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An experimental approach towards characterizing Architectural Ecologies

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rachel Armstrong



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This paper embodies an experimental architectural approach to the question of architectural ecologies. It defines and establishes a set of principles for this emerging practice and platform by providing examples of its proposals, as well as detailing areas for further exploration through a series of design experiments that are discovery-, rather than results-led. Projects include characterizing the nonlinear performance of Bütschli droplets in the laboratory and the ontological and epistemological challenges they raise. The paper also details architectural projects including the environmentally embedded, dynamic responses of living chemistries within Philip Beesley’s cybernetic Hylozoic Ground installation and in taking an experimental approach towards establishing an environmentally contextualized reef to confer the foundations of a Future Venice with lifelike properties, thereby potentially transforming the fate of the city from inevitable destruction to potential survival. Finally, this paper reflects on how architectural ecologies may be applied experienced in wider urban environment through the production of Living Buildings through the establishment of new kinds of infrastructure. As such, this paper takes a position and vision for 21st century architecture through the emerging practice of architectural ecologies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Armstrong R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Systema

Year: 2015

Volume: 3

Issue: 2

Pages: 91-113

Print publication date: 01/01/2015

Online publication date: 01/01/2015

Acceptance date: 01/01/2015

Date deposited: 16/03/2016

ISSN (electronic): 2305-6991

Publisher: Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science