WIT Press

An Open System Model Of Ecological Architecture


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

49 - 60




420 kb


Y. Gu & R. Evans


This paper presents a model of open systems evolution as a paradigm for ecological design in architecture. Based on evolutionary thermodynamics and complex systems science, the model of open systems evolution is constituted by the mechanisms of the adaptation of open systems to the host environment via natural gradients, the self-organization of open systems so as to optimize resource distributions according to the maximum entropy principle, the generation of diversity and the production of minimal entropy in the host environment. According to this model, the authors propose a conceptual framework for ecological architecture that describes the ecological interactions of buildings with the natural environment in open thermodynamic terms, and actively engages the end-users in buildings into the micro-climate control. In the manner of open systems evolution, these multiple interactions evolve to optimize the environmental performance of buildings, resulting in a sustainable symbiosis of architecture and nature. Keywords: open systems evolution, ecological architecture, intelligent design. 1 Introduction Induced by human activities, including industrial development and production, urbanisation and agriculture over the last two centuries, global warming and climate change are recognised as an entropic consequence of environmental depletion (Ingersoll [7]; Moore [13]). The environmental crisis has been and will continue to be a serious threat to basic social well-being and global stability, presenting the world with a major dilemma and challenge of achieving


open systems evolution, ecological architecture, intelligent design