Crystal and flame/form and process: The morphology of the amorphous
This paper presents the work and research produced through an on-going architectural project entitled The Phenomenological Garden. The project seeks to investigate the morphological and integrative versatility of fundamental processes that exist throughout the natural environment. Work produced by students in workshops incorporating educational methods and procedures derived from this research will also be presented. This evolving project is a systematic investigation of the versatile and generative potential of the complex processes found throughout systems in Nature, biology, mathematics and music. As part of the Form Studies Unit in the School of Architecture at Carleton University, the work seeks to investigate how complex structures and forms are generated from initially random processes that evolve into morphologically rich integrated relationships. The morphological diversity revealed by this working and teaching method offers new insights into the complexity lurking within nature's processes and bridges the theoretical gap between Galileo Galilei's conception of nature, as revealed above, and the modern theories of Chaos and Complexity as exemplified by Benoit Mandelbrot and Ilya Prigogine. This working process also offers insights into the conceptual and philosophical aspirations of such key central figures as Antoni Gaudi, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Buckminster Fuller in the early formative period of modern architecture, and more recently, the architect/engineer Santiago Calatrava. The implications of these developments are relevant to the study of morphology as well as to the field of architecture at a time when it is addressing the concepts and themes emerging out of our deeper understanding of dynamic and complex phenomena in the physical world.
Baez, M. (2009). Crystal and flame/form and process: The morphology of the amorphous.