Category Archives: swarm

Recovering Berlin Competition is Launched

Termite Pavilion

This pavilion was made by 3D scanning a termite mound and enlarging it to fit humans before being milled and assembled.  I think such analogies will be useful, especially in ideas of reconstruction, memory, and such.


termite mounds

great post yuval. here is another, also exceptional:

The beginning is great architecturally, then go to about 4:20 to see the size of the queen and how she operates. Around 6, the narrator discusses the strategies in the architecture and complexity of its spaces.

is there hierarchy in our swarm?


Ants Subterranean Structures

They poured tons of concrete into an ant colony’s hole and then started digging it out to reveal the elaborate underground city.  Basically lots of channels of circulation and ventilation and then these ventricles, these round chambers at the ends.    (It’s long but try to watch it through)  Lots to think about as far as negative space and reconstruction.



From Wikipedia:

Lithification is a process of porosity destruction through compaction and cementation. Lithification includes all the processes which convert unconsolidated sediments into sedimentary rocks. Petrification, though often used as a synonym, is more specifically used to describe the replacement of organic material by silica in the formation of fossils. In geology consolidation is a synonym for lithification.

A library of simple diagrams of geological processes.

The aesthetics of striation as a result of lithification.

The aesthetics of tafoni as a result of erosion.

Modelling of compaction (packing) (also, lithification) through computation.


swarm model – slime mold

swarm urbanism

Some inspiration from kokkugia

From the project Swarm Urbanism…

“Agency operates through two main processes within this proposal: firstly by using design agents to self-organise urban matter and secondly encoding intelligence into urban elements and topologies.”

“Agents within this system are not generic, instead there is an ecology of agent systems which interact, each set of agents programmed with their own desires and information.”

There are two key points here that they use to relate a swarm model to urban phenomena. First, the interaction between agents and their landscape. The agents have a series of behaviors, but they are also directly affected by information that is stored in the landscape, and the landscape itself is affected by the agents. This is the basic definition of an ecosystem.

Second, there is a hierarchy of agents, each performing their own task. In this model, there is a group of agents who aggregate matter, similar to the behavior of termites in building a colony. A second class of agents operates more like a slime mold, to build infrastructure by connecting certain locations in a minimal system.

I think both of these points are crucial when starting to think about how swarm models can be applied to think of the organization of a city.