Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Tropism-oriented generative design: analogical models for heterogeneous goal integration
Victor Bunster
2nd Author
3rd Author
Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
Number of Pages
The University of Melbourne
Thesis Supervisor
Professor Bharat Dave
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Dr. Stanislav Roudavsky
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Languages Familiar to Author
Spanish, English
URL where full thesis can be found
generative architecture, design computation, tropism analogy, goal integration, social housing
Abstract: 200-500 words
Architecture often requires integration between heterogeneous objectives. Both empirical requirements and speculative aspirations inform design in ways that resist ready formalization under computerizable logic. This thesis explores the possibilities of tropism-analogy as strategy for tackling some of these diverse objectives in a generative system. The feasibility of addressing heterogeneous goals with a computerizable design system is established by reviewing the role of rule-based strategies in vernacular tradition and the possibilities of analogies in recent generative methods. Then, the concept of tropism is analysed in depth, starting from its origins to its manifestation in a broad range of disciplines. This analysis leads to the definition of tropism as a 'process of turn' that enables purposeful connections between a system and its environment, an invariant property that may result in different levels of adaptation. These generalized conditions are used as conceptual foundation to explore analogical connections between divergent dimensions of architectural problems, and to define a feedback-enabled generative system that uses tropism-inspired rules in tackling contrasting design objectives. This system is implemented as a proof-of-concept for the Chilean social housing program, where is used to generate façade prototypes that respond simultaneously to thermal comfort and formal expression criteria. The outcomes of this thesis suggest that tropism-analogy can be used in tackling heterogeneous façade objectives and, therefore, to define novel design methods to explore goal-integration in computer-based generative architecture systems.