Adaptive Urban Fabric

Our modern times are unimaginable without planning. The growth of settlements and cities is so tempestuous that a slow process of adaptation is no longer possible. This, therefore, poses the question, whether by means of more adaptable planning theories, processes can be promoted or simulated.

This work examines the thesis of Frei Otto regarding the future direction of urban planning theory through the lens of parametric urbanism. The urban theory proposed translates the type of generating principles of the natural systems and unplanned settlements invoked by Otto, into a means of developing new forms of emergent urbanism.

Within these naturally evolving systems, whether biological, chemical, or physical, a base structural principle becomes the foundation for intelligent pattern generation, as seen in the supply systems of leaves, bubbles, foams, or crack patterns. The result may not be read as typical or predictable, but offers an optimized solution capable of adaptation and growth. Rather than simply mimic the form of such systems, this approach to urban planning uses foundational principles as a means of developing new, informed patterns of connection and territory.

The focus of the exemplary investigation, located in Navi Mumbai, is the interrelationship of digitally generated systems regarding territory and connection, with economic (eg. Hedonic pricing method, FAR) and ecological aspects (eg. Cooling, shading), ultimately providing a means of testing such relationships in an urban development. By establishing a set of foundational principles through digital mediums such as scripting, the result is an urban fabric capable of reading and responding to the influence of relational fields between these forces, creating not a fixed form of urban planning, but rather an adaptive, differentiated system.

Desingers: Ursula Frick | Thomas Grabner
Tutor: Prof. Patrik Schumacher
University of Innsbruck | Austria

To commemorate the 2013 Skyscraper Competition, eVolo published a collector’s edition of its highly acclaimed book “eVolo Skyscrapers”. The book is a two-volume, 1300-page set with the best 300 projects received during the last years. Only 150 copies are available worldwide.