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Complexity Machine 1
You will find links below to download the first release of the software I've been developing for my thesis project. The name has been changed to Complexity Machine 1 as a symbol of the ongoing nature of the investigation of which it is a part. Though intense efforts have been put into its development, those who download the software should be aware that it is not suitable for general use. There are still many bugs and missing functionality and it will probably crash on you. This however should not stop you from exploring what the software can do.
At this stage Complexity Machine 1 is outputting a wide variety of strange forms:
These forms are intriguing for their strangeness and how they record quirky behavior of the agents interacting in simulated space. My question to those of you who are willing to explore is: how can you imagine this software could be used to create architecture? Consider it a kind of speculative Rorschach test. Perhaps you don't consider it useful at all, or feel it needs some some vital piece of functionality before it's useful. Any and all suggestions, criticism or bug reporting are appreciated.
When you first start the software, you will see two windows: the main window where the simulation takes place and a second window that contains the controls. Dragging the mouse in the main window orbits the scene, which will be familiar to those who have used other 3D software. The control window has notes on other camera manipulations that are also possible. At the top of the control window you will notice a series of buttons that switch between different sets of controls, called tabs. Clicking the controls button will reveal common controls that govern the action of the simulation. Clicking on the play button will start the simulation and clicking it again will pause it. Clicking reset will cause the simulation to revert to its initial starting state. The environment tab controls how the ground plane and sky are rendered. The flock tabs contain parameters that govern the behavior and appearance of each flock, or group of agents, in the simulation. Flocks can be added to the simulation by clicking the add flock button in the controls tab.
As a starting point in your exploration, I've included a couple of preset simulation configurations, which can be used by clicking the preset_1 or preset_2 buttons in the default tab. Try running these simulations and then go to the flock tabs and make some adjustments to see how the behavior of the agents changes.
As you explore the software, be aware that at any point you may capture images, video or 3D files of what is currently displayed in the main window. To do this click the appropriate button in the controls tab. These files will be stored in the folder that contains the software. Please email any images, video or 3D files you generate to me along with your comments.
Thank you in advance to those who offer their feedback about this project.
Download for: Windows, Mac or Linux
No real installation is necessary to run the software. Just download the appropriate version corresponding to your operating system, unzip the file and run the cm1 application in the folder. In order to run Complexity Machine 1, your computer must have Java installed (most do these days). In order to capture video, Quicktime must be installed. Please email me with any questions or technical difficulties you encounter.
Posted on April 2, 2008 12:16 AM by westr015
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hey aaron. for some reason or another, i have been thinking about this project and i been meaning to respond but have not come across the time. well now i am going to write some ideas really fast, and i am not sure if they will be helpful at all - but here i go.
when i initially looked at the complex adaptive that you were presenting, i was really excited about the presses that was taken to generate the forms and the way they were displayed. i remembered hearing the comment from ralph, stating that it is essential to have an image of your software that is on the equal level of aesthetic design as your architectural studies represented next to complex adaptive - this is really important i think.
i recall asking if the growth was structural. it looked like a very organic design, almost muscular, moving up through a series of floor plates that appeared to be a building structure. i am not sure what the conditions were for the code in this example, but i was immediately reminded of the toyo ito project in sendai, the sendai mediatheque i believe. somehow, when you approach the sendai mediatheque - it is like it was not there before, but for some reason or another it was always needed, and the street without it would be empty.
i am not sure exactly how the software runs and the variables - i apologize this may make my critique a little more worthless.... but when i think of these software scenarios, i often think to myself how one can take something so complex and order it on equations and code alone. but then i get the 'what ifs' and i get really excited.
does your software directly relate to an architectural programmatic scenario? i almost thought that instead of floor plates, which i feel is a little bit arbitrary, that programmatic blobs or boxes should be used. (again, i dont know the project that well and could be offering worthless information). what if this code took cubes of programmatic elements and modified them to fit a series of sight conditions and needs.
for example, i remember looking on david newton's website - and seeing one of your project with a bunch of fog like forms being blown up against a structure. what if this fog was actually transforming this structure, eating away at it, taking away or adding to it in order to generate an architectural form that fits into a site or context.
i tested your software and i only played with the default settings, but it looks like the swarm was looking for something to attack, or create, or form, or move around. i think this weaving motion would work on the scale of the facade to generate some interesting forms, depending on variables of like, site conditions, etc.
i know this was really indirect and even arbitrary at times, but i really wanted to type something. good luck at your presentation and see you around!
I'm a brazilian architect and research, interested in complexity and architectural design processes. I'm very interested in testing your software! Congratulations for the job!
so informative, thanks to tell us.
I always wondered about this. Thanks for clearing it up.
Oi lá, encontrei o seu blog através do Google, enquanto busca de primeiros socorros de um ataque cardíaco e seu post parece muito interessante para mim.
por mi seducciã³n y que te dejo satisfecho