generative modeling for Rhino
Architecture and Artificial Life
There are numerous concepts in the field of Artificial Life (ALife) (Langton, 1989; Langton et. al.,
1992) that are advantageously applicable to an architectural design process which emphasizes systemlevel
and constituent understanding. In ALife every component of a system, including elements of the
environment, is conceptualized as being capable of agency. Thus, a component of the system may or
may not act. Acting is not necessarily actually undergoing a change of internal or external state. It also
encompasses the way in which a component may exert influence on the state of the environment or
other components. Agency between components implies that their interactions create a level of
dynamics and organization. Organizations that dynamically define themselves on one level can
themselves exhibit agency and, thus, a new level of organization can form as a result of the lower level
dynamics. Levels are not necessarily hierarchically organized. They may, in fact, be recognizable by a
particular perspective from which the entire system is viewed.
Architectural systems have numerous levels and each level is interdependent with others. For example,
an office building can have a level in which the components are moveable and semi-fixed relative to
movement patterns and more stable space defining elements or infrastructures. Different local
organizations (work groups) emerge in response to changing organizational structures and projects.
Contemporary non-hierarchical work environments when studied closely may be effectively
conceptualized as living systems with numerous levels of interdependent organizations.