Columbia GSAPP Advanced Studio VI
Bio Design | Embryology, Architecture, & Innovation
David Benjamin and Ali Brivanlou,
with Danil Nagy and Jesse Blankenship
Anisotropy an·isot·ro·py noun;
: the state or condition of certain flowers or plants of having different dimensions along different axes.
: In physics, the quality of exhibiting properties with different values when measured along axes in different directions. Anisotropy is most easily observed in single crystals of solid elements or compounds, in which atoms, ions, or molecules are arranged in regular lattices.
The studio began with an immersive study of morphogenesis, cell growth, and cell differentiation. Students will conduct lab experiments in the Brivanlou Lab at Rockefeller University, with the idea that manipulating the embryo is part of understanding it. The studio emphasized new software techniques for capturing biological data, deriving equations of growth, creating 4D models, simulating dynamic systems, and designing unprecedented structures at multiple scales.
Students developed and tested hypotheses about how biological development might translate to new possibilities for architecture—from structures grown from a single cell, to buildings that dynamically evolve in response to surrounding buildings, to cities that exchange materials and energy in complex ecosystems, to architecture that self-replicates.
The inspiration for the project is the reaction-diffusion equation as observed in the pattern development of zebrafish embryos. The reaction-diffusion equation, also known as the Turing pattern equation, is one in which two rates of diffusion, when combined, create a dynamic equilibrium.
The projects proposes a structural systems workflow in which material assemblies were modeled, simulated and eventually fabricated with varying properties in order to correspond with multiple and continuously shifting functional constraints, such as light and load.
The structural units are composed of two materials: solid and translucent. Material is concentrated in regions of high strength and dispersed in areas where stiffness is not required, reflecting the principle of anisotropy as observed in the reaction-diffusion patterning along the spinal columns of zebrafish embryos during morphogenesis.
pattern growth in zebra fish over time
image processing reveals random distribution to linear banding
pattern simulation through particle formation
two-part material model lighting tests
structural wall two-part material composition
Two-Part Material: Structural Application Variation
interior renderings of two-part material wall and floor
Bio Design: Final Animation