SIGGRAPH 2008 > For Attendees > Design & Computation > Branching Morphogenesis

Branching Morphogenesis

Theme: SIGGRAPH Core

Branching Morphogenesis investigates the part-to-whole relationships revealed during generation of branching structures formed by interacting vascular cells. The study and quantification of this network allows for a greater understanding of how variable components give rise to structured networks in biology and architecture.

Models borrowed from architects (such as tensegrity structures and geodesic domes) have led to radical new insights into how living systems, including eukaryotic cells, tissues, and whole organisms, are assembled and function, as well as to a new understanding of how the micro-ecology of cells influences the genome.

Similarly, models borrowed from biology, particularly regarding self- organization and emergence of complex, non-linear global systems from simple local rules of organization, have led to discovery of new forms and structural organizations in architectural design.

The intent of this project is to jointly investigate fundamental processes in living systems and their potential application in architecture. Through investigation of controlled and uncontrolled cell tissue biological models, parallel models work to unfold the parametric logic of these biological and responsive systems, revealing their deep interior logic. The result is a component-based surface architecture capable of responding dynamically to both the immediate environment (context) and deeper, interior programmed systems.

Jenny E. Sabin
Peter Lloyd Jones
Annette Fierro
Jonathan Asher
Andrew Lucia
University of Pennsylvania