Appendix for a definition of genetic architecture and other related terms
Text of Alberto T. Estévez, “Arquitectura biomórfica”, in A. Estévez et al., Genetic Architectures II: digital tools and organic forms / Arquitecturas genéticas II: medios digitales y formas orgánicas, Santa Fe (USA) / Barcelona: SITES Books / ESARQ-UIC, 2005, pp. 41-42 and pp. 77-78 (www.amazon.com).
At least a direct and simple, minimum definition of the terms used should be provided in order to avoid confusion when read. That is why we have included this appendix of definitions, compiled since the year 2000, since the line of research “Genetic Architectures” began, and explained through the university teaching to which it is connected. (We do not rule out that other definitions, nuances and uses other than those in the list lack a certain redefinition, correction or precision, at least according to current understanding):
Brief list of definitions
Biomorphic architecture is architecture whose forms are similar to those of living beings. And taking objects into account, this definition can be used also for organic design.
1. It can become so, by the author, with or without the desire to be biomorphic.
2. It can be understood, by the viewer, as similar to living beings or not.
3. It can be created out of inspiration in nature, from memory or copy, in a gradation of its forms that goes from the most precise photographic-naturalistic imitation to the most abstract. It can also arrive at this latter extreme without intending to be similar to any living being.
Bionic architecture is architecture whose functioning, systems or processes are similar to those of living beings, which it takes as a model, and taking objects into account, bionic design is also defined.
Organic architecture is architecture that, in unity and continuity, merges the elements that respond to different functions, as they appear in living organisms. In particular, it merges the dichotomy between the supporting and supported elements in a single continuous element. And taking objects into account, this definition can be used also for organic design.
Digital organicism is the part of organic architecture and design that uses the latest cybernetic-digital resources in its design and/or production. Likewise, digital organicism is the current or trend that, in the early 21st century, has been established as the avant-garde of architecture and design. However, at the present time, as the development of possibilities of robotised production for real architecture on a 1/1 scale is still limited, with very few exceptions, it is practically only designed, although now it may be carried out from any drawing.
Genetic architecture is architecture that applies genetics. This definition can be used also for genetic design, taking objects into account, or can be used also for genetic art in its field of action.
1. Genetic may be applied to architecture in a real and natural way. This would be the real genetic architecture, requiring the combined effort of architects and geneticists.
2. Genetics may be applied to architecture in a metaphorical and artificial way. This would be genetic architecture only by extension or similarity with genetic definitions and processes.
New ecological-environmental design means that which, superseding and comparing with picturesque and conservationist ecologism, include real and natural live elements in its construction, whether for ethics or aesthetics, for improved physical or metaphysical conditions. This architecture could be called biological and it could be considered protogenetic. It would start to be genuine genetic architecture if it introduced a certain genetic manipulation that would enable the living beings to be fitted out at the author’s discretion. Then the following definition would arise...
Biological architecture or Bio-architecture is architecture that incorporates natural live elements in its projects: vegetal elements are the most usual. There is a specific line here, which would manipulate the behaviour of certain animals so as to take advantage of their natural constructive capabilities, guiding them according to the desired design that they would self-construct. These definitions can be used also for Biological or Bio-art and design.
New cybernetic-digital design means that which, superseding and comparing with the use of a computer as a mere substitute for manual drawing, includes virtual, artificial computerised elements in its construction. This is done by working as if from inside the software itself, as a tool that is not only graphic but creative, and for design and production, subject to the possibilities of robotized production, still having transitory limits for architecture. And it would be genetic architecture if it really worked with the artificial software as it would with natural DNA, as from a certain angle, they are both the same, both chains of information for self-production and growth. Then the following definition would arise…
Digital architecture is that which may only be designed using computer resources. These definitions can be used also for Digital art and design.
Cyber-eco fusion design means that which merges or integrates the latest cybernetic-digital resources for design and/or production with the most recent ecological-environmental understanding. This is broadly defined and, equally, separately, or inter-combined, refers to…
1. The fusion of cybernetic-digital resources with the advances in sustainable architecture.
2. The fusion of cybernetic-digital resources with the new contemporary understanding that is neither picturesque nor conservationist, of a natural or urban setting in constant evolution.
3. The fusion of cybernetic-digital resources with genetics, to continuously join the zeros and one from the architectural drawing with those from the robotized manipulation of DNA, in order to organise the necessary genetic information that governs a habitable living being’s natural growth, according to the designs previously prepared on the computer.
With this we come to a completely revolutionary and surprising pinnacle of architecture, from where we can see an almost infinite horizon: there are many definitions and variants as those above, and for this reason we have used the plural form of term “genetic architectures”.