"The void exists not as something externally limited but rather as something internally animated."

Adolf Hildebrand

"Architecture is not simply about space and form but also about event, action, and what happens in the space."

Bernard Tschumi

"Essential is not the form, but its reversal space; the void that expands rhythmically between the walls and is defined by the walls."

August Endell


"What distinguishes architecture from painting or sculpture is its spatial quality - no artist can emulate architecture, for the history of architecture is a history of man shaping space."

Nikolaus Pevsner


“an algorithm is a process of addressing a problem in a finite number of steps. It is an articulation of either a strategic plan for solving a known problem or a stochastic search towards possible solutions to a partially known problem. In doing so, it serves as a codification of the problem through a series of finite, consistent, and rational steps. While most algorithms are designed with a specific solution in mind for a problem, there are some problems whose solution is unknown, vague, or ill-defined. In the latter case, algorithms become the means for exploring possible paths that may lead to potential solutions.”

Kostas Terzidis                                                                                                  Algorithmic Architecture


Basins of attraction, of self organization, show up as well in our complex social environment, in human organizations. Here again, while we cannot predict the result of any given input, we can say that it will likely fall within one of several areas.
-Kevin Kelly

It has become evident that the primary lesson of the study of evolution is that all evolution is coevolution: every organism is evolving in tandem with the organisms around it.
-Kevin Kelly

Everything that we are making, we are making more and more complex.
-Kevin Kelly


Today we had the midterm review for our studio project.  The fall 2011 topic studio has been challenging, more challenging and above all very challenging.  Working in groups we have been using computational strategies to explore and search for opportunities in material and structural compositions.  We started in groups of 6 and 7 working with strings and cups to develop a set of rules that would eventually lead us to a pavilion-like structure.  This introduced, to me, a whole new approach to design.  An approach that required a project to begin with individual components that would eventually produce a whole, with no idea of a final result in mind. This mindset of approach was something completely foreign to me.  Learning to work with the parts of a whole and realize the part’s abilities, potentials, constraints and most of all its limitations by evaluating the properties opened my eyes to how computation can lead to results that are unexpected, unpredictable, and very systematically informative. Developing this way of thinking has been extremely valuable to me, everyday I learn a little something more about agency and how it’s the simple rules that can solve the most complex problems.  Now, as a group of 13, we are encountering a more challenging task, to create a pavilion structure composed of a cellular system.  Our midterm presentation to the jury was very well received, we came away with some valuable insight and a strong appreciation for the task that we are undertaking.  This studio has provided me with critical thinking tools and computational strategies that can be applied to future projects as well as my current thesis research.   


Studying the effects of self replication through mapping the growth of mycelium by means of agent based modeling.  This thesis is an exploration towards new methodology opportunities in the built environment.

Architecture freely appropriates specific methodologies from other disciplines, most commonly disciplines highly involved with technological fields and the latest fabrication advancements. While these targeted areas may offer viable answers perhaps there are alternative fields of study where opportunities can be sought.

Incorporating methods that have proven to work over years and years of evolution could be the strategy for how knowledge of the past can direct the future.  Biology is the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy.1  One of the oldest and most simplistic forms of life is fungus.  Fungal colonies are composed of hyphae filaments which interconnect and branch mycelium, the vegetative component. A carbon dioxide emitting/oxygen in taking organism that not only expands through self replication, but also maintains, repairs, dismantles and recycles itself.  Growing in a linear branching pattern while constantly networking with itself to collect and feed off of its own energy in response to nutrient assimilation.  This complex system adapts to its surroundings through expansion and contraction based on necessity in order to survive and thrive. 

Agency has been chosen as the computation technique, as it allows for the intricacies of this multifaceted system to be mapped with a level of intelligence, interactivity and accuracy incomparable to traditional modeling strategies.  It is able to determine scaling in the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal directions at multiple spatial resolutions through the mapping process. Agent based modeling simulations will  track the complex network of interactions and connections that make up this intertwining organism and make it possible to observe emergent patterns and unexpected events.  The agents will be assigned a set of rules based upon the growth pattern of mycelium.  Mycelium is composed of a number of small parts that combine to make up a vast whole, it is important to understand what happens at the simplest level of interaction in order to obtain the ability of rapid prototyping and a further understanding of nature’s blue print. Computational mapping will determine if this gateway species could give way to future design strategies.


1. Wikipedia contributors. “Biology.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 28 Oct. 2011. Web. 1 Nov. 2011.



Image: Australian Fungi Website http://www.anbg.gov.au/fungi/mycelium.html


X, Y, Z, S, S, T

Pronounced “Exist”
On the Nature of Coming into Being

This prototype explores how environmental conditions can inform material organization. A computer application determines the material’s behavior according to elements such as stress, strain, heat flow, stored energy, and deformation due to applied loads and temperature differences. The title of this piece refers to the resulting model, which is six dimensional and includes 2-D information (X,Y), out of plane deformation (Z), elastic stress (S), strain (S) and temperature flux (T).

By Neri Oxman
Exhibited at MOS (Museum of Science), Boston, MA.


"We are not problem solving, we are seeking opportunities." 


The purpose of a multi-agent system is to deal with complexity through simple systems while attempting to address form. Forms are created through agency, agency through cells.

Yesterday during research discussion we were all expected to explain our thesis concept in very simple terms…this was harder than expected. 

For tomorrow…I will have established the simple rules by which I will begin to work. 

Performative is about emergent activities and behaviors, and all depend on how to operate and perform a system. The system can be dynamical in the design process or architecture that has been built. If it is the latter then performance is how the user/inhabitant performs and uses the space, I refer to literal body movements as in dance, but this can be expanded to how the performance of one body can affect the performance of other bodies in groups, and how these groups may influence larger organizations such as companies etc. It relates to social interactions that invigorate the environment

…Space is an interesting term, but the ambiguity is formed with intention, intention to provide the most potential for emergent user behaviors within the space. Our spaces incorporate a range of issues including environmental ones…” via Architettura

Ali Rahim
Contemporary Architecture Practice