KAROLA DIERICHS Architectural Research and Design

Aggregations – Geomorphodynamic Microclimates


Nature processes large amounts of potential construction material in the form of aggregates and assembles them into dynamic morphologies. The idea is to use these natural formative processes in order to actuate semi-natural dynamic microenvironments. These induce morphological and climatic transformations which are relevant both with regards to their human inhabitation and the original geology. The system can have loose and solid phases, the solid being often embedded in a loose aggregate and thus becoming a particle in itself. The morphologies continuously change over time through cycles of erosion and accretion, entering a cycle of continuous construction. Throughout this process the construction material and energy are in large parts provided by nature itself and the structures are thus formed by minimal energy input.

The project investigates several case studies that relate to geomorphodynamic systems as well as natural and architectural methods of aggregate solidification. Coastal beaches are chosen as a sedimentary environment. The hypotheses are then being developed and tested for this specific environment via onsite and laboratory models. A proposal for a design application is made on the island of Sylt/North Germany, where several responses of the system are being investigated. Conclusively further areas of implementation of the thesis are indicated as well as an argument for an emphasis on empirical modelling is being made.

MArch Emergent Technologies and Design 2009 – Architectural Association London
Karola Dierichs
Supervisors: Michael Hensel, Achim Menges, Michael Weinstock

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