Project Summary

Adopting an Adaptive Architecture -
enlisting digital technologies for the acquisition of local specificity over time.

The ability for a structure, biological or artificial, to redefine and modify itself in relation to change within its environment is known as adaptation [Holland 1992]. Systems that exhibit adaptation possess attributes of behaviour, sensing, memory, and mechanisms of feedback allowing them to exploit available resources in order to better situate themselves within their dynamic environment.

Very little of our built environment has the capacity to exhibit adaptation, yet much of it is adapted over time. The distinction between a system exhibiting adaptation and a system being adapted is significant. It concerns how and by whom goals are established, where observation is occurring, and how these synergise mechanisms of action as engines of change and modification.

A contention of this thesis is that the various practices involved in the design and construction of the built environment already employ fundamental technologies that could be harnessed to allow fragments or larger parts of the built environment to exhibit adaptation and increase their local specificity over time. A plethora of digital technologies and techniques are now at the immediate disposal of the architect. These include, but are not limited to, computer-aided design [CAD], computer-aided manufacture [CAM], 3d scanning, visualisation, simulation, data gathering, data analysis, data management, geographically dispersed concurrent design, embedded computation, and actuation.

However, such technologies are not sufficient in themselves to allow for processes of adaptation to be exhibited in an auto-generative sense unless there is circularity or feedback between the resultant synthesis and the modes of representation used to define it.
This is a design issue.

Research > PhD

[dec2005 - ongoing]

last updated: 28/08/06