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Title: Form follows function : activity defines function, gesticulates space
Author: Ireland, T. G.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Architects tend to organise a building in a most unnatural way. The organisation and formation of space is a complex matter which traditional approaches tend to flatten into something quantifiable, to allow the task to be managed and planned. This process is inherently determined by the way we perceive the world spatially; constituting a model defining the conceptualisation of space, which is implicit to the way an architect conceives and approaches the task of organising a building. This thesis argues that space is produced through activity. A product of interaction, patterns are determined through feedback between the state of an entity and its interpretation of its context. These patterns restrict autonomy, effecting constraints which enable organisation. In this way space is perceived productive: created through action and being, whilst at the same time creative through constraints effecting the constituents of an arrangement. The study explores a decentralised approach to configuring space, drawing on the concepts of self-organisation and emergence to reapproach how architectural space is organised. A series of models are presented, exploring how the authority of traditional methods may be transferred to the components of a system. An interdisciplinary piece of work, this explorative study draws on fields such as artificial life, qualitative reasoning, and biosemiotics to define an approach to configuring space which embraces the autonomy of natural systems. Using the computer as a tool to emulate natural phenomena, the food foraging behaviour of ant colonies and the aggregative behaviour of slime moulds are looked at as models of organisation; these are leveraged and steered to generate spatial formation. The thesis concludes with a model, conceived a body of swarms, that demonstrates a qualitative-semiotic conception of spatial configuration; alongside an appraisal of how the relations between components of a system might emerge in a creative process of production.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available