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Speculative Emergence: A Form Finding Technique

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posted on 2021-05-24, 14:52 authored by Emily Mutch

Emergence is a result of a complex assembly of interacting systems, which can potentially result in novel patterns and formations. As a result, emergence may be linked to the natural generation of diverse properties. Currently, there exists a distinct knowledge gap between the complex and adaptable systems as seen in nature, and the deterministic, pre-planned approach of current architectural building practice. In order to approach emergence and its inherently novel form for development as a new central tenet to architectural ‘evolution’, we would need to be less reliant on following deterministic, heavy handed, top-down design practice. By embracing systems thinking, we can work to relinquish old identities and permit emergence into new forms and structures. This requires questioning and speculating how integrated systems within a site can be understood, and as a result an emergent architecture developed through a bottom-up approach may be achieved. This thesis will examine speculative emergence to improve our understanding of bottom up design strategies. The exploration of emergent potentials may lead to an architecture of positive change, away from the deterministic design practice which maintains a stronghold within the architectural world.





Master of Architecture



Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


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