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Soft Living Architecture: An Alternative View of Bio-informed Practice

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rachel Armstrong


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Soft Living Architecture: An introduction to bio-informed design practice” is an exploratory work in terms of its form, method and ideas. It seeks to expand current notions of the living world beyond the mechanical frameworks, which shape biology and its associated tools of modern synthesis. Experimentally addressing the notion of designing and engineering with living systems, it explores alternative ways of addressing the paradoxes that undermine modern biology, in ways that render them relevant to the emerging ecological era, or Ecocene. In this context there is no single image, body, or story that accounts for a universal notion of life. Instead we must accept the incompleteness of life and try to understand that coherent “living” characteristics are not truly diagnostic of the phenomenon.Casting its reach widely and ambitiously, this book draws together the threads for an ambitious practice of bio-inspired design with an expanded view of matter, biotechnology, ecology, spandrels, planetary systems, computing, the prebiotic realm, compost and environmental influences. These are viewed through the “living” perspective of “dissipative systems” to suggest an architecture that is not content with a classical – mechanical and geometric – view of its “body” but expresses the radical, generative, fluid and highly situated, character of life itself.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Armstrong R

Publication type: Authored Book

Publication status: Published

Edition: 1st

Year: 2018

Number of Pages: 224

Print publication date: 06/09/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic Press

Place Published: London, UK


Notes: The Living Architecture project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement no. 686585.

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781350011359