Programme Director: Dr Tim Ireland

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Launched last year, the MSc Bio Digital Architecture programme progressed this year with its first full cohort of students. These students joined us from far and wide: India, Thailand, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Italy ………..and Canterbury. They did so in the midst of a global pandemic. It’s been a difficult year, but they have persisted. Being an energetic, enthusiastic and diligent group their work is demonstrable of a year without restriction, and I applaud these students for their hard work and drive. Having completed the first two terms of a full year-long programme the work presented here is an illustration of their work across three modules of the programmes five modules: Principles & Methods, Introduction to Programming, and Morphogenetic Programming.

The MSc Bio Digital Architecture programme provides a theoretical basis of Computer-Aided Architectural Design as an academic discipline while simultaneously teaching the use of the computer for analysis of design problems and a tool for the generation of space and form. The principle of self-organisation is fundamental to understanding morphology and students explore natural processes of pattern formation and growth to investigate the emergence of form and space.
The programme combines biological theory with computing know-how to explore architecture as a form of artificial life. Exploring mechanisms of feedback in systems, parallel simulation and principal ideas in artificial life developed by zoologists, biologists and computer scientists students investigate building generative and evolutionary models as a way of understanding architectural space and form.
MSc Bio Digital Architecture merges advanced computer-aided design skills with concepts from other fields pertinent, yet traditionally separate, to architecture; such as biology, psychology, computer science and philosophy. By integrating practice and theory students will be better able to think about the role of the computer in architecture and urban design, and approach alternative ways of thinking about space, form and structure to advance architectural knowledge and design practice.