Galapagos: Design by Natural Selection
- Matthew Dougherty
Biomimicry most commonly describes creations from designers that are inspired by the many forms and functions of living things. Nature, as if working with an invisible hammer and chisel through the ages, has been able to fine-tune design in a way that can only be achieved with vast experience. While humans copy and implement into the man-made world with great success the many forms of something created by nature, it may also be a worthwhile endeavor to copy the process that has proven the natural world such a brilliant designer. Galapagos seeks to mimic, not a form of nature, but the system of evolution by the way of natural selection.
While designers are able to utilize the collective knowledge of past generations and draw upon their own creativity and intellect, they don’t have the tremendous advantage that nature has in its billions of years old trial and error experiment that is evolution. However, with the advent of computer science and smart A.I., the process of natural selection and evolution is being simulated digitally with increasing proficiency. Galapagos is a proposal for an artificial intelligence system that uses the key concepts of evolution to create beautiful and functional designs. Although it could be used in many design fields, this demonstration will express how it could be useful in architecture, with the end goal of creating a successful residential building. A few parameters are necessary:
The key concept of Galapagos is that the resultant forms are not designed, in the conventional sense, but emerge through the most organic process known, evolution.