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      Exodesic Dennis Dollens



Autopoietic, BioDigital, & Metabolic Architecture: Digitally-Growing Structure, Surfaces, & Components  •  Bio-observation, Generative Code, & Software Growth for digitally hybridizing forms & structures  


Autopoietic Architecture: Can Buildings Think?


Looking through a filter of autopoietic theory as it defines living intelligent systems, DBA3 Autopoietic Architecture: Can Building Think?

asks questions of how AI, synthetic biology, and living technology can merge with aesthetics, geometry, and plant research in order to visually

and systemically aid extrapolation of generative procedural rules, geometries, and metabolic forms to consider

intelligent architectures. Autopoietic Architecture proposes buildings hybridized through algorithmic plant simulation,

living bacteria, plant metabolism, computational simulation, and living technology. The text discusses and illustrates

an induced evolution in one emerging method — autopoietic-extended design — for metabolic architecture realized through software-simulated,

plant-to-architecture morphology and biological intelligence. The resulting autopoietic-generative architecture is manifested in prototype ideas,

theory, structures, surfaces, materials, and systems documented with drawings, renderings, and STL models


Free @ ISSUU



















Autopoiesis for Metabolic Architecture

A Reading of, & Guide to: Autopoiesis: The Organization of the Living


Autopoiesis is a biological theory of living systems written by Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela in 1980.

It theorizes the organization of living organisms and phenomenological interactions (intelligence/metabolism) in physical,

material environments — nature. The theory articulates features and conditions necessary to define and articulate

minimal life requirements that apply not only to molecular cellular systems, but also to machines, software, and environments.

This book adapts, interprets, and hybridizes autopoietic theory for application to the investigation of metabolic/intelligent,

generative architecture. It is a section-by-section commentary paralleling the original text to outline

requirements for living cognitive systems, along with animate (but not necessarily conscious) intelligence hybridized

with bioremedial architecture to posit metabolic intelligence exemplified, for example by bacteria and plant intelligences.


Kindle edition: $5



Below: Alan Turing's Drawings,

Autopoiesis & Can Buildings Think?


47: 3. May-June 2014




Biomimetic Concept

Natural and digitally grown (Xfrog) tumbleweeds as an example of biomimetic observations that can then be edited/developed and used for 3D visualization and CAD/CAM manufacturing.



Biomimetic process of studying plant morphology and applying observed properties to digital forms leading to the development of a series of truss-like, columns and beams.


Above: Branching column supporting a canopy roof developed from a tree grown in Xfrog and given geometric properties.





Xfrog grown tree/column.

3D Studio MAX rendering of branching column used (right) where leaves

have been converted to glass floors.



Above: Branching column scaled up to sprout and

support floors for an example of a

large-scale building armature with planes.


From the Xfrog grown plant above, an individual leaf was selected and exported to Rhino

where it was modified to function as a canopy segment by transformig it into a monocoque shell

for use as a repeating, roof element for the first stage of a plaza redevelopment project in Pontecagnagno, Sicily.

In elevation (top) and plan (below, right) the "leaf" has a likeness to a bird in flight while in the head-on rendering,

it maintains a leaf-like quality.The intention was to create a light-weight, strong, repeatable unit

with natural referances developed through technological visualization and CAD/CAM production







Above: Prismatic geometries generated in Xfrog to study massing and the ability to grow geometries into interconnecting

spaces as well as with nesting armatures like the spider-like frame seen at the right. In additon, experimentaiton was

needed to develop grown files, edited in Rhino, into STL flies for building as STL and Thermojet models

and later, potentially, CAD/CAM manufacturing.




Below: STL built truss from a file grown as

branches curving into themselves in order to

design a truss without a central trunk and

with flexibilty. 2007-ongoing.


28 page Comic Book # 1:

A Pangolin's Guide to Biomimetics & Digital Architecture

$7 •


Genetic Architectures / Arquitecturas Geneticas


Alberto Estévez, Alfons Puigarnau, Ignasi Pérez Arnal, Dennis Dollens, Alfonso Pérez-Mendez, Joaquim Ruiz Millet, Ana Planella. Co-published with ESARQ—UIC

ISBN 0-930829-51-4

$17 •


D2A– Digital to Analog ISBN: 0-930829-50-6 $17 •


De lo digital a lo analogico

(Spanish translation by Ana Planella)

Editorial Gustavo Gili

ISBN 84-252-1909-4




































Exodesic: Structures, Tumbleweeds, Electronics

ISBN 0-930829-41-7


Trend: Art + Design + Architecture

by Ellen Berkovitch • Spring 2008


Blueprint, May 2004. (London)

Pages 40-41. Article by Katy Dunn


Leonardo 38/1, Spring 2005

Pages 14-21, 38


Metalocus #4 (Madrid)

Pages 30-41

Edited by J.J. Barba







El Proyecto TumbleTruss The TumbleTruss Project


ISBN 84-921103-4-1