Architectural Interpretation of Cellular Automata

Initially developed for Dr. Stephen Wolfram's New Kind of Science Conference Art Gallery, Boston, MA, June 27, 2003
by Robert J. Krawczyk with production assistance from Ying-Chun Hsu,
Illinois Institute of Technology, College of Architecture, Chicago, IL.
Simple individuals following simple rules can generate unpredictable complexity and wonder. The mechanism within the method of cellular automata is able to generate interrelated three-dimensional patterns. These patterns can then have an architectural interpretation. The mechanism can also be conditioned to consider basic architectural concepts and elements. These include: boundary, ground, gravity, and spatial connection. The interpretative step can also include horizontal and vertical connections in a variety of spatial modules. The resulting mass can then include edge articulation, engulfing the original cells which created it. A transformation of the merged lineal edges to curves and splines further enhance the edge condition and develops a more coherent horizontal relationship of cells. Finally, supports are suggested, as well as, the elements of exterior wall and floor plates
Panel A-1
As a cell survives generation after generation, its size is increased to be able to develop a mass that better embodies the time element within the cellular automata process. Architecturally, the process develops connecting masses which further enhance and highlight the method used to create them. The standard method treats all cells equally. In this series, every combination of boundary, rule, and neighborhood is generated for a set of life spans. This includes two boundary conditions, one limited and the other unlimited; thirty-seven rules, based on a survival/birth neighborhood count, and four neighborhood definitions. Each pass through four, five, six, nine, and fifteen generations. The initial configuration consists of eight cells in a square arrangement having the center cell empty. The initial configuration consists of eight cells in a square arrangement having the center cell empty. The cells are represented as rectangular volumes.
Panel B-1 &  B-2
As the cells pass from one generation to another they are normally subjected to the same survival/birth rule based on the same neighborhood count. This experiment explores the concept that at each generation a mutation is applied by randomly selecting a new rule and neighborhood count. Architecturally, the concept explores a method to break any evolving pattern so the forms are further unpredictable and offer an even wider range of configurations without introducing a natural style The boundary is set to unlimited throughout with the random selection using all thirty-seven rules and all four neighborhood types. In this series the life span is set to six generations and the space module is represented as a cube. The initial configuration consists of eight cells in a square arrangement having the center cell empty. The cells are represented as rectangular volumes.
Panel C-1 &  C-2
 
As the cells pass from one generation to another they are normally subjected to the same survival/birth rule based on the same neighborhood count. This experiment explores the concept that at each generation a mutation is applied by randomly selecting a new rule and neighborhood count. Architecturally, the concept explores a method to break any evolving pattern so the forms are further unpredictable and offer an even wider range of configurations without introducing a natural style The boundary is set to unlimited throughout with the random selection using all thirty-seven rules and all four neighborhood types. In this series the life span is set to seven generations and the space module is represented as a cylinder. The initial configuration consists of eight cells in a square arrangement having the center cell empty. The cells are represented as cylindrical volumes.
Panel D-1 &  D-2
 

References:
Exploring the Massing of Growth in Cellular Automata,
Dresden International Symposium on Architecture, Aesthetics and
Architectural Composition 2004, Technische Universitšt Dresden, June, 2004
Explore the Massing of Growth in Cellular Automata
Generative Art Conference, Milan, Italy, December, 2003

Architectural Interpretation of Cellular Automata
Generative Art Conference, Milan, Italy, December, 2002

Experiments in Architectural Form Generation Using Cellular Automata

Education in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe,
eCAADe 2002 Conference, Warsaw, Poland, September, 2002

Copyright 2003,2004 Robert J. Krawczyk, All Rights Reserved.
Robert J. Krawczyk, krawczyk@iit.edu