Homeobox
Alberto Plácido

Homeobox

Arquitectos Anonimos en tant que Architectes.

“Homeobox is a segment of a DNA sequence that may be found in genes involved in the regulation of the process of growth and/or development (morphogenesis). A subgroup of homeobox genes are the Hox genes, which are found in a special gene complex, the Hox complex. Hox genes act creating the pattern of the body axis in living beings. When providing the identity of certain body regions, Hox genes determine where the legs and other body segments will grow and develop into an embryo”. Carrol, Sean. Endless forms most beautiful: The new science of Evo Devo and the making of the animal kingdom, Phoenix - Orion Books, London 2007.


The project is linked to the idea of recreating the process of biological growth using a generative algorithm based on formal grammars. Can this logic generate architecture? Can this logic be seen as a second "body" grown from an existing structure? Is it possible for this strategy to serve additional algorithmic functions such as the creation of an organizational logic, a closed / targeted space, or the development of a structural system? Homeobox is an adaptive / adaptable scenery that accepts unpredictability as a modus operandi. Based on a script growth, the project incorporates a set of constraints (conflict / relational attitude with the structure of the cube of Siza) as an alternative to pre-formatted design procedures. This new entity is formed by reused and 100% recyclable generative boxes of high density polyethylene. The population growth of the homeobox was subject to specific restrictions: (1) adaptability to the morphology and dimensions of the Siza cube; (2) structural strength; (3) accessibility; (4) generative propagation universe; (5) adjustments to the growth and "swarm" behavior of the script, attending to a set of attractors and repressors bound to the geometry of the cube of Siza. Based on these constraints, we developed an algorithm (script = computer program) capable of generating a parasite space, a "polyp" that absorbs part of the structure of the Siza cube at FAUP, Porto. This new physical entity is created by combining Hox_Box genotype: the application of reproduction rules of the Box elements that are connected to each other, face-to-face, expressing the "territorial" protocol of the algorithm. This process reproduces a “swarm” behavior of close relationships in a constant mapping of positions until we reach the final result, the stable populations (samples 01 to 30). The end result is a combination of samples 05 and 08. A space with structural stability that is able to create shelter. A new "cube" generated in an unpredictable way: an antidote to pre-designed architectures.

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