CODING GROWTH PATTERNS: Diffusion Limited Aggregation

CODING GROWTH PATTERNS: Diffusion Limited Aggregation

Student Author: 
Christopher Chan
Date: 
May 2017
Supervisor(s): 
Maya Przybylski

The field of biology has much to offer architecture. Biology has, over time, crafted and refined phenomena in our natural world over millions of years. Things like the process of how a silk worm spins highly strong fibers into a sophisticated cocoon could perhaps help to optimize the highly inefficient ways in which we construct our buildings today. This code is a first step into modeling one the way in which things in nature grow. In this case, it is plant like root systems. This specific processes is called diffusion limited aggregation, where individual random moving particles would condense with others into a form a root-like structure, all originating from a centerpoint.

Although this model of growth is, for the most part, constructed out of a random process, there is the more interesting design challenge in attempting to control this randomized growth. For example, branches of a plant might grow towards sunlight, or tendrils of slime mold might avoid dangerous areas, or favour areas with more food. This model of growth might then offer some new insight on how we might plan architecture. Each individual particle, or unit, must link itself to at least one other unit, creating one continuous branch, while at the same time, there is an explorative nature to the entire system as a whole.