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Keywords: Architecture
Lim Ee Man, Joseph
Issue Date: 13-Oct-2009
Citation: WU YANLING (2009-10-13T05:43:52Z). MORPHO-ECOLOGICAL ARCHITECTURE - MYTH OR REVOLUTION?. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The main subject of study in this dissertation is the Morpho-Ecological design approach, which is currently under research led by Michael Hensel and Achim Menges at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. Combining the notion of “Morphogenesis” and “Ecology”, this design approach concerns the process of form generation and the correlation between the resultant form, its occupants and the external environment. Borrowing ideas from the growth process of nature’s living organism, its form-finding method takes a bottom-up approach by establishing form from its “cell” – simple material element. The material system thus becomes the generative driver in the design process as the entire design evolves through deploying its environmental, structural and spatial performance capacities. The aim of this dissertation is to investigate whether this new design concept is a myth – an invented story or a revolution – a marked change in architecture. This enquiry begins with examining the predecessors of the concept of form-finding based on nature’s strategies – Antoní Gaudí (1920s), Heinz Isler and Eladio Dieste (1950s) and Frei Otto (1970s). Thereafter, the Morpho-Ecological approach will be compared with these predecessors to identify its new contributions in terms of 1) the design thinking and method; 2) the way material is utilized; 3) the role and characteristic of architectural form; 4) the mode of structure and construction; and 5) the notion of space. The advantages and limitations of each will be discussed in further detail. The conclusion is that the Morpho-Ecological approach provides a critical rethinking of many central aspects of architectural design and practice – material, form, structure, construction and space. It has a potential of addressing current environmental and social sustainable issues by creating a material system with the capacity to modulate the environment as well as to deliver a heterogeneous space that satisfies individual preferences in terms of comfort and activities. However, limitations still prevail in the practical implementation of its revolutionary ideas and in terms of the construction methods available. Future developments in material science and construction technology will be required, and anticipated, to make it a realized architectural revolution, benefiting all mankind and the environment.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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