ARTIFICIAL NATURE
Towards a New Production


Architectural Association / AA School / London


AA DRL Design as Research / 2012

In a lapse of time of three different generations, the architects Antoni Gaudí, Richard Buckminster Fuller and Frei Otto, took nature as a reference, so as to bring its optimal form to architectural constructibility.
They all conceived design as a non-linear and integrative process of translation, from the drawing to its physical construction; but in fact they did not have such an embedding and powerful tool as the one we have today: computation.
This essay dissects, analyzes and compares their technique, technology and tectonics by which they achieved such successful results, in terms of architectural form, material exploration and the structural performance, based on the natural paradigm.
If they brought such a novel approach to modern and postmodern architecture, feasible to construct, by the optimization of their contemporary means and resources within reach - each one in his own historical context-, this paper explores how its legacy is being applied today since computation has embedded all phases of design into one. And what is more important, how the upcoming new model of production is going to push architecture in a new shift paradigm.


by Carles Sala