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Application of Fractal Growth Patterns in Housing Layout Design

DOI
10.15415/cs.2016.32012

AUTHORS

Subhadha Battina

ABSTRACT

In early phases of design, during the process of form-exploration, architects -- knowingly or unknowingly -- have used mathematics as their guiding tool to evolve a formal methodology of design. Fundamental compositional principles such as symmetry, rhythm and proportion are based on specific mathematical underpinnings. However, very often the designer comes across a situation where these underlying mathematical principles need to be overlapped or interfaced. Applying fractal concepts to the order can accommodate this complex diversity. Fractals allow us to provide a combination of order and surprise in a rhythmic composition using a specific mathematical geometry. Fractals are typically unit-based and, can thus allow exploration in architectural designs which have a ‘unit’ as a fundamental issue or necessity. The design of housing layout stands out prominently among such architectural problems and, can thus be one such instance in which fractals may be used as a design tool. Commonly seen organisational patterns in housing layout designs create rigidity and monotony, while others like clustered groups are too inconsistent and can create disorder. The research tries applying fractal ordering principles to strike a balance between these extremes by creating an orderly arrangement of houses with an underlying variation in the pattern. The traditional processes of creating housing layouts is quite cumbersome. With the mathematical power of computers, fractal ordering principles are used as Iterative functions to generate multiple design options. The research investigates the potential of the emergent patterns of fractals as an organisational principle in designing housing layouts, while limiting it based on site constraints, size and the transforming rules. In doing so, the objective is to explore the computational and mathematical basis of repetitive patterns in architectural order and compositions. The study also aims at developing a computer application, based on algorithms using fractals, which offers capabilities as a conceptual and organisational tool for a housing layout. The application is implemented, tested and its results are demonstrated using a live terrain data.

KEYWORDS

Fractals, Computation in Design, Housing Layout Patterns, Organic Growth Patterns

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