Edge of Chaos: Towards intelligent architecture through distributed control systems based on Cellular Automata

Ing. arch. Vasilija Abramovič

From the “Edge of Chaos”, a mathematical space discovered by computer scientist Christopher Langton (1997), compelling behaviours originate that exhibit both degrees of organisation and instability creating a continuous dance between order and chaos. This paper presents a project intended to make this complex theory tangible through an interactive installation based on metamaterial research, that demonstrates emergent behaviour using Cellular Automata techniques, illustrated through sound, light and motion. We present a multi-sensory narrative approach that encourages playful exploration and contemplation on perhaps the biggest questions of how life could emerge from the disorder of the universe? We argue a way of creating intelligent architecture, not through classical Artificial Intelligence (AI), but rather through Artificial Life (Alife), embracing the aesthetic emergent possibilities that can spontaneously arise from this approach. In order to make these ideas of emergent life more tangible we present this paper in four integrated parts namely: narrative, material, hardware and computation. The Edge of Chaos installation is an explicit realisation of creating emergent systems and translating them into an architectural design. Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of a custom CA for maximising aesthetic impact while minimising the live time of architectural kinetic elements.

Za obsah této stránky zodpovídá: prof. Dr. Henri Hubertus Achten