Nirodha Gunadasa
Archedium (Private) Limited, Colombo

At the turn of this century, significant advancements in systems of design thinking have emerged. With parametricism, tall buildings have started to break through the limits of the conventional “box”. Where will these technologically advanced design systems carry tall buildings and cities 50 years in the future? How to direct parametric design thinking towards generating more human-centric skyscrapers and cities? This presentation displays a unique way of imagining what the future holds for us.

The root of issues of vertical urbanism and urban integration we face today, including incoherent urban elements, spatial inefficiencies, the urban heat island, etc., are rooted in our conventional system of imagining forms and spaces with Cartesian geometry. The rigid forms of vertical urban elements we create have no capacity to merge and co-exist with the context they inhabit. Classical mathematics, on which our skyscraper and urban design thinking systems have been built fifty years, have a profound impact on what we ultimately generate in the built environment even today.

However, with the development of parametric design systems, we can see buildings that critically go beyond the convention. Recent studies show that “natural” mathematics used to create forms and volumes, such as fractal geometry, are not “classical,” rather they are based on complex numbers and complex vector spaces. This study shows that, by directing the parametric design systems towards evolving with the mathematics of nature, we can generate a significantly advanced kind of architecture for vertical urbanism for the coming 50 years, which is adaptive, responsive, sensitive and humane.