As everybody talks about sustainable architecture for a better living in today and tomorrow’s world, Salvador Dali, a surrealist artist quoted during a discussion with le Corbusier that “the future of architecture will be soft and furry” as he was very much fascinated by the works of Antoni Gaudi and his concept of plasticity and believed that due to technological advancement anything could be made in reality.
Today, architecture is not only discussed on a micro level but its main concern lies at the macro level and that level is the whole planet. Not only towns or cities need to be sustainable but the whole planet needs to be sustainable for the existence of mankind.
Biodigital and genetic architecture were founded in 2000 in Barcelona city by combining biological techniques, a study of DNA’s, algorithms, and organic form with artificial intelligence, tools, and digital techniques. Developing any kind of technology that works on the concept of bio and digital format has 3 key elements which are teaching, research, and practice, which has been done in Barcelona since 2000 while studying the complete age changes since ancient architecture and also the contribution of technology in these changes.
As today’s world needs more in terms of everything, so there needs to be a study about “where do we come from, what are we and where are we going” in terms of ages of architecture. Nature is a self-growing process that has been used for bio-architecture but if self-growing nature gets combined with the technologies and digital world it would give rise to Biodigital architecture which is the future of architecture and the people.
The key relation of any Biodigital and genetic architecture is:
- Natural Software
Natural software in Biodigital is said to be living elements with their natural process of automation growth through genetic research to obtain living spaces, building materials in architecture. The living cell is converted to building material creating a genetic design, giving 100% sustainability and eco-friendly construction with no manual labor because of its self-growth.
- Artificial Software
Artificial software is said to be computerized elements with the cybernetic process and robotic designing in architecture. The whole image can be brought to reality because of the digital DNA which gives flexibility to self-construction and growth. Due to the digital process, mass production can happen which eventually reduces the overall cost of construction.
Examples of Biodigital and genetic architecture are:
- The Biodigital Skyscraper, Barcelona
The whole structure comprises the application of the research of sea sponges and their natural genetic rule for living and growing through digital DNA design and also can be fabricated digitally. Due to the research and the fusion of the two software’s, natural and artificial the building has achieved its full efficiency in sustainability and is self-sustained in every aspect.
- The Consulting Rooms, Barcelona
Consulting rooms were also one of the projects under the Biodigital concept developed during 2008-2009. It was based on microscopic research on the radiolarian and pollen structure which are the fine grain of organisms of the male flowers. These grains have been evolved through millions of years and have been extracted under genetic rules to combine with the digital DNA and technology to attain structural parameters on 1:1 scale rooms.
- Biodigital Pavilion, Barcelona
The Biodigital pavilion is the advanced version of digital fabrication and a step forward in the term of research in radiolarian and pollen grains which combined with the digital intelligence created domes and roof structures as the pavilion. During the research, it was stated that there needs to be an equilibrium maintained between the animals and the vegetation and that equilibrium was established in the pavilion through the right amount of digital DNA and the biological element.
- Biodigital Barcelona Chair
The Biodigital chair is evolved from the ancient techniques of “no models and no moulds” and are developed by CAD-CAM technologies and built on a 1:1 scale with the help of a CNC machine and creating fluid form.
- The Barcelona Genetic Project
The Barcelona genetic project was an urban-level project with the concept of having huge landscape parks with an interconnecting roof. It was stated by Albert T.Estevez that “green Barcelona, blue planet” and aimed at making Barcelona city a green city with more softscapes rather than hardscapes which would overheat our cities.
As buildings can be sunken to the ground so they need to rise above the ground with connecting bridges which would reduce the hardscape and would give shading and the roofs of the building would be green so that the footprint taken by the building would be given back to the planet and reduce the ecological damages that humans have done.
- Bioluminescent Plants & Lighting
This technology was developed under the genetic Barcelona project from 2003 till 2006 which introduced luminous protein into the DNA of vegetation. In 1962, GFP (green fluorescent protein) was discovered in the animals like fishes and glowworms, and algae which were combined with species and became an important and potential component in the architecture.
Barcelona being a small area with a high density of population requires more electricity but bioluminescent plant lighting reduces electric consumption and is a sustainable approach towards the future. Bio lamps are another kind of bioluminescent artificial lighting that illuminates the apartment with living lights.
Development in research areas and technological advancement everything is possible at any cost, creating new sustainable systems has evolved new kinds of architecture, which has widened the field of architecture even more and now we can say that due to the development, science has exceeded friction and can create beyond our imaginations because that where our future lies.
- Estévez, Alberto author (2014). The Future of Architecture Biodigital Architecture and Genetics, [online]. (Last updated: 2021/01/12). Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348417710_2014_The_Future_of_Architecture_Biodigital_Architecture_and_Genetics
- Alberto T. Estévez, Diego Navarro (2017). Biomanufacturing the Future: Biodigital Architecture & Genetics, [online]. Volume 12. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351978917305917