Thinking about Architecture

There were a few means by which I imagine reaction diffusion can ‘successfully’ translate into ‘architecture’.

The first is to look at reaction diffusion for the architectonics it provides, the spaces, the archways and passages, the windows and levels, and then to manually merge these together into a form of my choosing. The reaction diffusion system is far too unpredictable to be able to extract a direct architectural form out of it. This method tends to reject the parametric approach however, which I’m not entirely sure I want to do. However the 3D system does create some of the more interesting and variable elements.

The next method is to look at reaction diffusion as a series of linkages. Because reaction diffusion creates differentiable and regularly occurring bands of matter, these can be interpreted as a set of pathways which flow through the entire space. Furthermore, the wavefronts which are produced by a reaction diffusion system do not form superpositions, ie. They don’t add together, rather they always cancel each other out. Because of this, the passages and channels that occur are completely continuous through the entire form, creating a large complex maze-like network. If I try to simplify this, then the essence of reaction diffusion is lost. I would also like the aesthetic of reaction diffusion to transfer into the architecture.

Thirdly, up until now, I’ve always been looking for ways to dissociate the box that the reaction occurs in from the geometry it produces, as this bounding box tends to regularise the output to an extent. However, perhaps the box can be used in another way. Instead, we could took two opposite facing walls from the simulation and used that as a means to ground the form. The benefit of this is that it produces a connection between the form and the ground, and while it creates quite an imposing form, it works better than simply placing the form on the site. This could lead into creating a series of networks of boxes with the reaction diffusion forming canopies and spaces between the planes.

Alternatively, I did discover some moments of architectural possibility in the original extruded reaction diffusion models I’d done. By changing where the chemicals seed from and the rate of diffusion, it becomes possible to capture canopies and moments where spaces open up. Although this was an early discovery, this was shifted to the back of my mind while I tried to push the other possibilites such as the 3 dimensional form, but this is where I have been coming back to in recent times.

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