Self-replicating systems in spatial form generation: The concept of cellular automata
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The self-replicating systems introduced theoretically by von Neumann, are widely examined in biology, computing, geometry, engineering sciences etc. In this study the authors are focused on the concept of cellular automata (CA) and its possible application in processes of spatial form generation. The study has been realized with participation of 60 senior architecture students, creating various spatial forms by using the CA concept, within the series of elective courses titled Generic Explorations. The experimental activity is supported by the software Fun3D, i.e. its CA module, which has been created at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture, to support generative processes in the field of architecture. After introducing a general idea of the self-replicating systems, the authors explain the major principles of CA, particularly the issues of layered 2D automata, discussing possible approaches to spatial form creation. The study examines CA based on a cubic cell, evolving ...to a rectangular cuboid where width/height/length ratio can differ, as well as the gap between cells and some of the visual features, like color, transparency, texture etc. Creators of various spatial forms can set a pattern of initial cells, and define a rule for a self-reproduction of a single cell. Combinations of multiple CA systems have been introduced, as an entirely original approach to the problem of form generation in general. A variety of approaches to the generation of spatial form, resulted from the experimental activity, indicate a significant potential of the CA concept application in many areas of spatial design. The authors suggest a range of interpretations of a resulted generic form, such as architectural, urban, product design, exhibition systems etc.
Keywords:cellular automata / spatial / form / architecture / generic
Source:Spatium, 2009, 19, 8-14
- Institut za arhitekturu i urbanizam Srbije, Beograd