Emergent Form from Structural Optimisation of the Voronoi Polyhedra

Sense Editor
August 28, 2012


In the course of the exploration of computational means in the architectural design process, in order to investigate more complex, adaptive geometries, the Voronoi diagram has recently gained some attention, being a three-dimensional space-filling structure which is modular but not repetitive. The project looks at the Voronoi diagram as a load-bearing structure, and whether it can be useful for structural optimisation.

Hereby the edges of the Voronoi polyhedra are regarded as structural members of a statical system, which then is assessed by structural analysis software. Results seem to indicate that the Voronoi approach produces a very specific structural as well as spatial type of order. Through the dislocation of the Voronoi cells, the statical structure becomes more complex through emergent topology changes, and the initially simple spatial system becomes much more complex thorough emerging adjacencies and interconnections between spaces.

The characteristics of the emerging form, however, lie rather in the complexity how shifted spaces and parts are fitted together, than in a radical overall emergent geometry. Spatially as well as a structurally, the form moves from a simple modular repetitive system towards a more complex adaptive one, with interconnected parts which cannot stand alone but rather form an organic whole.