Digital Morphogenesis

written by Neil Leach


The term ‘morphogenesis’ is fast becoming one of the new buzz-words in progressive architectural circles.[1] Used initially in the realm of biological sciences, the term refers to the logic of form generation and pattern-making in an organism through processes of growth and differentiation. More recently it has been appropriated within architectural circles to designate an approach to design that seeks to challenge the hegemony of top-down processes of form-making, and replace it with bottom-up logic of form-finding.[2]



[1] Morphogenesis is derived from the Greek terms, ‘morphe’ (shape/form) and ‘genesis’ (creation).

[2] On this see Michael Hensel, Achim Menges, Michael Weinstock (eds.), Emergence: Morphogenetic Design Strategies, London: Wiley, July 2004; Michael Hensel, Achim Menges, Michael Weinstock (eds.), Techniques and Technologies in Morphogenetic Design, London: Wiley, March 2006.