The theoretical framework for the research of Formicis is based upon the premise that a component can be viewed as a behavioural agent capable of self-organization and situational adaption. Moving away from the traditional view of component as a mono-functional object statically connected to others in its kit of parts, this project asks the question: How could component structures intelligently self-organize to respond to their environment? Our answer is to embed the capability of flexibility into the component geometry, organizational strategy and decision making process. Our goal is to create an autonomous component capable making independent multi-criteria decisions, that when combined with others, creates an emergent swarm behaviour that greatly extends the ability of the collective. This behavioural definition of component can easily be seen in natural systems that exist as collective swarms.

Ants are exemplary models of a prototypical component that possesses swarm intelligence. A single ant can act autonomously through its ability to make simple local decisions to accomplish any number of foraging and maintance tasks. There are, however, instances when ants are acting as a collective and need to accomplish tasks far beyond the capacity of any single ant. In these instances, such as crossing a large chasm, the ants will reconfigure their relationship to each other to form large aggregate structures that can span relatively great distances creating a literal ant bridge. These bridges require the ants to connect to each other in several basic ways and are constructed through the incremental addition of individual ants into the structure. There is choreography to the assembly and disassembly to the ant bridge as a structure and an innate deployability to its nature. When seen as an abstract system, where ants are the behavioral componentry that can responsively self-organize into ant bridge configurations specific to each scenario, the simplicity and versatility of the ant bridge is immensely more powerful than our own architectural systems. In instances requiring collective response in unpredictable environments there is much to be emulated in the simplicity of the ant as a component model and the ant bridge as model for assembly and performance of deployable structures.

Formicis attempts create something free from the limitations and the redundancies of the grid. These are uncharted waters and concerns arose regarding our 2-D instructions. When adopting a method which designates sections of behavior, the fear arose that the model would reflect those sections in isolation and not as a global form.

When the model was built, it dismissed our fears of symmetry. The test models prove the success of Formicis to eradicate the monotonous nature of a 2-D grid.


May 20, 12 12:49 am

structurally, how do these stand?  Where do people enter the equation?  This is script driven sculpture.  I have no idea how to connect this to the reality of buildings people want to live, work, or play in, let alone buy.

May 20, 12 1:27 am
chatter of clouds

1- the "swarm" has an embedded intelligence within each of its members and in sum total. it is the product of its environment - by that, roughly understood as all processes, past or present, that exist outside the formula/s of the internal amalgamation-  prior to being a product of its "own" laws.  the facbrications of yours is a product of a rather solipsistic and necessarily  very limited  (if i may come up with a term) mono-natura-temporal process that observes

now, while the principle and the translatin of the principle is promising in a very specific and very limited sense, one cannot present this as a new breed of fabrication. we have seen many instances of this method - does another instance really warrant a branding?

2- there is an implicit association between this method and a rather turgid  viewpoint on symmetry and its associated geometrical world. i see this as a watered down cliche' to be honest. symmetry is, if anything, in a virtual word that furnishes the possibility of symmetry, is a contextually valid example of self organization: after all, there is no external agent to force this symmetry.


May 20, 12 6:35 am

i love Formica..always have, always will

May 20, 12 2:06 pm

Will there be enough closet space?

May 21, 12 11:52 am

This thread has delivered my monthly dose of pseudo-intellectual bullshit.

May 22, 12 1:29 am

I recognize this project.

May 22, 12 9:15 pm

this is agent-based research, not a finalized building. You are too lazy to read the text.

May 22, 12 10:00 pm


I understood it quite well.  I even said exactly that - script driven sculpture.

But its also not unique and completely removed from the reality of designing and constructing a building people can and want to use.  The "research" doesn't explain how it connects to the reality of the built form.  It's just sculpture, and entirely digital and unintended sculpture at that.

May 23, 12 10:43 pm

What a deep analysis calculator. "It's just a form!! has no relevance to architecture! I love doodling and reading Frank Lloyd Wright novels!"
Thanks for gracing us with your brilliance.

May 23, 12 11:07 pm

Whats worse than pedantic people? Pedantic parametric monkeys who lack the ability to coherently address the various, often banal questions that people are asking here. Instead of engaging with what in some cases is clearly a generational/ perceptional gap, they come across as anal retentive idiots full of misplaced angst.


Its disingenuous to dismiss computational processes (parametrics included) in today's world, not just in the realm of Architecture, but almost all other disciplines. However, I really wish that this forum had some learned individuals who would be able to convey the broadness of the notion of 'parametricism' without condescension. Instead what we have are these idiots who display the communication skills of a spoilt 3 year old waiting for a nappy change. The problem with 'parametricism' is that communicating its ideas needs dexterity, grace and a complete and utter lack of dogma. Qualities which these 'parametric warriors'  most clearly lack.

To those whose are asking all the seemingly banal questions, it would serve you well to read some of these people - Neil Leach, Greg Lynn and Paul Coates for starters.

May 24, 12 4:39 am

Greg Lynn is a douche

May 24, 12 8:24 pm

@the nothing

Like Formicis, your previous comment was nothing but hot air and emptiness.  Thank you for showing us how much *your* supposed brilliance is worth.  I suppose your comment practically created itself, so it probably isn't your fault or intention.

May 24, 12 9:16 pm

plenty of posts, books, buildings, realities can sign for what this project is looking into. 

you've just miscalculated.

May 24, 12 9:36 pm

by all means, relate this sculpture to architecture in a meaningful way.  I'd appreciate this being explained in a meaningful and straightforward manner to someone as slow as I am.

May 25, 12 11:15 pm

....preparing a reading list just for you ❤

May 26, 12 12:29 am

I don't need a reading list.  a paragraph or two will do.  Some examples.  just make it...real.

May 26, 12 1:09 am

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