin se denomina family feeling, y es el alma mater de la marca, un
mercedes debe parecer un mercedes aun sin el emblema, hoy vemos a los automviles como
exoesqueletos tecnolgicos capaces de desplazar al ser humano a velocidades vertiginosas con
la mayor seguridad y confort.
En busca del diseo natural fuimos deshilando el modus operandi del maestro, recibimos mas
de lo que esperbamos, conceptos que hasta ahora nos han llevado a asumir un gran reto, su
aplicacin, empezamos entonces a generar arquitectura con diseo natural, este da origen a la
propuesta de interpretar hbitats de animales con notablemente mayor experiencia a la nuestra,

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inspirado en una de las especies ms antiguas, capaces de generar estructuras masivas con
caractersticas sorprendentes, si comparamos sus edificaciones a escala humana tendran un
par de kilmetros de altura, arquitectos e ingenieros notables, las termitas y hormigas.
Como diseadores trabajamos de la mano con la creatividad, creamos imgenes, espacios,
objetos pero ahora sabemos que el hombre no crea, el hombre descubre, colegas diseadores,
ha llegado el momento de empezar a descubrir.
El Proyecto Hormiga pretende ser una respuesta fsica a los diferentes cambios que estamos
atravesando como planeta, como sociedad, pretendemos generar una alternativa eco tecnolgica
de hbitat para las nuevas generaciones.

Proyecto hormiga
Signani design group cree en la posibilidad de generar tecnologas que tengan un enfoque
ecolgico, es el caso del proyecto hormiga que inicia como una retrospeccin del sistema en
que vivimos, a vista de pjaros el hombre parece a una hormiga, somos hormigas en ms de
un sentido, trabajando y construyendo en forma casi sistemtica, conquistando y colonizando
territorio.
Inspirado en estos insectos que construyen su hbitat de formas cuando menos admirables,
nace la idea de interpretar estas singulares cualidades, hasta ahora esta bsqueda anloga
ha resultado sorprendente, nos ha llevado a descubrir lo que consideramos ser la mayor
revelacin arquitectnica de los ltimos tiempos, hemos descubierto un lenguaje que redefinir
las fronteras del espacio en ms de un sentido, creemos que la expresin ladrillo sobre ladrillo
desde hoy cobra una nueva dimensin.
El sistema propone bloques de hormign que repetido genera una trama tridimensional
capaz de albergar vida humana. El resultado, una arquitectura poco convencional que promete
una inslita visin de futuro.

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DIGITAL Jos Pedro Sousa
EXPERIMENTS /
MATERIAL
REALITIES

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The present essay was motivated by my recent participation in the International Conference
- Biodigital Architecture & Design, which took place at ESARQ-UIC in June 2011. Together with
other former students of the Master program, I was invited to present my professional trajectory
since my graduation in 2002. With such temporal distance this text is a short testimony about the
role of this academic experience in my work as an architect, educator and researcher, which has
been deeply committed with turning digital experiments into material realities.
I would like to go back to my architectural graduation in 1999 in Porto, when I wrote a thesis
about the impact of computers in architecture called The Architecture on Screen, borrowing
its title from Sherry Turkles influent book Life on Screen. Under the inspiration and guidance
of Fernando Lisboa, this work investigated the nature of the digital representations use in
the discipline. The sharpest evidence from this survey was the fact that, in a similar fashion
as their analogue counterparts, computer drawings and models were mainly used for drafting
and visualization purposes to fulfill communication and productive goals in the office. However,
although the Internet was far from being the ubiquitous reality of today, it was possible to verify in
some publications the emergence of a few different alternative approaches. While early academic
research on digital architectural design developed in places like MIT, Cambridge or at the AA
faced difficulties to penetrate in real practice, the Architectural Design magazines of the 90s
showcased a series of architects trying to uncover and apply the computers specific capabilities
to affect the practice of architecture. The digital begun thus to be explored as a conceptual
tool (e.g. Greg Lynn, Lars Spuybroek, Mark Goulthorpe or Bernard Franken), as a medium for
materialization (e.g. Frank Gehry, Mark Burry or Bernard Cache) and, ultimately, as a territory for
architectural intervention and expression (e.g. Marcos Novak or Karl Chu). What distinguishes
these last alternative tendencies from the previous conventional one, is the fact that they explored
the computers calculation power beyond, simply, the geometric representational one. In a certain
way, one could argue that what had motivated the Over Arup engineers to introduce computers
in architecture during the Sidney Opera House project in the 60s (i.e. pure mathematical
calculations) was being merged with the Ivan Sutherlands legacy of the same decade (i.e.
human-computer graphic interaction) to open up new avenues for the theory and practice of
architecture. As Kosta Terzidis argues, became clear that, with the support of programming and
advanced software packages, moving from computerization towards computation seemed to be
the key to expand the world of creative possibilities in architecture by means of digital tools.
By realizing the possibility to envision and materialize such digital architectures, as described
by Branko Kolarevic, I felt motivated to pursue further education on such themes, this time,
in Barcelona. In 2002, the Master in Genetic Architectures at ESARQ-UIC founded by Alberto
Estevez was, together with the Design Research Lab program at the AA, one of the very few
curriculums in Europe, dedicated to develop critical digital research about the use of digital
technologies in practice. Furthermore, the school led the way in the incorporation of digital
fabrication equipment as part of its facilities, which drew an innovative and privileged research
environment. At that time, the master program was organized in two parallel research lines the
cybernetic-digital and the ecological-environmental , which recently became fused in todays
biodigital architecture concept.
Coming from a conventional CAD education, the two subjects that mostly impacted me during
my studies at ESARQ were parametric design and digital fabrication, taught by Marta Mal-

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Alemany. On the one hand, the possibility to interactively associate data with geometry in
TopSolid environment was revealing. It was the technical answer to address, with precision and
flexibility, some of the avant-garde discourses about data-driven design processes, which were
mostly based on more intuitive and loose animation techniques. The use of parametric drawing
and models not only allowed for the rigorous mathematical description of complex geometries
but also for the controlled generation of design variations. By taking advantage of that visual and
interactive environment, morphogenetic design strategies could thus be explored with the help
of computation. On the other hand, the big 3-axis CNC milling and the Thermojet machines at
ESARQ demonstrated the possibility to test and materialize complex geometries and variable
production series (i.e. mass customization). Cutting and milling real construction materials for
fabricating and installing 1:1 scale prototypes was definitely an fresh and innovative learning
experience.
In the context of the Master in Genetic Architecture, the coupling of such digital design and
fabrication processes was essential to redefine the conditions to explore nature as a source for
design inspiration, following the traditions of pioneers like Antoni Gaud, Buckminster Fuller or
Frei Otto. If one considers that architecture can borrow from nature at three levels the aesthetic,
the generative and the behavioral -, digital technologies certainly play a crucial role in all of
them. For instance, on the first, the exploration of organic and curvilinear forms can be easily
imitated and materialized with the computer, independently of the complexity of its geometry.At
the second level, with parametric and algorithmic processes, one can deal with morphogenetic
principles that embody variation and optimization qualities. Instead of working around a single
solution throughout the whole design process, computation allows to explore a data-driven family
of differentiated designs, in a similar fashion as the DNA code rules the variation in the biological
world.

Top-down design approaches can be replaced by bottom-up ones, where rule-based design
definitions are at the basis of the emergence of form(s). Finally, the third level implies the
replacement of the static paradigm in building construction for the adaptive and, ultimately, the
evolutive one. Like a living entity, physical construction aims to be smart, reactive, self-organized,
regenerative or even to grow by itself. The digital can thus enhance the development of new
mechanical, electronic and also biological materials and structures that could promote more
intelligent and natural physical constructions.

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My studies at the ESARQ had thus produced an influence on my activity since then. Although
it is not explicitly assumed, natural and biological inspiration in my work could be perceived on
the first and second levels described above, and are related with the design and fabrication
processes. In design, the use of parametric and algorithmic strategies allows the morphogenetic
design exploration of concepts and principles of variation, as they can be found in nature. While
the former technique allows for supple dimensional differentiation within a single fixed topology,
the second one permits the description of design rules where topological variation can take place.
The famous biologic study drawings by DArcy Thompson are an example of the generative
potential of parametric variation. In a more complex way, snowflakes exhibit topological variation,
which would call for more sophisticated algorithmically design descriptions. It is meaningful to
realize that such morphogenetic experiences could not be fully implemented in practice without
the help of computers. In a complementary way, the use of CNC fabrication processes are
decisive not only to afford the materialization of design complexities, but also to craft unique
expressive qualities that are intrinsic to the manufacturing and material properties (03).

The implications in design of such computational and fabrication processes can be many
and have been a constant subject for inquiry in my teaching and practice. For instance, in the
Architecture and Digital Project course at dARQ (Coimbra), students employed algorithmic design
strategies to generate faceted and intricated formal solutions, in a organic fashion. In an another
way, the Constructive Geometry course taught with J.P. Xavier at FAUP (Porto), challenged the
students to conceive non-standard structures that could be more efficient and sensitive from the
material use and performative point of views.

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In practice, together with Marta Mal-Alemany, our studio ReD completed a series of projects
where these interests were tested. For instance, both the Habitar Portugal 03-05 and the Horror
Vacui traveling exhibitions explored the parametric reconfiguration of one design solution based
on standard and repetitive components, to generate customized versions adapted to the gallery
spaces of each venue.

In a different way, the installations produced for the M.City exhibition in the Kunsthaus Graz
consisted on two unique interventions based on differentiated components and structures, which
were algorithmically generated with AutoLISP to adapt the solution to the spatial constraints and
programmatic requirements.

The renovation of an apartment in Barcelona was an opportunity to react against the


conventional industrial production processes, which tend to homogenize the building construction
materials palette. Specifically developed for this project, the MORSlide panels explored CNC
milling to reveal the genuine, but usually hidden, properties of plywood. Imperfect colored rings
and heterogeneous texture reliefs emerge on the surface to create a kind of an organic surface
effect. Although it cannot be excluded from teaching and design activties, research has also been
an activity by itself. Supervised by Jos Pinto Duarte and followed, among others, by Rui Baptista
and Branko Kolarevic, my PhD research rethought the application of pure cork agglomerate in
architecture through the use of CAD/CAM technologies. Being a 100% natural and ecological
material, this work investigated the possibility to attain customization in the production of
shapes, textures and three-dimensional forms, in close collaboration with AMORIM company.

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The investigation results demonstrated that, with digital technologies, pure cork agglomerate
could be free from the rigid appearance imposed by the mechanical industrial processes, to
become understood as a versatile natural material capable of addressing many of the aesthetic
and performative design concerns in contemporary architecture.

As I dared in the beginning, I hope to have clarified my personal overview about the master
experience at ESARQ. A final remark to express my gratitude to all of those that have helped,
inspired and encouraged me overtime. Being an architect today is a constant experiment,
increasingly hard to be converted into reality.

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CROSS-REFERENCES: Gonalo Castro Henriques
NATURE/SCIENCE/
TECHNOLOGY

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The International Conference of Biodigital Architecture & Genetics was an
opportunity to share my academic, professional and research endeavors, on a path that shifted
with the Master course I did at the ESARQ-UIC in 2004. This text is a summary of the presentation
held in Barcelona, on the 2th June. Its a reflection on how these experiences influence my
current activity and are incorporated in my PhD research: a responsive skylight system.
Genetic Architecture is a term coined by Alberto Estvez, and also the former name of my
Master (now Biodigital Architecture). The participation in the Master satisfied my intent to
explore architecture with a broader view, and provided me access to new tools and processes.
We explored computational methods, both analogue (I.e. as in the case of Gaudi) and digital,
pursuing bottom-up processes to find solutions for specific problems, instead of using a priori
solutions. The possibilities, these news processes and tools opened, changed my perception
about architecture and made it possible to incorporate cross(x)-references, between science,
nature and technology. Nature and technology have since long fascinated men, and they used
to be seen as dual; but now science of computation allows merging natural and technological
processes into a bio-digital approach.
As a result of the industrial revolution, knowledge became segregated in different disciplines.
The traditional modernist education (in architecture) tends to favor the partition of knowledge and
thus theory, practice and research became more separated areas. The one who thinks, draws
and builds is seldom the same. Digital CAD-CAE-CAM tools offer the opportunity to integrate
conception and construction in all stages of development, challenging the traditional process with
linear and separated tasks. A new personalization is affordable and as once before, products can
be tailored to their users. The architect, as in medieval times, can act as a master builder leading
the way to discover and summon new visions.
To explore the new creative possibilities of our time, I founded the research project X-REF in
Barcelona in 2004, with former master students. X-REF is the abbreviation of cross-references that
points to information in another place. Information can came from a natural system, an algorithm
process or an artistic practice. The project thrives on its members different experiences, countries
and cultural background. Currently Ernesto Bueno, a researcher and teacher at ESARQ, and me
are working on this project. We are interested in using different opportunities in teaching, practice
and research. I will present a brief summary of the work developed in each of these intermingled
areas. Teaching seminars and workshops, transferring technology from University to Industry and
applying research in practice are all part of a non-linear creative process that feeds-back itself.

Teaching experiences
After finishing the Master program and presenting the thesis Digital Conception and Fabrication:
a new morphogenesis (Barcelona, 2005), I decided to live and work in Oporto. Oporto University
is a prestigious Architectural University that generated two Pritzker laureates, lvaro Siza and
Souto de Moura. Despites the strong traditional education, there is a possibility to complement this
kind of practice introducing digital tools to expand them. So when I returned I thrived to promote
a reflection about digital practice inviting well-known international professionals in the application
of digital Architecture. In the seminar Digital Architecture at ESAP in 2006, me and Jos Pedro
Sousa invited Branko Kolarevic and Bernhard Franken to lecture. The first has distinguished for
his reflections about the use of digital tools and the latter is a pioneer of the application of these

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tools in construction. Some under-graduated students were invited to develop a project in a
workshop regarding digital generation and fabrication. So, I and Carlos de La Barrera oriented
the generation project, and the complementary fabrication project was oriented by Marta Mal-
Alemany and Jos Pedro Sousa (ReD). This was the first of regular workshops in Oporto now
called Digital Design Processes.
With the fast pace of technology, I invested in studying scripting and parametric design to
automate repetitive tasks and support the creation of systemic solutions and geometries. So along
with software engineers I started to learn how to write routines, as for architects programming
is still a foreign language. In 2007 I proposed what I believe was the first workshop dedicated to
Scripting in Architecture in Portugal. Scripting and digital fabrication were out of the agenda and
observed with suspicion, as the computer was still regarded as mere substitute of the architect.
Students resisted and rioted to make a project using written language but finished fascinated with
the power of the new tool and with the results.
The interest in using these new processes continued in other contexts such as in Ljubljana at
the DIVE Festival in 2009 and 2010, where projects were developed with multi-national students,
using parametric design. On this workshops second year responsive solutions for a local site
were developed. In 2009 I had an invitation from Gabriela Celani to orient a workshop in the Ibero-
American Congress of Digital Graphics (Sigradi). Gabriela is a pioneer and has an important
role in the dissemination and use of digital tools in Brazil and in the Academia. X-REF (Me and
Ernesto Bueno), defied the participants, a mix of under-graduated and pos-graduated students
and experienced professionals, to design and build an installation for the S.Paulo Mackenzie
University entrance patio. They presented interesting proposals that await an opportunity to be
built.
In 2008, I won a scholarship from FCT - Portuguese Foundation for Science and started
my PhD research with Jos Duarte. Due to my research I was invited, in the following year, to
be an assistant teacher at the FAUTL Lisbon, there I taught in a postgraduate course. Most
of the workshops I have taught so far are for short but intensive periods. Theoretically post-
graduated architects could benefit more from these courses nevertheless younger students, who
are native digitals, can learn new tools faster, and these tools are not fully integrated in their
curricula. Recently this year I participated in an experience with both under-graduated and post-
graduated architects. It was a workshop at FADU-UNL, in Argentina, with Mauro Chiarella and
Rodrigo Garcia Alvarado, where I was a tutor and a guest lecturer in the Master Proyectacin y
Fabrication Digitales. In this experience two different generations (native and digital migrants)
worked together to develop a parametric structure; it was a good combination of the pragmatism
and constructive experience of the older generation and the enthusiasm of the younger generation
using parametric tools. An experience I want to repeat.

Applying CAD-CAM
I started to use digital fabrication at ESARQ in 2004, with Affonso Orciouli. CNC machines receive
data from the drawing in the computer and execute operations to produce a form - the most
common is linear 2d cut. First approaches where done with the projects Transcom and Integral
Envelopes, with the tutoring of professors from the Master. Later I worked in Architectural offices,
which gave me more practical knowledge about the profession, but however these offices were

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not very interested in applying CAD-CAM.
Simultaneously with workshop experiences I started collaborating with Luis Pedro Esteves,
a civil Engineer at ISEP, to develop applied research with CAD-CAM tools in architecture. With
his under-graduated students and industry partners, we developed the project DcS, to design,
fabricate and built a double-curved component. This component was built in reinforced concrete
and has structural abilities to be used in a future system. The collaborations with industry are
important to find the most adequate techniques for a design and vice-versa, normally with limited
budget.
The trial and error approach with CNC machines defies previous methodologies, with material
feed-back that is dependent on the geometry and processes used. This is one of the reasons that
is important to associate digital conception and digital fabrication in the workshops. In professional
realm time for testing is short and it is helpful to know in advance about processes, materials
and industries that area available to work with. Besides, in architecture the use of these tools is
overlooked with some cultural distrust. I presented a proposal to build a large wood structure for
a Portuguese competition. The jury commented it was an interesting proposal but unbuildable
because very expensive. I disagreed and try to explain all the process, but the prejudice was
already there. With X-Ref I submitted a similar project, Genetic Landscape to an international
competition in Ireland. We won the competition and the proposal was built some months later.

Genetic Landscape is a project that refers to genetic as a metaphor of the creative process. We
used contextual forces and animation tools to shape a surface. By changing magnitudes of forces
in time, we changed the code or a genotype and embedded a matrix of forces on the surface. By
digital continuum the surface is transformed producing a phenotype, in a chosen moment to suit

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the installation of a wood structure. This structure constitutes the bones of a new born artifact
half- natural, half-artificial. The idea is that you can discover this Hybrid creature by entering and
walking on its guts, reflecting about the boundaries between natural/artificial, object/subject, and
interior/exterior. As a landscape installation this project is more related with land art, and once
finished reminded me of the Celtic Landmarks that last in my memory.
Another experience to reflect about the use of tools was the challenge to design, make and
construct a wooden Sauna, the swing sauna with a group of young architects in Helsinki at the
TKK. In this occasion we used traditional machines and tools to cut and shape the wood with
our hands, discovering hidden attributes of wood as craftsmen do. Digital world can benefit with
more feed-back from material properties and qualities. These different tests and experiences
were helpful to generate, fabricate the TetraScript pavilion presented in Florence at the Beyond
Media Festival.

Research
Im currently doing a PhD research at Lisbon University, with Jos Duarte (FAUTL) and Vitor
Leal (FEUP) as tutors. This research aims to develop customized pavilions that can respond
to external and internal demands. The pavilions have skylights that can change to suit different
uses, location, time of the day, and sky conditions. During project design, disposition and size of
the skylights are customized for a given context. After the skylights are defined, the aperture can
change, in real-time, to guarantee certain interior conditions. The goal of TETRA-SCRIPT system
is to personalize indoors conditions according to the user preferences - defining the type and
quantity of illuminance and visual contrast in real-time - taking into account outdoors conditions
of daylight and sky condition. The Research uses digital tools in all stages and the advances in
the different areas feed the development of a parametric system.
The general concept is influenced by two natural mechanisms: adaptation and behavior. In

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nature the skin is an adaptation mechanism to local environment and evolves during the long
run to adapt to specific conditions. An example of that mechanism can be found in jackfruits skin
(Fig. 4) and in cactuss wrinkles that produce shadow to diminish interior temperature and water
loss. But nature can also behave in real-time to change local conditions as in the King Protea
example, to control daylight received (Fig. 4). Adaptation and behavior are thus references in the
project and they are used to achieve customization of interior space using pyramidal components
that can control the entrance of daylight. Such is done in 2 ways: during the project in a static
customization of components number and size and after the project is build the skylight system
apertures can change in real-time, in dynamic customization.

A case study is set in Oporto, using site and geographical constrains. The number and size
of components are customized for a specific space of 6x4x3m. The search was done using
a parametric system trying different solutions but can also be automated using computational
search tools.
The case study was used to test fabrication. The design evolved with feed-back from the material,
by unfolding and testing construction with mockups. The structural analysis, components and
connections were developed at the same time to obtain a lightweight structure to maximize
daylight entrance. Oriented strand board (OSB), a new material with structural abilities, was
used for bars and panels with metal connectors. CNC machines were used to fabricate the
pavilion together with more traditional machines for the joints and the connectors. Welding had
to be tested and some limitations were found in tolerances. The fabrication had the support form
industry and the assemblage was done at Porto Engineering University. The pavilion developed
for this location was built and presented in Florence at the Beyond Media Festival in 2009.
To automate the system it was necessary to develop a control strategy. A modular strategy was
defined allowing the use of different technologies available for each module. As an example for
the module of transmission a market study was undertaken and there were available pneumatic,
electric, and hydraulic actuators. Electric actuators were chosen tested and implemented with
success.
Simulation is used to access the performance of the system and analyze and quantify the
daylight abilities. The idea is to define the quantity and quality of light indoors, but for that it is

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necessary to know the necessary aperture values for the skylights. Computational methods are
used to find the best combination of skylights apertures in real time. Search algorithms such
as genetic algorithms can be used to determine the best configuration, but they take long time
to converge and therefore results cannot be obtained in real time. Heuristics search is used to
define typical daylight situations that are simulated and the resulting performance is stored in
a database. These heuristics are: H0 uniform aperture, H1 maximum direct light, H2 maximum
diffuse light, H3 incident sunlight and H4 Hybrid low incident + diffuse light. These heuristics are
tested in best-worst case situations on the solstices and with clear and cloudy sky conditions in
the defined location. The illuminance and visual contrast performance is analyzed using multi-
criteria to secure a certain illuminance (depending of the task) with low contrast. Using the results
it was possible to determine the performance of the system and to preview results in other times
of the day with an interpolation method. An interface has been developed in grasshopper to
control the skylights system. A feed-back system using light sensors is being developed to
expand initial database. The idea is to customize the interior space according to user activities
and desires in real time.

Currently Im developing applied research that is not very common in Architecture. Architects
are often more interested in studding history or other theoretical subjects, in a monologue with
few practical applications. To advance further I had to go beyond experimentalism and develop
a more scientific attitude. That required more dialogue and exchange of knowledge with material
scientists, engineers, builders and other disciplines. I would like to thank all the persons,
industries, and Universities that have been and will be involved in my projects.

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Rosa Cervera y Javier Pioz durante su ponencia.
Rosa Cervera and Javier Pioz during his speech.

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BIONICS AS Rosa Cervera & Javier Pioz
A TOOL FOR
INNOVATION IN
ARCHITECTURE

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What does bionics mean?
Bionics means to analyze biological species and natural systems in order to benefit human life.
It means to take a fresh look at Nature, to observe it from different perspectives while having a
unique objective in mind: to learn from it. The majority of living species in our planet are the result
of 2 billion years of evolution. Researchers study living forms and use this knowledge to develop
useful new systems for a better development of our own society. Learning from Nature to build
our Future in order to build a better future, one that can actually meet with the pressing demands
made to and from the environment.

Our way of working


We follow two lines of work that complement each other. The first relates to our research into
Nature, and is an ongoing long-term and slow process. The second path is our daily architectural
practice, which needs to follow a faster pace in order to be able to meet the demands of todays
deadline driven business world. All along, we strive to build bridges between these two lines of
work. And by doing this we can apply the results of our research as soon as they are ready to
be implemented, so then we are already contributing to achieve our goal of building the most
efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly architecture.

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BIONIC ARCHITECTURE: ARCHITECTURE PLUS ENGINEERING PLUS BIOLOGY
Cervera & Pioz firm has investigated the growing patterns of natural forms and flexibility, and
adaptability laws in Nature to develop a new Theory & Practice for an innovative connection
between Nature & Architecture. Our aim is to mimic Natures efficiency. We look closely at how
Nature builds its incredibly accurate designs, and how everything is perfectly devised to promote
energy efficiency. We transport these concepts into our architectural world, and this is how we
develop sustainable and constructive systems for our green buildings.

BE-BIONIC VERTICAL CITY-TOWER: AN OVERVIEW


But today we are here to talk about the Be-Bionic Vertical City-Tower. This is an architectural
project we have created over the last 20 years, it is a mega-structure of 1228 metres high, what
means around three quarters of a mille, designed to contain a whole city within its walls.

WHY A MEGA-STRUCTURE THAT HIGH?: SOME DATA


Since the Industrial Revolution population has been growing steadily and exponentially. Our
society is evolving in a way that the sheer velocity of current events affects all elements in our
lives, our economy, businesses, health, etc. By 2015 there will be more that ten million people
in the world and five billion living in cities. There will be more than 60 cities with over five million
inhabitants. Currently cities worldwide are responsible for 76% of the total CO2 emissions. And by
2030 cities will use up to 73% of the total energy consumed in the world. This type of exponential
growth and the resulting city landscape is already a global phenomenon.

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CITIES THAT SPREAD
Our first and foremost concern is the almost invasive way in which contemporary cities are
being built spreading further and further into the land. Buildings seem to be acting as predators of
Nature itself. We must then be aware that from now on, we face a drastically new phenomenon
regarding how we choose to occupy the land of the planet. An average European middle size city,
of around 100,000 inhabitants occupies an area equivalent to a circle of a 3.5 km diameter. And
however much bigger a city grows, it seems it can only do so at the cost of Nature, endangering
the fragile balance of natural habitats.

BIONICAL VERTICAL CITY: A SOLUTION PROPOSAL


Our proposal defines a new model, a model for a city that grows vertically instead of horizontally.
A new concept that allows the same people -100.000- to inhabit inside an area equivalent to
a circle of just 1 km diameter as opposed to the 3.5 km diameter mentioned before. And a
new concept that brings new solutions to reach a self-sustainable habitat. This Bionic Vertical
Urbanism implies the returning of land Nature. It is not fair to pave the planet. So what we have
created here is an entirely novel theory for the city of the future, one that would remodel how we
currently manage our land, and how we manage our energy use. This key project is the pinnacle
of a research into Bionics that we started nearly 25 ago.

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BIONIC VERTICAL CITY
This mega structure has a height of 1228. It is divided into 12 vertical neighbourhoods of around
80 m high. The complex can hold a population maximum of 100,000 inhb. This Vertical structure is
like a city within a city, provided with a full range of uses and services, including housing, hotels
and office space and also green areas,. The base or ground floor of the building is conceived to
be the agora of the city. An advantage of this Vertical City is that it doesnt need to be built in one
go, but neighbourhoods can be added up as and when require, a kind of flexible constructing
rhythm. There are 362 elevators that constitute the transport network within the city. They are
placed inside the columns that support the whole structure. And the columns are formed by thin
layers of high strength concrete. Inside them the elevators run like a vertical subway. One of the
most attractive assets is the presence of green spaces all throughout the city-tower and large
pools feed of rainwater.

BVC DESIGN PROCESS: STRUCTURE


The most challenging difficulty we faced was really how to design a structure capable of reaching
and bearing such extreme measures of height, width and weight. And working on such a high
specification project, we knew we needed to overcome the conventional. At this point of the
designing process that Bionic Science provides was of crucial help. We set about analysing a
whole range of plants and animals, and took a closer look at the structure of tree trunks, bones,
etc. We reached a number of signficant conclusions that allowed us to formulate a complete
new structural system. Nature works with cooperation of elements and with the concept of a net.
Nature prefers to use many, small and micro-structured elements it avoids big gesture. And
lastly, Nature uses flexible growing patterns that enable its structure to adapt to the unpredictable
circumstances.

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A SELF-SUFFICIENT CITY
The challenge is to make this Vertical City completely self-sustainable. And this is possible
precisely because its size. We have provided different systems to reach that goal such as taking
advantage of the temperature natural gradient that deceases 1 degree each 100 m and to
generate a power central, or using the top of the tower an energy central with wind mills and solar
and photovoltaic cells. At the bottom, a biofactory of microalgae is placed for producing bio-fuel
and for reducing CO2. Finally we have introduced a neighbourhood addressed to provide food
for the City with the goal to tend to zero balance.