Kostas connects the dots between the concepts of modern computational theories that embrace algorithms in what he refers to as algotecture, a precise and extremely detailed exploration into the language of and the code (Maya’s MEL scripts) used to generate said algotecture. It is a fascinating and ambitious attempt to contextualize the evolution of design in architecture, engineering and art that’s worthy of comparison to Karl Chu’s article in Genetic Architectures vol II. I only wish he had included more code for the sections on (Syn) biosis, Periplocus (Complexity) and Stochastic search. For at least some papers relating to this subject matter, you might want to refer to BioThings’s Alisa Andrasek’s list of references found here.
There is one correction I would like to make in relation to the following excerpt from the book:
‘Corporate architectural practices, such as SOM, NBBJ, or RTKL, use the computer simply as an efficiency tool while continuing to develop design through traditional manual means, and prominent avant-garde practices, such as Gehry, Morphosis, or Zaha Hadid, use the computer as a means of marketing and presentation, despite their unsubstantiated claims to the opposite. Occasionally, there are some young architects fresh out of school who may be able to use computational methods in design. Yet the majority of architecture practices, despite their appearance, are still developing ideas through their own human minds or by simplistic NURBS-based formal mongering.’
I have personally seen the computational design work created at Zaha’s firm and they have a firm grasp of using code to hijack and sculpt their commercial tools of choice. One needs to look no further than the work from Shajay who works in the Code | Design group at ZH. To be fair, this book was published in 2006, so it’s possible things were different at that point in time.
On a side note, Kostas was generous enough to provide us with the following pdf that explores + provides the code behind generating a 3d Fractal (L-Systems) in Maya using MEL:
Genetic Architectures vol II explores, through theory and practice, how algorithms can sculpt architecture coming from the perspective at ESARQ – UIC (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya) Barcelona. This is not a book where the code is exposed, unfortunately, however with articles from Alberto T. Estavez, Evan Douglis, Francois Roche and the well-thought out and eloquent prose of Karl Chu, I highly recommend it for any artist using code to generate their artwork and who is interested in knowing more about what magic is possible. Here are two ( GenCity | The Floral Obsession | Christina Cogdell’s lecture Metaphor, Ideology, or Process? | Digital-Botanic Architecture II the latest book by Dennis Dollens, the editor of Genetic Architectures vol I, which includes a free pdf version and a lot of Rhino work ) accompanying websites that I think you will enjoy.
After reading the article by Douglis in Genetic Architectures vol II, I was thrilled when I found this new book by him. Beyond the somewhat redundant articles complimenting his contributions and innovative approach to teaching and pushing the boundaries, I found the descriptions and imagery to be the most satisfying. I was also surprised at how many times Processing was referred to. I would have rather seen less descriptions about Douglis and more examples of the actual Processing + Rhino code the articles so often referred to.
On a path from Ernst Haeckel’s Art Forms of Nature to Janine Benyous’s talk on Biomimicry in action @ TED, I found cradle to cradle. C2C grabs you from the first page and pulls you into your living room to view the world from the eyes of an Architect and Chemist, McDonough and Braungart, respectively. Examining what chemicals are used and how they effect us, we travel from our living room to the structure of the house and outward through a journey that every person creating objects – from the designer, artist and architect - should read. The best part of C2C is when it looks to nature for inspiration in regards to how to build and not just minimize our negative effect on the world, but how to create and contribute with a positive end result.
Here’s a video of a talk that Bill McDonough gave at Bioneers 2000. The value of the 45 minutes it takes to watch this will pay for itself over and over again. It’s simply that good and that important.
After finding so much wonderful material on Architecture + Code, it begs the question, are there well-thought out books on Hybrid arts as well?