Dr Michael Weinstock, Dr George Jeronimidis
Nature was conventionally considered a source of formal and metaphorical inspiration in the architectural discourse. However, the contemporary reconfiguration as it is reflected in the difference between the revised and original editions of Steadman, 1979 ‘The Evolution of Designs: Biological Analogy in Architecture and Applied Arts’, has changed the idea of nature from formal metaphor to a repository of interconnected dynamic processes available to be analysed and simulated. Seeking deeper insights into the biological processes has sped up in the past two decades for reasons such as environmental crisis and a belief that architecture in closer conformity with nature needs to take lessons not only from organic forms but also from natural systems and processes. Natural systems develop efficient means of adapting to the extreme environmental stresses throughout their evolutionary developments. This research examines the potential of homeostatic principles, and their connection to morphogenesis and evolutionary development of natural systems, to inform the design of singular and collective architectural morphologies across a range of scales. Homeostasis is the term for the biological processes by which individual beings and collectives maintain equilibrium in their environment, and there is a wide range of morphological and behavioural traits across multiple species. To examine and reflect on the interrelations of forms, processes, and behaviours can yield useful strategies for architectural design processes that require significant environmental performance enhancements. Although biomimicry has been established for many decades and has made significant contributions to engineering and architecture, homeostasis has rarely been part of this field of research. The ambition of this research is to abstract principles of homeostasis, morphogenesis, and evolutionary development of natural systems, to define and develop those principles through experiments to produce a computational design engine to generate testable mathematical models with specified degree of mutability, or adaptation to different circumstances or environments, together with an expository conceptual and computationally simulated design, evaluations and principles of implementation.