by Dennis L. Dollens and Ignasi Pérez Arnal
The program in Genetic Architecture in the Escola Superior d'Arquitectura (ESARQ) at Barcelona's Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC) is rapidly becoming one of the most technically advanced architecture programs in the Mediterranean region. Directed by Alberto T. Estévez, this master's degree program aims to be a center for, and generator of, new design methods.
Just as material science studies the structures of plants, animals, and natural forces to mimic their composition and form in the production of new materials, "genetic architecture" generates graphic and structural extrapolations to architectural design by studying and mimicking life forms (biomimetics).
The ESARQ program and UIC's newly organized E-Lab fuse advanced forms of digital visualization with the integration of technology, the environment, biomimetics, traditional architecture, and new forms of rapid prototyping.
Together, the program and lab are organized as an international center for research in bridging digital and analog professions in design, science, and technology. In the last academic year, the two programs have hosted international guests — including Karl T. Chu, Marcos Novak, Mark Goulthrope, and Mark Burry — in discussions of digital and genetic architectural practice. >>>
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Natalia Botero's Rhino drawing of a rose petal and its digital evolution into a working lexicon of form and then into a series of experimental spaces.
Image: Natalia Botero
A 3D Systems ThermoJet printer in the ESARQ studio. The top insert shows the build chamber; the bottom, a model during the cleaning process to remove supports.
Image: Dennis Dollens
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