est  |  eng
------Art path of Hunter's Valley

John Frazer CV

Accelerating Architecture
John Hamilton Frazer

Generative and evolutionary computing techniques are used to accelerate the co-operative evolution of a sustainable future architecture. Massive computing power allows the temporal compression of space and the spatial compression of time to accelerate the exploration and evaluation of multiple possible future design trajectories.

This integrated design process fundamentally realigns the roles of the user, the tool and the means of construction. The computer becomes an evolutionary accelerator and the means of prediction and production; the user plays an active role in establishing the environment and the criteria for the validation of virtual prototypes for sustainable construction in the real world; the architect creates and sows new design concept seeds expressed in the genetic language of artificial form.

This new model will be complete when design information is fully embedded in the intelligent and interactive substance of a built environment, and when self-knowledge, self-assembly, self-modification and self-repair finally lead to self-organization in the artificial environment. The natural and artificial environments will merge, enabling the built environment to become integral to the very shaping of our planet’s future. This self-organizing process is known as autotectonics.

The prospects for designers are very exciting but radically different from present practice. Based in the first instance on an analogy with the operation of natural biological processes, the model moves on to suggest a post-evolutionary strategy for un-natural design that transcends the analogy with nature and in turn becomes a means of accelerating the evolutionary processes of nature. The autotectonic result may be a new form of designed artefact interacting and evolving with natural forces through pervasive computing and artificial intelligence.

The lecture will describe and justify the model, relate it to the parallel work of others and illustrate the implications with projects by colleagues and students.

John Frazer has been a pioneer in the development of intelligent and interactive building design systems and evolutionary design computation for over thirty years. His research in this field has been developed at the Architectural Association in London, Cambridge University, the University of Ulster where he was awarded a personal Chair, and most recently the Hong Kong Polytechnic University where he was Head of School and also Chair Professor. He is also an honorary Professor at four other Chinese Universities. His work has been presented worldwide in conferences, and extensively published in journals and books, including the seminal An Evolutionary Architecture.