Aggregate Structures: Material and Machine Computation of Designed Granular Substances


  • Karola Dierichs,

  • Achim Menges


In inanimate nature, large masses of granular substances are in constant processes of formation through perpetual cycles of erosion and accretion. What if architecture was to emulate this behaviour and allow for its own continuous reconfiguration? Karola Dierichs and Achim Menges establish the notion of an ‘aggregate architecture’. Composed of large numbers of unbound yet designed granules, aggregates are based on a fundamentally different logic of construction. In contrast to assembly systems, aggregates materially compute their overall constructional configuration and shape as spatiotemporal behavioural patterns, with an equal ability for both: the stable character of a solid material and the rapid reconfigurability of a fluid. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.