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Landscape Architecture
 
Fractal geometry as design generator
Hello all,

Currently doing a research project through design into fractal geometry as design generation for landscape architecture and was wondering if anyone could post some related literature or views/ideas.

Any assistance will be greatly appreciated,

Cheers.
Tim Jones
Responses
 
Fractal geometry as design generator
Tim,

I have a book called something like "Chaos in Nature" which in fact looks at fractal patterns in nature such as plants and rock formations.

For myself I feel fractal cascades are a naturally occurring aesthetic and probably were used intuitively in the micro-landscapes of Japanese gardens.

One of my favourite science fiction books is "Sentenced to Prism" by Alan Dean Foster; a space adventure set on a silicone-based fractal world.
Frank John Snelling
Fractal geometry as design generator
Thank you for the reply,

Indeed, I have browsed over countless material looking into natures factals and have even also read into the likes of Charles Jencks and Frank Loyd Wright using the fractal geometry theory within their designs.

Was wondering if anyone had any opinions/ideas as to ways of encorporating fractals into the design process at all?
Tim Jones
Fractal geometry as design generator
Tim,

Incorporate fractals into the design process? Given that creating a fractal is an exercise in morphing (gradually changing a design), then you could use any software programme which generates permutation change.

Today there are programmes with which you can create a group of different elements which self-generate change in a chaotic way and interact with the other elements, ie., computer simulations of fish swimming about.
Frank John Snelling
Fractal geometry as design generator
Dear Tim,

It may be possible to literally morph computer-generated fractals into a built object. I imagine, however, that the design process could also benefit from the integration of the guiding principle behind fractals: infinite, self-similar details at all levels of scale.

One aspect that I really enjoy in the eclectic architecture of the late 19th century is their ability to detail at every level. You can look at the facade from a distance, and you see a pattern of windows. You come in closer and you see the moldings around the windows. You can come even closer and look at the carvings on the moldings. Get a bit closer and you can investigate the texture or color variations of the stone. This is something that is largely lost in modern architecture; only the finest masters (often those who have studied and admired historical structures) have been able to retain this aspect of design.

Now, imagine a building that has these different levels of fine and interesting detail, that is also self-similar at every level, like in a cauliflower (where each individual flower is like a miniature cauliflower). You can use the idea in decoration or in structure, creating a design that is interesting to look at at multiple zoom levels.
Ozgur Basak Alkan
Fractal geometry as design generator
Ozgur,

I agree with you. Design which is integrated or in harmony with all levels/elements, from the macro to the micro and so each level echoes the others, is a lost design process today.

In my research in the early 1990s into aesthetics and architectural design I independently deduced/evolved the concept as a part of my overall text.
Frank John Snelling
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