Design Through Evolutionary Swarm Systems
The performance level of current computer technologies opens the door for applications of evolutionary computing to serve as a symbiotic design partner for artists and designers. Creation, breeding, growing and evolving forms emulating the construction processes of Nature allow the designer to craft and mimic form through an understanding of the infrastructure provided by Nature's rudimentary building processes. This is similar to the way termites and ants build mounds or anthills. Each individual termite does not understand its unique role in the design of a mound; however, as it relentlessly performs several functions in the total community, a habitat is established. Evolutionary design systems also start with minuscule cell division, building upon this foundation to the scope of mega-engineering projects defined through complicated materials. The elements defining a dynamic system are “swarms” (virtual building agents that posses simplistic intelligence, yet when combined into colonies, create a communal intelligence capable of designing and building complexity). The swarm-based evolutionary design system starts with spartan simplicity. However, as the colony grows, the level of complexity is increased until the design becomes an evolutionary system capable of building and editing itself through the strategic definition of algorithmically defined fitness functions. Instead of the artist imitating Nature through landscape painting or derivative sculptures, Evolutionary Swarm Systems actually create and design (almost) like Nature. What Nature has defined serves as inspiring departure points from which to expand design “beyond” Nature’s offerings. We propose to present our latest work that extends on SwarmArt, Swarm Grammars and Swarm Architectures, which are computer implementations of evolutionary swarm-based building processes that are modelled in virtual 3-dimensional space.
Keywords: Evolutionary Design, Nature-Inspired Design, Swarm Intelligence, Swarmart, Swarm Design
Dr. Christian Jacob
Associate Professor, Computer Science, University of Calgary
Prof. Gerald Hushlak
Professor, Art, University of Calgary