Genetic Algorithms in Architecture: a Necessity or a Trend?

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Eleftheria Fasoulaki: Genetic Algorithms in Architecture: a Necessity or a Trend? In: Generative Art 2007.



Genetic Algorithms (GAs), a computational technique based on the principles of evolution, have been recently introduced in architecture to address problems of complexity in the function and the form of architectural projects. While there has been an increasing interest in the use of GAs in architecture, there has not yet been a systematic study of the operation of GAs and their application in architecture yet. This paper investigates whether the utilization of GAs is a necessity or a trend; whether GAs are used to accommodate specific needs of architecture or merely to bear innovative and complex forms; and consequently whether GAs serve reality or utopia. In order to answer these questions, the paper examines the operation of GAs in other disciplines and in architecture as well as the implications of its applications in architecture. Finally, the paper demonstrates the premises for a successful operation of GAs in architecture.

Extended Abstract


Used References

[1] William Lethaby, Architecture: An Introduction to the History of the Art of Building, (T. Butterworth Ltd; Rev: 1911), 25.

[2] Micheal Hensel, Achim Merges, “Emergence in Architecture”, Architectural Design 74, no 3 (May/June 2004), 6-9.

[3] Luisa Caldas, Leslie Norford, A genetic Algorithm Tool for Design Optimization, Media and Design Process [ACADIA ‘99] Salt Lake City, (29-31 October 1999): 260-271,, retrieved November 01, 2007.

[4] Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser, “Emergent Structural Morphology”, Architectural Design 72, no1, (January 2002), 13-16.

[5] T. Liddament., “The Computationalist Paradigm in Design Research.” Design Studies, Vol 20, No 1, (1999) 44.

[6] Kristina Shea, Robert Aish, Marina Gourtovaia, “Towards integrated performance-driven generative design tools” [eCAADe ‘03] Graz University of Technology (Austria): 553-560,, retrieved November 01, 2007.

[7] Philip Steadman, The Evolution of Designs: Biological Analogy in Architecture and the Applied Arts. (New York, Cambridge University Press: 1979), 189.

[8] Christopher Alexander, Notes on the Synthesis of Form. (Cambridge, Harvard University Press: 1964), 15.

[9] Ibid.


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