Configurational Morphology

A Vision of Adaptive Urban Form

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Configurational Morphology is a research and design project exploring the potentials of configurational design as a systematic approach to generating site-specific urban form responsive to its environmental, social end economic context. By looking into both the theoretical potentials of configurational thinking as well as its practical application in the form of design experiments, the project manages to paint a comprehensive picture of how a configurational design process could be structured and what benefits it could bring. From its historical precedents and roots in vernacular architecture, through its analytical capacity to abstract and visualise the socio-spatial patterns of existing cities, its applicability as a digital design interface mediating between humans and machines, its compatibility with advanced computational techniques to finally its ability to generate bottom-up adaptive urban form, the experiments reinforce the idea that such a design approach could indeed be possible as well as feasible. Throughout, an underlying theme guides the project; a vision of the future city in which generic cookie-cutter urban fabric is replaced by customised adaptive urban forms of tremendous diversity. With it returns local identity, the richness of spatial experiences, increased performance and sustainability, higher density, increased equality and much more. Simultaneously, traditional socio-spatial structures are deconstructed and can be translated to other previously unimaginable forms such as a high-rise row house or a slab functioning as a courtyard block offering completely new possibilities for urban living. The result is a city of infinite opportunities; a city in which our social patterns, buildings, the environment and the urban fabric again become an indistinguishable whole adapted to contemporary urban life and fit for the future of our society.