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Emergence: Morphogenetic Design Strategies by Michael Weinstock, Achim Menges, Michael Hensel

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Overall plan of the Southeast Coastal Park and Auditoria, Barcelona. The organisational prototype is based on the coastal dune, a material organisation with little internal structure and shaped by the wind. The programmatic distribution is based on the modelling of sporting and leisure activities as a network of circuits.

In recent exhibitions and publications, Foreign Office Architects [FOA] has systematised the representation of its work in the form of a phylogram, a means of reviewing the firm’s body of work over the 10 years it has been in practice. A phylogram, or phylogenetic tree, is a device of classification in biology which is used for systematic studies of evolutionary history and the relationships among organisms that have common ancestors. In this case the phylogram operates to identify consistency across the different design processes, projects and the overall body of the architects’ work.

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Southeast Coast Park, Barcelona. Tiles diagram.

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Southeast Coastal Park, Barcelona. Descriptive elevations of wall under dune.

FOA grew very much out of the culture of “nonstyle”, but we have lately realised that there were certain features that appeared in various projects. This ...

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