A cell inspired model of configuration




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Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA).



Peer reviewed



The purpose of this paper is two-fold. It first presents a biosemiotic comprehension of artefact making, on the basis that both design and life are processes of construction. It then presents a computer model to substantiate the position and approach to form making. The basic premise is that life is, at heart, artefact making and that the process of creation is fundamentally semiotic. All things are coupled, paired or exist relationally and the key to assembly is communication and signification; from the perspective of both agency (in life processes) and the agent of fabrication (in artificial construction). The approach argued for in this paper is thus an effort to capitalise on the artefact making processes understood as intrinsic to the generation of shape and form in nature.

The computer model presented is applied as a means to generate diagrams representing conceptual illustrations of architectural layouts. A bottom-up approach to the organisation of architectural-space is thus presented, which offers a fresh outlook on the approach to the automatic generation of architectural layouts. Artificial creatures, modelled on Eukaryotic cells, are used as components with which to generate configurations articulating patterns of habitation. These components represent discrete activities, perceived to be the basic building block of spatial configuration in architecture, which self-organise and aggregate to form a cohesive body.



Agent-based modelling, biosemiotics, agency, configuration, computational design


Ireland, T. (2015) A Cell Inspired Model of Configuration. In: Computational Ecologies: Design in the Anthropocene. Lonn Combs and Chris Perry (eds.). Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA). Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. pp. 581-590


Research Institute