The Gossamer Tower project features robotic 3D printing and simulation of a biological process of stigmergy, for the design application at a larger architectural scale.
This research used stigmergy behaviour, another example of agency-based systems, which could be programmed to be highly adaptive to local data. What is most intriguing and attractive in this case, is contrasting organic aesthetics emerging from algorithms like stigmergy, with its plant like formations, and the hyper-rationalisation and genericity of voxelised geometry. Different resolutions were introduced in the facade panels, by using an octree algorithm. The result is a building skin that from afar looks like a plant, but in close up has almost Minecraft-like aesthetics coming from a multi-resolution voxel field. Organic stigmergy partly plays a role in the distribution of data through the facade field, rather than generating geometry. It leaves its imprint in the density of geometry
The idea was to work with increased resolution building skins that exhibit super performance in how they filter light, heat and thermal properties and similar. Recent changes to regulations on building skins mean that these architectural elements are required to be more advanced in performance, which opens new opportunities for novel construction processes and unseen aesthetic effects. Using a high-resolution data-driven process can open new possibilities. Building on previous Biothing work , this project targeted high-precision adaptive porosity within the skin of a high-rise building.