WIT Press


Natural Aggregation Processes As Models For Architectural Material Systems

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/DN100031

Volume

138

Pages

11

Page Range

17 - 27

Published

2010

Size

6,903 kb

Author(s)

K. Dierichs & A. Menges

Abstract

Aggregates are ubiquitous in inanimate natural systems. The capacity of these natural granular systems to continuously adapt to changing environmental influences through cycles of erosion and accretion shows a potential that can be used in architectural design. However, relatively few architectural examples deliberately deploy aggregates in their unbound form. In architecture, granular matter is almost exclusively known in its bound form as an additive in concrete. The aim of this paper is to introduce a practical, methodological and theoretical understanding of the architectural relevance that aggregates in their unbound form can develop. The notion of loose elements as an architectural system is new to architectural design. Architectural systems commonly seek to form a clearly defined assembly of elements, where each part has a place assigned that can be drafted and planned by the designing architect. An aggregate system, however, consists of a loose arrangement of elements, where each part finds its own place and it is the task of the designer to observe and interact with the system. The relevance of these aggregate architectures lies in their ability to continuously adjust to system-external and system-internal parameters. This paper will present the related research into the architectural potential of granular systems. Initially aggregate architecture will be defined and a state of the art overview and analysis of existing examples will be given. Consequently a design development system for aggregate architectures will be given and explained in greater detail. The results are eventually summarized into a conclusive overview and the practical, design-methodological and design-theoretical challenges of an aggregate architecture are outlined. Keywords: aggregate architecture, aggregate architecture development system, natural aggregates, state of the art aggregate architecture.

Keywords

aggregate architecture, aggregate architecture development system, natural aggregates, state of the art aggregate architecture