The concept of nature lies in its structure of processes, organisms keep an homeostatic balance in response to the continuous changes in the environment, a non-linear network where everyone interacts with everyone else, all at the same time. The basis of these processes is the control over the information flow, exchange and interplay among the organisms and between them and their environment. Adaption and self-regulation happen perpetually during the life cycle, while environmental pressure cause a selection in populations that produce an evolution in future generations.
In order to approach an architectural design that goes beyond the static definition of sustainability and engages a more natural relation with the environment in order to create a synthetic ecology (synthetic is used to indicate what is built and differentiate it from what naturally grows; the concept of “artificial” as opposed to “natural” is a mind abstraction, synthetic is not synonymous of artificial), the starting point is to build a pervasive information model of the environment. Environment is here intended not only under its physical intensive data (temperature, wind, solar radiation absorption, …) but as the set of conditions and pressures (physical, cultural, social, ediphic) that influence the habitat and architectural performative behaviors at different scales (macro and micro).
From punctual survey or simulation via specific software, the collected information is then extrapolated to continuous data fields throughout the considered area and its related surroundings.
Architecture then will be studied as the open result of the modulated response to these environmental conditions at different scales. Open design strategies will be applied in a process of selection over a population of options in order to pursue a wide range of student’s chosen specific efficient design. Final results, depending on the chosen strategy for the project, will be closer or farther to the actual architectural, building and production system, thus hopefully depicting a gradient of opportunities.
Aim of the course therefore is not scrutinize a specific and strict range of conditions but to introduce students to a design process through population and selection, where, just like in nature, forms find their possible functions. More to that extent, project will engage and negotiate their relation with the territory in order to produce architectural outcomes as much as possible compromised with reality.

_ Alessio


: : Th. final thesis projects 03

Giacomo Damiani did a very accurate analysis of thigmotropism and intertwining of vines. This natural strategy was then translated into a design opportunity for park infrastrucutres which take advantage of tubular structures to become environmental intensifiers. His work is a thesis work in Architectural design at the Faculty of Engineering, Università di Bologna, advisor: Alessio Erioli.

Check his thesis work on his
blog (in italian).

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