Methods for morphogenesis and ecology in architecture: designing the bothnian bay cultural center
This work employs algorithmic design methods in a process that uses natural phenomena as the basis of its architectural morphology. It implements digital morphogenesis in reaction to ecology and selected forces of the building environment. The resulting design is a combination of the application of these forces and the use of more traditional design methods. With the help of algorithmic design methods, my goal has been to find new techniques and inspiration in the aid of architectural design. The use of computational methods in architecture have the ability, not just to aid in the design, but to aid in the search for inspiration for the design as well.


This written part of this work (see the link to the publication) is divided into two equally important sections; the description of the process and the case study. The description of the process demonstrates the different methods that were used and the theory in incorporating nature’s influential elements as part of the creative task. The case study illustrated the outcome of that process – an architectural design. Both sections are equally important in evaluating this work. Without one, the result of this research would be incomplete and uninformative. Together they describe a fluent process from concept to design and as such, the distinctive parts complete each other.

Soft-touch integration

My intention was to study different possibilities in which algorithmic aided design could develop the process of architectural design. My intention was not to reach a final and definitive answer to the design problem just by creating a set of design tools and then pressing a “start” button; the methods used in this diploma work offer a more soft-touch integration of computational methods as an extension of our inspiration and sketching processes. Algorithmic design methods offer new ways of searching for information and motivation to reinforce our design intentions.

The final case design is a digital representation of an organic architectural form. I have avoided the use of pre-learned mannerisms and direct references to existing solutions. This offered the possibility to be inspired by the location, its ecology and the design problem itself, rather than just looking into recent architectural publications as source for inspiration. These new techniques offered me a way to break free from the limitations of my own mind, and truly search for alternative solutions through the inspiration of nature.

Diploma project was nominated for the Archiprix International 2011 competition for best gratuation projects and the Gerda ja Salomo Wuorio Award.
University diploma work
Toni Österlund