Special Issue "Proto-Architecture and Unconventional Biomaterials"

A special issue of Biomimetics (ISSN 2313-7673).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Liss C. Werner
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Architecture, Technical University Berlin, DE-16023 Berlin, Germany
Interests: digital architecture; cybernetics; computation; anthropocene; posthuman; material intelligence; biomimicry
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Andrew Adamatzky
Website
Guest Editor
Director of the Unconventional Computing Centre, UWE, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
Interests: reaction-diffusion computing; cellular automata; physarum computing; massive parallel computation; applied mathematics; collective intelligence and robotics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Leaving the domain of simulation in virtual space, bioinspired and biologically driven architectures are increasingly part of the production of architecture. The idea of creating architectural typologies inspired by and functioning according to natural and biological principles is not just aesthetically intriguing, but also sustainably promising. The convergence of material properties, embedded natural and artificial intelligence with biological and/or digital manufacturing methods may lead to adaptive structural “thinking” geometries. Digital morphogenesis, first mentioned during the “First Digital Turn” in architecture (Kolarevic, 2000), is a form-generating method using advanced digital tools. Two decades later, digital morphogenesis engages with design processes of material computation and biomimetics, biological morphogenesis, cognitive materials transformed into built architecture using digital fabrication methods, partly driven by algorithms—including pattern recognition or physics engines. The shift top-down to bottom-up design strategies radically changes our understanding of architecture. While, in 1917, Wentworth D’Arcy Thompson suggested that form is a result of internal material behavior and external parameters, we suggest that proto-architecture emerges from the cybernetic ecology of unconventional biomaterials, construction methods and cognition.

This Special Issue aims at approaching the topic through the application of the biological, digital, structural and social alike resulting in spatial geometry. Biological here refers to the cognitive (Maturana) organic, inorganic, living and non-living. We invite scientists, architects, engineers and artists to reboot architecture by submitting stimulating and visionary original research and articles—proto-architectural, technologically viable—to start understanding the knowledge and possibilities in this field.

Dr. Liss C. Werner
Prof. Andrew Adamatzky
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biomimetics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biomaterials
  • biocomposites
  • biofabrication
  • morphogenesis
  • post-digital
  • soft robotics
  • material intelligence
  • structural geometry
  • cellular clustering
  • multiagent systems
  • stigmergy
  • cyber-physical systems

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Evo-Devo Algorithms: Gene-Regulation for Digital Architecture
Biomimetics 2019, 4(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4030058 - 13 Aug 2019
Abstract
The majority of current visual-algorithmic architecture is constricted to specific parameters that are gradient related, keeping their parts’ relation fixed within the algorithm, far away from a truly parametric modeling with a flexible topology. Recent findings around genetics and certain genes capable of [...] Read more.
The majority of current visual-algorithmic architecture is constricted to specific parameters that are gradient related, keeping their parts’ relation fixed within the algorithm, far away from a truly parametric modeling with a flexible topology. Recent findings around genetics and certain genes capable of shape conditioning (development) have succeeded in recovering the science of embryology as a valid field that connects and affects the evolutionary ecosystem, showing the existence of universal mechanisms that are present in living species, thus describing powerful strategies for generation and emergence. Therefore, a new dual discipline is justified: Evolutionary developmental biology science. Authors propose the convergence of genetics algorithms and simulated features from evolutionary developmental biology into a single data-flow that will prove itself capable of generating great diversity through a simple and flexible structure of data, commands, and polygonal geometry. For that matter, a case study through visual-algorithmic software deals with the hypothesis that for obtaining a greater emergence and design space, a simpler and more flexible approach might only be required, prioritizing hierarchical levels over complex and detailed operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proto-Architecture and Unconventional Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Pioneering Construction Materials through Prototypological Research
Biomimetics 2019, 4(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4030056 - 13 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The article at hand follows the understanding that future cities cannot be built the same way as existing ones, inducing a radical paradigm shift in how we produce and use materials for the construction of our habitat in the 21st century. In search [...] Read more.
The article at hand follows the understanding that future cities cannot be built the same way as existing ones, inducing a radical paradigm shift in how we produce and use materials for the construction of our habitat in the 21st century. In search of a methodology for an integrated, holistic, and interdisciplinary development of such new materials and construction technologies, the chair of Sustainable Construction at KIT Karlsruhe proposes the concept of “prototypological” research. Coined through joining the terms “prototype” and “typology”, prototypology represents a full-scale application, that is an experiment and proof in itself to effectively and holistically discover all connected aspects and address unknowns of a specific question, yet at the same time is part of a bigger and systematic test series of such different typologies with similar characteristics, yet varying parameters. The second part of the article applies this method to the research on mycelium-bound building materials, and specifically to the four prototypologies MycoTree, UMAR, Rumah Tambah, and Futurium. The conclusion aims to place the results into the bigger research context, calling for a new type of architectural research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proto-Architecture and Unconventional Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Unfolding Crease Patterns Inspired by Insect Wings and Variations of the Miura-ori with a Single Vein
Biomimetics 2019, 4(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4030045 - 05 Jul 2019
Abstract
In many disciplines, professionals are interested in folding patterns for their packing and shape changing capabilities. Many insects have folded wings fitting to their body morphology that can unfold to fly, support their weight and withstand external forces. This paper focuses on the [...] Read more.
In many disciplines, professionals are interested in folding patterns for their packing and shape changing capabilities. Many insects have folded wings fitting to their body morphology that can unfold to fly, support their weight and withstand external forces. This paper focuses on the main characteristics emerging from folding patterns inspired and adapted from both insect wings and Miura-ori patterns, along with the actuation mechanism. Pneumatic actuators, similar to the venations on insect wings, are used to unfold these patterns. Depending on one vein’s placement, its inflation can unfold models with many creases. While a single vein cannot fold the model back, a snapping behavior, observed in some folding patterns, could be used to trigger the folding mechanism of a model. By presenting the characteristics of each folding pattern studied in this work, one could come forth with an application and choose the most efficient folding patterns based on the most suitable characteristics for this application. These folding patterns can then be optimized to address specific requirements by adapting their different parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proto-Architecture and Unconventional Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Studio One: A New Teaching Model for Exploring Bio-Inspired Design and Fabrication
Biomimetics 2019, 4(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4020034 - 29 Apr 2019
Abstract
The increasing specialization in architecture has clearly left its marks not only on the general profession but also on architectural education. Many universities around the world react to this development by offering primarily conventional and overly discipline-specific courses that often lack bold new [...] Read more.
The increasing specialization in architecture has clearly left its marks not only on the general profession but also on architectural education. Many universities around the world react to this development by offering primarily conventional and overly discipline-specific courses that often lack bold new concepts. To remedy this situation, the authors propose an alternative teaching model called Studio One, which seeks to facilitate new dynamic links between architecture and other disciplines based on the interplay between fundamental research, design exploration, and practical application. The goal is to develop an interdisciplinary, collaborative design training that encompasses the best that nature has to teach us, realized through the technology that humans have achieved. At the core of this class is the study of biological structures and the development of bio-inspired construction principles for architectural design. Both aspects are rich sources of innovation and can play an important role in the training of future architects and engineers. This paper seeks to provide a coherent progress report. After a brief introduction to the general objectives of Studio One, the authors will specify the methods and 21st century skills that students learned during this class. Relying on four student capstone projects as examples, the paper will then go into more detail on how natural structures can inspire a new design process, in which students abstract basic biomimetic principles and transfer them into the construction of architectural prototypes and pavilions. Finally, the authors conclude by discussing the particular successes and challenges facing this teaching model and identify the key improvements that may give this program an even bigger impact in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proto-Architecture and Unconventional Biomaterials)
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