Thumbnail Image

Biological Computation of Physarum

Werner, Liss C.

FG Städtebau und nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung

Physarum polycephalum, also called slime mold or myxamoeba, has started attracting the attention of those architects, urban designers, and scholars, who work in experimental trans- and flexi-disciplines between architecture, computer sciences, biology, art, cognitive sciences or soft matter; disciplines that build on cybernetic principles. Slime mold is regarded as a bio-computer with intelligence embedded in its physical mechanisms. In its plasmodium stage, the single cell organism shows geometric, morphological and cognitive principles potentially relevant for future complexity in human-machines-networks (HMN) in architecture and urban design. The parametric bio-blob presents itself as a geometrically regulated graph structure-morphologically adaptive, logistically smart. It indicates cognitive goal-driven navigation and the ability to externally memorize (like ants). Physarum communicates with its environment. The paper introduces physarum polycephalum in the context of 'digital architecture' as a biological computer for self-organizing 2D- to 4D-geometry generation.