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EMERGENCE Authors: Paulina Naruseviciute

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PART I |CONCEPT OF EMERGENCE Cybernetics is a broad field of study which analyse how digital, mechanical or biological processes information reacts to information or changes and how it can be changed and improved. One of the concept studies of cybernetics is emergence. Physicists, scientists, artists and systems theorists define emergence as the way how complex systems and patterns arise out of multiple relatively simple interactions. Psychologist G.H.Lewes was analysing the difference between result and emergence, both of them seems to be a sum of certain components. Although, according the psychologist every resultant is a sum or a different between co-operant forces. Also every resultant can be resoluble into its components, because they are homogenous and commensurable. On the contrary, in emergency instead of adding similar measurable components together, these components-emergents have different features and are incommensurable, so cannot be reduced to their sum or difference. Although, later on two types of emergency were defined and according them emergent property was diminishable. First type is weak emergence. It is a type of emergence in which the emergent belonging is reducible to its individual constituents. Second type is strong emergence. It is a type of emergence in which the emergent belonging is irreducible to its individual constituents. American biologist and complex system scientist Peter Andrew Corning widens the definition of emergence. He writes that emergency is not driven by specific rules and laws, which in fact have no casual efficiency. In other words, rules and laws do not generate anything. Good example is chess game: here you cannot use rules to predict history, also you cannot even reliably predict the next move. The reason is that system includes more than the rules. It also includes players and their moment-

by- moment decisions which are chosen among various different options. Another example would be paths which urban planners or architects are designing for public or private spaces. They are equal to the rules in chess game. Although, pedestrians always pick their own route and usually form a different path.

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EMERGENCE IN PHYSICS Physicists describe emergence as a property, law or phenomenon which happens at macroscopic but not at microscopic scales, despite that fact that macroscopic system can be viewed as a very large group of microscopic systems. Emergent property usually is more complicated than non-emergent properties which generate the reaction. The term emergence in physics is used not to emphasize complexity but to separate which laws and concepts apply to macroscopic and which one to microscopic scales. One classical example would be colour. Elemental particles have no colour, because they do not absorb or emit specific wavelengths or light. Although, when they are arrange in groups of multiple atoms that they can absorb or emit specific wavelengths or lights, when it is said they have colour.

Colour emergence

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Colour emergence 2

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Colour emergence 3


EMERGENCE IN NATURE Emergency can be found in many phenomenons of the nature: + Hurricanes- the shape of weather phenomena is an emergent structure + Crystals- molecules driven by motion of water within beneficial natural environment. + Dunes, created by wind or water. Although, it is said that crystalline structures and hurricanes have self organisation phases: +First order emergent structure happens as a result of shape interactions +Second order emergent structure involves shape interactions changing with a time, for example, changing atmospheric conditions +Third order emergent structure is a result of shape, time and genetic specifications.

EMERGENCE ARCHITECTURE In architecture emergence happens constantly. Tom Wiscombe, who is one of the pioneers of emergent architecture,says that in this profession where organizations are in constant flux and have to negotiate new deals or territories to survive, when the building industry -building uses and owners—is changing incredibly fast, there are systems and organizations that endure, not places, entries, types, or facades.” If it is true, that systems and organizations can endure, then Emergent—with its ability to adapt to constantly changing conditions—has a rich future. Although, architecture in Tom Wiscombe’s opinion has a lot to learn from the worlds of business and biology, Nature, according him, is full of variations and complexity that architecture still need fully explore. “Nature does not care about form follow function or function following form. Its is all about iteration, mutation and feedback through fitness testing, all of which produces species and formations that are as elegant as they are robust.” It is seen that architecture and especially urbanism needs to deal with emergence reactions everyday

and evaluate data which always changing. The weather in all the times had a big influence on building orientation, heating and ventilation. Knowing the weather conditions properly big advantage can be taken into developing zero carbon buildings. Also nowadays weather is used as energy sources, solar, wind or water power. Although, weather and properties of the weather needs to be well explored to avoid lost of money while investing it into big or small energy systems.

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GLIMPSE AT EMERGENCE URBANISM Architect Christpher Alexander analysing emergence and try to rewrite the process of urban growth itself in order to affect form. He establishes a new methodology of planning and design tied to traditional practices. He rediscovers urban complexity, as modernists claimed that the city is “messy” and they put everything in their place and introduced the system called zoning: squares for housing, shops offices etc. Christopher Alexander is analysing a fractal geometry: a point becomes a line, which becomes a triangle, which becomes several different kinds of polygons, and so on. The idea of objects substituting themselves for copies of themselves is nothing revolutionary. It is the basic process which is behind all living things. In a living system a starting point, the embryo, contains a program, DNA, that will be multiplied into trillions of cells. In the process of building cities humans have unconsciously created complexity by adopting certain processes at certain times, and forgotten them at other times.

Bird flock

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Sand dunes

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Water whirl


INTELLIGENT ARCHITECTURE | ARCHITECTURE MACHINE GROUP Emergence provides models and processes for the creation of artificial systems that are designed to produce forms and complex behaviour and even real intelligence. In 1950s -1960s scientists’ interest in artificial intelligence was growing. British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing invented a test for a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour. It is called Turing test. Turing test: +Actors: Machine and human +All participants are separated from each other. +Conversation. +Human has to answer question if the conversation was with machine or another human. +If the answer is “human”, machine passed the test. In Turing’s original illustrative example, a human judge engages in a natural language conversation with a human and a machine designed to generate performance indistinguishable from that of a human being. The test does not check the ability to give the correct answer; it checks how closely the answer resembles typical human answers. The conversation is limited to a text-only channel such as a computer keyboard and screen so that the result is not dependent on the machine’s ability to render words into audio. Intelligent in 1960s was described as the actions/reactions sheared between the participants, and takes form as their interactive behaviour. Intelligence is shared: recognition of it may be single or mutual. Intelligent architecture idea is to make buildings converse with us, offering us insights into our lives and to ways of living we never dreamed of. American cognitive scientist Marvin Minsky in his book The Society of Mind was trying to define intelligence and differ it from a trick. He asked: ”What magical trick makes us intelligent? The

trick is that there is no trick. The power of intelligence stems from our vast diversity, not from any single, perfect principle”. In this case, our buildings perform tricks but do not give us anything what is remotely interactive and there is any meaningful shearing.

MIT ARCHITECTURE GROUP 1985

MACHINE

The MIT Media Lab (also known as the Media Lab) is a laboratory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Planning was founded by MIT Professor Nicholas Negroponte and former President Jerome Wiesner It grew out of the work of MIT’s Architecture Machine Group, and remains within MIT School of Architecture and Planning. MIT lab mainly worked on interactive graphics, research projects at the convergence of design, multimedia and technology, design and technologies that address social causes, coding architectural knowledge and expertise. Laboratory is famous for practical inventions in the fields of wireless networks, field sensing, web browsers and the World Wide Web.

MIT EXPERIMENTS SEEK

One of MIT lab experiments held in 1960s was SEEK is admittedly trivial and simple and ask a question if computer can be programmed to respond intelligently to unexpected events. Although,the result does not go beyond the current situation where machines cannot act in response to the unpredictable nature of people (or animals). Experiment: +Attempt at showing the problems encountered when living things, such as the gerbils, in this case, interact with a machine which is an integral part of their environment. + The gerbils were placed in a large glass cage in which

was a 3-dimensional “city” built from metal toy blocks. Ranging over the cage was the sensing and manipulating arm of the computer. Experiment goal to bring urban design back to the ordinary man is quite unexpected as experimentation seems non architectural.However, MIT Lab believes that if they can design a computer system, which can communicate with an architect untrained in computer programming, they can eventually create a system which can perhaps make every man his own architect They have already achieved a major advance with a system named URBAN. The system converses with architects about urban design problems using basic 10ft cubes as building blocks. Each person who uses the system builds up a memory bank of his own vocabulary and definitions of the words he uses in his particular field of architecture. Each operator starts completely untrained in the operation of the system, which teaches the operator as it learns his vocabulary. The group try to proof that, when homes become wired for video phones and computer terminals, the individual will be able to “chat” with the architecture system about the design of his future home. Another experiment is LIPSYNC ( 1980),Interactive Frame Buffer Animation. LIPSYNC was originally funded at M.I.T. by the a DARPA contract (not industry, not entertainment, not art) Experiment aim was to investigate teleconferencing; studying the feasibility and reliability of digital transmissions in face-to-face meetings. How did it work? +Animator created a face for a voice synthesizer -Vortax. +He digitized sixteen lip positions and matched them to the Vortax to the Vortax library of phonemes. +The animated lips were able to pronounce words typed in “real time” at the workstation. One more experiment is called DATALAND 1977. It is a Spatial Data Management System In this system, a person sits in a chair with two hand


controls and faces a large screen. Controls allow you to “fly” over some data space projected on a large screen in front of you, in this case the Boston area, and then to zoom in to very fine levels of detail, or zoom out to see a huge geographical area. Bill adapted this idea to the filing problem by creating an enormous virtual desktop, perhaps a mile square, and then providing methods for very quickly moving around and zooming in or out . From this experiment followed MIT MOVIE MAP 1978-Place Representation. It was the first interactive “virtual travel” project to incorporate photo-realistic images via computer-controlled videodisc. Its goal was to create so immersive and realistic a ‘first visit’ that newcomers would literally feel at home, or that they had been there before,” recalls Andy Lippman. “DARPA realized the need of this project after Israel soldiers practiced for the recovery of an airplane hijacked to Entebbe by using an abandoned airfield made up to look similar” (Lippman, 2004) All the experiments show that exploring and adapting existing systems into new contemporary way is extremely important in order to ecourgage technologies development .

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SEEK

Turing test

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LIPSYNC

LIPSYNC

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DATALAND

MOVIE MAP


PART II |EXPERIMENT My experiment is an example of natural morphogenesis. Natural morphogenesis is named after the Greek words morphe (shape) and genesis (creation), literally meaning “beginning of the shape”. It is understood as the physical process that gives rise to the shape of an organism which generates polymorphic systems (systems with multiple possible states for a single property) .They describe their organization and shape from the interaction of external environmental influence and forces. In my case, I am exploring wood interaction with moisture. There is 1mm thick piece of pine wood, which all the time is changing its shape with different level of humidity. Wood itself is a very complex material with many variables that will affect moisture content and wood movement. It is not possible to predict accurately the movement of a single piece of wood. Wood expands and contracts with changes in the surrounding humidity and to a smaller degree of the temperature. More humid air will cause wood to expand; drier air will cause wood to contract. This movement cannot be stopped, although can be predicted or used as an advantage to encourage other processes. The idea of exploring wood qualities rose out of looking at the pine cone, which is a simple hydrometer. It closes up tightly when it’s wet and opens up when it’s dry. Pine wood slice reaction to the humidity is very similar. I experimented with different ways of attachments of pine wood sheets to the surface: 1. non-attached 2. attached on one side 3. attached on 4 sides 4. overlapping sheets attached on 4 sides Results: 1. Slice rolls into cylinder when it is wet, and opens up when it is dry. 2. Free moving piece rolls up till the attachment and completely opens up while drying. 3. Piece of wood rolls up on non attached end bits, the force of movement damaged one nail. 4. Overlapping sheets also roll up on non attached end bits, middle part bends, while drying it bends in dif-

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Dry pine cone

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1.Dry piece of wood

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Wet piece of wood

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Wet pine cone

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In a reaction with water

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Dry


ferent direction. Observations: 1. Wet thin piece of wood forms stronger structure than its dry. 2. It is hard to predict the shape of drying piece of wood.

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2.Piece of wood attached on one side

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4.Wet overlapping sheets

Reaction with water after 5 min

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Dry overlapping sheets

Reaction with water after 10 min

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Reaction with water after 7 min

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Dry


Exhibition show-piece Exhibition piece is an installation made from thin 1-3mm wooden sheets which varies in shapes and sizes. It is suspended on ceilings, that visitor could walk under. By controlling humidity the shape of entire structure is constantly changing (Experiment showed that time required the form to change is around 5-10 min). To control humidity manually the exhibit needs to be put into closed transparent environment, in order to help exhibition visitor to see constantly moving material. At the moment exhibition piece is illustration of emergence, although it has a possibilities of further exploration. Methods of exploring hydromorphology further: 1. Structural analysis by adapting microscopic analysis there is a possibility to explore self-organization of material systems under the influence of humidity. 2. Implementation of artificial materials, like humid reflective glass or fabric in order to provide structure with different functions. Installation demonstrates how form, material, and structure are complexly interrelated and further exploration into the properties of materials that are in a constant state of change is necessary. The experiment can advanced in research of the most efficient shapes and forms which raise thoughts of future possibilities to adapt it into new buildings. Material properties would help future architecture to become more sustainable. Also natural morphogenesis is a method of design approach and “soft controlled” architecture in which self-organization of materials is what generates form and shape. This produces an integration of the logics of form, material, and structure, rather than the traditional disconnection of form and materialization. The concept of natural morphogenesis when one part could take many shapes is not revolutionary, but having “soft controlled” structures where the design is based on the logic of the materials and existing elements provides an opportunity for automated design. Computer programmes are based on logic, so if design principles, material qualities, and general construction methods were scripted into computer code and loaded into an appropriate program, multiple design

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Visualization before reaction with moisture


solutions could be generated quickly and logically. Materiality and form would begin to merge harmoniously, as the relevance of each is accounted for appropriately. One could go so far as nature’s method of evolution could be copied and improved through the use of digital technologies. This idea of new forms made possible by the same technologies that are changing our world and creates an interesting combination and raise the question of how architecture should change. Interesting if these new forms progress into a new style to compete with modernism and its diverse forms or will they simply be absorbed. Conclusion The morphogenetic design techniques are not explicitly architectural, but ask us to rethink the traditional design process. Rather than creating shapes and later trying to rationalize their realization, architects are presented with the task of first examining the performative capacities innate to the material arrangement and constructs we derive. Exhibition show piece is just the first part of morphogenetic design techniques. It demonstrated the materials properties, although scientific research into microscopic material structure, digitalization and possibilities of application into building structure is a further step.

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Vizualisation after reaction with water


PART III SMART MATERIALS Introduction Architecture has reached an exciting stage in its development, where structures are attempting to behave more like nature. As nature is not functioning as a static state, but as a complex grouping of symbiotic processes which are constantly evolving to adapt to environmental changes. For example, climate has always been influencing architecture as hot climate countries’ buildings are designed to reduce sun gain by implementing shutter systems and overhangs and using building materials with high thermal mass. In cold climates is vise versa: building design tries to increase sun gain and behave opposite as buildings in hot climates. Although, it is not enough to consider one emergent (in this case climate),in order to make building intelligent organism. Responsive architecture as well as it reacts to climate respond to weather, program, frequency of use and topography. Another responsive architecture problem to solve is efficiency relating to usage of space, material, construction and energy. To achieve optimized, efficient and strong structures, analysis of natural systems is important. Here emergence is our tool. It is a scientific mode in which natural systems can be explored and explained in a contemporary context. Emergence provides models and processes for designing artificial systems that are created to produce forms and complex behaviour. In contemporary buildings those models are smart structural and facade materials which create not just exceptional shapes but also deal with sustainability issues. Natural examples The concept of smart materials may be new, but smart materials themselves go back a long way. The leaf, for example, is a solar cell capable of adaptation, replication and self-repair. It is also a structural material, and has properties such as automatic regulation of gas uptake and release, and sometimes self-cleaning. Wood has a strain sensing mechanism that allows it to reinforce itself where needed as it grows. Shell grows in a way that is

highly structured and patterned yet able to maintain a self-similar shape. The engineering principles of biological systems can be abstracted and applied to the design of artifacts and buildings. This process is known as biomimetics. To do so requires a deeper engagement with evolutionary development and a more systematic analysis of the material organization and individual species behaviour. Biological systems are self-assembling. They use manly quite weak materials to make strong structures, and their dynamic responses and properties are very different in comparison to the classical engineering of manmade structures. The behaviour of all natural systems is complex and adaptive, and plants in particularly manage their structural behaviour in a way that provides new models for engineering structures. Plants resist gravity and wind loads through variation of their stem sections and the organization of their material in successive hierarchies. They use small quantities of ‘soft’ materials in each organizational level to achieve their structural goals. Plants are hierarchical structures, made of materials with subtle properties that are capable of being changed by itself in response to local or global stresses. Smart materials In recent years new strategies for design and new techniques for making materials and large constructions have emerged. One of the best-known smart materials is organic fiber is Kevlar. Because of its unique combination of material properties it is now widely used in many industrial applications. Kevlar has high tensile strength (five times that of steel), low weight and excellent dimensional stability. Usually it is used for lightweight cables and ropes in many marine and naval applications. Liquid crystals have the flow properties of the conventional liquid, and the molecular structure of a solid crystal. Kevlar is produced in parts by manipulating the liquid crystalline state in polymers. This makes the material as strong as spider silk. Material can stretch by 40 per cent

under load. Self organizing materials such as liquid crystals and natural polymers at first was applied in biotechnology and smart medical surfaces but now has a potential to be used to produce new engineering structures. A new interest within a material science is in the use of ceramic structures as a structural material. Ceramics are very light, but their compressive strength matches, or exceeds, that of metals. They are hard and durable, resistant to abrasion and noncorroding as they are chemically inert. Ceramics are good insulators (both electric and thermal) and can resist high temperatures. Although, they have one major disadvantage: they lack of tensile strength. The solution to this problem is in biological models-the forming of complex structures internal to the material. As new production facilities come online ceramics may become the most common used of new materials for built structures. Cellular ceramic are porous and can now be manufactured in various morphologies and topologies, ranging from honeycombs and foams to structures woven from fibers, rods and hollow spheres. Substitutes for human bone and the coating of orthopedics prostheses are produced by similar methods. Another smart way to strengthen the material is by injecting a steam of gas bubbles into liquid metals is the basic technique for producing foamed metals, but preventing bubbles from collapsing is difficult. Adding a small quantity of insoluble particles to slow the flow of the liquid metal stabilizes the bubbles in the production of aluminum foam sheets, produced with open or closed cells on the surface. Aluminum foams can be cast in complex 3d forms. They are light, nominally about 10 per cent of density of the metal, and are currently used as a structural reinforcement material, particularly in aerospace applications, but have not reached their full potential in architectural structures..


Applications SMO Architektur and Arup designed the Bubble highrise. The building packs a notional structural volume with bubbles of various sizes, than uses the intersection of the bubbles and the exterior planes of the notional volume to generate a structure that gives entirely column -free interior space. Another example is Watercube National Swimming Centre, Beijing. Swimming centre was designed by ptw Architects and Arup. The internal steel frame of the building is based on the unique geometry of biological cells or soap bubbles. Arup and PTW based this “soap bubbles” structural concept on a solution from two Irish professors of physics at Trinity College, Dublin, known as the Weaire-Phelan structure, (Weaire and Phelan’s structure is a complex 3-dimensional structure representing an idealised foam of equal-sized bubbles). In this structure a recurring pattern of polyhedrons is packed together to occupy a three dimensional space in the most efficient way possible. All the shapes and locations and thickness of the 4,000 weight-bearing “bubbles” that make up the Watercube’s structure were determined by the careful refinement of digital scripts and algorithms—which can be converted seamlessly into factory instructions. Scripts in a computer program run in minutes and can deal with the tens of thousands of nodes and beam elements. Scripting was also used to develop structural analysis models and models from which drawings were automatically generated. Despite the random appearance, the elements of the structure are highly rational and economically buildable. The Watercube is an enormous building 177 meters on each side and more than 30 m high. The network of steel tubular members is clad with translucent ETFE pillows. The roof of the swimming pool is made of 7 variant types and the walls of 16 variations of ‘bubbles’, which are repeated throughout. Also over such a wide span of column-free space, the need to minimize the self-weight of the structure is essential, as most of the structural work involves ensuring the roof can hold itself up. The steel tubes are welded to round steel nodes that vary accord-

ing to the loads placed upon them. There is a substantial variation in size, with a total of 22,000 steel members and 12,000 nodes. The benefit of this frame design, as well as resembling water bubbles, is that it is ideally suitable for Beijing seismic conditions. Various high technology and green technology are present in the National Aquatics Center construction. First of all, the ETFE (the ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene copolymer) membrane insulates the Water Cube. Sufficient solar energy is trapped within ETFE pillows to heat the pools and the interior area, with daylight maximized throughout the interior spaces. To sum up, at the scale of very large architectural projects, the emphasis on process becomes not only the significant design strategy, but also the only economic means of reducing design data for manufacturing. As the list of parameters has grown to cover an increasingly complex set of requirements—everything from minimizing construction waste to maximizing building exterior’s capacity is a necessity and new architect’s digital design tools help to do it. Although, they have changed radically, from similar drawing programs to programmatic systems for building structure design . Conclusion There are some truly intelligent materials found in the nature. They genuinely blur the boundaries between a material and a functional structure-a device. We don’t question that wood and plant fibers are materials, and we use them as such. Contemporary architecture examples shows that analyzing and adapting natural structural it is possible to do incredible sustainable architecture. Although, we still lack an exploration how to make a material that can grow by gathering its raw materials and energy from its environment and processing them into new forms.

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Soap bubbles.Scanning electron micrograph,showing the porous structure of differentiated open and partially closed cells

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Watercube resin model (left),digital model of cell cluster (right)

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Watercube construction


REFERENCES: Magazine: Architectural design (Book 22) , Techniques and technolodies in Morphogenetic design http://responsiveenvironments.es/ http://www.crida.net/stan/Downloads/Roudavski_Towards_Morphogenesis_in_Architecture_09.pdf http://lebbeuswoods.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/manuel-delanda-smart-materials/ http://www.scribd.com/doc/7427076/Emergence-in-Architecture http://emergenturbanism.com/ http://lnkall.com http://cyberneticzoo.com

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